Tuesday, November 16, 2010

T20 women fly the flag

The Bangladesh women's cricket team moved into the Twenty20 semifinals while the national hockey team scared their mighty opponents Japan before going down 3-1 in their first match of the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China yesterday.
It was a mixed day for the chess players while the shooters, swimmers and weightlifters put up a poor showing in their respective events.
The women's team handed a 54-run defeat to Japan, thanks to an all-round performance by Shuktara Rahman at the Guangdong Cricket Stadium.
After opting to bat first, Bangladesh posted a challenging total of 111 for eight in their stipulated 20 overs riding on good contributions of the top-order batswomen.
Opener Farjana Haque fell on seven before Rumana Ahmed and captain Salma Khatun steadied the innings scoring 21 and 24 respectively as both batswomen hammered two fours each.
Shuktara came in at number four to strike 37 off 45 balls with the help of two boundaries while late order Tithy Sarkar and Tazia Akhter chipped in with five runs each to help their side cross the 100-mark.
In reply, Japan responded well to threaten Bangladesh before Salma broke the 33-run opening stand uprooting the stumps of Kuribayashi Ema, who scored a 30-ball 18 studded with two fours.
The dismissal of Ema sparked a quick collapse and Japan were reduced to 41 for six at one stage as Shuktara captured three for six in her four-over spell. Japan finally could manage 57 for eight in 20 overs.
At the Aoti Hockey Stadium, Krishna Kumar stunned Japan to put Bangladesh ahead in the very ninth minute through a field goal. They held the lead till the 47th minute before Japan bit back to win the game convincingly.
After going down against Bangladesh, the Japanese pressed hard to equalize the margin but they could not split the Bangladesh defense in the first half and took 12 minutes after the start of the second half to level the margin.
Yamabori Takahiko converted a penalty corner to level the margin in the 47th minute while captain Tsubounchi Kazuhiro gave Japan lead in the 56th minute through another penalty corner.
In the dying minutes, Japan sealed the fate of the game with Ozawa Kazuyuki scoring a lone field goal in the 69th minute after Japan saw their pervious 14 attempts blocked by goalkeeper Zahid Hossain or the defenders.
In the fifth and sixth rounds of men's individual chess, GM Niaz Murshed beat Nepalese Shrestha Bilam but lost to Indonesian Megaranto Susanto while his teammate FM Minhazuddin Ahmed lost to Mongolian Namkhai Battulqa in the sixth round before winning the seventh round board against Mohamed Hassan of Maldives.
In the women's chess event, WFM Sharmin Akter Liza lost to Tuvshintugs Batchi of Mongolia and Iranian Paridar Shadi in the sixth and seventh round while Sultana Sharmin Shirin lost to Nur Nabila Azman of Malaysia in the sixth round but bounced back in the seventh round to beat Al Zarouni of United Arab Emirates.
In shooting, Ramjan Ali, Taufiq Shahriar Khan and Abdullah Hel Baki finished 14th, 31st and 44th out of 54 competitors in the men's individual 50m rifle prone after scoring 589, 585 and 580 respectively. Their individual efforts helped them to finish ninth in the team's 50m rifle prone.
In the women's 50m rifle prone, Sabrina Sultna, Tripti Datta and Sharmin Shilpa did poorly finishing 28th, 40th and 46th out of 50 shooters.
In swimming, Mahfuza Khatun took 39.84 seconds to finish the 50m backstroke distance and became the 19th swimmers among 21 while her teammate Kamal Hossain finished 26th out of 29 in the 100m Breaststroke with a timing of 1:08.24 minutes.
In weightlifting, Fahima Akhter lifted 155kg, nine kg less than her Commonwealth Games performance to finish sixth out of seven competitors in 58kg category while SA Games gold medallist Hamidul Islam frustrated in the 69kg category to lift 263kg -- 115 in snatch and 148 in clean & jerk -- to finish second from the bottom among 16 weightlifters.
Mesbah Uddin finished bottom among 16 competitors in the nanquan and nangun all-round wushu event scoring 6.95. Mesbah was the lone performer who failed to qualify for the finals.
-The Daily Star

Tigers on Eid holidays

The national cricketers will get back to business on November 21 after Eid holidays to carry on the preparation for next month's one-day series against Zimbabwe; their last international engagement before the 2011 World Cup.
Bangladesh cricket team
The Tigers are scheduled to travel to Chittagong after the vacation for three days as the last two games of the five-match series is planned to take place at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the port city.
But there is an uncertainty about holding the last two games in Chittagong as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) was not fully confident about whether the venue, which is preparing for the two World Cup matches, will be ready by that time to host international match.
Zimbabwe arrive in Dhaka on November 26 and play the first one-dayer on December 1 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. The last two matches of the five-match series are scheduled for December 10 and December 12 at Chittagong.
"It's not officially cancelled yet, so as per schedule the practice will be resumed in Chittagong on November 21. The schedule will be changed accordingly if the authority cancel the matches in Chittagong," said chief selector Rafiqul Alam yesterday.
The three-member selection committee led by Alam was yet to decide about the announcement of the final team for the series.
"We want to take time and the advantage as the hosts. There are some injury problems also as Rokibul [Hasan] has a groin injury and Tamim [Iqbal] is yet to bat in a match-scenario since being operated on his left wrist," informed Alam.
He however said that Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who has been out of competitive match practice since he had twisted his ankle during the first one-day match against New Zealand on October 5, has been getting fitter everyday.
Fit-again Mashrafe and the performance of the national players in the just concluded National Cricket League (NCL) apparently gave the selectors ample food for thought before picking the 14-member squad.
"I think it's not a very hard job to pick the team for the series because our target is not to focus on the best players, rather the right combination," said Alam.
He was also not too excited with the performance of the Tigers in the NCL as he believes that it's the national players' customary duty to excel above the other players in any domestic competition.
"It's not a big deal that they [national players] made the difference in the just concluded league, because they are enjoying the best facilities and opportunities compared to the others," he observed.
The question was however not with the announcement of the team. Rather, everybody was surprised that the board is dilly-dallying in selecting the captain with the World Cup only three months to go.
The board is apparently looking to fit-again Mashrafe but many believe that it would be highly risky for the team to give the demanding job again to the Narail Express.
In practical terms, Mashrafe may even have to fight to get back his place in the team first, because the other pacers have done a good job against New Zealand in the last one-day series. Many are even in favour of giving Mashrafe a break after one or two matches so that he can be fully fit before the World Cup.
It was learnt that the selectors are also in favour of giving the job to the world's number one all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who led the team brilliantly in Mashrafe's absence in the Tigers' 4-0 whitewash of the Black Caps, but chief selector Alam was not ready to comment on the issue.
"The board is the final authority to decide on this issue. Sometimes the board wants our opinion but they are yet to ask for any suggestion this time," said Alam.
-The Daily Star

Films for Eid entertainment

Romantic movies starring hit couples of the Dhalywood based film industry, will be released in this Eid. It is a popular perception of the movie industry that such movies have still a limited market set against the backdrop of the slumped trade market.
Shakib khan and Apu in a film
A total of such five commercial movies will be screened at the theatres across the country. Moreover, another movie will be premiered on a TV channel on the following day of Eid.
‘Prem Mane Na Bandha’, directed by Safi Iqbal, focuses a romantic love story that began with an incident of theft of a necklace of the heroine of the film, Upama. But, Upama’s father adamantly refuses the relation. Shakib Khan, Sohel Rana, Sucharita and Don have performed different roles in the film.
In ‘Paran Jai Jaliya Re’, directed by popular film director Sohanur Rahman Sohan, the hero pretends to be falling in love with heroine. The cast includes Shakib Khan, Purnima, Nadi, Romana, ATM Shamsuzzaman and Misha Sawdagar.
The film, ‘Hai Prem Hai Bhalobasa’, directed by Nazrul Islam, deals with a love story between a young man from working-class society and a girl born with silver spoon in mouth. Shakib Khan, Apu Biswas, Sucharita, Aliraj, Kabila, Illius Kobra, Miju Ahmed and Misha Sawdagar play the major roles in the film.
Shakib khan and Apu in a film
Filmmaker Swapan Chowdhury’s ‘Bastir Chhele Kotipoti’ zooms in on a family living in a slum. When the mother is assaulted by a influential local man who owns an apparel company, the youngest son of the family vows to take revenge on him. Maruf, Sahara, Sakiba, Aman, Ravina, Misha Sawdagar and Miju Ahmed are the actors of the film.
The film ‘Ek Jaban’, directed by prolific film director, FI Manik, chronicles a passionate love story where Racy, Mimo, Joy and Miju Ahmed play lead roles.
TV play director Nurul Alam Atik’s much awaited debut film, ‘Dub San(n)tar’, will be also premiered on this Eid on Channel-i on the second day of Eid at 11:10am. The film deals with a young woman burdened with the responsibility of a whole family. Popular TV actor Joya Ahsan plays the lead role in the film along with Shehjad, Wadida Mollick Joly, Shahriar Shuvo, Tinni, Swagota and others.

