Bangladesh detains suspected 5 Pakistani militants

Five operatives of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad have been arrested in the capital Dhaka, a Rab official said on Sunday.

Of the five, one is a Pakistani national while the remaining four are Bangladeshi citizens, Rab Assistant Director (media wing) Mohammad Kamaruzzaman said

The arrested are: Rezwan Ahmed, 26, of Karachi, Pakistan, two brothers — Imazuddin alias Munna and Sadek Hossain alias Khoka — sons of Mohiuddin of Hajiganj thana in Chandpur, Abu Naser Munshi of the same district, and Nannu Mia alias Belal Mandol of Kotwali thana in Sylhet.Rab Intelligence Wing and Rab-2 in a drive from around 1:30am to 6:30am arrested the militants at 5/F Sukanya Tower near the Gausia Market on the city’s Mirpur road.

The militant suspects belong to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group which is reportedly responsible for the 2001 terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi, said Colonel Matiur Rahman, additional director general of Bangladesh’s elite Rapid Action Battalion.

Rezwan at a press briefing at the Rab headquarters confessed that he had been working as a coordinator of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Bangladesh and also a recruiting agent for conducting operations in India

Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund Act, 2010- Approved

Climate Change Trust Fund Act, 2010

The government will promulgate an act to use climate change fund judiciously and transparently so that benefits reach the affected people properly.Bangladesh is one of the most precarious countries facing climate change. People of this country must be protected from its consequences. Therefore, we are moving forward on this law,” Abul Kalam Azad, press secretary to the prime minister’s office, told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

The government has already allocated Tk 7 billion to build this fund, Azad said.

The cabinet approved the draft Climate Change Trust Fund Act, 2010. The draft will soon be finalised and sent to the law ministry for vetting.

Earlier on August 24, the cabinet approved Climate Change Trust Fund, which was supposed to be registered under the Bengal Trust Act 1882.

?The law ministry suggested us to make a law in this regard since general people are the beneficiaries,? Environment and Forest Secretary Mihir Kanti Barua told The Daily Star yesterday.

He said the act is needed to bring the entire process–from generating fund to approval of projects and use of the fund through a trustee board–under a strong legal coverage.

He said 66 percent of the fund would be spent on six designated areas marked under Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan while 34 percent would be in bank for crisis situation.

The prime minister told the meeting that apart from assistance from international agencies and countries, Bangladesh has taken various steps on its own to face the adverse impacts of global climate change.

?Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. The government has moved to make the act to protect people and their property from the adverse effects of climate change,? said Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad after the meeting.

He said the government has already allocated Tk 700 crore for the fund. The Ministry of Environment and Forests would allocate the fund to relevant NGO projects.

Ainun Nishat, senior adviser on climate change for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Asia, said Bangladesh should prepare for judicious utilisation of the fund.

?Huge local and foreign fund will be channelled to the trust. Therefore, a mechanism is needed for the fund management,?

“Climate Change Fund”It should be a country-led programme rather than a World Bank-led one

Regarding climate change
Bangladesh has voiced strong opposition to plans by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to provide close to US$100 million in climate change aid – because of its delivery through the World Bank.

?We are strongly against the World Bank?s involvement in handling the climate fund. DFID should give the money straight to the Bangladesh government rather than giving it to the World Bank to disburse it,? Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque told IRIN on 16 February.

?It should be a country-led programme rather than a World Bank-led one,? he said, adding that there were expectations the Bank would attach ?unacceptable strings and conditions to its programme?.

His comments come one day after 21 civil society organizations, including campaigners from the European Action Group on Climate Change Bangladesh, the World Development Movement (WDM) and the Jubilee Debt Campaign, protested against the UK decision outside the DFID office in Dhaka.

They insisted that DFID withdraw all conditions on the $94 million grant being offered to Bangladesh to cope with the impact of climate change.?

''DFID should give the money straight to the Bangladesh government rather than giving it to the World Bank to disburse it.''

But

the British High Commission in Dhaka said how the funds were given out was not an issue.

