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Category Archives: তথ্যপ্রযুক্তি

Bangladesh’s fuel imports to rise in 2012

Reuters August 6, 2012

Bangladesh is likely to import as much as 600,000 tonnes of fuel oil in the second half of this year as it shifts focus to oil-fired power generation to fight electricity shortages, an official of the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation said on Monday.

BPC, the country’s sole oil importer and distributor, imported around 316,000 tonnes of fuel oil in the first half of 2012 and in 2011 imported a total of 665,000 tonnes.

“Fuel oil imports will go up during second half as the government now wants all power plants to run at full capacity,” said, the official who asked not to be identified as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

A shortfall of natural gas supplies forced the country to turn to costly oil-fired power plants. However, early this year the government slowed imports of fuel oil to trim its subsidy bill and boost foreign exchange reserves.

Until September, BPC will import 180-centistoke (cst) fuel oil at a premium of $40.80 per tonne to Singapore spot quotes — the premium set for the first half.

Negotiations would start in September to fix the premium for fuel oil for the rest of the year, the official said.

Bangladesh buys fuel oil from a number of national oil companies including Malaysia’s Petronas, Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC), Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), Egypt’s Middle East Oil Refinery, Vietnam’s Petrolimex, Maldives National Oil Company.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul)

 

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Bangladesh Jute price

Reuters August 6, 2012

VARIETY BALES FOB Narayanganj

Rates supplied by the Bangladesh Jute Association

(One bale = 180 kg) (Taka per bale)

Ready Position (in taka) Bangla white special (BW special) 14,000 Bangla white A (BWA) 13,700 Bangla white B (BWB) 12,800 Bangla white C (BWC) 11,300 Bangla white D (BWD) 10,850 Bangla white E (BWE) 10,400 Bangla tossa special (BTS) 14,300 Bangla tossa A (BTA) 14,000 Bangla tossa B (BTB) 13,100 Bangla tossa C (BTC) 11,600 Bangla tossa D (BTD) 11,150 Bangla tossa E (BTE) 10,700

WRS/TRS, HABIJABI, CUT ROPES Bangla white rejection (BWR) 9,250 Bangla white habijabi (BWH) 7,300 Bangla tossa rejection (BTR) 9,500 Bangla tossa habijabi (BTH) 7,300

CUTTINGS Bangla white cuttings A (BWCA) 6,800 Bangla white cuttings B (BWCB) 6,600 Bangla tossa cuttings A (BTCA) 7,100 Bangla tossa cuttings B (BTCB) 6,900

MESHTA Meshta special 14,000 Meshta A 13,700 Meshta B 12,800 Meshta C 11,300 Special meshta cuttings 6,800 Ordinary meshta cuttings 6,600 Meshta- SMR 9,000

STATE OF THE MARKET–REMARKS Quality – good Condition – fair Narayanganj imports – About 3,000 Qntl. Daulatpur imports – About 8,000 Qntl. Market trend – As usual

NOTE Raw jute exports during 2011-2012 (01.07.2011 to 31.05.2012) = 2.07 million bales Value 13.98 billion taka ($1 = 81.50 taka) Source: Bangladesh Jute Association, Dhaka +880-2-9552916, Narayanganj +880-2-7630904

 

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No EVM for 2014 polls, says CEC

Dhaka, Aug 5 (bdnews24.com)

Electronic voting machines (EVM) will not be employed in the next parliamentary elections, the Chief Election Commissioner said on Sunday.

The decision not to entrust Bangladeshi democracy to computers was because ‘the Election Commission is not ready to use the EVMs at the national level’, Kazi Rakib Uddin Ahmed told reporters.

“The law will have to be changed for this. But we have already done some test-runs in several local government elections,” he said after a meeting at the Election Commission.

No EVM in next polls: CEC

সংসদ নির্বাচন ইভিএমে হচ্ছে না: সিইসি

His remarks came after six months of speculations over the use of the EVMs in the general elections. He, however, said that EVMs would be used experimentally in the Rangpur City Corporation polls.

According to the CEC, the voter list for 200 Upazilas was updated and the commission was currently examining double voters. A total of 3 million news voters were registered this year.

He mentioned that 1,96,000 people became voters twice in 2008-09.

“Some of them lost their identity cards or some others changed address. But, anyone who had a new identity card out of any ill-motive would be punished,” Rakib added.

As for Dhaka City Corporation polls, he said updating the voter list will begin in October while the High Court order postponing the polls will be challenged.

He declined comment when asked whether they would disclose the expenditure and income of political parties.

The last EC, led by A T M Shamsul Huda, had successfully used voting machines in one ward during Chittagong polls and in one-third of polling centres in Narayanganj elections, and turned Comilla city polls and Narsinghdi municipal by-polls into completely computer-based elections.

Main opposition BNP has been opposing the use of EVM in all elections since the EC began trialling them.

Uncertainty had loomed over their use in the elections after Kazi Rakib took over the EC in February though the government and the immediate-past EC had been firm on its use in the national elections.

The Institute of Information and Communication Technology (IICT) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) has been providing technical assistance to the EC in manufacturing and using the EVMs.

IICT Director Prof Lutful Kabir in March had told bdnews24.com that the new Election Commission was not paying ‘proper attention’ to the issue.