Special programmes in celebration of Eid ul Azha

Different television channels will telecast Eid special programmes in celebration of Eid ul Azha. The
programmes include TV plays, films, talk shows, kids show, fun show, dance and musical programmes. Here some selected program schedule for PRIYO readers'.
ATN Bangla
Bangla film Chirodin Aami Tomar
Full-length Bangla film ‘Chirodin Aami Tomar’ will be telecast on ATN Bangla at 3:30pm on Eid day. Riaz, Purnima, Amit Hasan and Romana are the major casts of the film directed by FI Manik.
Ganit Manob
Special single episode play ‘Ganit Manob’ will be aired at 7:45pm on Eid day. Noted actor Aly Zaker and Asaduzzaman Noor, among others, will play leading roles in the play written by Amio Sadnam and directed by Animesh Aich.
Bhejal Mandal
On the second day of Eid, ATN Bangla will air telefilm ‘Bhejal Mandal’ at 3:45pm. Written by Brindaban Das and directed by Salahuddin Lavlu, the telefilm has Mosharraf Karim, Chanchal Chowdhury, Alvi and Swagota as actors.
Appointment Letter
Special TV play ‘Appointment letter’ will be aired on the third day at 8:50 pm. The play written by Ali Fida Akram Tojo features the hassles of a jobseeker as he lost his appointment letter. Directed by Shahiduzzaman Selim, the play includes Tarin, Jitu Ahsan, Tisha and Selim as actors.
Single episode play ‘Anti-clock’ will be also aired the third day at 8:50pm. Written and directed by the talented actor-duo Bipasha Hayat and Tauqir Ahmed respectively, the play revolves around a newly married couple. The e husband is suspicious about his wife from the first day of their married life. Taukir Ahmed and Rumana Rashid Eshita play the lead roles in the play.
Galpo Gane Sabina Yasmin
A solo musical programme featuring eminent singer Sabina Yasmin will be aired on ATN Bangla at 10:40pm on the third day of Eid. Titled ‘Galpo Gane Sabina Yasmin’ the show is directed by Arif Kahn.
Channel i

Eid special play ‘Alapi’ will be aired on Channel i at 9:35pm on Eid day. Adapted from a novel by renowned novelist Rabeya Kathun, the play is directed by noted actor Abul Hayat. Shumaiya Shimu, Chittralekha Guho, Manira Mithu and Mohammad Bari will play the lead roles.
Meerar Din Ratri

Written and directed by popular writer Humayun Ahmed, single-episode play ‘Meerar Din Ratri’ will be telecast at 7:50pm on Eid day. Story of the play revolves around a housewife called Meera, whose emotional behaviour creates embarrassing situations for his husband. Meher Afroz Shawon, Gazi Rakayet, Shahed Sharif Khan and Abdullah Rana will play the lead roles in the play.
Dub Santar

Full-length film ‘Dub Sa(n)tar’ will have a world premiere on Channel i on the second day of Eid at 10:30am. Written and directed by Nurul Alam Atik, the film focuses on the struggles and dreams of a young girl called Renu. Joya Ahsan will be seen as the protagonist in the film along with Shazzad Chowdhury, Wahida Mollick Joly, Tinni, and others.
Farmers’ game show

Game show for the farmers titled ‘Krishoker Eid Ananda’ will be on air at 4:30pm on the 3rd day of Eid. Directed by Shykh Seraj, the show has some exciting games for the farmers living by the River Meghna.
Batash Jokhon Khuje Pelo Kashbon
Special TV play ‘Batash Jokhon Khuje Pelo Kashbon’ will be aired on the 3rd day of Eid on at 9:35pm. Directed by popular actor Rumana Rashid Eshita, the play shows the friendship between four young people. Kushum Shikdar, Hillol, Nayeem and Shihab are playing the main characters.
Ekti Bhuban Duti Tara
NTV’s Eid special programmes include film based magazine show ‘Ekti Bhuban Duti Tara’, which will be aired at 5:30pm on Eid day. Anchored by film actor Diti, the show will have popular film star Amin Khan and Purnima as guests.
Eid special TV play ‘Chandrahato’ will be aired at 8:15pm on Eid day.
Written by Iqbal Hossain Chowdhury and directed by actor Mahfuz Ahmed, the play deals with a glamorous young lady and an indolent man. Hasan Mahmud, Arefin Shuvo and Shumaiya Shimu will play the lead character in it.
Telefilm ‘Insomnia’ will be aired on NTV at 2:30pm on the 2nd day of Eid. Written by Pantha Shahriar and directed by Animesh Aich, the story focuses on a young lawyer named Dipti and her client who is standing trial for a murder charge. Bipasha Hayat, Shahiduzzaman Selim, Tarin and Abul Hayat are the major casts of Insomnia.
Bhalobashi Tomakei
TV play ‘Bhalobashi Tomakei’ will be aired at 8:15pm on the 2nd day of Eid. Written by Kamrul Hasan and directed by Chayanika Chowdhury, the play will have Mahfuz Ahmed, Tinni and Sharmili Ahmed in the lead roles.
Musical show Dujone Mile
Musical programme ‘Dujone Mile’ will be aired on NTV at 9:15pm on the second day of Eid. Anchored by Tapan Mahmud, the show will present some melodious and popular romantic songs.
Telefilm ‘Chobiwala’ will be aired on NTV at 2:30pm on the 3rd day of Eid. Written and directed by Dipankar Dipan, the story revolves around an amateur photographer named Mohan, who fall in love with a young girl. Chanchal Chowdhury, Tisha and Shariar Shubho will perform in the telefilm.