?The issue of involvement of the World Bank in disbursing the money is a minor issue as the government of Bangladesh shall have full control of the fund,? Nazneen Ferdousi, senior press officer for the British High Commission in Dhaka, told IRIN.

The World Bank, as a development partner, would only provide administrative support in handling the funds, she said.?

?We don?t see any problem in it,? she said.

When contacted, World Bank officials referred IRIN to DFID.

Within the next 50 years, over 20 million people could be displaced and become ?climate change refugees?, if sea and salinity levels rise in Bangladesh, according to the government?s 2009 Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day Bangladesh development meeting on 15 February, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on donor countries to speed up delivery of promised funds to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

World leaders pledged?$30 billion from 2010 to 2012?at the December climate change summit in Copenhagen to help least developed countries (LDCs) most vulnerable to climate change, particularly low-lying coastal countries like Bangladesh. There is a complex range of climate change adaptation funding mechanisms, reviewed by IRIN here:?http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=88070.

Bangladesh says it is entitled to ask for at least 15 percent of the climate adaptation fund pledged in Copenhagen.

Donors in attendance in Dhaka included the USA, European Union, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The meeting is to review Bangladesh’s development programmes, including plans to reduce poverty, and help donors select areas of cooperation.

Japan keen to help Bangladesh’s public buildings earthquake resistant

Eart quake is a massive distructive natural disaster. japan faces the nature for long time with tecnical upgradation of earth quake registance tecnology. Source
The Japanese government will actively consider providing financial support to Bangladesh for retrofitting its all public buildings with seismic resistance, as the country is under immense thereat of devastating tremor.

“We will soon transfer our retrofitting technology to local engineers by retrofitting some public buildings here on pilot basis,” Project Formulation Officer of Disaster Mitigation and Climate Change wing of Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) Hideki Katayama told BSS.

After the pilot project, Katayama said, Jica can consider formulating a project to provide financial support for re-strengthening all important public buildings, if the Bangladesh government shows their interest in this regard.

Retrofitting is such a kind of technique, which is applied to a building as an extra protection with additional support of by wall or steel.

Katayama said all important buildings in Japan, one of the most tremor-prone countries in the world, are retrofitted, a modification technique of existing structures to make them more resistant to seismic activity, ground motion or soil failure due to earthquakes.

Bangladesh must take prompt steps to re-strengthen its important public buildings, including hospitals, fire stations and schools with seismic resistance, he said.

Jica Disaster Management and Climate Change Programme officer M Anisuzzaman Chowdhury said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has already been signed between Jica and Public Works Department to transfer the technology.

A Jica expert team will be deployed here soon to retrofit one building of secretariat and Dhaka Medical College Hospital building on pilot basis, he said.

“During the pilot programme, the Japanese experts will provide theoretical and practical training to the local engineers about the technique,” he said.

Bangladesh Earthquake Society President Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury told BSS that the government needs to ensure strict implementation of building codes as well as identify and retrofit the vulnerable buildings.

“The government should retrofit all public buildings as soon as possible and can offer soft loan to the people to retrofit their old buildings,” he said.

Prof Jamilur Reza also said an earthquake preparedness master plan must be prepared for the cities and towns of Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Mymensingh and Rangpur districts, as about 100 million people of this areas are living under huge threat of devastating tremor.

8.8 quake hits Chile!!! tsunami threatens Pacific!!!

?We are too weak to nature, nature loves?us and give life. Sometime rude !!?

TALCA, Chile — One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded struck Chile on Saturday, toppling homes, collapsing bridges and plunging trucks into the fractured earth. A tsunami set off by the magnitude-8.8 quake threatened every nation around the Pacific Ocean – roughly a quarter of the globe.

Chileans near the epicenter were tossed about as if shaken by a giant.

It was the strongest earthquake to hit Chile in 50 years. President-elect Sebastian Pinera said more than 120 people died, a number that was rising quickly.

The quake shook buildings in Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires, and was felt as far away as Sao Paulo in Brazil – 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) to the east.

