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PAGE 3 Home minister: MP Bodi is innocent PAGE 7 SUST students give VC 48 hours to resign PAGE 32 Deutsche Welle starts TV channel in Dhaka PAGE 4 Bar Council polls results announced officially PAGE 5 Post office, BTCL losing concerns SECOND EDITION TAZREEN OWNER, STAFF FINALLY INDICTED PAGE 32 SOCCEROOS BREEZE PAST TIGERS PAGE 25 TOFAIL: DHAKA TO REGAIN GSP IN US MARKET SOON PAGE 15 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 | Bhadro 20, 1422, Zilqad 19, 1436 | Regd No DA 6238, Vol 3, No 141 | www.dhakatribune.com | 32 pages plus 24-page Weekend | Price: Tk10 WATER STAGNATION, TRAFFIC JAMS Planners blame it on land grabbers n Abu Hayat Mahmud The twin evils of water stagnation and traffic jams continue to hold Dhaka residents hos- tage despite repeated attempts to bring them under control. Ambitious government projects have failed to reduce waterlogging and traffic congestion in the capital because politically influential land-grabbers remain in illegal occupation of water bodies, open spaces, footpaths and roads in and around Dhaka, urban planners, local government authorities and residents said. City planners said illegal occupation inter- fered with the natural discharge of rainwater, in turn contributing to gridlock on the roads. They added that failing to free up foot- paths and motorways from encroachment contributed to traffic jams. Four bodies bear primary responsibility for maintaining the city’s drainage and traffic sys- tems – Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) and the Traffic Division of the Dhaka Metro- politan Police (DMP). Land-grabbing causes waterlogging Urban planner Professor Nazrul Islam, also chairman of the Centre for Urban Studies, told the Dhaka Tribune: “To fix the waterlogging problem, the authorities must first recover and conserve all water bodies – canals, low-ly- ing land, lakes and rivers.” “There is no alternative to recovering these water bodies – this is the only way to enable the proper discharge of rainwater,” he said. Dhaka’s drainage network is composed of canals that discharge storm water into surrounding rivers. The city is protected from river flooding by an embankment that encircles it, but during the monsoon river levels rise higher than drainage water levels, experts say. As a result, storm water fails to flow into the Buriganga, Turag, Shitalakkhya and Balu rivers. At a Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) programme, Buet teacher Prof Shahjahan Mondal said encroachment had taken place in more than 3,000 places along Dhaka’s five riv- ers – the Buriganga, Shitalakkhya, Turag, Balu and Dhaleshwari. “Illegal occupiers are usually influential people who use their political and financial power to manage the government machin- ery,” he added. The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority has identified 7,154 individuals and organisations as encroachers. According to Dhaka Wasa, a major part of its drainage system consists of canals, rivers and lakes to reroute excess water out of the city. It also uses a storm drainage network measuring some 261.39 square kilometres around the city. The major canal systems serving the capi- tal are the Degun-Ibrahimur-Kallyanpur canal PAGE 2 COLUMN 1 Survey: Support for government growing n Tribune Report Despite continuing partisan divide on elector- al issues, ruling Awami League government has gained support among a majority of Bang- ladeshi respondents, an International Repub- lican Institute survey has found. The results of the poll, conducted in June 2015, also indicate positive public feelings about the current economic position and op- timism about the future. However, respondents cited corruption as their dominant concern. In the 18 months following the January 5, 2014 parliamentary election, support for the government and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasi- na reached 66 and 67% respectively. Bangladeshis are increasingly optimistic about the prospects for the country, with 62% saying the country is headed in the right di- rection – up from 56% in a September 2014 survey. Furthermore, 72% rated overall economic conditions positively, 68% felt security con- ditions are good and 64% was positive about political stability. The survey was based on face-to-face in- terviews conducted with a randomly selected sample of 2,550 voting aged adults from May 23 to June 10, 2015. The effects of the January 2014 election were evident in the persistence of a sharp division regarding new elections – respond- ents were almost equally divided when asked about when they would like the next national election to occur. Conducted in cooperation with interna- tional research firm Global Strategic Partners, the nationally representative sample was drawn from all 64 districts in the seven divi- sions. Forty-seven percent of the respondents indicated a desire for new election to be held immediately, similar to an IRI survey con- ducted in September 2014, when 40% stated they wanted immediate election. Forty percent want the current parliament to fulfill its term, down slightly from 45% in the previous survey. With the decline of electoral violence and daily hartals, 24% Bangladeshis surveyed cit- ed corruption as the most important problem facing the country, nearly 10 points higher than political instability (16%) and security (15%), which are cited as the second and third most important problems facing Bangladesh. Although the government received posi- tive marks on the whole, 47% do not see the government as fully engaged in or capable of fighting corruption. Interestingly, only 11% said they had paid a bribe; more than half of them said they had paid at least Tk5,000. The margin of error does not exceed plus or minus 2% with a confidence level of 95%. l Bangladesh’s per capita debt $169 n Tribune Report Bangladesh’s per capital gross external debt now stands at $169, or Tk13,160, which is higher than what it was two years ago. On behalf of Finance Minister AMA Mu- hith, junior finance minister MA Mannan yes- terday revealed the information in parliament while responding to a query. As on June 30, 2015, that is the last day of the immediate past FY2014-15, the coun- try had an outstanding loan of $25,908 or Tk2,07,265 crore. PAGE 2 COLUMN 1 Do you believe things in Bangladesh are heading in the right direction, or are they heading in the wrong direction? 33% 35% 56% 62% 62% 59% 39% 36% Nov 2013 Jan 2014 Sept 2014 June 2015 Right Direction Wrong Direction Development Partners Amount in $ million Amount in Tk crore ADB 7731.32 61850.56 China 919.51 7356.08 IDA (World Bank) 12792.94 102343.50 IDB 419.78 3358.21 Denmark 108.65 869.21 Japan 2422.02 19376.18 India 207.18 1657.45 South Korea 348.97 2791.78 Kuwait 134.43 1075.46 IFAD 366.92 2935.39 Others 456.34 3650.72 Total 25908.06 207264.50 BANGLADESH’S OUTSTANDING EXTERNAL LOAN AS ON JUNE 30, 2015 PM TOO SLAMS GRABBERS 3
Transcript
  • PAGE 3Home minister: MP Bodi is innocent

    PAGE 7 SUST students give VC 48 hours to resign

    PAGE 32Deutsche Welle starts TV channel in Dhaka

    PAGE 4Bar Council polls results announced o cially

    PAGE 5Post o ce, BTCL losing concerns

    SECOND EDITION

    TAZREEN OWNER, STAFF FINALLY INDICTED PAGE 32

    SOCCEROOS BREEZE PAST TIGERS PAGE 25

    TOFAIL: DHAKA TO REGAIN GSP IN US MARKET SOON PAGE 15

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 | Bhadro 20, 1422, Zilqad 19, 1436 | Regd No DA 6238, Vol 3, No 141 | www.dhakatribune.com | 32 pages plus 24-page Weekend | Price: Tk10

    WATER STAGNATION, TRAFFIC JAMS

    Planners blame it on land grabbersn Abu Hayat MahmudThe twin evils of water stagnation and tra c jams continue to hold Dhaka residents hos-tage despite repeated attempts to bring them under control.

    Ambitious government projects have failed to reduce waterlogging and tra c congestion in the capital because politically in uential land-grabbers remain in illegal occupation of water bodies, open spaces, footpaths and roads in and around Dhaka, urban planners, local government authorities and residents said.

    City planners said illegal occupation inter-fered with the natural discharge of rainwater, in turn contributing to gridlock on the roads.

    They added that failing to free up foot-

    paths and motorways from encroachment contributed to tra c jams.

    Four bodies bear primary responsibility for maintaining the citys drainage and tra c sys-tems Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) and the Tra c Division of the Dhaka Metro-politan Police (DMP).

    Land-grabbing causes waterloggingUrban planner Professor Nazrul Islam, also chairman of the Centre for Urban Studies, told the Dhaka Tribune: To x the waterlogging problem, the authorities must rst recover and conserve all water bodies canals, low-ly-ing land, lakes and rivers.

    There is no alternative to recovering these

    water bodies this is the only way to enable the proper discharge of rainwater, he said.

    Dhakas drainage network is composed of canals that discharge storm water into surrounding rivers. The city is protected from river ooding by an embankment that

    encircles it, but during the monsoon riverlevels rise higher than drainage water levels, experts say.

    As a result, storm water fails to ow into the Buriganga, Turag, Shitalakkhya and Balu rivers.

    At a Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) programme, Buet teacher Prof Shahjahan Mondal said encroachment had taken place in more than 3,000 places along Dhakas ve riv-

    ers the Buriganga, Shitalakkhya, Turag, Balu and Dhaleshwari.

    Illegal occupiers are usually in uential people who use their political and nancial power to manage the government machin-ery, he added.

    The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority has identi ed 7,154 individuals and organisations as encroachers.

    According to Dhaka Wasa, a major part of its drainage system consists of canals, rivers and lakes to reroute excess water out of the city. It also uses a storm drainage network measuring some 261.39 square kilometres around the city.

    The major canal systems serving the capi-tal are the Degun-Ibrahimur-Kallyanpur canal

    PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

    Survey: Support for government growing

    n Tribune ReportDespite continuing partisan divide on elector-al issues, ruling Awami League government has gained support among a majority of Bang-ladeshi respondents, an International Repub-lican Institute survey has found.

    The results of the poll, conducted in June 2015, also indicate positive public feelings about the current economic position and op-timism about the future.

    However, respondents cited corruption as their dominant concern.

    In the 18 months following the January 5, 2014 parliamentary election, support for the

    government and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasi-na reached 66 and 67% respectively.

    Bangladeshis are increasingly optimistic about the prospects for the country, with 62% saying the country is headed in the right di-rection up from 56% in a September 2014 survey.

    Furthermore, 72% rated overall economic conditions positively, 68% felt security con-ditions are good and 64% was positive about political stability.

    The survey was based on face-to-face in-terviews conducted with a randomly selected sample of 2,550 voting aged adults from May 23 to June 10, 2015.

