Sunday, November 21, 2010

Framework of transit with Nepal, Bhutan being finalized this week

The legal framework for the much-awaited transit from Bangladesh to Nepal and Bhutan is likely to be finalized within this week, in an important leap forward for boosting trade and business on regional plane.
Prime Minister’s Finance Adviser Dr Moshiur Rahman left Dhaka on Sunday morning for Nepal to deal with the transit issue, now that India is agreed on allowing route through strips of their frontier-land. From there he will go to Bhutan to finalize the matter with the other landlocked Himalayan country.
“I will stay in Kathmandu Sunday and Monday and then move to visit Thimphu Tuesday and Wednesday for discussing the matter,” said Dr Moshiur Rahman.
He said he would discuss the transit issue with the Nepalese Prime Minister and other ministers concerned during his tour.
“I will also have talks on the same issue with the top officials of the Bhutanese government during my visit to the country”, he added.
Prime Minister Office sources said India wants to provide transit facility for Bangladesh to link with Nepal and Bhutan before taking transit itself through Bangladesh.
New Delhi has suggested Bangladesh to finalize the formalities with Nepal and Bhutan before India starts construction of a power plant at Palatana in its landlocked northeastern state of Tripura crossing over Bangladesh territories.
In this context, the PM’s adviser undertook the trip to Nepal and Bhutan, a source in the PMO said.
Dr Moshiur said, “Goods-laden trucks of Nepal and Bhutan can use Indian land as these countries have agreement on connectivity issue. But, Bangladesh does not get such facility. Bangladeshi cargo-carrying trucks do not directly enter those countries.”
He added: “Once Bangladesh avails transit facility, importers do not need to change trucks on the border for transporting their goods.”
He said Bangladesh has already given its consent to use of Mongla seaport and provide transshipment facilities to Nepal at the Bangladesh-Nepal secretary-level talks held in July last in Dhaka.
The delineated transit route is Banglabandha-Panchagarh-Thakurgoan-Syedpur-Bogra-Natore-Dashuria-Paksey-Kushtia-Jhenidah-Jessore-Khulna-Mongla.
Dr Moshiur said matters of direct rail and road links would also be discussed in the meetings with Nepalese authorities.
Nepal has already taken preparation to establish rail link with Bangladesh via Rohanpur and Singabad, said the adviser.
“Apart from transit and transshipment issues, we’ll also discuss import of electricity, water management and climate-change issue,” said the prime minister’s emissary.
-Bangla News

