Dhaka, July 19 (UNB)- Throughout the history of liberated Bangladesh, Jahanara Imam, founder of Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee has remained at the forefront to preach the spirit of liberation to the young generation.
To preserve her memories as well as those of her eldest son, Shaheed Shafi Imam Rumi, the valiant guerrilla of Crack Platoon, Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam Memorial Museum has been working silently since 2007.
Established in their family residence, Konika, located in capital’s old Elephant Road, the museum has a wide collection of artifacts, personal belongings of late Jahanara Imam and items used by her family alongside assorted furniture which include several awards; photographs; documents related to liberation war, personal items such as air-gun, tabla, telephone; letter written by Rumi to his uncle; important documents of Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee and many more. The museum has an adjacent library section established in 2009 with a wide range of books on Liberation War and works of Jahanara Imam including Ekattorer Dinguli, Cancer er Sathe Boshobash, Of Blood and Fire and more.
Youngest son of Jahanara Imam and brother to Rumi, Saif Imam Jami established the museum on June 24, 2007, as a personal venture to introduce the young generation to the many aspects of Liberation War and its prevalence on liberated Bangladesh. He is the Chairman of the Museum.
While talking to UNB, M Abu Yousuf, Assistant Curator of the museum said Saif Imam Jami personally visits the museum once a year to keep everything in order.
“We have around 40-60 visitors every month. The museum commemorates days of special significance to the Imam family,” he said.
These days are --- the birth and death anniversary of Jahanara Imam and her husband Sharif Imam, the birth anniversary of Shaheed Shafi Imam Rumi and the day he was captured by Pakistan Army.
Abu Yousuf also mentioned that a trustee board has been formed to maintain the museum in the future.
While discussing the future programmes of the museum he told UNB that the museum authority is considering starting an outreach program.
“It will provide students of schools and colleges a guided tour every month to serve as a source to learn about our Liberation War and realize the contribution of the Imam family,” he said.
Another Assistant Curator of the museum Sohan Ahmed said, “Through the museum, we try our best to present the life and spirit of the selfless sacrifice done by Jahanara Imam and her family to the youth.”
He mentioned that the museum has targeted especially children to help them develop a sense of responsibility for their country while learning the history of the liberation war.
He further said although the museum is small in capacity yet it draws an audience from students, teachers, researchers and those who are interested in the true history of the liberation war.
Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam stood bravely even after the liberation against the likes of anti-liberal force despite losing almost her entire family in the war. She formed Ekattoreer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee on January 19, 1992, to demand trial of war criminals whose essence guided the 2013 Shahbag Movement for the execution of convicted war criminals.
Cancer could not bring down her fight against opposing forces of Bangladesh’s independence. The museum serves as an inspirational tour for those in search of the true spirit of the Liberation War.
The free-for-all museum operates on each Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. In Ramadan, it remains open till 3 pm.
Dhaka, July 18 (UNB)- Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) recently postponed the players’ transfer dates for the upcoming season of Bangladesh Premier League Football (BPL).
The federation also decided to pay up on the full participation fees due to BPL football clubs at a meeting of the BFF Professional Football League Committee in Motijheel on July 13.
The decision came after a strong ultimatum from the Bangladesh Football Clubs Association (BFCA), a platform of the country’s football clubs, which threatened to call an extraordinary general meeting, if the BFF executive committee failed to publish audit reports and hold an annual general meeting (AGM) soon.
On July 8, the President of BFCA and also Chairman of SAIF Sporting Club Tarafder Md Ruhul Amin called on the BFF to arrange its much-awaited AGM and publish financial audit report within 2 weeks at a BFCA coordination meeting at Hotel Purbani International Ltd.
The representatives of 46 clubs and former national footballers were also present in the BFCA’s coordination meeting and discussed the ‘present poor state’ of football in Bangladesh.
The association for clubs also made several demands for investigations against violation of rules of BPL, Bangladesh Championship League (BCL) and other leagues, as well as into match fixing and referees.
The meeting also took the decision not to take part in the upcoming players’ transfers for BCL and BPL until the promised participation money is paid to respective clubs.
Later, the General Secretary of BFCA and President of Arambagh KS AKM Mominul Hoque Sayeed added his club will not take part in the next transfer window in August, if the transfer window is not revised after discussing with the clubs.
“BPL is still going on and the early announcement of players’ transfer without taking consent of the clubs put the premier league clubs into trouble with the players making deals with other clubs silently and it has a big impact on the performance in the ongoing league,” Sayeed said.