    The e ects of the January 2014 election were evident in the persistence of a sharp division regarding new elections respond-ents were almost equally divided when asked about when they would like the next national election to occur.

    Conducted in cooperation with interna-tional research rm Global Strategic Partners, the nationally representative sample was drawn from all 64 districts in the seven divi-sions.

    Forty-seven percent of the respondents indicated a desire for new election to be held immediately, similar to an IRI survey con-ducted in September 2014, when 40% stated they wanted immediate election.

    Forty percent want the current parliament to ful ll its term, down slightly from 45% in the previous survey.

    With the decline of electoral violence and daily hartals, 24% Bangladeshis surveyed cit-ed corruption as the most important problem facing the country, nearly 10 points higher than political instability (16%) and security (15%), which are cited as the second and third most important problems facing Bangladesh.

    Although the government received posi-tive marks on the whole, 47% do not see the government as fully engaged in or capable of ghting corruption. Interestingly, only 11% said they had paid a bribe; more than half of them said they had paid at least Tk5,000.

    The margin of error does not exceed plus or minus 2% with a con dence level of 95%. l

    Bangladeshs per capita debt $169n Tribune ReportBangladeshs per capital gross external debt now stands at $169, or Tk13,160, which is higher than what it was two years ago.

    On behalf of Finance Minister AMA Mu-hith, junior nance minister MA Mannan yes-

    terday revealed the information in parliament while responding to a query.

    As on June 30, 2015, that is the last day of the immediate past FY2014-15, the coun-try had an outstanding loan of $25,908 or Tk2,07,265 crore.

    PAGE 2 COLUMN 1

    Do you believe things in Bangladesh are heading in the right direction, or are they heading in the wrong direction?

    33% 35%

    56%62%62%

    59%

    39%

    36%

    Nov 2013 Jan 2014 Sept 2014 June 2015

    Right Direction Wrong Direction

    Development Partners Amount

    in $ million Amount

    in Tk croreADB 7731.32 61850.56China 919.51 7356.08IDA (World Bank) 12792.94 102343.50

    IDB 419.78 3358.21

    Denmark 108.65 869.21Japan 2422.02 19376.18India 207.18 1657.45South Korea 348.97 2791.78Kuwait 134.43 1075.46IFAD 366.92 2935.39Others 456.34 3650.72Total 25908.06 207264.50

    BANGLADESHS OUTSTANDINGEXTERNAL LOAN AS ON JUNE 30, 2015

    PM TOO SLAMS GRABBERS3

  • Planners blame it on land grabbersthat discharges into the Turag River, the Dhanmondi-Paribagh-Gulshan-Banani-Mo-hakhali-Begunbari canal that discharges into the Balu River and the Segunbagicha-Gera-ni-Dholaikhal canal that discharges into the Balu and Buriganga rivers.

    Wasa sources said there were originally 65 canals, but over the course of time the num-ber has come down to 43. Of these, some 20 canals have died out, many have been lled with garbage and others are being encroached upon by land-grabbers.

    Dhakas two city corporations occupy an area of 360 square kilometres but storm drains cover just 280 square kilometres of the metropolis.

    The city has box culverts stretching 10.5 kilometres with 913.63 kilometres of surface drains and 26 canals, ranging from 10 to 30m in width, running a length of around 60 kilo-metres. The drainage pipes have diameters ranging from between 450 and 3,000mm.

    Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune on condi-tion of anonymity, several DNCC, DSCC and Wasa o cials said the capitals underground drainage system was not adequate to handle storm water from heavy rains.

    The network needs to be expanded by at least another 40 percent. The drains should be properly linked through a scienti cally de-signed network, said a Dhaka Wasa o cial, asking not to be named.

    The prime minister and shipping minister have directed the relevant government bod-ies to address waterlogging and tra c con-gestion in the capital.

    But Dhaka Wasa, DNCC, DSCC and BIWTA have yet to demonstrate success in carrying

    out the directives.Dhaka Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A

    Khan continues to attribute the citys water-logging problems to incidents of heavy rain.

    Waterlogging temporarily occurred due to heavy rainfall. To drain away the storm wa-ter we have installed pumps at di erent sta-tions, he said.

    Earlier the Wasa boss claimed that Wasa operates just 30% of the capitals sewerage and drainage facilities, with 70% of the infra-structure out of service due to a lack of funds.

    Despite election promises to solve the problems of waterlogging and tra c jams, the capitals two mayors, Annisul Huq and Sayeed Khokon, have yet to deliver.

    DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq told the Dhaka Tribune that he had directed city and Wasa o cials to take steps to resolve the problem. We have purchased equipment to clean the city corporations drains.

    Annisul said he had met civil society mem-bers and urban planners to exchange ideas about creating a Green Dhaka.

    DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon said: We have taken temporary steps to deal with wa-terlogging.

    He said the existing drainage system was not adequate to deal with heavy rain, adding: A deep drainage system will be constructed after demolishing the surface box culverts.

    Reclaiming occupied footpaths, roadsDespite big-ticket road projects like the Gu-listan-Jatrabari yover and the Kuril yover, tra c jams, sometimes lasting for hours, are a daily fact of life in the capital.

    Urban planners said tra c congestion would

    not ease unless the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripa-kkha (Rajuk) the capital improvement author-ity, the two city corporations, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and the rele-vant ministries co-ordinate their e orts.

    At a meeting held shortly after the mayor-al polls, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Dhaka North city Mayor An-nisul Huq and Dhaka South city Mayor Sayeed Khokon agreed to take steps to remove illegal en-croachers from the capitals footpaths and roads. But the initiative has not yielded much success.

    Annisul told the Dhaka Tribune that re-moving illegal occupants and land-grabbers was a complex procedure and would only be successful if a long-term plan was put into ef-fect.

    Prof Nazrul said: Urbanisation and tra c management in Dhaka city is completely un-planned. Roads and footpath occupiers must be removed in the situation is to improve.

    In the long term, the government must seriously work on decentralisationwithout this tra c congestion will likely intensify in future, he added.

    Dhaka has the highest rate of urbanisa-tion at 90%, he said.

    Prof Dr Sarwar Jahan of Buet said: Dha-ka has become un t for living because of the enormous rate of migration to the capital.

    About 15 million people live in and around Dhaka. If the government does not take strong measures to decentralise the country, no e ort to reduce tra c congestion will be successful.

    The government has taken steps to make commuting in the capital a more tolerable experience including introducing special bus

    services, CCTV-aided surveillance systems, bans on old and un t vehicles, setting up new school and o ce schedules and implement-ing automated tra c signals.

    The government has embarked on a mas-sive building programme to enlarge the car-rying capacity of the citys infrastructure, constructing link roads, yovers, a bus rapid transit system, elevated expressways, and a metro rail transit system.

    It has launched a water bus service in the rivers surrounding the city. l

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

    Bangladeshs per capita debt $169Responding to a query, Mannan said Bang-ladesh had paid $182.43m or around Tk1,419 crore in interests against that loan amount.

    In reply to another question, the state minister for nance said that according to the Bangladesh Credit Information Bureau, the total number of loan defaulters in the country is 175,580.

    According to Mannan, there are 62 organi-sations o ering banking services in the coun-try, of which 56 are scheduled banks. In 2014, Islami Bank made the highest pro t Tk1621.21 crore. On the other hand, state-owned BASIC Bank made the highest Tk110.79 crore loss. Oth-er losing banks are Bangladesh Krishi Bank, ICB Islamic Bank and National Bank of Pakistan.

    Responding to another query, Mannan said that the Asian Development Bank will give $250m or around Tk2,000 crore as loan under the 3rd Capital Market Development Programme (CMDP-III) to develop the capital market in Bangladesh.

    He also said that the foreign exchange re-serve was $5.349bn in 2009, but on August

    2015, it rose to $26.16bn, which is the highest ever.

    In reply to another query, the junior minis-ter said that in the 2014-15 scal year, a total of Tk1,28,771 crore was transacted through mo-bile banking. Up to July of the new scal year, the transacted amount stood at Tk13,811.52 crore. l

    3 diplomats promoted to secretary status n Sheikh Shahariar ZamanThree career diplomats have been promoted to secretary status at the Foreign Ministry.

    They are Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Masud bin Momen, former additional secre-tary Mizanur Rahman and Bangladesh Am-bassador to Singapore Mahbub Uz Zaman.

    They were promoted to the status of sec-retary on August 27, said a senior o cial of the Foreign Ministry.

    All of them belong to the BCS 1985 batch. With the promotions, the Foreign Ministry now has 13 secretary status diplomats includ-ing the foreign secretary.

    According to rules two of them will be based at the headquarters including the for-eign secretary and 11 will be posted at di er-ent missions at ambassador position.

    Former foreign secretary Md Mijarul Quayes is now ambassador to Brazil. His batch mate Is-

    mat Jahan is now ambassador at Brussels. Their another batchmate Golam Moham-

    mad, former envoy in Greece, has now been made OSD at the headquarters.

    Current Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haques batch mates Shamim Ahsan is cur-rently posted in Geneva as envoy and Fazlul Karim as ambassador to China. Mohammad Abdul Hannan is the Bangladesh High Com-missioner to England while Imtiaz Ahmed is the ambassador to Portugal.

    Md Shahdat Hossain is Bangladesh Ambas-sador to Italy while Mosud Mannan is envoy to Uzbekistan. Mazeda Ra qunessa is now a director general at the ministry. Her promo-tion is withheld because of allegations of ir-regularities as ambassador to Manila.

    Promotion of Shamsul Haque has also been withheld on similar grounds.

    O cials of the Foreign Ministry are promot-ed in line with the position of their merit list. l

    Advance rail tickets from September 15n Tribune ReportBangladesh Railways will begin selling train tickets in advance from September 15 to ease travel for home-bound passengers ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

    Railways Minister Md Mujibul Hoque made the announcement in a press brie ng at Rail Bhaban yesterday.

    The minister said: Advance tickets for Eid will be sold from September 15-19, and return tickets will be sold from September 23-27.