Travel turns travails as people start returning to city

People, who left the capital to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha with their near and dear ones, are experiencing huge sufferings in their return journey.
Apart from hassles in procuring bus ticket and booking berth in train or launch, overcrowded vehicles and tailbacks on almost all roads leading to the capital added to their sufferings.
People back dhaka 
Travellers said road accidents aggravated traffic congestions on major highways before and after the Eid.
Transport companies abnormally increased bus fares on different routes, the also alleged.
Mehedi Hassan, on way to Dhaka from Magura, said bus fare on the Khulna-Dhaka routes was increased by Tk 100 to Tk 150.
He said Hanif and Eagle Paribahan were charging Tk 400 for a chair coach ticket at the Magura bus terminal while in other times the price ranged between Tk 250 and Tk 270.
Many passengers alleged that a section of ‘labourers’ identifying themselves as people of the inter-district bus terminal management were collecting extra money for delivering luggage to the passengers.
A passenger from Jhenaidah, M Moniruddin, said a labourer came to him while he got down from a Purbasha bus near the Mazar Road at Gabtali terminal and wanted to carry his goods.
‘As I did not allow him to carry my luggage, he said I have to pay Tk 400 as carrying charge as they had taken the terminal on lease,’ Moniruddin said.
Mahbub Alam, a passenger from Jaipurhat, said tickets were not available at most of the counters in the far away districts.
‘But if you pay extra money, you will get the ticket,’ he added.
City dwellers, mostly working people, started returning to the capital after celebrating Eid-ul-Azha on November 17 after a three-day Eid holiday while government officials enjoyed two weekly holidays added to the Eid holidays.
The inter-district bus terminals at Gabtali, Sayedabad and Mohakhali, Kamalapur and Airport railway stations and Sadarghat launch terminal were crowded with people returning to the capital.
City dwellers, who returned on Saturday, said they had to suffer a lot due to traffic congestions on the Chittagong-Dhaka, Khulna-Dhaka and Rajshahi-Dhaka and other routes.
Several passengers said that unfit buses, inexperienced drivers and inter-city express trains made their journey uncomfortable.
Shohagh Paribahan managing director Faruk Talukder Sohel blamed a section of greedy transport owners for engaging unskilled drivers to increase the frequency of trips during the two Eids for making extra profit.
Jahidur Rahman, another passenger from Jessore, said a man named Tafazzal Sardar asked him to pay Tk 100, saying that they have taken the terminal on lease from the Dhaka City Corporation.
The travellers at Gabtali terminal, however, said extortionists collected money in the name of one Tafazzal Sardar without any reason.
The Darussalam police officer-in-charge, Abdul Malek, said no one filed any complaint with the police station till Saturday evening.
People who returned to the capital midway through the holiday, however, experienced less hassle in the journey.
‘Some people prefer returning early to avoid hassle,’ Razu Hawlader, a passenger from Barisal, said at the Sadarghat launch terminal.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority expects that the rush will peak from Saturday night till the Sunday afternoon.
Fifty-seven launches anchored at the terminal on Saturday day till the afternoon, said the BIWTA deputy director, M Shahidullah, adding that ten more were scheduled to anchor at the terminal.
Thirty-eight trains were scheduled to arrive at Kamalapur railway station till Sunday night, carrying a large number of returnees.
All the Dhaka-bound trains had to carry extra passengers, said Bangladesh Railway’s Kamalapur station master, Nitendra Saha, adding the pressure will increase Sunday.
‘Considering the pressure,’ the Bangladesh Railways divisional commercial officer, Zahirul Islam, said, ‘We want to continue special services until November 22.’
-New Age

Dipu Moni seeks Chinese help

Dhaka sought Chinese support for the development of agriculture, renewable energy, climate-change management and infrastructure sector in Bangladesh.
dipu moni 
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni made the request as a Chinese delegation led by Lu Hao, Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Secretary of Gansu Provincial Committee, called on her at her office in the city Sunday.
She also hoped that China would “soon” materialize the Kunming Initiative by setting up physical linkages between Bangladesh and China through establishing road and rail networks.
Dipu Moni also urged the Chinese leaders to encourage their own businessmen to invest more in Bangladesh that offers “attractive tax benefits and legal regime along with cheap and efficient labour forces”, according to a press release received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the meeting, the Foreign Minister also “reaffirmed Bangladesh’s commitment to `One China Policy’”, said the release.
-Bangla news

CNG station owners propose 3-hour shutdown rule

Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversion Workshop Owners’ Association deplored that the government didn’t yet respond to the proposal they made before eid for keeping the gas stations closed for three hours a day, halving the current shutdown time.
“The proposal has been given in discussion with Petrobangla the day before the vacation of Eid-ul-Azha,” said Zakir Hossain, General Secretary of the association.
He told banglanews, “We are in uncertainty. Today, the 20th of the month, passed by but we are not getting any response from the government.”
The association leader also informed that they sat with Petrobangla before Eid where the association proposed to shut the CNG stations for three hours instead of six hours to ease the adversities facing the business.
The Petrobangla assured them that they would send their demand to the ministry and a decision would be taken in this regard.
Professor Dr Hossain Mansur, Chairman of Petrobangla, said, “We informed the ministry about the proposal of the association and the ministry would take the decision.”
Replying to a question about decision he said about a week left in the previously fixed timing. “The decision would be taken in the meantime.”
On October 2, the leaders of the association called strike from November 1 to press for withdrawing the government decision. They gave the government an ultimatum with October 31 as the deadline.
CNG station 
In this circumstance, the association leaders sat with state minister for energy Enamul Haque and discussed their 7-point demands and they postponed the strike till November 25. They will go on non-stop strike from November 26 if their demands are not fulfilled.
The gas-filling stations in Dhaka remain closed between 3:00pm and 9:00pm from August 16 as part of a government rationing plan for improving gas supply to power stations to address the exigencies of electricity crisis.
Later on September 22, Petrobangla issued an order upholding the previous decision on gas rationing.
On September 18, the owners of gas stations across the country threatened to go on strike soon in protest against the government measure for keeping closed the refueling pumps for six hours daily, after an emergency meeting of 14 zones of Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversion Workshop Owners’ Association.
-Bangla News