Other Election Commissioners had earlier hinted the Commission’s confusion over the issue, but CEC Rakib on Sunday confirmed for the first time that the EC was not ready to use the EVMs in the parliamentary elections.

After taking oath as the CEC on Feb 15, Rakib on Feb 28 had said that the newly-formed Election Commission would again take the initiatives to hold dialogue with political parties to make the use of EVMs in the national polls acceptable to everyone.

But no initiatives have been taken since then.

The EVM are susceptible to fraud as its control unit cannot be fully secured from tampering, experts say, even though the government pumped huge money into the new technology to help voters cast their ballots electronically.

When the machines break down, voters can use provisional paper ballots, but there is scepticism over whether they will be counted.

 

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Jism 2: Sunny Leone gets million fans in India-Bangladesh, also criticisms

Pooja Bhatt’s sequel Jism 2, an adult movie, has brought much audience in home and abroad because of the pornstar as well as invited many critics and protesters who think India is establishing vulgarism. See the links on comments for updates…

 

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A letter from Nuhash Humayun for his father

Baby Nuhash with Humayun and Gultekin

Sometime after my father’s first surgery this July I wrote him a letter, which I had planned to email to my aunt and uncle who were there with him in New York. I wanted them to read it out to him once he was conscious. He didn’t get to read it, he never fully gained consciousness before his passing, and I feel this stark emptiness inside of me because I never got to share it with him. It’s a very personal letter but I thought maybe, just maybe, I could fill that void a little if I shared it with another soul.

 

Baba

I hope you’re feeling well. I haven’t been feeling great myself. I caught typhoid and the sickness made my stomach extremely sensitive. For an entire week I ate nothing but a disgustingly unappetising form of rice that I believe is called jau in Bangla. Bed ridden and stuck eating jau, I imagined all the delicious things I’d finally get to eat once I was better. At one point, I was really craving lobster and it reminded me of something.

Right after you and Mom got divorced, things were pretty rough for me. For one thing, I always hoped that things might get back to normal and you would move back in with us. But after the divorce I realised that door is permanently closed. In chemistry terms, I witnessed a combustion; a burn. An irreversible process.

What I was most afraid of was that you and I would get distanced and you wouldn’t see me as your son anymore. A few days after the divorce, you called me up. You said you just came back from the bazaar with some gigantic lobsters and you wanted to cook them and have them with me at your place. We both knew that wouldn’t be possible. You can’t have a feast during the Cold War. But that wasn’t the end of it. About half an hour later, the intercom started ringing. The guard told me my father was standing outside the gate holding a live lobster. I went downstairs puzzled, amused and slightly excited. You said, “Son, I really wanted to have this with you, but it just isn’t possible right now. I can assure you, however, that I’ll always be around. And someday, we can sit and have a good meal together again. But for now, I want you to have this.” And then you handed me a live lobster. That horrendous creature, with its beady eyes and slimy long feet, to me, meant hope. Hope that no matter the circumstances, you would always try to be there for me.

I don’t think I’ve been there for you, at least not as much as I should have been. When I did call you, you were usually not in a state to talk. And even when we did, I’ve been too upset to express myself well. I was never the wordsmith you were. Coming to see you was painful when you returned to Dhaka before your surgery. It was painful to be stopped at the gates to your place every time. No son should have to answer to a security guard every time he wants to see his father. But none of that is an excuse; I should have been there for you more. I want all that to change. I want to let you know that I really miss you. I want you to know it still burns me that I can’t have you around as much as I’d like. This letter is my lobster to you.

Your son, Nuhash

 

Gultekin Khan cries for Humayun, still! Does Shaon?

Photos of Humayun-Gultekin-Shaon, their children

Gultekin’s love for Humayun

 

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Hasina in tango over Muhammad Yunus with BBC

Dr Muhammad Yunus

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has strongly criticised Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus for charging high interest rates by the Grameen Bank he founded.

She came down heavily on Yunus in an interview with the BBC’s HARDtalk. The interview was taken during her recent visit to London and uploaded on the BBC website on Monday.

HARDtalk: Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh

Here is the text of a part of her interview.

BBC: It seems a shame for the Bangladeshi people that your relationship with one of the most respected business leaders in your country, Noble Laureate Mohammad Yunus, has also soured so badly. Why did you call him a bloodsucker of the poor?

PM: You go to Bangladesh, you see in your eyes then you will see. But how could he say I said it? Did I mention his name? I didn’t. I said someone. But why it occurred in your mind…

BBC: Sorry, so let’s be clear about this. So are you now denying that you have said Mohammad Yunus is a bloodsucker of the poor?

PM: No I am not denying anything. I am putting a question to you, why it occurred in your mind that it is him? Why?

BBC: I have been reading the Bangladeshi press, everybody, it seems, in the Bangladeshi media believes that you referred directly when you used this phrase ‘a bloodsucker of the poor’. If you want to retract or if you want to tell me you didn’t mean him, then that’s fine.

Yunus, Abed talk garment exports with Hillary, seek free access to US

Hillary remarks unwarrantedMuhith

‘Why not Yunus as World Bank chief?’