Highway to Heaven
Banglavision has single-episode play ‘Highway to Heaven’ in their Eid schedule, which will be aired at 11:15pm on Eid day. Written and directed by Iftekhar Ahmed Fahmi, the play centres on a young woman who flees from her home to suicide. However, her decision is challenged when she meets a guy on the highway. Band artiste Partha Barua and Sujana will play the leading roles in the play.
Written and directed by Redwan Roni, telefilm ‘Behala’ will be aired at 2:40pm on Eid day. The telefilm has Shumaiya Shimu and Mahfuz Ahmed in lead roles.
TV play Ache Naki Nai
Single episode play ‘Ache Naki Nai’ will be aired on Bangla Vision at 11:15pm on the second day of Eid. Tisha, Arefin Shuvo, Daisy Ahmed and others perform in the play written and directed by Ashutosh Sujan.
Interview of Runa Laila
Interview based progarmme ‘Tarar Pane Cheye’ will be aired on at 9:40pm on the second day of Eid. In the show, celebrated singer Runa Laila will be in conversation with another popular singer Shakila Zafar.
Arman Bhai Faisha Geche
A single episode ‘Arman Bhai Faisha Geche’ will be aired on Bangla Vision at 8:10pm on the 3rd day of Eid. Written and directed by Sagar Jahan, the play is a sequel of the popular play‘Arman Bhai Koya Parche’ which was aired on last Eid-ul fitr. Zahid Hasan and Tisha will be paired again in the sequel.
Bangla vision’s Eid special telefilm ‘Shampan’ will be aired at 2:40pm on the 3rd day of Eid. Written and directed by Nurul Alam Atique, the play features Taniya, Dihan, Shajal, Iqbal and others.
RTV bangladesh
Gariber Bandhu
RTV will air special drama serial ‘Gariber Bandhu’ at 8pm everyday during the six day of Eid. Directed by Salahuddin Lavlu, the serial follows a village usurer named Merul. Amirul Haque Chowdhury, Chanchal Chowdhury, Mosharraf Karim, Shahnaj Khushi will be seen in different roles in the serial.
Single episode play ‘Sharmeyo’ will be aired on RTV at 9pm on Eid day. The play features the of a young man working for a rich family. His duty is to take care of their dog. Redwan Roni has directed the play that features Joyraz, Dihan, Nafa, Kachi Khandoker and others as actors.
Pherar Path Nei Thake Na Kono Kale
Directed by Mejbaur Rahman Suman, telefilm ‘Pherar Path Nei Thake Na Kono Kale’ will be aired at 2:30pm on the 2nd day. The telefilms shows a young women trying to escape a chaotic situation where the entire city is devastated by a bomb attack. Joya Ahsan, Animesh iych and others will act in the telefilms.
Phelu Kajal
Special TV play ‘Phelu Kajal’ will be aired at 9pm on the third day of Eid. Directed by Alvi Ahmed, the play chronicles the eternal conflict between the male and the female in a humorous way. The play has Tisha, Shajal and Mahmudul Islam Mithu playing lead roles.
Crime Reporter
Single episode play ‘Crime Reporter’ is scheduled to be aired on RTV at 9pm on the second day. Directed by Mostafa Kamal Raz, the play presents a famous crime reporter who, despite being married, falls in love with one of his fans. Mahfuz Ahmed and Bindu will play the lead roles in the play.

Nanch Ananda
Dance based programme ‘Nanch Ananda’ will be aired at 8:30pm on Eid day. Shakh, Sohel, Mim, Nisha, Shohag and Munmun will perform at the show produced by Kamrujjamna Ranju.
Variety show Eid Exclusive Moments
Ekushey TV will air special magazine show ‘Eid Exclusive Moments’ at 5:25pm on the Eid day. Anchored by Tanvir Tareque, the show will feature several popular singers and renowned journalists of the country.
Tinti Priyo Manush
At 11:30 pm on the Eid day, special TV play ‘Tinti Priyo Manush’ will be aired on ETV. Shajal, Tisha and Moushumi Bishwas will play the lead roles in the drama directed by Shakal Ahmed.
The story of Eid special play ‘Confidence’ focuses on a man who is in search for his childhood friend. Directed by Mostafa Kamal Raz, the play will be aired on ETV at 11:30pm on the second day of Eid. Tisha and Mosharraf Karim play the lead roles.
Mamar Balish Kothai?
ETV will air special play ‘Mamar Balish Kothai?’, written and directed by Atiqul Haque Chowdhury, at 10:00am on the 3rd day of Eid. The story of the play is humorous one where a pillow is lost and police is in search for it. Amirul Haque Chowdhury, Akramujjaman, Shammi Akter and others will perform in the play.
Purush Ashrom
On the second day of Eid, single episode play ‘Purush Ashrom’ will be aired on ETV at 7:30pm. Written by Majhar Khokon and directed by Masudul Hasan Roni, the play is set in an imaginary society where the males are dominated by the females. The play has Sohana Saba, Nisho, Subarna, Shejuti and others in the casts.

Gedu Chorar Prem Kahini
Based on the love story of a theif, telefim ‘Gedu Chorar Prem Kahini’ will be aired on the Eid day at 3:10pm. Directed by SA Haque Alik, the telefilm includes Al Mansur, Milan, Azizul Hakim, Sarika and Srabanti as casts.
Bhalobashar Ultapith
Eid special telefilm ‘Bhalobashar Ultapit’ will be aired at 3:10 on the second day. Mahfuz Ahmed, Tisha, and Shejuti will play the lead roles in the play, written by Mehedi Ashraf and directed by Milan Bhattacharya.
Somoy Katuk Gane Gane
A live musical show ‘Samay Katuk Gane Gane’, featuring classical singer Ustad Niaz Muhammad Chowdhury, will be aired on Boishakhi TV at 12:00am on the fourth day of Eid. Popular band artiste Naquib Khan will host the show.
Written by Bipasha Hayat and directed by Tauquir Ahmed, single episode play ‘Swapnawala’ will be aired on the third day of Eid at 8:30pm. The story revolves around a man named Chan Mia, who sells his dream to others. One day a thief stole his dreams. The casts include Tauquir Ahmed, Moushumi Biswas, Fima and Mosharraf Hossain.

Special programme for children
Desh TV’s Eid special programmes offer a special show for children titled ‘Cartoon Festival’, which will be aired every day at 9:00am during the seven day of Eid.
Another children’s programme titled ‘Kalpo Loker Katha’ will be aired on at 9:30am on Eid day. Anchored by recitation artiste Tamanna Tithi, the show will present some world famous fairy tales.
‘Sab Rater Galpa Ek Noi
TV play ‘Shob Rater Galpa Ek Noi’ will be aired at 8:30pm on the second day of Eid. The story starts with a married couple heading for their native village when the police stops them on their way. Tauquir Ahmed, Dipa Khandakar, Orsha and Joyraz are in the lead roles in the play written by Abdullah Mohammad Saad and directed by Faisal Razib.
Serial Murti
Based on a story by popular fiction writer Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, seven episode drama serial ‘Murti’ will be aired on desh TV at 7:30pm everyday from the first day to the seventh day of Eid. Directed by Golam Shorab Dodul, the play features a horror story where a middle aged man named Tarafdar is terrified by a statue. Asadujjaman Noor plays the character of Tarafdar while SM Mahsin, Joyraz, Farhana Mili and others will play different roles.
Another seven-episode drama serial will be aired on Desh TV during the seven days of Eid, each day at 10:00pm. Written and directed by Redwan Roni, the serial has Mosharraf Karim, Shaju Khadem, Faruk Ahmed and others in the casts.
Koti Takar Kabin
Starring Razzaque, Shakib Khan and Apu Biswash, full length feature film ‘Koti Takar Kabin’ will be aired at 10:30am on the third day of Eid. The film is directed by FI Manik.
Dhulor Manush, Manusher Grahan
Special telefilm ‘Dhulor Manush, Manusher Grahan’ will be aired at 2:30pm on the second day of Eid. Written and directed by Masud Hasan Uzzal, the story of the play takes back to the time when humanity was born. In the play, an imaginary character called Nri is desperately trying to find his mother. Partha Barua, Samia and Zahiruddin Piar along with more than 100 people from an ethnic minority community have performed in the play.
Written by Masum Reza and directed by Gias Uddin Selim, telefilm ‘Shahodora’ will be aired at 2:30pm on the third day of Eid. The telefilm tells the story of two sisters from a low cast family. Ahsanul Haque Minu, Chanchal Chowdhury and Azizul Hakim will play different roles in the telefilms.