WB helps studies for sustainable dev of Sundarban

The World Bank is helping Bangladesh carry out a series of studies to develop a holistic programme for sustainable development of the Sundarban, the world’s single largest mangrove forest.
world bankThe Sundarban is home to an estimated 425 species of wildlife, including 300 species of birds and 42 species of mammals, as well as the Royal Bengal Tiger.
A comprehensive plan based on a total of six studies would be developed to integrate prioritised interventions to address the region’s main conservation and development challenges, a WB spokesman told BSS Saturday.
The studies will draw up the main challenges of poverty reduction, climate change adaptation, and biodiversity conservation in the Sundarban.
The studies, expected to be completed by September next year, will take full account of the distinction between protected areas and surrounding inhabited areas for assessing the development challenges of the Sundarban by providing them with alternative livelihood.
Bangladesh and India share the world’s largest mangrove forest Sundarban and 62 per cent of the Sundarban falls in Bangladesh.
Due to its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystem, the ecological importance of the Sundarban Reserve Forest is immense. Over 3.5 million people live in the Sundarbans Ecologically Critical Area, with no permanent settlement within the Sundarban Reserve Forest.
Among them, about 1.2 million people directly depend on the Sundarban for their livelihoods. Most of these people are Bowalis (wood cutters/golpatta collectors), fishermen, crab and shell collectors, Mowalis (honey collectors) and shrimp fry collectors and mostly women and children.
The study will integrate the ecological dimension and importance of the Sundarban’s biodiversity while maintaining a careful distinction between protected and inhabited areas to ensure that conservation of the protected areas can be upheld.
To succeed in any conservation efforts, it will be important to arrange sustainable and alternative income generation opportunities for the people living in the periphery of Sundarban who are dependent on forest resources.
A World Bank team already visited Bangladesh earlier this year to prepare the Terms of Reference for the studies and to discuss setting-up of two national committees to ensure the quality of the studies and coordinate closely with the study team.
Bangladesh’s people are proud of having the Sundarban as it was named ‘The Venice of Nature’ at a special event at the Shanghai Expo in China recently.
-New Age