    He said the tickets for September 20 can be purchased on September 15, while return tickets for September 27 will be available for purchase on the 23rd of the month.

    The tickets for September 21, 22, 23 and 24 will be sold on September 16, 17, 18 and 19 re-spectively.

    A person can purchase up to four tickets, but the tickets will not be refunded, Mujibul said. l

    Latifs parliament membership declared vacantn Tribune ReportThe parliament membership of former min-ister Abdul Latif Siddique has been declared vacant following his resignation.

    Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury made the announcement yesterday, two days after he stepped down as a lawmaker.

    While tendering his resignation on Tues-day, Latif told the Jatiya Sangsad that he was doing this as per the wishes of his leader.

    In September last year, the now-former Tangail MP and then telecom minister Latif faced severe criticism after making derogato-ry remarks about hajj and tabligh jamaat at a programme in the USA.

    A number of cases were led against him on charges of hurting religious sentiment, while he had to stay nine months behind bars in several of those cases. He was also expelled from the Awami League and the cabinet. l

    NEWS2DT

  • NEWS 3DT

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    This pick-up van arrives at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday carrying bags of life-saving salines but without any arrangement for maintaining the temperature of the uid MEHEDI HASAN

    Home minister: MP Bodi is innocentn Kamrul HasanThe home minister yesterday claimed that investigators had not found the involvement of ruling Awami League lawmaker Abdur Rah-man Bodi in any drug smuggling case.

    Investigators found many people in-volved in illegal yaba smuggling. But they did not nd any evidence that he [Bodi] was the ring leader or involved in yaba smuggling.

    Bodi is innocent, Home Minister Asaduz-zaman Khan Kamal said replying to a query after a conference of the Department of Nar-cotics Control (DNC) in the capitals Tejgaon. Senior o cials of the ministry and the DNC were present at the event. Kamal said that someone might have given his name driven

    by emotion. But it is a matter investigation.The reporters wanted to know about the

    drug smuggling allegations raised against the Coxs Bazar 4 lawmaker and whether his attacks and threats on government o cials would encourage the drug dealers and dis-courage the public servants.

    The minister said that many allegations had been brought against Bodi. But justice cannot be ensured out of possibility or impos-sibility. We have to nd proper evidence.

    The controversial lawmaker was sued by the Anti-Corruption Commission last year for gaining wealth beyond the known source of income. He is currently on bail in the case.

    Earlier, the DNC and several intelligence agency reports mentioned about Bodi and his

    brothers names for their involvement in yaba smuggling, human tra cking and illegally naturalising Rohingya immigrants, as well as illegal hundi business.

    Bodi joined the BNP in 1996. He later joined the Awami League failing to win in parliament elections. He became a member of parliament for the rst time in 2008 with the Awami League ticket and then in the January 5 polls last year.

    Speaking at the function, the minister said that yaba trading had taken a deadly look in the country. This evil business can not be controlled even by conducting mobile courts.

    He called upon the DNC o cials to collect information objectively and advised them to take police members with them during any operation. l

    Planning Commission member under ACC scannern Adil SakhawatThe Anti-Corruption Commission has decid-ed to run inquiry into the allegation against Planning Commissions Member Humayun Khalid for his alleged involvement in bribing and corruption while he was registrar of the Department of Cooperatives.

    But when contacted Humayun Khalid, the member of Planning Commissions Socio Eco-nomic Infrastructure Division, denied his in-volvement in such crimes.

    Humayun was registrar of the Department of Cooperative from June 2012 to June 2014.

    The ACC yesterday appointed Deputy Di-rector SM Ra qul Islam as inquiry o cer and Director Moniruzzaman as monitoring o cial to look into the matter of the allegation, said a competent source in the commission.

    The source said when Humayun was regis-trar of the Department of Cooperatives he had leased out a land of others illegally to Bakus-hah Hawkers Market Cooperative Society in the capitals Nilkhet area.

    In the primary inquiry the commission found some clues to the allegations against that member of the Planning Commission.

    Soon, the commission will summon Hu-mayun Khalid, the source also said. However, Humayun said: The Department of Coopera-tives is not responsible for giving lease of any land to any cooperative society.

    As a registrar of the cooperatives I was only responsible for issuing registration to cooper-ative societies, forming the management of those societies or arranging election for those cooperatives, and auditing their budget.

    Leasing out land to cooperatives are the responsibility of the Ministry of Land and the collectors of Dhaka District, he said.

    There are two parties in the Bakushah Hawkers Market Cooperative Society. During my time as a registrar I had to settle some of their disputes through arbitration. But as the commission decided to run inquiry against me I welcome that initiatives as , he said.l

    PM slams businessmen for water stagnationn Tribune ReportPrime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday blamed businessmen for water stagnation in the capital saying that it was the result of un-planned construction of buildings by lling the water bodies.

    You cannot blame the government or the city corporation only; the businessmen too will have to shoulder the responsibility for waterlogging in Dhaka, she told a delegation of newly-elected o ce bearers of the Feder-ation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) led by its President Ab-dul Matlub Ahmed at her o ce.

    The premier urged the businessmen of the country to go for planned and environ-ment-friendly industrialisation having provi-sion of water bodies so that any possible re incident could be dealt with properly, accord-ing to TV reports.

    Hasina said that the businessmen construct buildings but do not keep space for drains and footpaths but they ll the water bodies.

    They should have given a second thought that these water bodies are essential during the monsoon. You have lled everything to construct the buildings, sold them and made pro t.

    I do not want to mention the name who I gave a piece of land for construction of a building. I asked them to keep a road and not to ll the [nearby] canal...I was not in pow-er for seven years, and when I took o ce, I discovered the building in the canal. Even a bridge was made which means they will ll the other free spaces and make another build-ing there, the premier said.

    She further said the Awami League gov-ernment has always been a business-friendly one, according to UNB.

    About the recent power and gas tari hike, Hasina said that the government had to pur-chase fuel at a higher price earlier for power generation for which it had to bear a liability of Tk38,000 crore. Out of such liability, she said, about Tk8,000 crore have been paid so far.

    Hasina asked the businessmen to tap the growing domestic market and take steps to explore the huge marine resources, her Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters after the meeting.

    She said that the countrys businesses should not be restricted to the RMG sector only and should tap into the vast marine re-sources in the Bay of Bengal, especially after the gain of huge marine areas through the maritime boundary verdicts over Myanmar and India.

    She also urged the businessmen to get in-volved with the growing domestic market alongside boosting exports. The more the purchasing capacity of the common people will increase, the domestic market would get bigger, she said.

    Referring to the withdrawal of import duty on lique ed petroleum gas (LPG), the prime minister said that her government did not re-ceive much response from the businessmen, and suggested that they go for manufacturing cylinders.

    Hasina said that the government would try to bring the bank interest rate to single digit to encourage industrialisation and businesses. She urged the businessmen to pay taxes, so that the government could pay incentives to them based on the tax.

    She said that the proposed Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) and the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) initiatives have provisions of regional connectivity which could help ourish businesses.

    She said that the ongoing extension work on Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Sylhet highways would help in-dustrialisation.

    The government is looking for suitable places for setting up slaughterhouses, she said putting emphasis on optimum utilisation of rawhide.

    Speaking on the occasion, the FBCCI pres-ident said that the businessmen would work hand in hand with the government to materi-alise its Vision 2021. l

  • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015NEWS4DT

    Three more testify in Khaledas graft casen Md Sanaul Islam TipuThree more prosecution wit-nesses gave depositions yester-day in Zia Charitable Trust graft case led against former prime minister Khaleda Zia and three others.

    BNP Chairperson Khale-da did not appear before the court at Bakshibazar due to her illness. She earlier skipped ap-pearance on August 10 and Au-gust 27 citing the same reason.

    Judge Abu Ahmed Jamadar of the Dhakas Special Judges Court 3 recorded the state-ments and adjourned the pro-ceedings until September 10.

    The three witnesses are HM Ismail, senior principal o cer of Pubali Bank; Sheikh Mak-bul Ahmed, deputy-general manager of Janata Bank; and

    Fahmida Rahman, rst AGM of Janata Banks Masjid Road branch.

    The court is dealing with the two cases led by the ACC for alleged embezzlement of funds of Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust.

    At the beginning of the hear-ing, Khaledas counsel led two petitions for her non-appear-ance, saying that she could not appear in the court due to her illness.

    They also led two more petitions seeking permission to represent Khaleda in her ab-sence on the day.

    The defence rst cross exam-ined the third and fourth pros-ecution witnesses. After the new witnesses completed dep-ositions, the defence counsels cross examined them too. l

    Bar Council polls results announced o ciallyn Tribune ReportThe ruling Awami League-backed Sammilita Ainjibi Sa-mannay Parishad panel has won 11 posts out of 14 in the Bangladesh Bar Council elec-tions, according to o cial re-sults announced yesterday.

    The pro-BNP and like-mind-ed Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Oikya Parishad panel, who dominated

    the council in the last two ten-ures, got the three other posts.

    Attorney General Mahbubey Alam formally announced the results in the morning. The election was held on August 26.

    The Bangladesh Bar Council elections are held every three years. The 14-member execu-tive body elects the vice-chair-man while the attorney general is given the post of chairman. l

    Aman gets bail in 11 casesn Md Sanaul Islam TipuA Dhaka court yesterday grant-ed the bail petitions of BNP Joint Secretary General Aman-ullah Aman in 11 cases led on charges of arson attacks and vandalism in the capital and its outskirts during the anti gov-ernment programme.

    After hearing on his bail plea,

    Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ali Masud Shiekh, granted the bail petitions led by Amans counsel Md Sanaul-lah Miah before the court.

    On August 2, the metropoli-tan magistrate courts sent the BNP leader to jail rejecting his bail petitions in 44 cases after his surrender before the courts in the cases. l

    SUST student found deadn Tribune ReportAn architecture student of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet, Mu-hammad Shahriar Majumdar, was found dead in his room last night.

    Classmates and police said Shahriar lived in a mess in Sur-ma residential area, adjacent to the university campus.