Thanks, but no thanks: Yunus

Ashraf makes light of microcredit, Yunus

Yunus was not micro-credit founder: Ashraf

BBC News – Bangladesh PM was ‘badly advised’

You’ll get exposed, if deceive poor: PM 

Muhammad Yunus bows out 

Yunus ‘siphoned Tk 7bn aid for poor’ 

Yunus wanted Khaleda, Hasina exiled 

US bargained for Yunus’s Grameen control 

PM: Listen, listen, I am telling one thing. Taking interest 40 percent, 30 percent or 45 percent from these poor people – is it fair? It is not. How can these poor people stand by themselves? If you lend money and take 35 to 45 percent interest, it’s a shame.

BBC: So the entire model built by Grameen Bank and Mohammad Yunus which has been celebrated around the world as a way of lifting poor people out of poverty – you are saying you do not accept it, you do not want it.

PM: I want there should be an enquiry that how many people come out of poverty because of that. If there’s one village, how many people? Poverty reduction is done by my government. Within three years we reduced 10 percent poverty. So, it is our government. And about this Grameen Bank, it is a government statutory body.

BBC: Isn’t it the truth that you forced Mohammad Yunus out of his role in Grameen Bank after he tried to setup an independent political party in 2007, that’s why you turned against him?

PM: Listen, that time I was in custody, I was in jail when he tried to form his political party. He was such a big person so why he failed? He has every opportunity, why he couldn’t form his own party?

Have you ever thought about it? Well, having said that, I am telling you I didn’t oust him from the Grameen Bank, he himself did it.

 

গ্রামীণ ব্যাংকের প্রতিষ্ঠাতা ড. মুহাম্মদ ইউনূসকে ‘রক্তচোষা’ বলেছেন কেন—বিবিসির এমন প্রশ্নের জবাবে শেখ হাসিনা বলেন, তিনি কোনো ব্যক্তির নাম উল্লেখ করে এ কথা বলেননি। প্রধানমন্ত্রী অভিযোগ করেন, নিয়ম অনুযায়ী গ্রামীণ ব্যাংকের প্রধানকে ৬০ বছর বয়সে সরে যেতে হয়। কিন্তু ড. মুহাম্মদ ইউনূসের বয়স ৭০-৭১ বছর। এ ছাড়া গ্রামীণ ব্যাংক দরিদ্র মানুষের কাছ থেকে ৩০-৪০ শতাংশ সুদ নেয় বলে প্রধানমন্ত্রী অভিযোগ করেন। একই সঙ্গে প্রধানমন্ত্রী দাবি করেন, ড. মুহাম্মদ ইউনূস এই কার্যক্রমের মাধ্যমে দারিদ্র্য বিমোচন করতে পারেননি। বরং তাঁর সরকারই (মহাজোট সরকার) ১০ শতাংশ দারিদ্র্য কমিয়েছে।

 

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Help climate vulnerable countries: Hasina tells UK

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the United Kingdom to give due response to the climate change challenges of the countries like Bangladesh to help break the nexus among vulnerability, marginalization and underdevelopment.

” The countries vulnerable to climate change needs UK’s support to pronounce their concerns at global level,” she said,
adding operation of the Global Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund should be more quick and responsive.

The Prime Minister made the remarks when British Secretary of State for Climate Change Edward Davey, MP called on her at her hotel suite here yesterday (Saturday).

PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said the Prime Minister urged the British minister for his government’s support for power generation in Bangladesh, particularly in renewable energy sector.

“Bangladesh needs green technology and finance for responding to climate change challenges as the country wants to have two million households under solar system within a couple of years,” she told Edward.

Sheikh Hasina said though Bangladesh has very negligible contribution to carbon pollution, the country is suffering the
most. “Bangladesh and other climate vulnerable countries are suffering from environmental injustice,” she added.

The Prime Minister laid importance on collaboration with Britain in public health and agriculture sector, particularly in
research areas.

The British minister informed the Prime Minister that his government is pursuing a plan to reduce global carbon emission by 30 percent by 2020.

 

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Muhammad Yunus advises Japan to use technology as social business

Jiji Press

Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus said Japan should use its technologies to create what he calls social businesses, a model aimed at solving social problems rather than the mere pursuit of wealth.

DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE 

July 28, 2012

Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, the 72-year-old Bangladeshi economist said social business is “an option” that is compatible with profit-driven business. Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his contribution to fighting poverty.

Japan is “a frontier of technology,” and it should use this technology not only for making money but to solve social problems, he said.

Several Japanese companies, including Fast Retailing Co., the operator of Uniqlo clothing stores, and Watami Co., a major Japanese chain restaurant operator, have teamed up with Yunus to establish joint ventures in Bangladesh under a social business scheme.

The idea of the project with Watami is to “run a restaurant chain for common people with affordable prices and healthy food,” he said.

Creating a business to create jobs can be an objective of social business, Yunus said, adding that it is important to “integrate” old people rather than reject them as useless simply because of their age.

Selfishness is an integral part of human beings, but “there are also selfless parts in everyone,” Yunus said. “Human beings are not robots, not money-making machines.”

 

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Bangladesh requests World Bank to revive Padma Bridge fund

The Daily Star July 26, 2012

The government yesterday sent a letter to the World Bank headquarters requesting the global lender to reconsider its cancellation of the Padma bridge loan.

The government move comes following the resignation of Syed Abul Hossain, who was allegedly involved in corruption in the Padma bridge project.

The Economic Relations Division (ERD) also sent letters yesterday to the two other co-financiers, ADB and Jica, requesting them to continue funding for the project, said an ERD official on condition of anonymity.