Dhaka hopes COP-16 will deliver green fund

Annual global climate conference under UNFCCC in Cancun, Mexico may not yield any major breakthrough on reaching deal for reducing carbon emission, but most likely to achieve success to create ‘green fund’ to support the developing countries for adaptation.
climate change
Members of Bangladesh delegation taking part in the negotiation meeting said this at a press briefing at the National Press Club in Dhaka Saturday ahead of their departure for the conference slated for November 29 to December 10.
The Copenhagen climate conference agreed to create the ‘green fund’ under which the developed countries pledged to deliver $30 billion to the developing countries for the period of 2010-2012 for adaptation and mobilise $100 billion by 2020 to combat climate change.
Senior member of the negotiating team Qazi Khaliquzzaman Ahmed said Bangladesh along with other developing countries would try its best to establish its position and persuade developed nations to take pragmatic measures to reduce their carbon emission in the 16th Conference of Parties (COP 16).
The secretary of the ministry of environment and forests, Mihir Kanti Majumder, said, ‘Our main focus will be persuading the large emitters to come to an agreement for mitigation to reduce global warming as mitigation is the best way for adaptation.’
Chairman of Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad Mohammad Farash Uddin, members of the Bangladesh delegation Ansarul Karim and Asaduzzaman were present.
The state minister for environment and forests, Hasan Mahmud, will be present at the ministerial level meeting of the conference, QK Ahmed, also the chief of the Working Group on global climate negotiation, said.
He said the secretary of the MOEF would lead the negotiation team comprising representatives from the government and non-government organisation, and researchers, civil society members and media.
Recognising the importance of the climate conference, he said parliament members from all political parties, academics, civil society member and journalists from major media houses had been included in the Bangladesh delegation.
‘Climate negotiation is an important diplomacy which can be successful through massive media campaign,’ Farash Uddin, former Bangladesh Bank governor, said hoping that COP-16 would certainly be able to make a way for a global deal by a couple of years to contain global warming.
Highlighting Bangladesh’s position in the COP-16, QK Ahmed said, ‘We want enhanced action for adaptation and mitigation, and quick release of the fund as agreed in the Copenhagen climate summit last year.’
‘Developed countries must reduce their emission up to 45 per cent by 2020 from 1990 level and up to 90 per cent by 2050 to keep global warming below 1.5 degree than the pre-industrial level,’ he said.
Khaliq said Bangladesh wanted financial support from developed countries up to 1.5 per cent of their gross national product to fight adverse impacts of climate change in the form of grant.
He acknowledged some differences of least developing countries with major economies of G77+China group and said, ‘We are making efforts to consolidate the strength of LDCs as separate group called as most vulnerable countries is not possible under the existing UN system.’
‘But, we want implementation of the Copenhagen Accord which agreed for giving preferential treatment to the needs of most vulnerable countries to adapt to climate change and technology transfer,’ he said.
The secretary of the MoEF mentioned the steps taken by the government to address climate change issues. He said the government plan for building a 7,000- kilometer-long coastal defence embankment and ten-year Bangladesh Climate Change Strategic and Action Plan has already earned global acclamation.
Formation of Climate Change Trust Fund and Climate Change Resilience Fund, Bangladesh Biodiversity Plan and innovation of saline and drought-tolerant crops are included among the salient measures of Bangladesh to adapt to climate change, he said.
-New Age

SEC rewrites listing rules for energy firms

The stockmarket regulator has eased some IPO rules under the book building method to encourage infrastructure, power and fuel companies to go public.
Stock market
Non-listed companies in the three sectors with at least a year of commercial production and profits can now raise funds from the market, according to a circular issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday.
Previously, a company had needed at least three years of commercial operations and profits for a minimum of two years before being eligible to raise capital through the exchanges.
However, if a company wishes to float shares under the fixed-price initial public offering (IPO) method, the new, easier rules will not be applicable.
The relaxed rules will not apply to companies in other sectors. SEC officials said infrastructure, fuel and power sectors are being prioritised for economic development.
"The rules are being relaxed so that entrepreneurs in the sectors can raise funds easily and run their projects smoothly," an SEC official said.
"It will also increase the supply side in the market, which is now crying for new securities after the entry of thousands of fresh investors with thousands of crores of taka in cash.”
Although some companies listed on the stockmarket using the book building method, a modern pricing mechanism for an IPO, no companies in energy and infrastructure sectors are yet to float shares under the new system.
On Monday's circular, SEC also made another amendment to the book building rules. It said the institutional investors that will participate in fixing the indicative prices of a company's shares will also have to participate in the final bidding to discover share prices. Previously, it was not mandatory for them.
Companies with a minimum of Tk 18 crore in paid-up capital will be also be allowed to go public from now on, said the SEC circular. But the minimum size of the IPO should be Tk 12 crore, meaning a company with at least Tk 30 crore in paid-up capital, including the minimum IPO size, can go public.
A company with large capital will have to go for an IPO with minimum shares equivalent to 10 percent of total paid-up capital and IPO size.
For example, if a company's existing paid-up capital is Tk 150 crore and it wants to raise Tk 10 crore from the stockmarket, its IPO size should be at least Tk 16 crore, which is 10 percent of Tk 160 crore.
The circular said the market lot of shares will have to be equivalent to Tk 1,000 or multiplied. For example, if a company's share face value is Tk 10, the market lot must be 100 shares, but if a company's share face value is Tk 100, the market lot will have 10 shares.
-Daily Star