    His door was found locked from inside when his classmates went to call him around 8pm. As Shahriar did not respond, one of his classmate tried to

    peak through the ventilator and found that his body was hang-ing from the window with a belt, SUST Proctor Prof Kamru-zzaman Chowdhury said.

    Kotwali police recovered the body and sent it to Osmani Medical College for an autopsy.

    An activist of Gonojagoron Moncho, Shahriar was a stu-dent of 2008-2009 session. He completed honours recently but was waiting to complete some pending courses.

    He was also the senior ad-viser of SUST Sahitya Sangsad and Cartoon Factory. l

  • NEWS 5DT

    Post o ce, BTCL losing concernsn Tribune ReportIn the last three scal years, state-controlled entities Bangladesh Post O ce and Bangla-desh Telecommunications Company Limited have both incurred revenue losses.

    Figures have been particularly grim for the post o ce, which has never made a pro t since the 2008-09 scal year.

    Over this period, it su ered the lowest loss Tk94.43 crore in 2009-10 and the high-est Tk234.55 crore in the immediate past FY2014-15.

    In fact, its losses have never come below Tk200 crore in the last four years.

    These gures were revealed in parliament yesterday when Tarana Halim, state minister for Post and Telecommunications, was taking part in a question-answer session.

    Figures for Bangladesh Telecommunica-tions Company Limited (BTCL) showed that it su ered a Tk17 crore loss in the scal year that just ended. In the two preceding years, its revenue losses were Tk4 crore and Tk546 crore respectively.

    Actor-turned-politician Tarana Halim, who is a lawyer by training and has made it to the cabinet for the rst time during the last spate of reshu e in July, said: Mobile phone call rates are becoming increasingly cheaper. As a result, the land phone service is facing severe competition.

    She, however, assured that the BTCL has taken a number of steps to survive the erce competition from the mobile phone industry.

    Tarana also said that at present, there are 736,000 land phone users in the country. l

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    100

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    BANGLADESH POST OFFICE

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    INCOME EXPENDITURE(Taka in crore)

    BANGLADESH TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY LIMITED (BTCL)

    ACC okays charge sheet against 14 for embezzling Tk110 croren Adil SakhawatGovernments corruption watchdog Anti-Cor-ruption Commission has approved the charge sheet against 14 o cials of Bismillah Group and Shahjalal Islami Bank for their alleged in-volvement with embezzling Tk110 crore from the banks Eskaton branch.

    The approval came from a regular meeting of the Anti-Corruption Commission yester-day, con rmed ACC Deputy Director (Public Relations) Pranab Kumer Bhattacharya.

    After working on the case for more than two years, investigation o cial Gulshan An-war submitted the probe report to the com-mission in August this year; the case was led with the Ramna police station in Dhaka on March 29, 2013.

    According to the probe report, the accused in connivance with each other embezzled Tk975,648,000 from the Eskaton branch of the Shahjalal Islami Bank by making fake in-voices of export in the name of back-to-back Letter of Credit, which caused the bank losses worth Tk1,100,959,000.

    The 14 accused in the charge sheet include Bismillah Group Managing Director Khaja Soleman Chowdhury, its Chairman Nowrin Hasib, Directors Begum Sarwar Jahan, Abi-

    da Hasib, Nahid Anwar Khan, Khandaker Moinuddin Ishak, General Manager (Account) Abul Hossain Chowdhury, Deputy Managing Director Akbar Aziz Mutakki, Manager Ri-azuddin Ahmed.

    The other accused bank o cials are: Shahjalal Bank Eskaton branchs former branch manager Aslamul Haq, former dep-uty manager ASM Hasanul Kabir, Senior Executive O cer Sahidul Islam, Junior As-sistant Vice-President Mannatul Maula and Chairman of Network Freight System Limited Akhter Hossain.

    Sources in the Anti-Corruption Commis-sion said all of the accused are now in hid-ing in various countries including the United Arab Emirates, England, Malaysia, Canada, and Australia.

    On November 3, 2013, the commission led a total of 12 cases with the Ramna and Motijheel police stations in Dhaka against 53 people, including the 14 accused in the charge sheet, in connection with the loan scam of Bismillah Group worth Tk1,200 crore.

    Thirteen of the accused were from Bismil-lah Group and 40 others were high-ranked o cials of Janata Bank, Prime Bank, Premier Bank, Jamuna Bank and Shahjalal Islami Bank. l

    FB account opened every 12 secondsin Bangladeshn Tribune ReportState Minister for Information and Telecom-munications Zunaid Ahmed Palak on Thursday told the parliament that every 12 seconds some-one in Bangladesh opens a Facebook account.

    In response to a query by lawmaker Farhad Hossain, that he does not have a Facebook ac-count so who maintains the accounts opened in his name, the junior minister said, This question is valid for not only you. It is a ques-tion for crores of Bangladeshis. Bangladesh has the second-highest growing number of Facebook users. Every 12 seconds, a Facebook account is opened in Bangladesh.

    The junior minister told the parliament that one can resolve the problem of fake ac-counts by going onto the ICT Division and BTRC websites.

    Apart from this, he also told the parlia-ment that one can also get help by dialing 0176678888 and that this service would be provided around the clock.

    In response to a supplementary question, Palak said, The government has taken various steps to guarantee internet usage. We passed the ICT Act and have laws against pornography. Apart from this, we are also formulating the co-ordinated Cyber Act and whenever it becomes law, our security will be strengthened. l

    Ministry unaware of martyr tag ofQuader Mollan Tribune ReportLiberation War A airs Minister AKM Mo-zammel Haque yesterday said that they were unaware of the tombstone of executed war criminal Abdul Quader Molla where the for-mer Jamaat-e-Islami leader is mentioned as a martyr.

    He told parliament that the ministry would take measures to remove the word if any written complaint is lodged with the ministry in this regard.

    The minister made the statement replying to a question of a ruling party lawmaker who said that using the word martyr for a con-demned war criminal was an insult to those who had sacri ced their lives for the inde-pendence of the country in 1971.

    The Jamaat assistant secretary general was the rst war criminal to be executed following trial. He was known as Butcher of Mirpur during the war.

    Quader Molla was hanged on December 12, 2013 and buried at his family graveyard at Amirabad village under Faridpurs Sadarpur upazila. His party termed the execution a po-litical killing.

    He was given life-term imprisonment on February 5, 2013 by the International Crimes Tribunal for the killing of Hazrat Ali and his family, and rape. The Appellate Division on September 17 the same year increased his sen-tence to capital punishment. l

    Two war tribunalsto be mergedn Tribune ReportThe government has initiated a process to merge the two international crimes tribunals from Sunday as the number of pending cases have come down.

    Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday said a gazette noti cation might be issued in this re-gard. The government started the process to merge the tribunal into a single one in consul-tation with the Supreme Court, he said.

    One of the tribunals will be inactive and its judges will work for the High Court. It can be made functional in the future, if necessary for disposal of the cases, the minister added.

    The Awami League-led government formed the rst tribunal on March 25, 2010 to try the collaborators of the Pakistani occupa-tion forces who had been involved in murder, rape, arson and looting during the 1971 Liber-ation War. The second tribunal was formed on March 22, 2012.

    So far, the two tribunals have pronounced verdicts in 21 cases including those led against former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam and current chief Motiur Rahman Nizami.

    After the countrys independence on De-cember 16, 1971, then the government estab-lished 73 special tribunals across the country to try the local collaborators. The trial pro-ceedings began with 37,471 detained. Some 26,000 were freed under general amnesty de-clared in 1973.

    But those accused of killing, raping, looting and arson were declared beyond the amnesty. The trials continued until the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975. The subsequent military-backed gov-ernment annulled the Collaborators Ordi-nance on December 31 the same year and freed the detainees. l

  • NEWS6DTFRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    1,500 kg Ilish seizedn Our Correspondent, SatkhiraMembers of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) seized 1,500 kilograms of hilsa while those were being smuggled to India through Alipur check post area at Bhomra border point in Sa-dar upazila yesterday morning.

    Major Mojammel Haque, deputy commander of BGB Battalion-38, said acting on a tip-o , a team of the border force conducted a drive in the area and intercepted a truck loaded with hilsa packed in 35 cartons in the morning. However, the smug-glers and truck driver managed to escape sensing the presence of the BGB members. l

    Dhaka-Rangpur Highway turns miserable within a year of repairn Our Correspondent, GaibandhaBarely one year has elapsed since the repair works, myriad big and small potholes have developed on the Dhaka-Rangpur highway that covers 32km in the district.

    Consequently, the vehicles plying on the dilapidated highway have been victim of ac-cidents repeatedly.

    It was learnt from Gaibandha Roads and High-ways Department (RHD) that some 32km of Dha-ka-Rangpur highway is situated in the district stretching from Fasitola area of Gubindaganj upazila to Dhaperhat of Sadullahpur upazila.

    Last year there was a carpeting works on the 32km highway at a cost of Tk23 crore. While visiting, the correspondent found that carpeting got badly damaged in many plac-es and many potholes appeared on the road within the short span of time.

    Nayon Chandra Saha, businessman from Dhaperhat area, said the patients in ambu-lance face a tough time in the shaking by dint of the potholes on the road.

    A local journalist namely Aminul Islam

    opined that most of the long-route buses meet accidents particularly during crossing the 32km part. He continued that three people got killed and at least 40 others injured in road accidents on the highway in last two months.

    A bus driver named Amirul Islam from Po-lashbari upazila town said the potholes of the road got lled during rain and they failed to assume the depth of those resulting repeated accidents appeared there despite their cau-tious driving.

    Local Awami League leader and former Po-lasbari upazila chairman AKM Moksed Chow-

    dhury Bidyut blamed low-standard works of the road while one year has barely passed af-ter the carpeting.

    Local RHD has not paid any heed to the re-peated calls from the locals to take necessary steps to run repair works anew for the sake of them, the ex-chairman alleged.

    Denying the allegation of using sub-stand-ard materials in the construction by the con-tractor, Gaibandha RHD Executive Engineer Mahbubul Alam Khan said: The road is t for plying at best 12mt vehicles, but about 20-25mt goods-laden trucks are using it daily, leaving the road in dilapidated condition de-spite having repaired one year ago.