The ERD informed the lending agencies about the government’s steps taken so far to fulfil the WB’s conditions for releasing the bridge fund, said the official.

Meanwhile, to comply with the WB’s other condition, the Anti-Corruption Commission agreed to the WB proposal for forming a three-member panel to ensure a transparent and fair probe into the corruption allegations in the Padma bridge project.

Talking to journalists at his office, ACC Chairman Ghulam Rahman said apart from forming the panel, the government was also willing to sign a memorandum of understanding with the WB.

The WB on June 29 cancelled its $1.2 billion project funding that it had kept suspended since last September on allegations that ex-communications minister Abul Hossain and some public officials were involved in corruption in selecting the Canadian company SNC-Lavalin for the bridge’s supervisory work.

The global lender called for certain government actions, including the removal of Abul and some officials, and also signing of a MoU with the ACC. But the government was reluctant to meet the two conditions.

Following the WB’s loan cancellation, the government announced that it would implement the project with it own resources. However, the government gradually changed its position in the last few days and took steps to win back the WB’s confidence and fulfil its conditions.

Muhith’s statement

In a written statement, Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday held out the assurance that there would be no corruption in the Padma bridge project.

“We want to assure you that there will not be any corruption in the Padma bridge project.” And the bridge’s initial work will start within this year, said Muhith.

He said the work was hampered when the WB raised corruption allegations in the project.

Following the WB’s allegations, the ACC initiated a probe into the allegations in August 2011 but did not find any corruption in the project. The ACC continued its probe as the WB reaffirmed its allegations, the minister said.

“Right from the moment the WB cancelled the loan, we have been saying that the decision needs to be reconsidered. We are still hopeful that the WB will reconsider its decision and clear us of the humiliation.”

Bangladesh had been lobbying with the other three development partners long before the global lender cancelled its loan agreement, he said.

Of the three development partners, the Islamic Development Bank said it was eagerly waiting to fund the project, and also urged the government to remove all barriers to the bridge’s construction as soon as possible, Muhith said.

Jica is keeping constant contact with the government, and the ADB is also in discussions with the government, he said.

The government has already fulfilled two conditions set by the global lender on June 5.

ACC chief’s briefing

The ACC chairman yesterday told the press, “The World Bank had proposed forming a three-member panel with experts in international probe and prosecution to help the ACC in its investigation into the corruption allegations in the project.”

The ACC finally agreed to this proposal, albeit after a month’s delay.

“The area of cooperation between the ACC and the World Bank will include continuous sharing of information during the enquiry, investigation and prosecution phases if the probe establishes a prima facie case,” Rahman said.

The ACC had not agreed to the proposal earlier, saying the law did not permit an agreement with such a panel.

But the ACC chief yesterday said that through analysing the relevant laws, the ACC had found five areas where it could cooperate with the WB and fulfil the condition.

Rahman said the ACC would give the panel full access to all files, materials, documents and other information gathered by the ACC’s enquiry team.

It will also provide the background information and credentials of the members conducting the enquiry and a statement, if necessary, of any other conflict of interest.

The ACC will allow the panel, upon its request, to interview individuals if they do not object to it, he said.

According to the information and evidence that the ACC investigation team has gathered, so far no allegation of corruption has been established in the project. “If the corruption allegation is proved, it will be placed at the prosecution level,” he said.

The ACC chief said the team would quiz Abul if necessary.

“I don’t want to influence the investigation process. The probe team has already talked to many people and it will make decisions.”

 

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Julian Assange gets eminent jurist Garzon as his aide against US

Reuters July 24, 2012 By Eduardo Garcia

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has hired Spanish jurist Baltasar Garzon as a legal adviser as he seeks political asylum in Ecuador, the Andean country’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, said on Tuesday.

Assange has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since June 19. The Australian anti-secrecy campaigner, who enraged Washington in 2010 when his WikiLeaks website published secret U.S. diplomatic cables, is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sex crime allegations.

অ্যাসাঞ্জেকে কঠিন শাস্তি দিতে চায় আমেরিকা!

WikiLeaks opens new donation path

UK: Halt extradition of Julian Assange

Help WikiLeaks, Assange from threats

Assange broke his bail terms and requested asylum in Ecuador. He denies any wrongdoing in Sweden and says he fears that if extradited there, he could be sent on to the United States, where he believes he could face criminal charges punishable by death.

The Ecuadorean government has said it will take as long as needed to make a thorough analysis of Assange’s asylum application before making a decision.

“Mr. Assange has requested the services of lawyer Baltasar Garzon to deal with his case. … Of course he has the right to hire and look for the legal advice that he needs or may need for the asylum request,” Patino told reporters in Quito.

Human rights investigator Garzon is best known for ordering the arrest of former Chilean military leader Augusto Pinochet in 1998.

For three decades, Garzon has made a career of tackling the most complex and controversial of cases, winning notoriety as well as a clutch of powerful enemies in Spain’s ruling class. Politicians across the spectrum have been implicated or targeted in his investigations over the years.

He also stirred up controversy with an attempt to order an investigation into the killing of tens of thousands of civilians during the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, who died in 1975.

Patino said he welcomed Garzon’s involvement in the Assange case because the Ecuadorean government had “a very good relationship” with the jurist. Garzon is part of an international panel that was set up to oversee the ongoing judicial overhaul in the OPEC-member country.