However, BFF finally decided to freeze the players’ transfer dates for the upcoming season of Bangladesh Premier League and to pay Tk 20 Lac as participation fee to each BPL club.
After the BFF’s decision, Joint Secretary of BFCA Mazharul Islam Tuhin said that they are happy with the decision but they are waiting for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and financial audit report.
“We are happy that the federation decided to freeze the players’ transfer dates for the upcoming season of Bangladesh Premier League. But our prime demands were Annual General Meeting (AGM) and financial audit report,” he said.
Asked about their next step, the joint secretary said, “We are going to hold a meeting soon. After the meeting we will send separate notices to BFF to publish audit report and to arrange AGM with 2-week ultimatum.”
“As per the BFF constitution, if two-thirds of the councillors want AGM, then federation is obliged to arrange it. We also have demanded to pay promised participation fee Tk 5 lac to each Bangladesh Championship League (BCL) club. The present executive committee of BFF has not said anything yet. We will also take a step in this regard,” said Tuhin, also general secretary of Victoria Sporting Club, one of the BCL Clubs.
The election of Bangladesh Football Federation executive committee is scheduled for April 2020.
It is notable that the Bangladesh Football Club Association (BFCA), formed on January 22 this year, has come into the spotlight with several sensational demands and serious accusations against present executive committee of BFF.
BFCA is expected to hold a grand conference of all the country’s football organisers with representatives of BFCA and Bangladesh District & Divisional Football Association in October-November this year.
It seems the battle between the two bickering groups -- BFCA and Executive committee of BFF -- will inflame the next BFF elections, due to be held next April.
Dhaka, July 18 (UNB) - Bangladesh needs to be serious to get the fourth pillar for its growing economy giving much importance to financial sector development to successfully make the country one of the top 20 economies of the world, says Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“Financial sector development can be the fourth pillar of the Bangladesh economy,” said ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash in an interview with UNB noting that Bangladesh economy is largely driven by domestic consumption, remittance and trade.
He said preparing a 10-year roadmap for financial sector development based on three pillars of financial integration, fiscal transparency and financial resilience could help further catalyse Bangladesh economy, and financial markets.
“It’ll also protect the economy against external shocks,” ADB Country Director said adding that if there is a better financial integration any crisis can easily be dealt with because of the same standards and similar rules in place.
Citing the examples of Singapore and Hong Kong, he said their GDP is more than that of Bangladesh despite being very small countries because they have a very strong financial sector. “If you can have a strong financial sector, it can actually become another driver to the Bangladesh economy.”
Parkash, however, said developing a strong financial sector is not something that Bangladesh can achieve in six months or one year, and there are lots of international experiences that can be brought in.
“Probably, you need a 10-year roadmap that can help you take full advantage of the financial sector,” he said adding that the openness of information brings confidence among all.
Parkash, who joined the ADB in 2002, said Bangladesh is seen as a model for growth today even in difficult global economic outlook and Bangladesh will stand out by growing at record 8 percent in 2019 and 2020.
The growth is expected to moderate across most of the developing Asia at 5.7 percent in 2019 and 5.6 percent in 2020. However, according to the ADB, South Asia will buck this trend growing at 6.8 percent in 2019 and 6.9 percent in 2020.
“This is actually very good news (Bangladesh growth) - which also means that the continued political calm, sound macroeconomic policies of the government, pragmatic steps that have been taken and right development priorities are contributing to this whole thing,” said the ADB Country Director.
Taking Advantage of 3 Things
Parkash, who oversees the implementation of the ADB Country Partnership Strategy for Bangladesh (2016-2020), said the country’s GDP crossed $300 billion this year and the ADB wishes it reaches $1 trillion by 2030.
To achieve this, Parkash said, Bangladesh will have to take full advantage of its demographic dividend, exploit its locational advantage by enhancing its connectivity with east, west and north, and promote trade and investment by developing a resilient and strong financial sector.
“A strong financial sector helps regional and international market integrate, attract long-term investments, PPPs, and deepen and broaden economic integrations,” he said.
Domestically, Parkash said, it helps improve financial sector stability, increase the efficiency and liquidity of markets, and strengthen the regulatory environment.
Responding to a question, the ADB Country Director said Bangladesh has done very well as far as trade integration is concerned but one thing Bangladesh needs to do more is financial integration.
Talking about young population, Parkash laid emphasis on making them a skilled labour force and making them employable so that they can contribute to the economy.
The ADB Country Director said Bangladesh’s remittance inflow is currently on the low-end as its skill base is low.