    Besides, many shops erected on both sides surpass the height of the road and that was why rainwater could not move easily causing a great damage to the carpeting, the RHD en-gineer went on.

    Local MP from Gaibandha 3 constituency Dr Yunus Ali Sarkar said: Thousands of ve-hicles ply on the highway daily amid a great risk and that is why repeated accidents appear there. Its repair works is urgently needed. l

    Seven pharmacies ned, one sealed o n Tribune ReportTwo pharmacies were ned with Tk6 lakh at Kolabagan in the capital yesterday for selling foreign-made medicines without approval.

    The pharmacies which were nes are Lazz Pharama and Tazrin Pharma.

    Firoz Ahmed, magistrate of RAB 1, con-ducted a drive in the area and ned Lazz Phar-ma with Tk4 lakh while Tazrin Pharma with Tk 2 lakh.

    A mobile court ned ve pharmacies with a total of Tk55,000 for selling drugs without

    license in Kotwali and Bakalia areas of Chit-tagong yesterday.

    It sealed o another drug store for selling fake medicine and seized drugs worth Tk1 lakh.

    The court ned Buj Pharmacy with Tk5,000, Boshudha Pharmacy with Tk5,000, BN Pharmacy with Tk20,000, Haque Phar-macy with Tk10,000, Tusna Medical Hall with Tk10,000, and Japan Dental Care with Tk5,000, said Executive Magistrate Ruhul Amin, who led the drive.

    It sealed o Tushna Medical for selling fake medicines. l

    Two Bangladeshis shot by BSF n Our Correspondent, ThakurgaonTwo cattle traders are receiving treatment at a hospital in Rangpur after being bullet injured by the members of the Indian Border Security Forces. Local sources said members of the BSF opened re on Kotwal Haque, 35, and Musam, 25, at Beraojhari border while they were return-ing from India with cattle. Tushar Bin Yusuf told the Dhaka Tribune that they would hold a ag meeting with BSF soon over the matter. l

    Thousands of vehicles ply on the highway daily amid a great risk and that is why repeated accidents appear there. Its repair works is urgently needed

  • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015NEWS 7

    DT

    Source: Accuweather/UNB

    D H A K ATODAY TOMORROW

    SUN SETS 6:14PM SUN RISES 6:14AM

    YESTERDAYS HIGH AND LOW

    33.8C 22.6C

    Jessore & Chuadanga Khepupara

    SourceL IslamicFinder.org

    F O R E C A S T F O R T O D A YDhaka 33 26Chittagong 32 26Rajshahi 34 26Rangpur 32 23Khulna 34 26Barisal 33 26Sylhet 30 24Coxs Bazar 31 26

    PRAYER TIMESFajr 4:22am

    Sunrise 5:40amJumma 11:58am

    Asr 4:27pmMagrib 6:14pm

    Esha 7:44pm

    WEATHER

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

    THUNDERSHOWER WITH RAIN

    Three charged for assaulting female student at DU n DU CorrespondentThree activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Dhaka University unit have been al-leged for physically assaulting a female stu-dent on campus.

    Shahbagh police held the three Ratul Hasan Nayeem, Amirul Islam and Nazmul Sakib from the campus on Wednesday.

    Ratul is a student of applied mathematics while Amirul and Nazmul study zoology and statistics at the university. All of them are honours rst year students and residents of Amar Ekushey Hall, DU, said Dhaka Universi-ty acting proctor Amzad Ali.

    They were temporarily suspended yester-day, he told the Dhaka Tribune.

    According to the proctor, on Tuesday around 1:30am, a female student of popula-tion science, DU, was chatting with two male friends in the TSC area. The three students came at the spot and started charging the girl for chatting with two outsiders of the univer-sity at that hour in the area. Eventually their conversation turned into a brawl and the three men started beating the girl and the two boys.

    The next day, the female student submit-ted a written compliant at the proctors o ce and led a case with Shahabag police station.

    An investigation committee would be formed on the matter soon and further action would be taken following the investigation, said the proc-tor. The three arrested were sent to jail. l

    SUST students give 48-hour ultimatum for VCs resignationn Our Correspondent, SylhetStudents of Shahjalal University for Science and Technology (SUST) expressing solidarity with agitating teachers gave 48 hours ultima-tum for the resignation of Vice-Chancellor Professor Aminul Haque Bhuiyan.

    The students gave the ultimatum after a sit-in programme in front of vice-chancellors o ce.

    The students threatened to announce tougher movement if the VC does not resign by the stipulated time.

    Earlier, the general students joined a pro-cession brought out by teachers from univer-sity library.

    Meanwhile, teachers under the banner of Mohan Muktijuddher Chetonay Udbudhho Shikhak Forum declared that they would ob-serve work abstention on Sunday.

    Yesterday, the teachers observed work ab-stention for four hours as part of their 3-day programme protesting the attack on the teachers and demanding removal of the VC.

    After the work abstention, Professor Sham-sul Haque said the VC had used his terrorist group against teachers.

    He said: We will continue our movement until the VC resigns.

    He said: If the VC would not resign by Sunday we will announce our next course of action on that day.

    He also said examinations at all the depart-ments would be held according to schedule. But the agitating teachers would not conduct any class during the strike.

    The pro-Awami League teachers had been continuing their movement to remove VC Prof Aminul Haque Bhuiyan since April 12 this year.

    On August 24, the Education Ministry sent a letter to the authorities concerned of the university requesting all to run the university properly.

    On August 30, 10 teachers of the university were assaulted by the leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in front of the vice-chancellors o ce. l

    ROAD ACCIDENT IN UAE

    Joyful wait turns into despairn Tarek Mahmud, ChittagongThe families were waiting cheerfully to wel-come their beloved expatriate family mem-bers, who were scheduled to arrive in the country next week ahead of Eid-ul Azha.

    But their joyful wait turned to sorrow and mourning when the families heard that their family members living abroad were killed in a road accident on Wednesday at noon.

    Now, the families of three deceased people, killed in a car accident in the capital of Unit-ed Arab Emirates, are waiting to receive the bodies of the victims who had gone abroad several years back to improve their families nancial conditions.

    The bodies of the deceased Akhtar Hos-sain of East Dholoi in Chittagongs Hathazari

    upazila, Md Farhad of Natoan Bagicha under Raozan upazila in Chittagong, and Muham-mad Ilias of Noapara area in Raozan are be-ing kept at Al Ain Al Jimi Hospital in UAE.

    The two who were injured - Belal and Sai-ful, both from Raozan - were also admitted to the same hospital.

    On Wednesday, a car, carrying the ve men, lost control and hit the central reservoir of a road in Al Khazna area of Al Ain in UAE at around 7am (local time) while they were on their way to work, leaving the three dead on the spot and two others critically injured.

    The authorities concerned said they had contacted the families of the deceased and the bodies would be sent to Bangladesh fol-lowing due procedures.

    Sexagenarian Md Abu Jafor lost all hope for

    life since losing his beloved son, Farhad. We were happy when we heard Farhad

    would be coming this Eid, but now we are waiting for his body, the old man said, blam-ing his fate.

    Akhtars brother Rahmat Ali said: Akhter had gone to Al Ain to send home money from there. He phoned his wife Bilkis Akhter be-fore boarding the car. He was scheduled to arrive home on September 10.

    My two nieces lost their father at a very early age, while the family has fallen into deep trouble by losing the lone wage earner of the family, he added.

    Iliass wife, his two sons and a daughter live in the port citys Kuaish area. They are also in deep grief, having lost the lone bread-winner of their family. l

    Dhaka South City Corporation demolishes structures illegally set up on the footpath of Shat Masjid Road in the capital yesterday DHAKA TRIBUNE

  • WORLD8DT

    Schengen: Europes open borders in questionn Reuters, BrusselsThe names Kos, Lampedusa, Hegyeshalom may go down in histories of Europes 2015 ref-ugee crisis yet it is an obscure village in Lux-embourg, far from the human drama, that is hogging headlines.

    Schengen, on the vine- anked Moselle where old enemies France and Germany meet, gave its name 30 years ago to the code which removed border controls between most European states. Now, feuding over who should shelter hundreds of thousands of people on the move seeking asylum has put Schengen under threat.

    The European Commission, the executive of the European Union which enforces the Schengen rules on 26 states including four non-EU members, has ruled out any change. It describes Schengen as one of the greatest achievements of the postwar peace, a boon for citizens and non-European visitors, as well as for business.

    Its not Schengen thats the problem, the commissioner in charge of it, Dimitris Avram-opoulos, said as Budapest, Vienna and Berlin bicker about what to do with thousands of mainly Syrian refugees trying to reach Ger-many from the Balkans.

    The problem, most EU leaders agree, lies less with the lack of internal borders than with the blocs external frontiers and with an-other town inscribed in its statutes - Dublin. (With a touch of irony, Ireland, like Britain, shuns the Schengen zone.)

    A system rst agreed at Dublin in 1990 means that people requesting asylum must be housed and have their claims processed in the state in which they rst arrived in the EU. A surge in arrivals by sea has left Italy and Greece struggling. Chaos in Greece means many move on across the Balkans to reach Hungary.

    Accepting the Dublin rules must be xed to spread the load, the Commission proposed to send some asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece around the EU according to quo-tas based on countries population, wealth and so on. Bickering has held that up, while

    Greece and Italy have resorted to DIY meth-ods to relieve the pressure, simply letting mi-grants head north over their borders.

    That has seen France step up checks on tra c around its Italian border, Danes mon-itoring their German frontier more closely and, this week, Austrian police mounting operations on roads from Hungary. If such procedures are increased and endure, they could undermine Schengens principles of free transit.

    As yet, there appears little appetite among governments to challenge the Commission and undertake the cost and disruption of rede-ploying frontier police to make routine docu-ment checks to intercept the few thousands of migrants, among the millions travelling every day, who are not entitled to move country.