Eight power plants having 1,283MW capacity okayed

The cabinet committee on public purchase on Sunday approved proposals to award contracts for setting up eight power plants having total capacity of 1,283MW.
This is the first time in the country that a cabinet body in a single sitting approved so many power projects with huge capacity.
The finance minister, AMA Muhith, presided over the cabinet committee meeting that took just about an hour to give nod to the projects.
Of the approved projects, three are medium and large scale base-load independent power producer plants while the remaining five are quick rental power plants.
With the latest approval of the five QRPP projects, the total capacity of such projects rose to 1,873MW after the present Awami League government took office.
The tariffs of the QRPPs are excessively high compared with the tariff of IPP and state-owned power plants.
All the IPP and QRPP units will be set up by private sponsors and the government will purchase electricity from the projects.
The IPP projects, which the private sponsors will implement on build-own-operate basis, are 341MW Bibiyana-2 combined cycle plant, 335MW Meghnaghat-2 (dual-fuel) combined cycle plant and the 216.80MW Bhola combined cycle plant.
Local power giant Summit Group under a joint venture with GE of the USA won the contracts of the Bibiyana-2 and Meghnaghat-2 projects while the Malaysian Ranhill Berhad won the Bhola project.
The state-owned Power Development Board will purchase electricity from the IPP projects for next 22 years.
The levelised tariff of Bibiyana-2 project was fixed at 3.39 US cents (Tk 2.37 equivalent) per kilowatt hour (per unit) while the tariff of Meghnaghat-2 was fixed at 6.8472 US cents (Tk 4.79) per kilowatt hour.
The tariff of Bhola plant was fixed at 3.4301 US cents (Tk 2.40 equivalent).
The sponsors of Bibiyana-2 and Meghnaghat-2 projects will have to set up their plants within next 36 months after signing of the contracts while the sponsor of Bhola project has to set up the plant within 32 months.
The QRPP projects are 50MW plant at Meghnaghat, 90MW plant at Chandpur or Barisal, 99MW plant at Ghorasal, 48MW plant at Ashuganj and another 53MW plant at the same place.
The government has selected the private sponsors for these QRPP projects without any tender process.
Among the selected sponsors, APR Energy will set up 50 MW plant at Meghnaghat (tariff Tk 7.70 per unit), Cambridge Energy will set up 90MW plant at Chandpur or Barisal (tariff Tk 7.65 per unit), Wintara INC will install 99MW plant at Ghorasal (tariff Tk 4.49 per unit), EQ Capital Energy will set up 48MW plant at Ashuganj (tariff Tk 4.50 per unit) and the United Enterprise will set up 53MW plant at Ashuganj (tariff Tk 4.45 per unit).
All these companies will have to set up their respective plant from 90 days to 120 days on the basis of their contracts with the government.
-New Age

Rowdy ride for millions

Millions of holidaymakers, in a mad dash to reach their rural homes to celebrate the Eid-ul-Azha, meandered through terrible traffic congestion and were hamstrung by scarcity of transports.
In many areas, the homebound people had to endure tailbacks going back as far as 20 kilometres on the highway as the police were ill-equipped to manage the rush out of the capital.
The first spell of congestions were found on the fringes of the capital including Uttara-Ashulia, Kachpur-Jatrabari, and Aminbazar-Savar area. Many put the opposition’s general strike on Sunday down to the trouble as the inter-district bus and launch schedules were turned upside down by the countrywide shutdown.
People still tried to rescue their travel plans fetching whatever transport available.
Yesterday was the last working day for the office-goers before the five-day vacation including the two weekend holidays.
eid shopping
“Since many could not leave the capital on Sunday due to the daylong hartal, today we find the maximum pressure of the home-bound people,” the superviser of an inter-district bus service said yesterday.
Talking to The independent at Gabtali Bus Terminal, Rehana Begum, who was on way to Khulna, said even though she was lucky to get a bus ticket, she was not sure whether she could reach her destination since the bus company had returned her ticket.
Ariful Huq, who was waiting at Gabtali with her wife to get to his village home in Jessore, said he had been celebrating Eid festival with his family every year. But due to the shutdown, he was doubtful whether he would make it this time.
Huq said despite frantic search he could not collect tickets.
Many like Mozammel Haque have altogether dropped the idea of visiting their families and friends during the Eid, due mainly to tickets not being available. There were too few train tickets to cope with the rush of the passengers.
A severe traffic gridlock on 20km stretch from the western part of the Bangabandhu Bridge to Hatikumrul on the Dhaka-Bogra Highway left hundreds of vehicles stranded.
The congestion, triggered by erratic movement of vehicles heading to northern districts from the capital, meant it was taking two hours to cross the 20km distance.
The number of night coaches, buses, trucks, cars and microbuses increased significantly since Sunday night, resulting in the jam right after crossing the bridge. And despite their best efforts, the police are finding it difficult to contain the congestion.
M Delwar Hossain, Sirajganj Additional Superintendent of Police, said additional police personnel had been deployed on that section of the highway to clear the road.
Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad was stuck in the traffic at 11:00am and the police used a detour to put him through.
According to many, the cattle markets in Gabtali, Saidabad and Mohakhali also contributed to the traffic congestions.
“From Gabtali to Mirpur Technical area vehicles were driving bumper to bumper with each other due to the Gabtali cattle market, the largest in the country,” bus passenger Mohammed Hossain said. He added that it had taken them 45 minutes to pass the one kilometer area yesterday afternoon.
The bustling city of nearly 15 million, famous for its notorious traffic, is expected to wear a deserted look with the most vehicles staying off the main city streets.
As Friday and Saturday are weekly holidays in government and some other offices, most left the capital after attending their offices yesterday.
The Bangladesh Secretariat, the country’s administrative hub, had handful of staff after the lunch break yesterday.
Security in Sayedabad, Mohakhali and Gabtoli inter-district bus terminals, Kamalapur Railway Station and Sadarghat launch terminal have been beefed up with the deployment of Rapid Action Battalion, paramilitary BDR and the police.
Huge rushes were there in all the three inter-district bus terminals, Motijheel BRTC bus terminal, Kamalapur Railway Station and Sadarghat launch terminal.
People started crowding Sadarghat shortly after noon for spaces on the decks of the launches as cabins had already been booked.
With the passage of every hour, minutes seemed to stretch longer for passengers stuck at the ferry piers between Paturia and Daulatdia, with little chances of their ordeal ending soon. Ferry services, in this sector, have badly been hit by depleting water levels, which, coupled with the rush in view of Eid-ul-Azha, have led to the formation of tailbacks, sometimes even stretching over five kilometres.
The extent of the tailback can be gauged by the fact that 500 buses and trucks, and 400 small vehicles were found to be waiting at the crossing, until 5.00 pm on Monday.
According to Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) sources, depleting water-levels, along with shortage of boats and mismanagement, are the principle reasons to blame for regular interruptions in the ferry service on the Paturia-Daulatdia channel.
Officer-in-charge at Daulatdia ghat police outpost, Firoj Ahamed, said that the ever-increasing queue had particularly been troublesome for women and children.
BIWTC assistant general manager at Daulatdia ghat, Md. Khaded Newaj, claimed the disruptions in the movement of river traffic was due to poor navigability of the river channel. He added that the Padma and the Jamuna have lost navigability in different points in the region here.
BIWTA deputy director at Aricha Region, Joynal Abedin, said that the required water level for normal movement of vessels should be 10-12 feet deep, but currently there were only 5-6 feet of water in pockets on the river channel, which made navigation difficult.
Md. Golam Mostafa, port officer of BIWTA, at the Aricha sector, told The Independent that the water level at Aricha point was low, making navigation difficult for vessels.
BIWTA has begun dredging the river, in order to get rid of 15 lakh cubic metre sediments, in two phases, on Paturia-Daulatdia chanel. Six dredgers had been pressed in to service, to remove silt, but sources allege that the present situation could have been averted if dredging work was taken up on time.
BIWTC manager (com.) at Aricha sector, Md. Ashrafulla Khan, said that the rush of home-bound people was responsible for such disruptions in the ferry service. “Current capacities allow us to handle around 2,500 vehicles a day. But we have to carry around 5,000 vehicles a day, throughout the festival period, which puts a lot of pressure on the operations,” he said.
Thousands of home-bound people thronged the area, creating a mad rush on the ferry ghats and the roads leading to the ghats. In the ensuing chaos, bus fares have started shooting up, adding to the sufferings of the passengers.
Delower Hossain, a Jessore-bound passenger, reached Paturia ghat from Dhaka, on Monday afternoon. A bus conductor of Nabin Baran Paribahan charged him Tk. 200 for travelling up to Paturia, Delower alleged.
Md. Masud Karim, the superintendent of police in Manikganj, told The Independent that plain-clothes detectives, special branch detectives, NSI personnel and additional police forces have been deployed at Paturia Ferry and Launch Terminal, in order to maintain law and order.
The law-enforcement agencies have put up a banner at Paturia bus terminal, asking drivers to stop charging exorbitant fares, but passengers’ experiences have a different tell to tale.
-The Independent