He said almost 12 million Bangladeshis are living abroad and they are remitting US$ 15 billion annually. “With the same number of people by 2030, I hope, you can get almost US$ 100 billion worth of remittances.”
Parkash said Bangladesh capital market is developing after stocks market debacles in late 2010 and early 2011.
“Fortunately, after that, some good measures and actions have been taken,” he said recalling the time the government had requested the ADB to provide assistance.
Parkash said today not many people are coming from outside and investing because they do not know whether and how they will get the money back and whether the companies are adopting good corporate governance.
With better financial integration, there will be lower amount of remittances coming through informal channels, he said. “Also, the cost of doing business will go down. The cost will be largely dependent on how the financial structuring has been done.”
The ADB Country Director said financial literacy promotes sustainable market development.
He said more informed and rational individual decisions develop a more competitive and fair market. “It incentivises financial industries to be more innovative to develop new products and services to meet clients' new demand.”
Parkash said financial literacy helps create new wealth and benefits individual citizens who must manage longevity risk with better wealth management.
He said to gain a full advantage of new regulatory regimes, financial education is necessary to encourage people to change their behaviours and become more serious about their wealth management using these new financial instruments.
Parkash said financial education is critical for strong and effective investor protection. “Indeed, even financially literate individuals sometimes make mistakes.”
With financial sophistication, he said, the number of people deceived by fraudulent investment operations reminds us that financial education does not fully provide protection against fraud, and investor protection must be pursued under a better implementation framework by regulators.
He said financial literacy will teach people how to create new wealth and how to make the best use of opportunities that are available. “That’s why financial literacy goes hand in hand with investors’ protection.”
Dhaka, July 17 (UNB) — Bangladesh were expecting their best-ever World Cup this time around in England and Wales riding on a mixture of youthful talent, and in particular the experience of four players, who were each playing their fourth World Cup.
In the end, the Tigers failed to live up to expectations in the showpiece event as they returned only three wins from their allotment of 9 games, although one of those fixtures was rained out. They did play some good cricket and had some good results but for a team that would like to keep rising on the world stage, that was not enough for their loyal fans to be satisfied.
Bangladesh got a dream-like start beating South Africa in their first game. But they failed to capitalize this momentum as they lost to New Zealand narrowly. Then, the rain prevented them to secure two more expected points against Sri Lanka. Bangladesh never recovered these early ups and downs in the World Cup.
Shakib Al Hasan performed supernaturally throughout the event. He scored seven 50-plus innings, two of them were centuries. At the same time, he scalped 11 wickets with his left-arm slow bowling. Along the process, they recorded best-ever all-round performance in World Cup history. He is the first cricketer to score more than 600 runs and take more than 10 wickets in a single edition of the World Cup. Although Kane Williamson in the end walked away with the prize, most observers would agree Shakib was the MVP at this year’s World Cup.
Despite these heroics of Bangladesh’s best-ever cricketer, Tigers failed to qualify for the semifinals of the event which was their initial target while leaving home for the World Cup assault. Shakib’s premium all-round show was marred by his teammates who failed to bat according to the team plan, or bowl according to the match situation throughout the event.
Nightmarish bowling performance during the first 20 overs was Bangladesh’s biggest downside in the World Cup. In most of the matches, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza started the attack with the new ball. But he failed to fulfil the demands of the team as a strike bowler. Mohammad Saifuddin or Mustafizur Rahman were Mashrafe’s companions with the new ball, but they were not up to the mark either.
Due to a back injury to Saifuddin, Rubel Hossain got a chance in the playing XI in one game but failed to deliver when he was asked to against India which was Bangladesh’s first must-win game in the World Cup.
In the end, Masrhafe returned just a single wicket from the biggest cricketing event. Mustafizur managed to get 20 wickets, with the economy rate of 6.7, thanks to his back-to-back f-wicket hauls in the last two games against India and Pakistan. But those late-shows did not help the fortunes of the team. In both those games, Bangladesh ended up losing, and thus ended Bangladesh’s last possibility to qualify for the semifinals.
Saifuddin also bagged 13 wickets but that was not something to turn things around for the poor Tigers in the World Cup. The right-arm pacer used to play as a left-handed batting all-rounder during his age-level cricket for Bangladesh. But the team management decided to try him as a strike bowler instead of Rubel. He did not do badly, particularly proving useful with his bowling at the death, but the Bangladesh bowling attack was always playing catch-up throughout their campaign, stung by the effect of always being a bowler short given Mashrafe’s ineffectual presence.