    But German Chancellor Angela Merkel, fearful for the open-border system, this week

    brandished that danger to Schengen as a means to focus minds on agreeing to x Dub-lin: If we dont succeed in fairly distributing refugees, she said, Then of course the Schen-gen question will be on the agenda for many.

    Schengen has also come under attack from some who argue that it has made life easier for criminals, including the suspected Moroc-can Islamist accused of attacking an interna-tional train from Amsterdam via Brussels to Paris last month. The Commission says the Schengen code gives states su cient powers to carry out both security and identity checks where these can be justi ed.

    For many political leaders, however, the fate of Schengen is so bound up with the European Unions essential sense of self, as the response to centuries of war between na-tions, that calls for major change will meet heavy resistance. l

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    First Tamil in 32 years to lead S Lanka oppositionn AFP, ColomboA Tamil lawmaker became leader of the op-position in Sri Lankas parliament for the rst time in 32 years on Thursday, in the latest sign of progress towards ethnic reconciliation on the once bitterly divided island.

    Rajavarothiam Sampanthan is the rst lawmaker from the ethnic minority to lead the opposition since 1983, when Tamil leg-islators resigned en masse to protest against a statute that compelled them to denounce separatism.

    The 82-year-old moderate heads the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which emerged from last months election as the third-largest force with 16 seats in the 225-member assembly.

    Our primary duty is to ensure that there is an acceptable resolution to the Tamil ques-tion, Sampanthan told the House on Thursday.

    Sri Lankans voted overwhelmingly in last months polls to continue what Prime Minis-ter Ranil Wickremesinghe called the January 8 revolution in reference to the toppling of the former president Mahinda Rajapakse, who oversaw the crushing of the Tamil Tiger guerrillas that ended the war in 2009.

    The UN Human Rights Council will this month produce the results of an investigation into war crimes said to have been committed in Sri Lanka over six years ago. l

    THE TODDLER WHO SHOOK GLOBAL CONSCIENCE

    The tiny body of the three-year-old Syrian Alyan Kurdi washed up in the Aegean resort of Bodrum in Turkey on Wednesday. His ve-year-old brother Galip and mother Rehan, 35, also died after their boat capsized while trying to reach the Greek island of Kos. Souces said his family was trying to emigrate to Canada. The image swept social media on Wednesday, spawning sympathy and outrage at the perceived inaction of developed nations in helping refugees AFP

    Khamenei: Nuclear deal rests on lifting sanctionsn AFP, TehranIranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khame-nei warned anew Thursday that there could be no nuclear deal with the West if sanctions imposed on Tehran are not lifted.

    Khamenei, who has the last say in matters of policy, also said he believes Irans parlia-ment (majlis) should make up its own mind about landmark July 14 deal struck with six world powers.

    I believe... that it is not in the interest of the majlis to be sidelined, Khamenei said.

    I have no recommendation for the ma-jlis on how it should examine it; it is up to the representatives of the nation to decide whether to reject or ratify it.

    Khameneis comments, published on his personal website, come as a debate rages in Iran over whether the majlis should ratify or reject the deal.

    Most US lawmakers oppose it, but President Barack Obama has enough backers in the Sen-ate to uphold his certain veto of any congres-sional resolution disapproving it. Irans par-liament and the US Congress need to vote in the coming weeks on the agreement struck in Vienna before it can be implemented.

    But formal oversight of the accord rests with Irans Supreme National Security Coun-cil, a powerful committee headed by Pres-ident Hassan Rouhani, which reports to Khamenei.

    The deal between Iran and Britain, Chi-na, France, Germany, Russia and the United States aims to curb Tehrans nuclear drive in exchange for a gradual lifting of sanctions im-posed on its economy since 2006. l

    Intruders on the tracksearly Wednesday, trainsdisrupted

    Hundreds of passengersleft stranded

    Latest developments of refugee crisis in Europe

    Eurostar

    Budapest, HUNGARYSeveral hundred migrants storm the station early Thursday

    Parndorf, AUSTRIA71 people found dead in an abandoned truck on the motorway August 27

    Bavaria, GERMANYA record 3,500 asylum-seekers arrive Tuesday

    Calais, FRANCESome 3,000 migrants camped out

    Athens, GREECETwo government-chartedships carrying some 4,300 people dock Wednesday

    Bodrum, TURKEY12 Syrian migrants drownafter setting off the Greek island of Kos early WednesdayImages of a child lying dead on a beach dominate front pages throughout Europe

    Vienna, AUSTRIA3,650 migrants arrive by train on Monday

    MediterraneanMore than 350,000 have crossed the sea so far this yearAt least 2,600 have died on the crossing

    Updated September 3

  • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    China to cut 300,000 troops by 2017n Reuters, BeijingA 300,000 troop reduction announced by Chi-nese President Xi Jinping on Thursday will be completed by the end of 2017, the Defence Ministry said.

    Xi made the surprise announcement at the opening of a military parade marking 70 years since the end of World War II. The cut represents a little more than a tenth of the militarys 2.3m strong forces.

    The reduction will make the Peoples Lib-eration Army more modern and better able to achieve the aim of China having a strong mili-tary, the ministry said in a question and answer statement carried by the Xinhua news agency.

    The Chinese armed forces will be slimmer but more capable, and their composition will be more scienti c, it said.

    This is the fourth time since the 1980s that China will be reducing its military numbers, as it speeds up an ambitious modernisation programme which has seen the development of stealth jets and anti-satellite missiles.

    The focus of the cut announced on Thursday will be on phasing out outdated equipment, simplifying administrative and non-combat roles and adjusting and improving military structure, the Chinese ministry said, adding it would be basically completed by late 2017. l

    No proof Yasser Arafat poisonedn AFP, Nanterre, France French judges investigating claims that Pal-estinian leader Yasser Arafat was murdered have closed the case without bringing any charges, a prosecutor said on Wednesday.

    At the end of the investigation... it has not been demonstrated that Mr Yass-er Arafat was murdered by polonium-210 poisoning, the three judges ruled, ac-cording to the prosecutor at Nanterre court near Paris.

    Arafat died in Percy military hospital near Paris aged 75 in November 2004 after devel-oping stomach pains while at his headquar-ters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Many Palestinians accuse Israel of poisoning Ara-fat, a charge atly denied by the Jewish state.

    Arafats widow, claiming that her hus-band was poisoned by highly radioactive polonium, led the suit in 2012 at the Nanterre court.

    She made the claim based on ndings of a Swiss centre, which had tested biolog-ical samples taken from Arafats belong-ings that were given to his widow after his death. The centre claimed that their tests found abnormal levels of polonium. But it stopped short of saying that he had been poisoned by the substance.

    The judges concluded their investiga-tions in April and sent their ndings to the Nanterre prosecutor, who recommended in July that the case be dropped. Lawyers for Arafats widow said the investigation had been fundamentally biased and accused the judges of closing the probe too quickly.l

    ChinaIndia

    South KoreaRussia

    1,600,0001,150,000

    520,000

    771,000

    956

    209

    622

    1,407

    United States

    540,000

    949

    3,646

    609.91

    Source: Japan government/Military Balance 2015/SIPRI/cfr.org

    2014 military expenditureCompiled bySIPRI

    $, billions

    Armytroops

    Navy vessels

    Airforce combataircraft

    45.78

    216.3736.68

    84.46

    140,000

    871223

    137

    410

    2,616

    963

    Military power compared

    49.97Japan

    Russia rejects proposal to limit UN veton AFP, United NationsRussia on Wednesday dismissed as populist a French proposal to limit the use of the veto at the UN Security Council and said it would oppose it.

    France has launched an initiative to per-suade the other four Security Council perma-nent members Britain, China, Russia and the United States to refrain from using their veto when action is required to address a mass atrocity.

    We are against it, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters. We think this is not a workable proposition.

    It was the rst time that Russia had come out so clearly in opposition to restricting the use of the veto, which some blame for the lack of e ective measures to end the war in Syria.

    The French proposal gained traction after Russia and China used their veto power last year to block a resolution asking the Interna-tional Criminal Court to investigate crimes committed in Syria.

    Churkin argued that declaring that mass atrocities have occurred could become a politi-cal tool, and raised questions about who would be empowered to make that determination.

    Russia in July blocked two resolutions by resorting to its veto power, one that would have declared the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia to be a genocide and another on set-ting up a tribunal to try those responsible for the downing of Flight MH17 over Ukraine. l

    New approach to old alliance for Saudi King and Obaman Reuters, RiyadhSaudi Arabias King Salman will meet US Pres-ident Barack Obama in Washington today, aiming to push him for more support in Ri-yadhs e orts to counter Iran after it agreed to a nuclear deal that will relieve Tehran of some international pressure.

    Despite Saudi disappointment with Oba-mas push for a nuclear deal with Iran and his lack of direct action against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the US role in Riyadhs war in Yemen shows Washington remains the kingdoms core strategic partner.

    The relationship is entering a new phase. It is still a partnership, but Saudi Arabia is be-coming more independent. And I think the Americans like that. They are not objecting to our active foreign policy, but cooperating with us on that front, said Jamal Khashoggi, head of al-Arab News Channel.

    The relationship, a mainstay of the Middle Easts security balance, has su ered turbulence since Riyadh faulted what it saw as Obamas withdrawal from the region, and a perceived tilt toward Iran since the 2011 Arab uprisings.

    Since Salman took power in January, he has abandoned Riyadhs traditional reliance on Washington to do the heavy lifting in Mid-dle East security, instead embarking on a war in Yemen and boosting support for rebels against Assad in Syria.

    It showed both Riyadhs increasing sense of independence, and willingness to work with regional allies instead of Washington.

    But it also a more transactional approach to relations with the United States.

    Unlike at some earlier points in the re-lationship, cooperation now appears to be limited, either to instances where interests directly overlap, or to support in one area in exchange for another.

    Obama has been keen for Washingtons allies to take on a bigger role in regional security issues as part of his e orts to reduce American involve-ment in the Middle Easts many messy con icts.

    Nuclear falloutThe clearest evidence of that shift in the rela-tionship is in Yemen, where Riyadh formed a coalition of 10 Arab states in air strikes against the Iran-allied Houthi forces in March, a cam-paign that relies heavily on American military assistance.