Neither the U.S. nor Swedish authorities have charged Assange with anything. Swedish prosecutors want to question him about allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two former WikiLeaks volunteers in 2010.

Assange says he had consensual sex with the women.

 

WIKILEAKS STATEMENT

The Spanish judge, lawyer, and international jurist, Baltasar Garzón, will lead the legal team representing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The jurist met with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom recently.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the new legal strategy which will defend both WikiLeaks and Julian Assange from the existing abuse of process; expose the arbitrary, extrajudicial actions by the international financial system which target Julian Assange and WikiLeaks specifically; and show how the secret US processes against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have compromised and contaminated other legal processes, including the extradition process against Mr Assange.

Despite been imprisoned, fiscally blockaded, and placed under house arrest for over 650 days, Mr. Assange has not been charged with an offence in any country.

Baltasar Garzón revolutionized the international justice system two decades ago by issuing an international arrest warrant for the former Head of State of Chile, Augusto Pinochet. His actions spearheaded the fight against impunity in Latin America and in the rest of the world.

The judge has expressed serious concerns regarding the lack of safeguards and transparency with which actions are being taken against Julian Assange, and the harassment he is being subjected to which has irreparable effects on his physical and mental wellbeing. The threats against his person are further aggravated by the complicit behaviour of the Swedish and U.K. governments, who are wrongfully abrogating his rights.

বাংলাদেশ সংক্রান্ত তারবার্তা ও প্রতিক্রিয়া পড়ুনঃ

উইকিলিকস: নথির উৎস নিয়ে সন্দিহান সৈয়দ আশরাফ – ১৭ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

প্রসঙ্গ উইকিলিকসঃ ফখরুলের (বিএনপির) মাথা ঘুরে গেছে!!! – ১৪ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

সাহারার ব্যর্থতায় দায়িত্ব পান ফারুক – ৫ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

‘দুর্নীতিবাজ ছেলেকে রক্ষা খালেদার রাজনৈতিক ব্যর্থতা’ – ৬ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

ইউনূসের জন্য যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের যত দেন-দরবার – ৩ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

প্রথম আলো মার্কিনপন্থী’ – ৫ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

সাকার আশঙ্কাই সত্যি – ৫ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

All English Cables: WIKILEAKS EXPOSÉ: Bangladesh 

 

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Julian Assange gets Spanish jurist as his aide in battle against US, extradition to Ecuador

QUITO Reuters Tue Jul 24, 2012 By Eduardo Garcia

 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has hired Spanish jurist Baltasar Garzon as a legal adviser as he seeks political asylum in Ecuador, the Andean country’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, said on Tuesday.

Assange has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since June 19. The Australian anti-secrecy campaigner, who enraged Washington in 2010 when his WikiLeaks website published secret U.S. diplomatic cables, is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sex crime allegations.

Assange broke his bail terms and requested asylum in Ecuador. He denies any wrongdoing in Sweden and says he fears that if extradited there, he could be sent on to the United States, where he believes he could face criminal charges punishable by death.

The Ecuadorean government has said it will take as long as needed to make a thorough analysis of Assange’s asylum application before making a decision.

“Mr. Assange has requested the services of lawyer Baltasar Garzon to deal with his case. … Of course he has the right to hire and look for the legal advice that he needs or may need for the asylum request,” Patino told reporters in Quito.

Human rights investigator Garzon is best known for ordering the arrest of former Chilean military leader Augusto Pinochet in 1998.

WikiLeaks opens new donation path

UK: Halt extradition of Assange

WikiLeaks, Assange under threats

For three decades, Garzon has made a career of tackling the most complex and controversial of cases, winning notoriety as well as a clutch of powerful enemies in Spain’s ruling class. Politicians across the spectrum have been implicated or targeted in his investigations over the years.

He also stirred up controversy with an attempt to order an investigation into the killing of tens of thousands of civilians during the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, who died in 1975.

Patino said he welcomed Garzon’s involvement in the Assange case because the Ecuadorean government had “a very good relationship” with the jurist. Garzon is part of an international panel that was set up to oversee the ongoing judicial overhaul in the OPEC-member country.

Neither the U.S. nor Swedish authorities have charged Assange with anything. Swedish prosecutors want to question him about allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two former WikiLeaks volunteers in 2010.

Assange says he had consensual sex with the women.

 

STATEMENT OF WIKILEAKS

The Spanish judge, lawyer, and international jurist, Baltasar Garzón, will lead the legal team representing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The jurist met with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom recently.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the new legal strategy which will defend both WikiLeaks and Julian Assange from the existing abuse of process; expose the arbitrary, extrajudicial actions by the international financial system which target Julian Assange and WikiLeaks specifically; and show how the secret US processes against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have compromised and contaminated other legal processes, including the extradition process against Mr Assange.

Despite been imprisoned, fiscally blockaded, and placed under house arrest for over 650 days, Mr. Assange has not been charged with an offence in any country.

Baltasar Garzón revolutionized the international justice system two decades ago by issuing an international arrest warrant for the former Head of State of Chile, Augusto Pinochet. His actions spearheaded the fight against impunity in Latin America and in the rest of the world.

The judge has expressed serious concerns regarding the lack of safeguards and transparency with which actions are being taken against Julian Assange, and the harassment he is being subjected to which has irreparable effects on his physical and mental wellbeing. The threats against his person are further aggravated by the complicit behaviour of the Swedish and U.K. governments, who are wrongfully abrogating his rights.