In Talca, just 65 miles (105 kilometers) from the epicenter, furniture toppled as the earth shook for more than a minute in something akin to major airplane turbulence. The historic center of town largely collapsed, but most of the buildings of adobe mud and straw were businesses that were not inhabited during the 3:34 a.m. (1:34 a.m. EST, 0634 GMT) quake.

Neighbors pulled at least five people from the rubble while emergency workers, themselves disoriented, asked for information from reporters.

Collapsed roads and bridges complicated north-south travel in the narrow Andean nation. Electricity, water and phone lines were cut to many areas – meaning there was no word of death or damage from many outlying areas.

In the Chilean capital of Santiago, 200 miles (325 kilometers) northeast of the epicenter, a car dangled from a collapsed overpass, the national Fine Arts Museum was badly damaged and an apartment building’s two-story parking lot pancaked, smashing about 50 cars whose alarms rang incessantly.

The jolt set off a tsunami that raced across the Pacific, setting off alarm sirens in Hawaii, Polynesia and Tonga. Tahitian officials banned all traffic on roads less than 1,600 feet (500 meters) from the sea and people in several low-lying island nations were urged to find higher ground.

Hawaii could face its largest waves since 1964 starting at 11:19 a.m. (4:19 p.m. EST, 2119 GMT), according to Charles McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Officials evacuated people and boats near the water and closed shore-side Hilo International Airport.

Experts said tsunami waves were likely to hit Asian, Australian and New Zealand shores within 24 hours of the earthquake. The U.S. West Coast and Alaska, too, were threatened. In all, 53 nations and territories were subject to tsunami warnings.

Waves 6 feet (1.8 meter) above normal hit Talcahuano near Concepcion 23 minutes after the quake, and President Michelle Bachelet said a huge wave swept into a populated area in the Robinson Crusoe Islands, 410 miles (660 kilometers) off the Chilean coast.

Bachelet said she had no information on the number of people injured in the quake. She declared a “state of catastrophe” in central Chile but said the government has not asked for assistance from other countries.

“The system is functioning. People should remain calm. We’re doing everything we can with all the forces we have,” she said.

Powerful aftershocks rattled Chile’s coast – 41 of them magnitude 5 or greater – in the 10 hours after the quake. Six were sizable quakes in their own right, magnitude 6 or greater.

In Santiago, modern buildings are built to withstand earthquakes, but many older ones were heavily damaged, including the Nuestra Senora de la Providencia church, whose bell tower collapsed. A bridge just outside the capital also collapsed, and at least one car flipped upside down. Several hospitals were evacuated due to earthquake damage, Bachelet said.

Santiago’s airport will remain closed for at least 24 hours after the passenger terminal suffered major damage, airport director Eduardo del Canto told Chilean television. TV images showed smashed windows, partially collapsed ceilings and pedestrian walkways destroyed.

Santiago’s subway was shut as well and hundreds of buses were trapped at a terminal by a damaged bridge, Transportation and Telecommunications Minister said. He urged Chileans to make phone calls or travel only when absolutely necessary.

In Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city and only 70 miles (115 kilometers) from the epicenter, nurses and residents pushed the injured through the streets on stretchers. Others walked around in a daze wrapped in blankets, some carrying infants in their arms. A 15-story building collapsed, leaving only a few floors intact.

“I was on the 8th floor and all of a sudden I was down here,” said Fernando Abarzua, marveling that he escaped with no major injuries. He said a relative was still trapped in the rubble six hours after the quake, “but he keeps shouting, saying he’s OK.”

Marco Vidal, a program director for Grand Circle Travel who was traveling with a group of 34 Americans, was on the 19th floor of the Crown Plaza Santiago hotel when the quake struck.

“All the things start to fall. The lamps, everything, was going on the floor,” he said. “I felt terrified.”

Cynthia Iocono, from Linwood, Pennsylvania, said she first thought the quake was a train.

“But then I thought, `Oh, there’s no train here.’ And then the lamps flew off the dresser and my TV flew off onto the floor and crashed.”