Dhaka to seek funds for Padma Bridge

Bangladesh is expecting an assurance from the Japan government that it will fund the Padma Bridge, said Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday.
padma bridge
Describing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's five-day visit to Japan from November 28 as a timely step, she said at a regular press briefing at the foreign ministry yesterday afternoon that issues of bilateral cooperation would be discussed during the visit.
She said the premier will hold talks with Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan and also have an audience with Emperor Akihito.
During her visit, Hasina will address a number of investment conferences and hold meetings with representatives of Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japan External Trade Organisation, and Japan Bank for International Cooperation to discuss investment, economic cooperation and development issues.
The prime minister will also address a meeting at the Peace Park in Hiroshima and lay the foundation of a Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo.
She will leave the country on November 21 for a three-nation tour covering Russia, Belgium and Japan, official sources said. Hasina will return home on December 2.
In Russia, Hasina will attend a Tiger's Conference in St Petersburg on November 22-23.
“Hasina will have a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Tiger's Conference,” Dipu Moni said.
From St. Petersburg she will fly to Brussels where she will hold talks with the Belgian prime minister on November 25.
Talking about labour export to Malaysia, Dipu Moni at the press briefing said Malaysia will not take new labours from Bangladesh until the country overcomes the impact of global recession.
However, she noted that a process is underway to send people under a new category.
About the recently concluded meeting of India-Bangladesh Joint Boundary Working Group (JBWG), the foreign minister said the JBWG has made “remarkable” progress at the meeting in New Delhi that ended last week. The foreign secretary level meeting between the two countries will be held soon.
Dipu Moni expressed optimism about a satisfactory settlement of the longstanding issue of demarcation of the border between the two countries and exchange of adversely possessed enclaves based on the Mujib-Indira Land Boundary Agreement, 1974.
-The Daily Star

DSE hits new high at 8,443 points

Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) ended trading yesterday at a new high as the market gained 1.63 per cent before the closing of the market for Eid -ul-Azha.
Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) ended trading yesterday at a new high as the market gained 1.63 per cent before the closing of the market for Eid -ul-Azha.
According to Shakil Rezvi, president of Dhaka Stock Exchange, “The market has already expanded and buyers have invested their idle money in the market before the vacation – this was not seen previously.”
This behavior of investors marked a change in their attitude and a new trend in investment policy. As result, the market was in a buying mode yesterday, he added.
The benchmark DSE General Index (DGEN) rose 135 points to close at 8443 points, a new record in index for the first time in the history of DSE as the market started with a flying jump of 105 points which continued up to the end of trading.
All the key sectors were in the positive territory and out of the 139 scrips traded, 192 recorded gains, 41 lost value and six remained unchanged.
Professor Dr. Salauddin Ahmed Khan. Ex CEO of Dhaka Stock exchange, took a differing view According to him, stock market players were at present mostly businessmen taking a position in the market and doing trades to park their additional cash flow in stocks.
He cautioned that profit taking could become difficult after the Eid festival.
Normal investors usually withdrew their money before Eid and this was the common phenomenon in the market in earlier years. This year, the market behaved differently.
Total turnover increased Tk 3 billion comparing to the previous trading day with turnover touching Tk 25.73 billion.
The broader DSE all share price index (DSI) was up by 113 points or 1.6 per cent to close at 7007 which was also a new benchmark for the market.
Banks, financial institutions, mutual fund, insurance, engineering, pharmaceuticals all the sectors were in the positive mode.
Telecom giant GP supported the market gain significantly, rising Tk 11 yesterday.
The market will remain closed up to November 20 from today for the holy occasion Eid Ul Azah.
Investors participation of the market was spontaneous. All through the day the market performed very well, said brokers.
Investors invested their money to the market before the vacation and the buying pressure was high as a result, they added.
United Commercial Bank Limited topped the top traded companies yesterday, trading TK 1073 million, followed by Beximco, Southeast Bank, Social Islami Bank, AB Bank, Square Pharma, Peoples Leasing & Financial Services, Heidelberg Cement and Shah Jalal Islami Bank.
Among major gainers, Dulamiya Cotton gained 17.49 pert cent to close at Tk 319.
Other gainers include Malek Spinning, Federal Insurance, Desh Garments, Safko Spinning, H R Textile, Monno Ceramics, Hakkani Pulp and Paper, Jute Spinning and Talli Spinning.
-The Independent

Home rush goes haywire

Confusion ruled the day for the millions of homebound passengers who crammed in the city's bus, train and launch terminals yesterday.
Unsure about the trip schedule and anxious of street violence during hartal, home-goers flocked to the terminals from early morning hoping to secure trips.
"I arrived here at 5:00am," Rumi, a college student, told The Daily Star at Hanif Paribahan counter at Gabtoli bus terminal.
"I took a rickshaw for some distance, then thumbed a lift on a rickshaw-van and I walked for two kilometres afterwards until I finally reached here."
"That was nine hours ago," he said.
Rumi's bus, scheduled to leave the terminal at 6:00am, never showed up.
Officials at the counter asked him to get a refund or wait till evening when they would try to slip him in another bus.
"So I'm waiting for my bus," said Rumi with a wry smile.
Transport providers said there was little they could do to help thousands of passengers like Rumi.
"We can't take the risk of operating bus amid hartal,” said Emon Ahmed, counter manager of Hanif Paribahan at Gabtoli.
He said he requested the passengers to wait till evening when he would try to put in extra buses to accommodate the extra passengers.
"Or they can return the tickets for refunds," he said.
But returning the ticket was not an option for Shimla.
"My father-in-law is seriously ill. I need to be in Barisal by tomorrow [today] morning," said Shimla, who was waiting at Gabtoli with her two-year-old girl. She had no idea what she would do.
Shimla could have followed Shobnom Ara's example. The mother of two at Syedabad bus terminal decided to return her ticket and take several short trips to Lakshmipur instead.
"It'll be painful and a lot of hassle, but at least I'll get to spend the Eid with my family," she said.
The situation just goes on to show that politicians have the least concern for the people, she added.
Shimla and Shobnom Ara were not alone. Majority of the bus services decided to keep their buses off the road to avoid untoward incidents. The entire schedule of almost all the bus services collapsed yesterday because of the hartal.
Many bus passengers were forced to switch to launch.
"I usually take bus to my home district Pirojpur. But as buses are halted today, I've come here to take a launch instead,” said Arif Hossain, a student of law at Daffodil University.
Again, Arif was not the only one to have switched to a different mode of transport.
A huge crowd thronged Kamalapur Railway Station to travel to northern Dhaka regions -- Uttara, Mohakhali DOHS, Tongi and Airport.
Motaleb Hossain was one of them.
The businessman arrived at Syedabad from Teknaf at 5:00am. He could not find any bus or auto rickshaw to Uttara. So, he decided to take a train.
Beside Motaleb, hundreds of people were waiting at the station since early morning to get on trains.
"It's a hartal day. So you never know what might happen on the streets. For this reason, we came to the station at 6:00am," said Shirin Ahmed, a teacher from Khilgaon.
She had to wait longer than she calculated -- her train came four hours behind schedule. The Dinajpur-bound Akata Express, which was supposed to leave the station at 9:50am, finally departed at 2:30pm.
The Chittagong-bound Subarna Express, scheduled to leave the station at 4:40pm, arrived at 5:30pm.
The delay, however, did little to stop the flow of passengers. Almost all the tickets for outside Dhaka were sold out. A few remaining ones were sold at an incredibly high price.
A journey by launch also became very expensive, a number of passengers complained.
“We purchased tickets at Tk 2,200 but the usual fare is Tk 1,500,” said Monirul Islam, managing director of a private telecommunication company. He was going to Barguna.
Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Waterways (passenger carrier) Association, however, denied the allegation.
No launch owner will charge more than the rate fixed by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), he said.
But reaching Sadarghat lunch terminal was not easy. Some had to walk for several kilometres to get a rickshaw.
However, it was a pleasant ride for those who went through all the hassles to reach the terminal.
"We boarded a bus from a Shyamoli bus counter risking our lives," said Afroza Begum, a teacher from Mirpur.
"But after we boarded, it was a dream ride all the way,” she said over the phone.
When she talked to The Daily Star last night, her bus was in Jessore, some 65 kilometres away from her home in Satkhira.
-Daily Star