At the end of the World Cup campaign at Lord’s, Mashrafe, to his credit, did not hide from this fact. He blamed his bowling attack for the disappointing campaign. He said: “Starting from me to the others, our bowling has not been up to the mark in the World Cup. We should have taken early wickets to ensure dominance over the opponents. We failed to do so. Our fielding was also a big setback for us.”
If the innocuous bowling attack was Bangladesh’s biggest failing, and poor fielding permeated all their games, even the batting effort was in fact undermined at the top of the order. Tamim Iqbal, one of the four seniors playing his fourth World Cup, came into this tournament with the opportunity to establish himself as a world-class opening batsman in front of the cricketing world’s eyes. Inexplicably though, despite looking in good touch out in the middle, Tamim failed to produce even a single innings of note in 8 attempts.
Tamim’s contribution amounted to 235 runs in eight innings - an average of 29.37. He got a number of starts, batting sedately (his strike-rate was a pedestrian— 71.6) but then getting out at crucial moments. His own failures meant Tamim also failed to guide his young understudy, Soumya Sarkar, who was taking up the more belligerent role in the partnership during the World Cup.
Soumya returned a strike-rate of 101.21 but his inconsistency and failure to score big runs undermined his reputation as a hard-hitter. Despite managing a good start he fell cheaply throughout the tournament, failing even to score a fifty, which is just not good enough for a top order batsman obviously.
Apart from Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim was the only other Bangladeshi cricketer to show some batting prowess. He struck a hard-fought century against Australia, and also fifties against South Africa and Afghanistan. But the downfall of others prevented Mushfiqur’s fighting innings’ true value to be realised.
In the end, it was Shakib’s World Cup. Mashrafe said the team should have done better at least for Shakib. He also said sorry to Shakib because the team failed to get him a taste of the semifinals. Mashrafe’s leadership remains unparalleled but his fitness for top-level international cricket repeatedly came under the spotlight during the tournament. A player of his stature and contribution to Bangladesh cricket must be allowed to choose the manner and timing of his own departure. He is now an MP as well. That said, he has already been announced to be leading the ODI side in its next assignment short tour of Sri Lanka later this month. Surely he doesn’t have another World Cup in him, nor even a Champions Trophy. And given the performance at the World Cup, Bangladesh’s preparations for those events better start now.
Dhaka, Jul 17 (UNB) – Bangladesh is likely to sign a nuclear fuel supply agreement with Russia in September next for Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) project.
According to sources at the Ministry of Science and Technology, a proposed agreement has already been sent to the Law Ministry for its vetting after it was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase.
“Once the proposed agreement received the vetting, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) will proceed with a plan to have it signed with a Russian uranium supply company in September next,” Science and Technology Secretary Anwar Hossain told UNB.
The BAEC has been implementing the nuclear power project as a government entity.
The Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on June 19 approved the proposal on the nuclear fuel supply for the RNPP.
As per the proposal, Russian state-owned firm TVEL Joint Stock Company will supply the fuel for the 'entire lifetime' of the 2,400 MW RNPP, which will have two units, each having 1200 MW power generation capacity.
According to the Inter-governmental Agreement (IGA) signed with Russian Federation in November 2011, Bangladesh will have to purchase nuclear fuel from the Russian company for the entire lifetime of the power plant.
Each unit of the power plant will have to reload one-thirds of the total required nuclear fuel in every 18 months and the first, second and third reload will be provided by the Russian firm free of cost.
Each reloading of nuclear fuel will cost $62 million, equivalent to Tk 5.24 billion ($1=Tk 84.50).
It was also mentioned in the Science and Technology Ministry’s proposal that the price of each kilogram of uranium which is used as nuclear fuel is $550, and this price will remain unchanged till 2027.
However, the cost of fuel will be reviewed and reset after every 10 years of supply, said the proposal. The plant's operational lifetime is estimated to be 50 years.
Earlier in January this year, Dhaka and Moscow inked a proposed agreement on nuclear fuel supply.
The Bangladesh government has engaged Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom as contractor of the RNPP project at a cost of $12.65 billion.
Besides, the officials said, Rosatom has been paid $550 million for a feasibility study and design purpose of the project.
Initially, it was said by the contractor that the first unit of the RNPP will come into operation by 2022 while the second unit by 2024.
A representative of the Rosatom informed that the first reactor of the plant will come into Bangladesh in 2020.
But officials of the Ministry of Science and Technology are doubtful about the start of the operation as per schedule.