The quake struck after concert-goers had left South America’s leading music festival in the coastal city of Vina del Mar, where organizers canceled performances on Saturday, the final night of the festival. But it caught partiers leaving a disco.

“It was very bad. People were screaming. Some people were running, others appeared paralyzed. I was one of them,” Julio Alvarez told Radio Cooperativa.

The largest earthquake ever recorded struck the same area of Chile on May 22, 1960. The magnitude-9.5 quake killed 1,655 people and left 2 million homeless. The tsunami that it caused killed people in Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines and caused damage to the west coast of the United States.

Saturday’s quake matched a 1906 temblor off the Ecuadorean coast as the seventh-strongest ever recorded in the world.

……………..

Eva Vergara reported from Santiago, Chile. Associated Press Television News cameraman Mauricio Cuevas and writer Eduardo Gallardo in Santiago, and AP writer Sandy Kozel in Washington contributed to this story.

Today -Bangladesh Celebrating “Josney Julush” EID-E- Milad-un-Nabi

Happy birth Day of the greatest Man of the World “MUHAMMAD”


LETS SPIRIT UP WITH MUHAMMAD IDEAL

Chittagong: Bangladesh today celebrating EID on the Birth Day of Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h?.Today( 12 Rabi Awwa)Milad-un-Nabi? -27-02-2010 almost 20 lac muslim Muhammad lover enjoyed march on occasion of the birth day of Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h. The full chittagong?waved with the wave of “Ya Nabi Salam Alaika”with a commitment of Josney Julush to be an ideal human,as Muhammad is considered as greatest Ideal.

The Hijri date 12 Rabi Awwal? (some say 09 Rabi Awwal) is one of twelve months in the Islamic calendar. This is the Islamic birth date of the holy Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. He was born in 570 C.E.. and since the Islamic calendar is 354 days long, the Hijri date is pushed back up to 11 days each year. Muslims celebrate this occasion by holding Milad-un-Nabi (translated: birth of the prophet) functions and gatherings throughout the month of Rabi Awwal.?

The main thrust of these Milad-un-Nabi gatherings is to remember, observe, discuss and celebrate the advent of the birth and teachings of the holy Prophet Muhammad, p.b.u.h.?Chittagong is even home to an Josoney Julush which organizers have held every year from 1974. Speakers from all over the world have addressed large audiences here in?Chittagong for this conference. .The ceremony centralised with the Great man?Allama Sayed Mohammed Taher Shah(M.G.A).No alternative to making proper deputy of prophet to save religion? made the observations came at the Eid-E-Miladunnabi.

?.

Various mosques and Muslim organizations will also hold their own celebrations at various times and places throughout the month. Those who cannot do it during this particular month may hold these functions during the next month or even later.?

The British historian and philosopher, Thomas Carlyle, (d. 1881) in his “Lectures on Heroes, Hero Worship and the Heroic in History,” (1841) has this to say about Muhammad p.b.u.h., “The word of such a man is a voice direct from nature’s own heart. Men do and must listen to that or nothing else; all else is wind in comparison . . . They called him prophet, you say? Why, he stood there face to face with them, bare, not enshrined in any mystery; visibly sewing his own cloak; cobbling his own shoes, fighting, counselling; ordering in the midst of them, they must have seen what kind of man he was. Let him be called what you like! No emperor with his dignity was obeyed as this man in a cloak of his own making. During three and twenty years of tough actual trial, I find something of a veritable hero necessary for that of itself.”

In the west, little is known about Prophet Muhammad’s p.b.u.h. teachings by the general population. It might surprise a non-Muslim reader to learn that throughout his impressive career, every detail of his life is known. His actions and sayings, known as Hadith or Traditions, were recorded in the minutest detail.?