 

বাংলাদেশ সংক্রান্ত তারবার্তা ও প্রতিক্রিয়া পড়ুনঃ

উইকিলিকস: নথির উৎস নিয়ে সন্দিহান সৈয়দ আশরাফ – ১৭ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

প্রসঙ্গ উইকিলিকসঃ ফখরুলের (বিএনপির) মাথা ঘুরে গেছে!!! – ১৪ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

সাহারার ব্যর্থতায় দায়িত্ব পান ফারুক – ৫ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

‘দুর্নীতিবাজ ছেলেকে রক্ষা খালেদার রাজনৈতিক ব্যর্থতা’ – ৬ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

ইউনূসের জন্য যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের যত দেন-দরবার – ৩ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

প্রথম আলো মার্কিনপন্থী’ – ৫ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

সাকার আশঙ্কাই সত্যি – ৫ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০১১

All English Cables: WIKILEAKS EXPOSÉ: Bangladesh by bdnews24.com

 

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Bangladesh to claim Rio+20 climate fund

The Daily Star July 25, 2012

Bangladesh should take effort to solicit money from a US$ 513 billion fund pledged at the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development this June, a top government official told a seminar yesterday.

Is ‘green economy’ the answer?

“As governments, private sector, civil society and other groups expressed their commitments at the summit, now our goal is to secure climate funds for the country,” said SM Ahsanul Aziz, deputy director (climate change), Department of Environment (DoE), while delivering his keynote speech.

Rio+20 summit or the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNSCD) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 20-22.

In the keynote paper, the DoE deputy director said Brazil pledged $16 million for developing, least developed and small island nations, while China offered $20 million to unlock private financing for clean energy projects. The European Commission also promised a fund of 400 billion Euro to support sustainable energy projects, he added.

Ahsanul Aziz said Bangladesh also needed to ensure its inclusion in the intergovernmental committee to assess financial needs for sustainable development financing.

Reflecting on the achievements of Bangladesh at Rio+20, he said Bangladesh was honoured by the UNDP’s Equator Initiative for its outstanding contribution to sustainable development, and for the first time, the country became one of the vice-presidents of UNCSD.

Promoting green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, the Rio+20 accepted Bangladesh’s text, which says that each country should choose an appropriate approach in accordance with the national sustainable development plans, strategies and priorities, he said.

The seminar titled “The achievement of world people and stand of Bangladesh in Rio+20″ was organised jointly by Bangladesh Climate Change Journalists Forum, IEDB and Rahimafrooz at the capital’s Institute of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh.

Special guest at the programme, Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman said the government had to take initiatives to establish green economy in the country to strengthen the fight against climate change.

“The more developed we are, the more resources we consume, consequently polluting the environment more than ever before,” he said.

He said “green banking” had been introduced in banks across the country where a “paperless banking system” was aimed at promoting emailing to replace use of papers.

Environment and Forests Minster Dr Hasan Mahmud, who addressed the seminar as chief guest, said, “Bangladesh as a Least Developed Country too needs to reduce carbon emissions but not at the cost of its inclusive development activities.”

About “green economy”, he said that initially the cost might be high but in the long run it would be cost effective.

 

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US giant ConocoPhillips wants privilege from Bangladesh

Financial Express Tuesday July 24 2012

The US oil company ConocoPhillips has expressed willingness to expand its gas exploration activities in Bangladesh and requested the government to give it preference in the next round of international bidding for offshore gas blocks, reports BSS.

“ConocoPhillips officials have conveyed me about their claim of preference in the next round of gas block bidding.. they want to expand their operation in the country,” Finance Minister Abul Mall Abdul Muhith told journalists after the meeting with the US oil major officials.

Vice-president of ConocoPhillips William Lafferrandre and Managing Director Thomas J Earley joined the meeting with the finance minister.

The two top officials of ConocoPhillips declined to make any comment about the topic of the meeting.

US oil giant seeks preference in future bidding

Mr Muhith said the two officials have conveyed him that ConocoPhillips should get preference in the next round of gas block bidding. “They have come just to convey it,” he added.

Replying to a question, the finance minister said the US oil company has expressed its willingness to work in the areas where they were not allowed to work earlier due to disputes with neighbouring Myanmar. But after Bangladesh’s victor over maritime disputes, Bangladesh got those areas where they want to work now, he added.

The US oil company made its claim of preference when the government is planning to float international bidding for some gas blocks that it obtained following the solution to disputes over maritime boundary with Myanmar.

ConocoPhillips was awarded two blocks-Block 10 and 11 in the offshore gas block bidding in 2008 although it obtained a total of eight blocks. The government cancelled the bidding for six blocks due to disputes over maritime boundary with Myanmar and India.

About the development of the two blocks, Mr Muhith said the US oil company informed him that it has already completed the seismic survey in the two offshore blocks in the Bay of Bengal and it will get the survey report in September.

 

[[[WIKILEAKS EXPOSE BANGLADESH

Whistleblower WikiLeaks, according to a report published on Dec 2010 in London-based The Guardian, revealed that US ambassador John F Moriarty was pressuring prime minister's energy advisor Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury for awarding ConocoPhillips and two other US firms the contracts they were trying for.