    While US o cials have talked of a need for Riyadh to do more to avoid civilian casualties, Washingtons role in accelerating weapons de-livery as well as intelligence and logistical aid has been indispensable to the Saudi war e ort.

    Many Saudis regard such material Ameri-can support in the Yemen war as part of Oba-mas e orts to reassure the kingdom and its Gulf allies that the Iran nuclear deal does not mean Washington will allow Tehran to domi-nate the Middle East.

    Riyadh is convinced that Iran is bent on achieving regional hegemony through proxy militias in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, thereby destabilising the entire region and undermining the kingdoms own stability.

    Washington, while critical of Irans region-al role, does not see it in such dire terms.

    The Saudis fear that by relieving sanctions on Iran, the nuclear deal will give Tehran more money and political freedom to back clients like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iraqs Shiite militias, as well as allies like Yemens Houthis. Riyadhs public response to the deal, combining lukewarm praise with the proviso that its success would depend on tough in-spections, was accompanied by private ex-pressions of concern by Saudi o cials.

    Syrian crisisThe next big test of ties between the two countries is likely to be in Syria, where Saudi Arabia has frequently described Assads use of air raids and artillery on civilian areas as geno-cidal, and has described Irans support for mi-litias there as constituting an occupation.

    While Obama has said Assad can have no role in Syrias future, his bigger focus has been on the militant threat posed by Islamic State.

    While Riyadh helped corral regional states to join US-led air strikes against IS in Syria last year, it has been disappointed by Washing-tons limited e orts to train and arm non-ji-hadist rebel groups.

    Saudi Arabia, along with Qatar and Turkey, appears to have stepped up the backing of re-bel groups this year, helping them to achieve advances against Assad. If its Yemen cam-paign succeeds, with American help, Riyadh may be emboldened to increase that support still further. l

    WORLD 9DT

  • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015ADVERTISEMENT10DT

  • 11DTEDITORIAL

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    INSIDE

    We mourn the over 150 people who drowned when two boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea o the Libyan coast last week.Many of the victims were Bangladeshis who had been safely working in Libya until political turmoil took away their jobs and human tra ckers were able to lure them with false promises. At least 24 Bangladeshi victims were buried on Sunday and more may be identi ed among bodies being recovered.

    Despite many reports about the callous and cruel way in which people smugglers operate, tra cking gangs operate widely across many parts of the world including within Bangladesh. The victims from Libya are reported to have paid approximately Tk60,000 each to middlemen.

    Their plight echoes that of the many Bangladeshis stranded in recent months o the coast of Malaysia, after being tricked into boarding over-crowded boats, with little or no chance of legal employment at the end of their perilous journeys.

    Joined-up action is needed by governments around the world to put an end to this despicable trade in human misery.

    As a nation which bene ts hugely from remittances with some 8 million citizens working abroad, we need our government to give much higher priority to working with other nations to address the root causes of this problem.

    Facilitating safe and legal migration is the most e ective way available to root out illegal tra ckers. The government should negotiate more agreements with labour importing nations, such as the arrangement agreed with Saudi Arabia this year for it to import 10,000 workers a month free of cost.

    It must also increase investment in skills and language training for would be Bangladeshi migrants. This would make more of them attractive to labour-importing nations and less vulnerable to exploitation, while having the added bene t of enabling workers to seek higher value jobs at home.

    The government should negotiate more agreements with labour importing nations, such as the arrangement agreed with Saudi Arabia this year for it to import 10,000 workers a month free of cost

    Time to put an end to human tra cking

    The South Asian learning crisis

    Clean up Dhaka is a rubbish initiativeVolunteers are no way to clean a grow-ing mega-city that produces over 5,000 tonnes of solid waste each day

    Be heardWrite to Dhaka Tribune

    FR Tower, 8/C Panthapath, Shukrabad, Dhaka-1207

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    PAGE 13

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    PAGE 14

    NSA says no to beaching shipsBangladesh, Pakistan, and India account for around 90% of the worlds scrapping capacity for large ships

    Much of the progress in improving access to education in Bangladesh and elsewhere in South Asia may not have created tangible gains in cognitive skills. Therefore, future strategies aiming to prepare millions of youths for a life of work must start by xing the school system

    REU

    TER

    S

  • OPINION12DTFRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    n Asif Baul

    If you were one of the volunteers who joined Clean up Dhaka and Dhaka Norths mayor to sweep up garbage outside the Parbat cinema in Gabtoli last Friday, I would like to say well done.

    But I cannot say thank you for the idea. Volunteers are no way to clean a growing mega-city that produces over 5,000 tons of solid waste each day.

    As they say on their Facebook page, Clean up Dhaka is just seven kids from Japan, (university students to be precise) who came to Bangladesh because they wanted to do something to initiate a sustainable change to encourage residents to clean up the city together and make Dhaka more liveable.

    Laudable as their intentions are, vol-unteering is a futile approach for such an important task.

    Of course, if this is the way these students want to spend their holidays, well then good

    for them; its nice that they are humbly trying to be the change they want to see in the world.

    But Dhakas waste disposal challenge is simply too big a problem to be left to volun-teers.

    Even if all the tens of thousands who liked CUDs Facebook page started giving a dozen hours a week to clean up bits of Dhaka (after making their own beds and cleaning their own bathrooms and kitchens of course), it wouldnt solve the problem or in any way amount to a sustainable change.

    I realise this is no way to court popularity with clicktivists, but so be it, I need a hobby when Im not busy pulling candy away from babies.

    No, cleaning up Dhaka is a job for its may-ors and city corporations. They need to pull their socks up and start delivering practical solutions which go beyond campaign slogans and photo opportunities.

    Thing is, cleaning up a city is not exactly

    rocket science. Its not even what Sherlock Holmes called a two-pipe problem. Every-one knows what it takes to tidy their own room and can look up the simple, proven ways in which other big cities manage to clean up and recycle their waste.

    The school-boy error in CUDs thinking is focusing on the collection part, when lack of labour is not the cause of Dhakas waste man-agement problems. As it is, many apartment blocks are served daily by waste collectors. Theyre even nicely green and cycle driven. Trouble is even when waste is regularly collected (and perhaps half the citys waste is not) it tends to be dumped very close-by for sorting on the many notoriously noxious skips which block our citys roads.

    By the time waste reaches o cial land lls at Amin Bazar and Matuail, who knows how much has been responsibly recycled by waste pickers? Not me for sure.

    And probably not the city corporations either, judging by the complacency with which city-dwellers tolerate their lakes and green spaces being polluted. If people who are privately clean in their own households werent so complacent about public squalor, Dhaka would have had some Beirut style you stink protests by now, methinks.

    For all this, it is still easy to imagine what a truly cleaned-up Dhaka should look like. Reg-ularly emptied recycling bins outside every apartment block, o ce building, and place of worship, where residents are encouraged to dispose of litter responsibly.

    Volunteers would not feel left out as everyone would be asked to help pre-sort paper, plastics, and other renewables, and to help community-based recycling schemes make local use of composted organic waste.

    On a nation-wide scale, land lls and sewage systems could be adapted to generate bio-gas and there would be strictly enforced laws to ensure electronic and electrical equipment is safely disposed of and profes-sionally recycled.

    A science ction pipe dream, or an abso-lute necessity to stop the poisoning of the environment and generate new (and less haz-ardous) income for the citys waste collectors and recyclers?

    Well, it will cost money for sure, but its not as if companies and governments from

    France and Japan havent been active in help-ing to update sewage services and provide garbage trucks.

    And what could be a more basic way to ex-pect mayors to spend tax-payer money than taking away the trash?

    So, Ill end with a tip for Dhaka Norths mayor to reconsider how he should spend the Tk500cr he reportedly sought from the nance ministry earlier this year to construct new city corporation headquarters.

    My back-of-the-envelope arithmetic sug-gests that, give or take, this is around $64m.

    Lets say we let the city corporation take a good third of this amount, $24m, to rent ex-tra o ce space. Over a four-year period, $6m a year could be spent to cover its o ce needs, while it concentrates on getting the basics of rubbish collection and recycling right.

    Ignoring currency uctuations, this would still leave around $40m.

    So consider this. Search engines suggest a brand new 240 litre wheelie bin can be bought in Australia for prices between $80 and $100. Chinese suppliers on Alibaba meanwhile o er 360 litre bins from $35 each at freight on board price. These quotes do not take into account discounts for bulk orders, or the aggressive bargaining skills of local rickshaw users. And that is without even allowing for the possibility of local sourcing.

    For the sake of argument though, even if it cost $100 each to procure one large bin, $1,000 could supply 10 large new bins, and $30m at least 300,000.

    Of course, youd need several di erent bins per building to allow for separation of food waste and other recyclables, but $30m would still cover a set of new large bins for a lot of buildings.

    Now lets consider garbage trucks. One can see 15 cubic metre garbage trucks being advertised online for under $60,000 each. Staying conservative, Ill say this means it may still cost a million dollars to procure 10 garbage trucks.

    Depending on how you want to cut it, that means Dhaka North could buy at least 150 garbage trucks and 150,000 large bins for its $30m.

    All this would still leave some $10m, or $2.5m a year if were going on four-year electoral cycles, to top up garbage collectors wages or hire a few new ones.

    Personally, I think something like this would be a better way forward for the mayor than taking part in a photo op. It wouldnt solve everything, but, combined with more professional management of city services, it would be a good start.

    Clean up Dhaka is right to demand more action to ful ll its aim. Of course, everyone in the city needs to go beyond simply cleaning their own houses, while rubbish and pollu-tion literally pile up next to their houses and clog our water-ways.

    But this needs a grown-up professional city corporation. Not a few volunteers to tidy up rubbish now and then. Thats a rubbish idea. l

    Asif Baulis an occasional compere and stand-up comedian.