Eid-ul-Azha tomorrow

Holy Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims, will be celebrated across the country tomorrow with due religious fervour, solemnity and spirit of sacrifice.
Eid in bangladesh
To commemorate Hazrat Ibrahim's (AS) devotion to almighty Allah as illustrated by his readiness to give up his dearest son Hazrat Ismail (AS), well-off Muslims will sacrifice animals and share the sacrificial meat with their relatives, neighbours and poor people.
Braving many odds, including struggle for tickets and sufferings caused by Sunday's hartal, hundreds of thousands of people have already left the capital for their village homes to celebrate the festival with their near and dear ones.
The last moment rush for home will continue today. The hustling bustling metropolis started showing signs of tranquillity, which would remain for a few more days.
Important public buildings, thoroughfares and road islands of the capital will be decorated with national flags and banners inscribed with 'Eid Mubarak.' Major government buildings will also be illuminated.
The main Eid jamaat (congregation) will be held at National Eidgah on the High Court premises at 8:00am tomorrow, according to an Islamic Foundation press release. Separate arrangements have been made there for women, diplomats and their spouses.
Five Eid congregations have been arranged at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in the morning at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 and 10:45.
The public holiday for Eid-ul-Azha begins today. Newspaper offices will also remain closed for three days from today.
President Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday gave separate messages, greeting the countrymen on this occasion.
In his message, the president called upon all to reflect the spirit of sacrifice of Eid-ul-Azha in their thoughts and deeds for building a peaceful and tolerant society.
Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said the unique sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), in the name of Almighty Allah for His satisfaction, would ever remain an example for mankind to follow.
The state-run Bangladesh Betar and BTV and private television and radio channels will air special programmes on the occasion. The national dailies will bring out special supplements today highlighting the significance of the festival.
Special meals will be served at jails, orphanages, vagrant centres and dormitories on the day.
The Shishu Park at Shahbagh will remain open from 3:00pm to 8:00pm tomorrow and 11:00am to 7:00pm for the following three days, said a release of Dhaka City Corporation.
Additional contingents of law enforcers have been deployed at different strategic points to ensure safe celebration of the festival.
-The Daily Star

AL’s allies express mixed reaction

Most of the allies of the ruling Awami League did not directly support the eviction of Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia from the Shaheed Mainul Road house at Dhaka cantonment.
They expressed mixed reaction while talking to New Age Sunday on whether Khaleda’s eviction her before exhaustion of the legal procedure at the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court would benefit national politics.
Some of them also raised several questions about the incident.
‘From political perspective, it seems to me that it would have been wise if the government had not done it in haste,’ Workers Party of Bangladesh president Rashed Khan Menon told New Age on Sunday.
The police and plainclothesmen evicted Khaleda, also leader of the opposition, Saturday afternoon from 6 Shaheed Mainul Road house where she had lived for 38 years.
Menon, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on education ministry, however, believes that the entire issue of Khaleda’s eviction was a legal matter.
‘There was no stay order. They [BNP] did not seek a stay [on the High Court judgement]. So it seems to me that there was no legal digression [in the government action],’ he said.
Ganatantri Party general secretary Nurur Rahman Selim said that it should be investigated what actually happened at the Shaheed Mainul Road house on Saturday.
‘It should be clear whether she was evicted or not,’ he said.
Selim believes the issue would not have much impact on national politics.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasnul Haq Inu said the statement of Khaleda that she was forced out of the house and that of the ISPR that she had voluntarily vacated the house should be appraised to know what actually happened there.
He said he did not think the issue would have any major impact on national politics as there ‘is no relation between the hartal and issues affecting the people’.
The hartal was called against the court in a bid to keep a house in illegal possession, said Inu, also chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on post and telecommunications ministry.
Jatiya Party presidium member Kazi Firoz Rashid observed that eviction of Khaleda was ‘nothing but political vengeance’.
The BNP government had cancelled the allotment of the Dhanmondi house of Sheikh Rehana, sister of Sheikh Hasina, he said. ‘Now Khaleda has been evicted.’
Samyabadi Dal general secretary and industries minister Dilip Barua declined comments on the issue.
‘I was in Kolkata for five days. I do not want to make a statement on the issue,’ he said.
-New Age

BNP for tougher anti-govt movement after Eid

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party will launch a ‘tougher’ anti-government movement after Eid ul-Azha to oust this ‘fascist and repressive’ government from power.
The party thanked the countrymen and its activists across the country for making the hartal a ‘success’ and accused the government of spreading lies about Khaleda’s eviction from the cantonment house where she had lived for the last 38 years.
The party rejected outright the claim of the ISPR that she had left the house willingly and said the government had forced the ISPR to tell such a blatantly obvious lie.
‘By making today’s strike successful, the people have expressed their hatred for, and lack of confidence in, this oppressive and illegal government which has been a burden for the countrymen,’ said the BNP’s secretary-general, Khandakar Delwar Hossain, at a press conference in BNP’s central office in Naya Paltan on Sunday, the day the party enforced a daylong, countrywide hartal.
‘Despite all the efforts of the government to foil the strike, the countrymen spontaneously and peacefully observed the strike to express their disapproval of the way the government has evicted Khaleda from her cantonment residence,’ said Delwar.
‘The police did not allow the activists to take to the streets. Whenever the activists tried to bring out processions, the police attacked them as ferociously as tigers,’ he added.
‘I know what the government will say. Even yesterday (Saturday) they said that the people of the country would reject the strike, but the reality is different. People no more believe this government’s lies,’ he claimed.
Delwar said the people would continue to be deprived of their rights and of justice and no problems of the country and its people would be solved as long as this government stays in power.
‘The people no longer want this illegal and oppressive government to stay in power. So, in line with aspirations of the people, we will wage a tougher movement to oust this government,’ he said.
Referring to the eviction of Khaleda Zia from the cantonment house, in protest against which the BNP enforced the hartal on Sunday, Delwar said, ‘There are many black days in the history of Bangladesh. The illogical, illegal and inhumane way in which Khaleda Zia was evicted from her home will be considered a black day.’
Delwar alleged that the government had concocted a story on the eviction of Khaleda Zia to misguide the people, and had also forced the Inter-Services Public Relations to say that she had left the house willingly.
Referring to the ISPR’s claim that Khaleda left her cantonment residence at her own will, Delwar said, ‘The ISPR was forced to circulate one lie after another on Saturday. We strongly protest against the propaganda which is similar to that of the AL.’
‘Today the government has taken the media people and TV cameras to Khaleda Zia’s cantonment residence as part of their propaganda to misguide the people,’ he said.
‘You all saw and heard how Khaleda Zia herself described the eviction. They broke open the door and she was dragged forcibly of her home.’
Delwar also came down heavily on Awami League’s joint general secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif for his statements on the eviction, and said, ‘Hanif just echoed what the ISPR claimed.’
‘As Khaleda Zia herself moved the court to seek justice against the government’s notice to leave the house, and as the issue is still pending in the Supreme Court, how could she leave the house willingly?’ he wondered.
‘In this case, the government not only spearheaded the false campaign, but also compelled the ISPR to provide false and baseless information,’ he claimed.
Delwar alleged that the government was out to tighten its hold by politicizing the police, army, Bangladesh Rifles, judiciary and the administration.
‘The judiciary is the last resort of the distressed people, but they are not getting justice. Where will they go if the trials’ verdicts depend on political considerations?’ he asked.
-New Age