The cables revealed that Moriarty held talks with Chowdhury in July 2009 and asked him to approve leasing the gas blocks to ConocoPhillips and also allowing it to export gas.

"These US companies have been given advantages as per his directives," said The Guardian report quoting Moriarty.

ConocoPhillips was given the green signal soon after.]]]

 

PSC on offshore blocks uncertain

Gas production to boost 50pc by 2015

Govt enters deal with ConocoPhillips

US ambassador’s removal demanded

CHINA OIL SPILL:  ConocoPhillips does it and denies it

ConocoPhillips blamed for pollution

After ConocoPhillips disaster, Chinese citizens now active against environmental protection

Conoco pays Chinese fishermen for oil spill-report

 

 

No one trusts ConocoPhillips

Aminur Rahman Rasel

Dhaka, June 16 (bdnews24.com)—Discounting howls of protests, the government is all set to sign the country’s first deep-sea gas and oil exploration deal with US firm ConocoPhillips, allowing it to export gas.

The deal is slated to be inked at Petrocentre in the city’s Karwan Bazar on Thursday noon.

The Houston, Texas-based oil giant won blocks 10 and 11 in 2008 in the second-round bidding for the production sharing contract (PSC), but could not sign the PSC with state-run Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation, or Petrobangla, as parts of these blocks were also claimed by India and Myanmar.

It will invest about $111 million and has offered a bank guarantee worth the same amount for the twin blocks.

The cabinet in 2009 approved signing of the agreement, which apparently seems heavily tilted in favour of the US firm, and a suicide note for Bangladesh – a country in the jaws of a severe gas crisis, which is sure to spell slowdown in industrialisation and cause immense trouble to the households.

The final go-ahead for inking the PSC was given on May 23 by the cabinet committee on economic affairs.

The country is divided into 52 blocks, 28 of which are in the Bay.

Petrobangla chairman Hossain Monsur, however, told bdnews24.com on Wednesday that some people were misinterpreting the deal.

“There is nothing against the country’s interests in the PSC,” he claimed.

The country currently produces around 2,000 million cubic feet (mmcft) gas per day against a demand of over 2,500 mmcft. The proven gas reserves are 7.3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and probable reserves 5.5 tcf.

The National Committee on Protection of Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources, Power and Ports, comprising academicians, students, professionals and media activists, has been holding a series of demonstrations to protest the proposed deal.

Several left parties and experts are also against the deal, saying Bangladesh would lose ownership of the blocks once the contract was signed.

The citizens’ platform demands that the government strengthen its own relevant institutions, so as to explore the twin precious commodities–gas and oil–on its own by sub-contracting the job to foreign companies, which the US firm would eventually do.

Experts say ConocoPhillips will have the authority to export 80 percent of gas, and Petrobangla will get the rest, which will have to be carried to the shore at its own cost — not an economically viable proposition for Bangladesh, in any case.

Mansur, however, said, “First they’ll sell the gas to the government and if it fails to buy, they’ll sell to private firms.

“When they too decline, only then will (the firm) be able to export the gas as Liquefied natural gas (LNG).”

“According to the PSC,” he said, “The firm will have to sell 20 percent of the LNG to Bangladesh.”

However, contrary to the Petrobangla chairman’s contention, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) professor M Nurul Islam and the National Committee member secretary Anu Muhammad termed the deal ‘suicidal’.

Ruling Awami League’s ally Workers Party president Rashed Khan Menon in parliament declared the proposed PSC ‘a tragedy’ for the country.

The BUET teacher told bdnews24.com on Wednesday, “We’ll be given the gas at a place nearly 150 miles away from the coast. The foreign firm is not obliged to carry the gas [for us].”

“Finally, they’ll be given the opportunity to export the gas as it will not be financially and technically profitable for Bangladesh to carry the gas,” he added.

Prof Anu Muhammad on Tuesday said Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (Bapex) and Petrobangla could be toned up with necessary investment, machinery and manpower for the job ConocoPhillips would do.

“It’ll allow Bangladesh to produce gas at a relatively lower price than buying from foreign companies,” he said.

Menon in parliament on Monday urged the government to not to sign the deal, and to discuss the issue in parliament first.

“This is a tragedy that on the one hand, the government is planning to import LNG, and on the other, allowing export of gas,” he stated.

National Committee convenor Sheikh Mohammad Shahidullah said the government was handing over the country’s sovereignty “without a war”.

Besides economic sovereignty, he observed, the country’s political sovereignty would also be at stake. “Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will sign the final agreement to prove herself a follower of capitalism.”

The government on May 16 inked a deal with a multinational venture Santos-Halliburton, who are now working in the offshore Sangu gas field in block 16 after Cairns left it to them.

According to the agreement, the firm will be allowed to sell gas to third parties at higher prices, meaning they can export.

 

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Humayun Ahmed sensed his death earlier

Emran Hossain /Jul 24 bdnews24.com

Humayun Ahmed almost knew where the killer disease called cancer, already spread all over his body through blood streams, was going to take him finally.

And being a writer, he picked up his pen-n-paper yet again to narrate how it would be like to be dead – his premonition of death.

It seems, he had sensed the disease even before the medical diagnosis of cancer in September last year and authored his experiences in “Megher Upor Bari” (house over the clouds), which he published in the National Book Fair he attended in February this year.

Surprisingly, Humayun died exactly the way described in the book, which can be at best termed a mere coincidence or through the writer’s preferred theory of Extrasensory Perception (ESP).