Govt to purchase combat planes, helicopters with short range air missile defense system: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday disclosed that the government has decided to purchase new combat planes and helicopters with short range air missile defense system.
HasinaUnveiling her government’s plan to modernize the country’s armed forces with sophisticated weapons at a reception at Senakunja marking the Armed Forces Day, she said some 140 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) have already been bought to strengthen the army’s war fleet.
Hasina, who also holds the charge of Defense Ministry, said the process is on to buy sophisticated tanks and self-propelled artillery.
She said that to strengthen the air defense, 37 Air Defense Artillery Regiment was set up in Mirpur and the construction has begun for establishing an advanced air garrison in Cox’s Bazar for keeping close watch on the country’s southern region including the Bay of Bengal.
The Prime Minister said that the navy requires modern warships for defending the country’s maritime boundary. A sophisticated survey ship, modern missile system and two offshore patrol ships have been added to the navy.
She said projects have been undertaken to resolve the accommodation problem of the members of the armed forces. Moreover, steps have been taken to construct DOH in Savar Cantonment area.
Arrangements have also been made for providing fish and meat in the two meals for the soldiers of the three services, she said.
Referring to the trial of the BDR mutineers, Hasina said the existing law was amended to expedite the trial process. Trial is being held in two categories - one for mutiny and another for criminal offences.
She said that following the arrangement for delegation of power, trial of the BDR units outside Dhaka will be complete in next three months while it may take 6-7 months to complete the trial at Peelkhana in Dhaka.
She said the CID charge sheet has already been prepared to start trial in the civil court and the trial will begin in January.
Praising the role of the army in the post-calamity situation at home, the Prime Minister said the members of the armed forces earned international fame for their contributions to ensure world peace, stability and security.
“They have not only brightened the country’s image to the world community by discharging their peacekeeping duties efficiently, but also brightened the image of the United Nations,” she told the reception.
Hasina said this is for the first time that two naval ships of Bangladesh Navy - BNS Osman and BNS Madhumati - have been deployed in UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.
Moreover, she said one Airfield Services Unit comprising a fleet of three Bell-212 helicopters, one C-130 transport aircraft and one helicopter has been deployed in the peacekeeping mission.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has been able to redeem its number one position as the highest peacekeeper-contributing country.
She assured that her government would arrange higher training and equipments for the armed forces so a greater number of peacekeepers could be sent.
“Today, the whole nation is pledge-bound for rebuilding and modernizing the country…We will have to build the country as a democratic state and a society without discrimination,” Hasina said.
Drawing the attention of the invited foreign diplomats and guests, she said that her government has taken up a number of steps to modernize the Armed Forces to make it more professional and purpose-oriented.
“I hope, you’ll continue to support us as before,” the Prime Minister said, adding: “it is a matter of great joy and pride for our troops to work with other Armed Forces in UN-deployments for the greater cause of world peace and stability.”
Politicians, cabinet ministers, MPs, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officers attended the reception.

Nazmul Huda expelled from BNP

BNP on Sunday expelled its vice-chairman Nazmul Huda from the party for his alleged involvement in anti organisational activities.
Nazmul Huda, a former communications minister, has also lost his primary membership of the party after the party chairperson approved his expulsion at the standing committee meeting in the evening. 