Many things can be achieved thru' partnership: Erdogan

Visiting Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Sunday said the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Turkey might increase to US$ 3.0 billion from the existing less than $1.0 billion by 2015 with exploration of potential.
"We might increase our bilateral trade to $3.0 billion by 2015 through trade partnership between business communities of the two countries," the Turkish prime minister (PM) said at a luncheon meeting hosted by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at a hotel in the city.
Erdogan, along with his entourage, was on a two-day official visit to the country. Earlier in February, Turkish president Abdullah Gul visited Bangladesh
Deputy prime minister of Turkey Ali Babacan and other members of the prime minister's entourage participated in the meeting.
FBCCI president A.K. Azad presided over the meeting, while finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith addressed it.
"We can achieve many things in terms of expanding trade and commerce through partnership," said the Turkish prime minister.
Dhaka-Ankara trade volume rose to $742 million in 2010 from only $47 million in 2002, he said adding that the two countries achieved an increased trade balance despite the global financial meltdown.
Turkish prime minister referred to Bangladesh's goal of transforming itself into a middle-income country by 2021 and said Turkey has also a target to become among the top ten economies of the world by 2023.
"Our economy is growing at record level as in the last six months our growth has increased by 11 per cent," said Erdogan.
He said faster development in tourism sector and better credit rating have contributed largely to achieving a double-digit growth.
Regarding corruption, Turkish prime minister said a country could achieve higher economic growth "if there is no corruption and it fights against poverty."
"I can see Bangladesh has higher prospects in the near future as the government of the country has taken several sincere steps," he said.
The Turkish PM favoured renewal of the promotion and protection of investments to boost trade and commerce between Bangladesh and Turkey.
Finance minister AMA Muhith stressed the need for trade reciprocity between the two countries.
He also pointed out that Bangladesh has two bottlenecks, i.e. transportation and energy, which must be resolved.
The finance minister looked forward to the launching of Dhaka-Ankara direct flight as a milestone and said it would be instrumental to the strengthening of trade ties.
FBCCI president A.K. Azad said Bangladesh's major potential sectors are textiles, tourism, energy, construction, natural gas-based industries, telecommunications, fisheries, electronics, light engineering and computer software and data entry.
The FBCCI chief said Bangladesh has a target to attain 8.0 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by 2013.
AK Azad said trade between Turkey and Bangladesh is increasing quite satisfactorily and "we expect to reach the one billion-dollar mark soon."
Administration affairs adviser to the Bangladesh prime minister -- HT Imam, economic affairs adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman, commerce minister Faruk Khan and press secretary to the prime minister -- Abul Kalam Azad, president of International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh, Mahbubur Rahman, FBCCI board of directors and other business personalities were present at the luncheon programme.

Khaleda’s allegation false: ISPR

The Inter Service Public Relations Sunday termed ‘a blatant lie and motivated’ leader of the opposition and BNP chief, Khaleda Zia’s allegations that she was forced out of the Dhaka cantonment house on Saturday.
‘The statement she made in the press conference making allegations of lock breaking, her forced ouster from the house in single clothe, misbehaviour with her and her relatives are all blatant lies, false and motivated,’ said the ISPR release issued overnight after Khaleda’s appearance before newsmen Saturday night.
The ISPR rather alleged that the opposition leader had threatened and rebuked the members of the armed forces in ‘filthy language’ and ‘did not hesitate to call them ungrateful dogs and national enemy’.
It said Khaleda’s misbehaviour with officials and employees of cantonment board, military land administration directorate and police and RAB men and attempts to obstruct them in discharging their official duties surprised all who were present at the scene.
The ISPR release reiterated its earlier statement saying the ex-prime minister was fully prepared to vacate the house packing up her belongings in several bags and big cartons while she transferred many of the household articles beforehand to her younger brother Shamim Iskandar’s Gulshan residence.

The statement elaborately described the events that took place at the 6, Shaheed Mainul Road house since Saturday morning until her voluntary exit from the house at 3:15pm.
It said the cantonment board officials went to the house Saturday morning to request her to vacate the house and to take its possession in legal manner as the High Court deadline asking her to vacate it expired a day ahead.
They conveyed the request to her and by 9:30am 61 out of 67 domestic aides who were staying there left the house but the officials were told that Khaleda was was asleep.
At around 11:00am, the statement said, she came to know that the officials concerned were waiting outside to request her to vacate the house.
‘Then she started preparations in an ‘easy going’ manner and spent nearly two hours for make-ups and other related activities and seeing her unnecessary delay, two policewomen knocked at her windows but she became furious and rebuked the army hurling abuses,’ the statement said.
‘She shouted “I am keeping in mind everybody’s face, I will kick them out of the service after going to power” and started talking to leaders and activists of her party, prompting them to gather around the cantonment,’ the ISPR said.
But, it said, the opposition leader then started inspecting her packed belongings and articles of the house and gave her decision to take 10 bags and four huge size cartons out of the house to be brought along with her immediately and according those were loaded to three vehicles outside by her personal aides.
Then she went round every room of the house to see if the belongings and household articles were alright and demanded written assurances from the officials for their safety and security.
‘She finally gave her decision to leave the house after the Cantonment Board officials gave her a written assurance of protecting the materials,’ the ISPR said.
The statement recalled that in the previous several days Khaleda had transferred nearly 100 cartons and bags to the residence of her brother Sayeed Iskandar and the mother-in-law of her younger son Arafat Rahman while kept ready the rest of the articles or materials packed to be transferred.
‘This carries the clear sign of her plan to vacate the house… She quit the house voluntarily accepting the court verdict and no force was used,’ the statement said adding that if force had been applied, Khaleda would have to leave it in the morning instead of 3:15 in the afternoon.
The ISPR said her personal driver drove the car as she left the house.
The statement noted that the chandeliers and even the tube lights which were provided by the army MES too were un-plugged to be taken away while most articles and materials of the palatial house was very costly and splendid looking but ‘surprisingly some very insignificant materials too were kept to be transferred’.
‘Begum Khaleda Zia left the house with due honour and respect. Despite her misbehaviour with the people present, everybody discharged their respective duties showing due restraints,’ it said.
The ISPR said the house was currently under the disposal of the police, not the army.
New Age staff correspondent reports: Khaleda described as ‘downright falsehood’
ISPR’s claims that she had voluntarily left the house
The ISPR arranged a tour of Khaleda’s house by newsmen Sunday afternoon, a day after she ‘left willingly’.
During the guided tour, Khaleda’s bedroom door was found newly repaired and the paint on the bolt of the gate in the porch was fresh.
Khaleda on Saturday told reporters that the law enforcers had broken open the door of her bedroom.
There was a small drawing room beside the reading room the door-latch of which was found broken.
On Sunday, at about 3:30pm, the journalists were allowed to enter the house, and military officials asked them not to touch anything as they were responsible for looking after Khaleda’s belongings.
A lady officer requested the journalists to enter the posh bathroom and asked them to see all the things left there by Khaleda Zia.
At 4:20pm Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Wali Ullah, public relations officer of the Army Station Headquarters who was present during the tour, requested journalists to leave Khaleda’s former bedroom.
As the journalists hastened to leave the house through the nearby lobby, an army officer requested them to enter the room again and asked them to open a drawer of the bedside table.
A journalist opened the drawer and found some porno magazines there, but all the other 15 drawers of a dressing table, another bed-side table and a curio table were empty, as far this correspondent could ascertain.
But when another journalist tried to see the contents of those drawers, the same officer asked him not to do so.
-New Age

PM iterates strong stance to curb bribery, graft

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has reiterated her government’s strong stance to crack-down nexus of bribery and corruption while providing services to the people.
‘We want to raze the nexus of bribery and corruption in providing government services,’ she said while inaugurating the collection of vehicle tax and fees through online banking for Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.
Communication ministry organised the programme where minister Syed Abul Hossain was present as the special guest.
The prime minister said it was not a mere decision of raising just slogans against corruption. ‘We have to introduce a system to eradicate corruption,’ she said.
Referring digitisation she said that when everything would be brought under digital system corruption will be stopped automatically.
In this connection she said her government already started online tendering system for public procurement to some extent and gradually all tendering system will be placed under online system. ‘At that time no one will be able to grab tender by muscle power,’ she said.
Hasina asked the authorities concerned to introduce online system for vehicle registration and licensing.
She expressed her hope that BRTA would get pace in their day to day activities due to the online system of vehicle tax and fees. ‘Besides, the hassle of the customers will be reduced a lot,’ she said.
She mentioned that like the filling of admission forms for admission in universities her government was thinking to introduce such system for the admission in schools as well.
The prime minister underscored the need of a safe and secured journey for the people apart from providing a strong road communication network.
Giving instances of casualties in road accident every day she said inefficient driver, dilapidated vehicles and violating traffic rules are the main causes of high rate of road accidents.
She said her government was firmly committed to stopping such kind of irregularities to provide safe road for all.
Regarding the intolerable traffic congestion in the capital city she said the government had taken short, long and medium term steps to free the city from traffic jam.
Hasina said they had concentrated in brining discipline in all sectors and establish Bangladesh a place of modern, corruption free, terrorism free and peaceful country.