    Clean up Dhaka is a rubbish initiativeDhaka needs a professional, grown-up city corporation

    Volunteers are no way to clean a growing mega-city that produces over 5,000 tonnes of solid waste each day

    The question of how to deal with our massive amounts of waste is a burning one BIGSTOCK

  • OPINION 13DT

    FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    n Sturla Henriksen

    The majority of ships have a 25-30 year lifecycle before reduced e -ciency, increased wear and tear, and costly repairs make their continued service unpro table.

    Usually, at this point, for both commercial and environmental reasons, it is sensible to scrap the ship and recycle its materials.

    Today, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India account for around 90% of the worlds scrapping capacity for large ships. Although there are signi cant di erences between the ship-breaking locations, the conditions in many of them are totally incompatible with the expectations and demands we otherwise set for the industry, concerning health, safe-ty, and the environment.

    By necessity, the dismantling of ships has to occur at the coast, where land meets the sea. There is currently no clear and unambig-uous de nition of the term beaching. In its simplest form, it describes an activity where large vessels are driven up onto beaches to be manually dismantled.

    We de ne beaching as the recycling of ships without the use of xed installations for collection and handling of dangerous and polluting waste.

    Witnessing the conditions workers endure on many of the beaches at these so-called ship-breaking yards, makes a strong impres-sion. In addition, a common feature of beach-

    ing practices is that ships are deposited at beaches situated on unprotected coastlines, meaning that tide-waters wash over and then discharge hazardous substances into the surrounding environment.

    There is a lack of infrastructure in place for the scrapped ships, and this makes it di cult to use cranes and other heavy tools, which would normally be required in the proper dismantling of large vessels. As a result, the operations often pose great risk to the health and well-being of workers, in addition to the damage they cause to the environment. We are also aware that the actual conditions in many of these places have barely improved over recent years.

    This is unacceptable. There is a responsibility for both ship-owners and authorities to ensure both responsible practices and acceptable standards for this industry.

    The NSA has, for many years, worked internationally to improve standards in ship-breaking. For a globalised industry such as shipping, only a binding frame-work of international rules will ensure uniform high-er standards. Together with the Norwegian authorities, we have been at the vanguard of e orts to establish a regulatory frame-work under the auspices of the UN.

    The result was the Hong Kong Conven-tion of 2009, a milestone in the campaign to improve conditions at ship-breaking yards. The convention includes a requirement to provide documented plans to ensure the safe-guarding of the environment and the security of employees.

    It remains a major challenge that this convention, six years after it was initially adopted, has yet to enter into force due to a lack of rati cation from participating countries. Norway is one of only three countries that have so far rati ed the convention.

    This is dragging on much too long, and the NSA is working actively in international forums to help accelerate the protracted rati cation process. In the near future we will, amongst other things, participate in a delegation together with the European

    Shipowners Association (ECSA) visiting some of the major Asian ship-breaking nations to initiate a dialogue on what can practicably be done to stimulate faster development in line with the provisions of the Hong Kong convention.

    At the same time, the NSA has, and is, taking responsibility independently, giving the following advice to its members:

    We consider that ship-owners have an independent responsibility to ensure proper recycling of their ships. This also applies to ships sold to third parties prior to recycling.

    We urge our members to adhere to the Hong Kong Convention, although it has not yet entered into force, and to choose recy-cling facilities that adhere to the Hong Kong Convention.

    We advise our members against recycling ships at yards using beaching as a method.

    Taking this stand comes with a price tag to our members. Selling to beaching yards often results in a payback of between $3-7million more per ship than they would receive if choosing a more responsible, full standard scrapping yard.

    Nevertheless, we, as one of the largest and strongest ship-owner communities, want to give a clear indication of what we expect from a responsible, environmentally friendly and modern, quality shipping industry. l

    Sturla Henriksen is CEO, Norwegian Shipowners Association (NSA).

    NSA says no to beaching shipsThe Norwegian Shipowners Association has been working internationally to improve standards of ship-breaking

    Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India account for around 90% of the worlds scrapping capacity for large ships

    The term beaching describes an activity where large vessels are driven up onto beaches to be manually dismantled BIGSTOCK

  • OPINION14DTFRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    n M Niaz Asadullah

    South Asia is home to a growing youth population, and widely considered to bene t from the demographic dividend in the coming decades. The United Nations Population Funds State of World Population 2014 report, The Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth, and the Transformation of the Future therefore calls for increased investment in youths and adolescents.

    Most governments in South Asia have already invested heavily in education to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of universal primary education for all children by 2015, and have succeeded in closing school enrollment rate gaps vis-a-vis other developing regions.

    However, two in uential reports

    published in 2014 have singled out South Asia as a region undergoing an education crisis. According to the United Nations Educational, Scienti c, and Cultural Organisations Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2014, schools in South Asia are failing in terms of learning outcomes. In terms of global ranking, students from India and Pakistan perform only better than those in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    A World Bank report published in late 2014 Student Learning in South Asia: Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Priorities has gone one step further by looking into emerging evidence from new micro data sets.The report, by far the most comprehensive to analyse the performance of South Asian educational systems in terms of student learning, con rms the low level of student learning across the region: Up to one-third

    of those completing primary school lack basic numeracy and literacy skills.

    Recent research conducted in Bangladesh, however, indicates that the learning crisis is much more severe than previously thought -- learning achieved against years spent in school is very low across all grades.

    The World Bank study Assessing Basic Learning Skills by Vincent Greaney and Shahidur Khandker was the rst to document the case of schooling without learning in South Asia.Conducted in 1992 in Bangladesh, the study assessed basic literacy and numeracy among 5,200 individuals and found that the majority of those who had completed primary schooling failed to attain minimum standards in four areas: Reading, writing, written mathematics, and oral mathematics.

    The level of competency in basic numeracy skills was particularly low, even when focusing on graduates of primary school enrolled in secondary school.

    In a recently published study (The Dissonance between Schooling and Learning: Evidence from Rural Bangladesh, by MN Asadullah and N Chaudhury), I replicated ndings from Vincent Greaneys seminal work 16 years later as part of a research project on the state of student learning in rural Bangladesh. We focused on children who were 10-17 years old and tested them using a sub-set of Greaneys written and oral numeracy tests.

    They were examined irrespective of whether they were in school, dropped out,

    or never chose to enroll. The ndings are striking. Children, on average, increase their written math scores (ie percentage of correctly answered questions) by 6.4% per year of schooling (grades one to nine). Once we account for di erences in child attributes, parental characteristics, and a measure of cognitive ability, the gure is even lower -- 4% per year.

    Five years of primary education only raises the percentage of correct answers by 31.6% or 6.3% per year when averaged over the ve years; the gure is lower, 3.6%, in case of oral math.

    Given that the tests are designed to assess rudimentary numeracy skills taught at the primary level, these gures highlight a very low level of achievement in rural Bangladesh. The learning pro le is unusually at, and re ects a deep crisis in Bangladeshs education sector.

    In collaboration with researchers from BRAC, I revisited the state of learning among rural adolescents in 2012 using a similar research design. Among sample adolescents who have completed ve years of schooling (ie primary school graduates), 30% do not have basic numeracy skills, while 33% cannot read two simple sentences in Bangla and 66% cannot do so in English.

    A large proportion of adolescents go on to post-primary schooling to attain these basic numeracy and literacy skills, even though they are supposed to have achieved this by the end of primary school. This once again points to a shallow learning pro le. Similar evidence is also coming out from assessment exercises carried out by the NGO, Pratham, in India and Pakistan.

    With 30% of the total 158.5 million people in the age group 10-24 in Bangladesh, eight education reforms are urgent if the country is to capitalise on the window of opportunity presented by its bulging youth population. Equally, South Asia faces a very di cult challenge for future economic growth and productivity if the region fails to equip youths with adequate marketable skills.

    The emerging evidence on at learning pro les challenges the conventional wisdom that spending time in school is valuable preparation for labour market success. Much of the progress in improving access to education in Bangladesh and elsewhere in South Asia may not have created tangible gains in cognitive skills.

    Therefore, future strategies aiming to prepare millions of youths for a life of work must start by xing the school system.Otherwise, South Asia risks over-emphasising single-focused policy prescriptions (such as enhanced access or improving physical infrastructure at school) and may reproduce the past pattern of schooling without learning. l

    M Niaz Asadullah is Professor of Development Economics and Deputy Director of the Centre for Poverty and Development Studies (CPDS) at the University of Malaya. An earlier version of the article was published in The Asia Pathways Blog of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI).

    The South Asian learning crisisOur children are not being suitably prepared for the future

    Much of the progress in improving access to education in Bangladesh and elsewhere in South Asia may not have created tangible gains in cognitive skills. Therefore, future strategies aiming to prepare millions of youths for a life of work must start by xing the school system

    How much are kids really learning in school these days? BIGSTOCK

  • 15DTBusiness FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

    Gazprom gets lucrative trio of deals without tender

    17 Stocks end at in high volatility19Tax fair kicks o in 86 Upazilas on September 16

    16IMF: Impact of China slowdown larger than expected

    20

    visit our website @www.dhakatribune.com

    Moriarty hails RMG factory remediation process

    n Tribune ReportThe Executive Director of Alliance for Bang-ladesh Workers Safety, James F Moriarty, yes-terday said six RMG factories have complet-ed 100% remediation work and ensured the highest international standard of safety, but the remediation job is going slowly.

    The factories areGreen Textile Ltd, Kwun Tong Apparels Ltd, Laundry Industries, Len-ny Apparels, Optimum Fashions Ltd and Uni Vogue Ltd.

    According to the report, Alliance in 2014 completed safety inspections in 528 factories from which its signatories source products and started remediation veri cation visits this year.

    Moriarty, also a former US ambassador to

    Bangladesh, came up with the comment at a press conference organised by the Alliance to inform the progress of inspection in the sec-ond year at a city hotel yesterday.

    M Rabin, managing director of Alliance, was present at the conference.

    The remediation is going on at a slow pace as it takes time to import re doors, and lack of availability of safety equipment and exper-tise is another reason behind the slow pro-gress, said Moriarty.

    In the second year of Alliance, six factories completed all remediation works and ensured the highest international standards of safety, the former envoy said.

    The cost of doing business is also impor-tant in Bangladesh and we recognize it a


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