With a dateline of Jamacia, New York, where the writer had fought the fatal disease for close to 10 months, Humayun in a two-paragraph preface to the book writes, “I wrote this novel…when a complex disease named cancer has made my body its abode. I did not know about it until then… Is it true that my sub-conscious mind had the news for a strange reason?”

“I assume it is true. That’s why I have written this novel in the words of a dead man… Why did I write all these? The universe is mysterious.”

Then begins the novel: “I am dead, or am I going to die, I still cannot decide. It seems I am dead.”

The agonist, who has just died, begins telling the story reminding repeatedly, “I am dead.”

Humayun, a charismatic writer, who is often identified affectionately by his fans as ‘a man moonstruck’ for his romanticism for moonlit-night and rain, could not keep up with being dead for long.

His protagonist looked for a console and said, “I now understand, telepathy is a power that comes after death.”

“Living people do not have any telepathic power, dead do have. Don’t know if everyone of the dead has it … at least I have.”

Within a few pages the power, which made many of his fiction characters so influential like Himu, who has strong influence on the younger generation, soon appeared frail confronting another problem of being dead: “Maybe, dead cannot feel by touching. The matter is not clear to me. (Page 18)”

The dead protagonist then wonders why his dead relatives are not coming to give him a lift.

“I knew, relatives crowd around a man dying. They mainly try to make the man’s journey into the unknown world easier. (Page 23)”

Humayun, who wrote over 322 books topping the list of bestsellers for over two decades in Bangladesh due to lucid narratives peppered with humour, takes an absurd break, “How will my hell look like? There will be some of my students …. they will ask me questions I will not be able to answer. (Page 25)”

Coincidentally, the dead protagonist has strange resemblance to the writer, a Ph.D in Polymer Chemistry who taught Chemistry at the Dhaka University. The protagonist is Dr Iftekharul Islam, an Associate Prof of Applied Physics.

“It will definitely make news for newspapers. Media person await such news. A follow-up is published every day. But it stops the 5th or 6th days. Everyone will forget everything” thinks the protagonist as the story develops.

But, how the protagonist is going to keep up the suspense when the writer is distracted by the thought of death?

Well, Humayun Ahmed had his ways.

“There are lot many things to enjoy for the people on earth. Drama-cinema-book-music-arts… Is there any such arrangement in afterlife?” the dead protagonist wonders.

Giving every possible detail centering death, Humayun writes: “We are parts of an entertainment game designed by a master programmer.”

At certain stages, the dead feels the urge to read and sometimes to write, but finds neither pen nor paper. He decides to continue writing in his thoughts. He thinks about the God and finds himself in the ocean of paradox.

He imagines going through the roads in Shalban as his relatives take his remains for burial. He wonders about his wife and her child who cannot get through the stages of video games without his father.

“I have become an observer,” the dead realises sometimes.

The strange thing about the novel is that the writer virtually describes his own death the way it actually came by. The agonist’s aunty dies of colon cancer, which after setting off from colon affected her liver and lungs before rendering her unconscious.

On July 18, a day before the writer died, the Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative at the UN in New York said an unknown virus had attacked the writer, affecting his lungs and liver and that the writer was unconscious.

At the end of Page 95 of the 96-page book, Humayun writes, “I understand, I have to leave. Where will I go? I don’t know. Man does not know from where he comes. Then how is he expected to know where he will go!”

Suddenly the dead protagonist sees lights having abnormal magnetic power pulling him to its centre.

He begins to rush towards the light. He turns for a moment to say, “Men of the earth! Be good. Be happy. I am running towards the light. I know I have to travel an infinite distance. Infinite never finishes. Then how the journey will end? Who will tell me that?”

 

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80% Bangladeshi farmers have mobile, says World Bank

The Daily Star July 22, 2012

Staff Correspondent

Eighty percent of the farmers in Bangladesh now own mobile phones which they use to estimate market demand for their crops, the World Bank said.

In a study, “Information and Communication for Development 2012: Maximising Mobile”, the World Bank found that farmers arrange for sales through mobile phones.

The study referred to an unpublished report conducted in Bangladesh, China, India and Vietnam by International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC, highlighting the important role the device plays in linking markets and key stages of the value chain.

“Eighty percent of their mobile phone calls are to increase their income,” said Mehboob Chowdhury, City Cell’s chief executive and chairman of Association of Mobile Telecom Operators’ of Bangladesh.

Not just for marketing purposes, the farmers use the device to acquire information on seed varieties, crop rotation and ways to improve the quantity and quality of their yields, he added.

“Mobile communications offer major opportunities to advance human and economic development from providing basic access to health information to making cash payments, spurring job creation, and stimulating citizen involvement in democratic processes,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank vice president for sustainable development.

The challenge now, she feels, is to leverage the full capabilities of mobile communications in developing countries, by way of mobile applications tailored to local needs.

In Bangladesh, 95 percent of the area and 99 percent of the population are covered by the mobile phone network, with a total subscription of around 9.37 crore.

The study calls for active support from developing countries’ governments in the development of mobile applications, which would go on to create livelihoods and enhance the lifestyle.

“Government support is needed to develop sound business models, foster ICT skills and ensure that infrastructure is in place and affordable,” said Tim Kelly, a lead ICT specialist at the World Bank.

 

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