2 Bangladeshi cattle traders beaten to death by BSF

Two Bangladeshi cattle traders were beaten to death by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at Dhannokhola border here early Monday.
The deceased were identified as Abdul Gaffer, son of Jeraf Gazi of Ashasuni upazila of Satkhira district and Matiar Rahman of the same district.
Local sources said BSF troops of Indian Sut border chased a group of Bangladeshi cattle traders while they were returning to the country along with the cattle from India.
At one stage, BSF men caught the two cattle traders and beat them up mercilessly, leaving them dead on the spot.
Later, BSF left the body of Gaffar in the border area while dragged the body of Matiar into their camp.
A tense situation was prevailing in the area following the incident.

AG’s explanation has no legal basis: Moudud

BNP leader Barrister Moudud Ahmed on Monday said the attorney general’s explanation about stay order of the Appellate Division over Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia’s cantonment house has “no legal basis”.
Moudud Ahmed
“It was intended to create a smokescreen and mislead the people,” he said at a press briefing at his Motijheel law chamber in the afternoon.
Replying to the Sunday’s statement of Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, the BNP leader said November 10 was the date of hearing the petition for leave to appeal and stay on the operation of the High Court verdict over vacating her Dhaka Cantonment house.
But the hearing on the matter was adjourned till November 29, he added.
Moudud, also former law minister, said the AG knows well that it does not require any separate petition for seeking stay order when the leave petition along with stay remained under consideration in the trial of a case pending with the Appellate Division.
Even then the government had evicted Khaleda from her residence with “an ill-motive” to frustrate her petition for stay and application for leave to appeal, he said.
The BNP stalwart said it has been done to tell the Appellate Division on November 29, the date set for hearing, that Khaleda Zia is no longer in possession of the disputed house.
He termed “nothing but adventurous” the AG’s remark that Khaleda Zia’s residence will be returned if she wins the case. After taking over the house “forcibly in terrorist-style” such a statement by the AG does not carry any sense and this is not difficult to understand by the people, Moudud said.
-Daily Star

Ex military men back Khaleda

A group of high ranking former military men, consisting mostly of BNP supporters, have dismissed the 'defamatory' allegations of the military public relations department against Khaleda Zia.
They said the statements of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) claiming that the BNP chief had been abusive towards defence personnel during the evacuation of her cantonment house were aimed towards 'character assassination' and a bunch of 'political lies'.
The former officers were speaking to reporters at a press briefing on Monday at the BNP chief's Gulshan office to counter the ISPR briefing of Sunday morning.
Former army chief and BNP standing committee member Lt Gen Mahbubur Rahman said, "The responsibility of this unprecedented propaganda against the opposition leader using the military will automatically come round to the prime minister as she is the defence minister as well."
"The ISPR had planted different articles beforehand at the [cantonment] house and then called in reporters. This is incredible." The former army chief also slammed the government for abusing the name of armed forces in such a 'lowly act'.
"The patriotic armed forces were certainly not involved in the eviction process." Rahman speculated that the government was spreading propaganda to taint the defence forces by using the military public relations department.
The former defence chief said Khaleda had herself asserted that there were no army officers during her eviction. "In fact she had pointedly asked whether there were any army officers present."
There is no question of her hurling abuses at army personnel since only RAB and police personnel were present there, Mahbub said. "There were no ISPR officials present at the house either."
The former three star general also criticised the military public relations for stating a 'false number' of Khaleda's domestic aids. "Only 12 hands used to work their. Many of them used to live at the servants' quarter with their families."
Strongly criticising the government initiatives to evict Khaleda, Rahman said, "The government now wants to shift the blame and responsibility on to the armed forces."
The briefing was attended by a 26 high-ranking military officers including former air force chief Air Vice Marshal Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, Air Vice Marshal Fakhrul Azam, Brig Gen A S M Hannan Shah, Wing Commander M Hamidullah, Maj Gen Fatemi Rumi, Brig Gen Anwar Chowdhury, Major Sayeed Eskandar, Major Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, Commodore Shafique Rahman.

PM unhappy with DCC mayor's role

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday came down heavily on Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka for his 'negligence' in running the affairs of the corporation.
Sadeque Hossain Khoka

“The works of DCC are not going well, waste management is not being done properly,” she said while addressing a function at Gono Bhaban marking the handover of 100 waste collection vehicles by the government of Japan.
Hasina said the DCC mayor is not performing his duties properly. “I invited him to attend this ceremony but he did not come. It would have been better if he came and see the vehicles.”
In this connection, she said that it was the sole responsibility of the DCC mayor to keep the capital city clean.
The premier expressed her dissatisfaction over the activities of the DCC and its mayor.
-The Daily Star

Bangladesh ranked first

Bangladesh ranked first in the world by sending 10,748 peacekeepers in the United Nations (UN) mission, an ISPR press release said yesterday.
UN mission

Among the peacekeepers, 10,581 are male and 167 are female, the release said.
Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Egypt and Nepal ranked 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th position by sending 10635, 8704, 5786, 5463 and 4735 peacekeepers respectively.
On 31 October, the UN published a report on "Ranking of Military and Police Contribution to UN Operations" for identifying the position among the participating countries of the world in UN Peacekeeping Operations.
Bangladesh is trying to send more peacekeepers in Western Shahara and Darfur so that she can build-up better image of the nation, the release added.

3 million Muslims perform hajj

Nearly 3 million Muslims performing the annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia began making their way up the rocky desert Mount Arafat yesterday, chanting that they have come to answer God's call.
Holy Kaba at Mecca

The white-robed pilgrims began their ascent at the crack of dawn, covering the Mountain of Mercy at Arafat in an endless sea of white as their chants "Labbayek Allah," or "Here I am, God, answering your calling," reverberated overhead.
The climb at Arafat is one of the cornerstones of the pilgrimage, which is required from every able-bodied Muslim at least once in their life time. It's the site where Islam's Prophet Muhammad delivered his farewell sermon and Muslims believe on this day the doors of heavens open to answer prayers and grant forgiveness.
As they began their climb from the tent-city in the valley, many of the pilgrims looked tired from lack of sleep, having spent the entire night praying. Charities and vendors along the way handed out food packages and umbrellas to shield the climbers from the harsh sun.
One of the pilgrims, Wassim Ahmad, from Mumbai, India, said this was his first hajj and that he felt like a child, reborn.
"Today is like judgment day," said the 29-year-old. "We have come to pray to God ... a new child has been born."
Alone and obviously on her first hajj, 46-year-old Egyptian, Um Sayed, kept asking people for directions.
"There is nothing greater than feeling that you are going to meet God," she said. "The whole body shivers."
Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifa are the three stops on the pilgrims' journey during the hajj, as worshippers trace the steps of Prophet Muhammad.
The hajj draws millions of worshippers each year, the sheer numbers a challenge in preventing stampedes at holy sites, fires in pilgrim encampments and the spread of disease.
This year Saudi authorities have taken new measures to improve crowd management, including launching a new light-rail system to transport pilgrims between the shrines.