Nazmul Huda
Earlier on Saturday, Secretary general Khandker Delwar Hossain said at a press briefing that the issue will be settled by the highest policy making body--national standing committee--which BNP chief Khaleda Zia has convened to sit urgently on Sunday evening.
"The party is thinking about Nazmul Huda. It will decide on him," Delwar said, without enlarging on the possible expulsion of the barrister-turned-politician.
A former communications minister who faced a raft of corruption charges during the interim government's tenure, Huda blamed Khaleda's counsels for her losing the Dhaka Cantonment residence and not seeking a stay on the High Court order regarding the house.
He also had said he thought that calling a general strike on Nov 14, protesting Khaleda's 'eviction', was a wrong decision. "It would have been better if that was called after Eid." The senior leader also suggested that his nemesis, Moudud Ahmed who was a deputy prime minister in the military strongman H M Ershad's cabinet, was trying to topple Khaleda as the chief of the largest party in the opposition.
"The chairperson has discussed the Huda issue with the standing committee members and senior leaders. They all agreed to take actions against him. But it will be finalised in the meeting," an influential leader of the party, on condition of anonymity, told bdnews.
The BNP leader who has a liking for stirring controversy had told bdnews after a press briefing at his residence in the capital's Dhanmondi on Friday evening, "The counsels should have appealed for a stay order on the High Court order when filing a leave to appeal."
Huda, who was appointed vice-chairman by the BNP chairperson on Mar 26, was referring to Khaleda's counsels seeking permission to challenge a High Court ruling that essentially ordered the party chief to vacate her house in Dhaka Cantonment.
He blamed the lack of foresight on the part of Khaleda's lawyers. "They were all waiting for the hearing on Nov 29. The government has seized that opportunity to do what it needed to."
Slating the hartal decision, the senior BNP leader said, "The sympathy that Khaleda Zia had earned faded partially due to the strike just ahead of Eid. The agitation that the government's cruelty had created grew fainter."
Regarding the tough anti-government movement that BNP leaders have hinted at, Huda said, "The demands will include resignation of the election commissioners and demarcation of the parliament constituencies."
He had claimed that in the last national polls, BNP had been defeated through an evil design that included vote rigging. "So we have to wage a movement towards the next election."
On Sep 7, Huda called Moudud, one of the main opposition's policymakers, 'opportunist' in a spat over the formation of pro-BNP Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum's Supreme Court unit.
Referring to former law minister Moudud's chequered past, Huda said, "Moudud has been an opportunist and enjoyed the fruits of power during the tenure of different regimes." He called his party colleague a 'digbaaj', roughly meaning 'somersaulter' in Bengali, referring to Moudud's shifty political alliances.
-The Independent and daily star

10-truck arms haul: CID seeks more time for further investigation

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has sought more time for further investigation into the sensational 10-truck arms haul case.
10-truck arms haul case
Acting Metropolitan Sessions Judge Golam Sarwar fix November 25 for hearing on the petition filed by CID.
Assistant Police Super of the CID Md. Moniruzzaman, also the investigation officer of the case filed the petition with the court seeking 90 more days for further investigation.
State Prosecutor Kamal Uddin told banglanews that former State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar has already confessed his partial responsibility of 10-truck arms haul incident.
On April 1 in 2004, police seized 10 truckloads of heavy arms and ammunition during unloading at the jetty of state-run fertilizer factory named Chittagong Fertilizer Limited (CUFL).
The CID arrested former State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar, two former directors-general of the National Security Intelligence (NSI)--Maj Gen (retd) Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury and Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim--former director wing commander Shahabuddin, deputy director Maj (retd) Liakat Hossain, field officer Akbar Hossain, former managing director of CUFL Mohsin Uddin Chowdhury and general manager AKM Enamul Haque in this connection.
Some of them gave confessional statement under section 164 in the court.
-Bangla News

Primary terminal exam begins Tuesday

Primary Education Terminal Examination under all the education boards of the country begins on November 23 for a second time since the introduction of this public exam.
Primary Exam
Primary and Mass Education Minister Dr Afsarul Amin unveiled all preparations for a smooth holding of the exam while addressing a press conference at the ministry Sunday.
“The government and all education boards have completed all-out preparations for holding the examinations in a congenial and peaceful atmosphere,” he told reporters.
Sources said this year a total of 215,715 students have registered for sitting the primary school terminal exams and 331,133 for primary-equivalent ebtadae exams.
The examinations will be held in 6,000 centers across the country and seven centres abroad.
As per schedule, examinations for six subjects will be held in six days up to November 29, with a break on November 26 for weekend holiday.
The minister hinted that the results of the examinations would be published in-between December 22 and December 27.
Replying to a question, the minister said, “Identifying the problems faced at the first time, the government has remedied those ahead of this (second) examination.”
Out of the total examinees, 55,000 will get scholarships “on the basis of merit”, the minister also disclosed at the news conference to boost up the students’ morale for cutting a good figure in the examinations.
Meanwhile, the last examinations of the Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC), scheduled for November 14 but deferred to November 22 for the opposition BNP-called a dawn-to-dusk hartal for the day, will take place Monday.
This is the last one of the first-ever board examination for class-eight students, and the exam is on Mathematics.
-Bangla News

2 new corruption cases against Khaleda in the making

The Anti-Corruption Commission is up with preparation to sue former prime minister and BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia in two new graft cases.
Khaleda ZiaSources from among the cabinet members and the ACC confirmed the preparation for filing the couple of cases—in the wake of some fast developments in the country’s political arena.
The sources said the government would try its level best to tackle possible turmoil if it was created by the opposition BNP over the eviction issue of Khaleda Zia.
The government moves ahead in a planned way to thwart the threatened out-government movement following the eviction episode. To file the corruption cases against the opposition leader, Khaleda Zia, is seen as part of the plan as a last resort in the face of the onslaught.
An ACC source said, “Two separate cases about corruption may be lodged anytime on charges of mismanagement of the fund of Zia Charitable Trust and realizing Tk 100 crore in constructing the Bhairab Bridge.”
He added: “Begum Zia, a former premier and incumbent opposition leader, is the chairman of Zia Charitable Trust and her two sons-Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Coco--are the members of the fund. However, no involvement of Tarique and Coco was found yet in the case of mismanagement of the fund.”
There are stipulated rules and regulations in collecting funds from the donors in favour of trusts. “But, violating the rules, a huge amount of money has been taken in the name of the trust,” the source said.
Moreover, the collected funds have been spent in another sector and there is no account book of the trust-management authorities about spending trust funds. “Signs by Khaleda Zia were found in the cheques for withdrawing money from the fund,” source further said.
The ACC sources informed that a part of the cantonment house from which Khaleda has been evicted recently has been allotted in the name of the trust.
On the other side, 45 decimal of land has been purchased with Tk 7 crore for the trust at Purana Paltan in the city. In fact, the price of the land was more than that. It was quoted in the stamp in a bid to evade taxes. It was also suspected whether the persons from whom the land was purchased are actual landowners or not.
ACC chairman Golam Rahman told banglanews, “Investigation is underway about the mismanagement of Zia Charitable Trust and realizing money in constructing Bhairab Bridge.”
The chief of the anti-graft watchdog body said, “It is not possible to say anything more than this.”
Replying to a query, the ACC chairman said, “We are working independently.”
-Bangla News

Court seeks police report on bomb hurling at CJ house by Dec 30

A Dhaka court on Saturday asked police to submit by December 30 the investigation report into the case filed against five leaders of the BNP for throwing cocktails at the main entrance of the official residence of chief justice ABM Khairul Haque on Thursday.
Metropolitan magistrate Zulfikar Haider set the deadline after receiving the information report of the case filed on Friday with the Ramna police station by sub-inspector M Zafor Ali against five leaders on charge of blasting bombs and conspiring to the attack the residence of CJ.
du bcl clashIn the FIR, the police said that some people from a running car had thrown two cocktails on the house of the chief justice on Hare Road in the city at around 8:30 pm on Thursday.
‘They have a information that Juba Dal chairman Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, Swechhasebak Dal president Habib un Nabi Khan Sohel, BNP Human Rights Affairs secretary Nasir Uddin Asim, JCD president Sultan Salahuddin Tuku and BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain’s son Akhtar Hamid Paban were seen roaming in the area before and after the incident,’ said the FIR.
Police also said that they had seized some chemicals, leads packed tied with scotch tape and some pieces of marbles from gate 1 of the residence.
Sub-inspector MA Jalil was appointed investigation officer in the case.
‘We are trying to arrest the suspected bomb hurlers… We raided the homes of the five suspected persons but could not arrest any of them,’ Jalil told New Age.
Unidentified persons hurled cocktails when the chief justice and his family members were in the house, according to police. There was, however, no report of any casualties.
The bombs went off about 20 yards from the western side of the residence. Security guards could not spot anyone on the streets although they went out immediately after the blasts, police said.
-New Age