More than fourteen hundred collections of his sayings are currently available, although the most widely used among the Sunnis are the six Sahih (correct, sound or authentic) collections. These collections are considered ‘authentic’ due to the very strict criteria used in compiling them. For instance, the narrator had to have heard the Prophet himself or herself; he or she would have to have had a good memory as well as possess good understanding and judgement; he or she would have to be an upright person known to have never told a lie, and so on. This is the first link in the chain. If the person related what they heard to another person, this would comprise a second link. Each link in the chain had the same exacting standards applied to it. If there was a break in the chain, or if the narrator had been known to have told a lie even once, or if the narrator was not considered to have been an upright person by his or her peers, then the saying would be considered unreliable and was not included in the ‘Sahih’ version.? (for more details esp. re.? compilation of Qur’an click here).

Many sayings (Hadith) were narrated by A’isha, one of the Prophet’s wives, who was known for her good memory and upright character. It is marvellous to consider the extent of the Hadith literature considering that Muhammad, p.b.u.h. was unlettered. Despite the fact that he could neither read nor write, his wise words have been carefully and accurately preserved for humankind from then until now and it is hoped for generations to come.?

Here is a sample of a few of the Prophet’s sayings derived from the Sahih collections. This will give the reader a flavour of his wisdom. It will also show how these jewels are similar to the words of Jesus Christ and many teachings in the Bible and the Torah. Whether of a religious, non-religious or secular persuasion, it is no wonder that great people of the world have admired Muhammad as a great reformer:?

The following is an excerpt from the book entitled “The Sayings of Muhammad” with a forward by Mahatma Ghandi by Allama Sir Abdullah al-Mamun al-Suhrawardi. Published by Charles Tuttle Co. Inc., Boston 1992.

The Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. said,

  • He who knoweth his own self, knoweth God.?
  • He will not enter hell who hath faith equal to a mustard seed in his heart, and he will not enter Paradise who hath a single grain of pride, equal to a mustard seed in his heart.?
  • Muhammad, p.b.u.h. said: “That person will not enter Paradise who hath one atom of pride in his heart.”? And a man present said, “Verily, a man is fond of having good clothes and good shoes.”? Muhammad p.b.u.h. said, “God is Beauty and delighteth in the beautiful; but pride is holding man in contempt.”
  • God’s kindness towards His creatures is more than that of a mother towards her babe.?
  • Do not say that if people do good to us, we will do good to them, and if people oppress us, we will oppress them. Instead determine that if people do good to you, you will do good to them; and if they oppress you, you will not oppress them.?
  • No man is a true believer unless he desireth for his brother that which he desireth for himself.?
  • He who believeth in one God and the Hereafter, let him speak what is good or remain silent.?
  • Riches are not from abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind.?
  • Whoever suppresseth his anger, when he hath in his power to show it, God will give him a great reward.?
  • The greatest crimes are to associate another with God, to vex your father and mother, to murder your own species, to commit suicide, and to swear a lie.?
  • Whoso openeth unto himself the door of begging, God will open unto him the door of poverty.?
  • A man asked, “Are there rewards for our doing good to animals and giving them water to drink?” Muhammad, p.b.u.h. said, “Verily there are heavenly rewards for any act of kindness to a live animal.”
  • The best of alms is that which the right hand giveth and the left hand knoweth not of.?
  • There are seven people whom God will draw under His own shadow, on the day when there will be no shadow; one of them will be a man who hath given alms and concealed it, so that his left hand knew not what his right hand did.?
  • The best of almsgiving is that which springeth from the heart, and is uttered by the lips to soften the wounds of the injured.?
  • All actions are judged by the motives prompting them.?
  • The most excellent Jihad [trans.:striving] is that for the conquest of the self. [i.e., the carnal self or ego]?
  • The exercise of religious duties will not atone for the fault of an abusive tongue.?
  • Keep yourselves far from envy because it eateth up and taketh away good actions, like a fire eateth up and burneth wood.?
  • God is gentle and loveth gentleness.?
  • What is Paradise? Muhammad p.b.u.h. replied “It is what the eye hath not seen, nor the ear heard, nor ever occurred to the mind of man.”
  • He is not a perfect man of fortitude who hath not fallen into misfortunes; and there is no physician but the experienced.?
  • Every good act is charity; and verily it is a good act to meet your brother with an open countenance, and to pour water from your own water bag into his vessel.?
  • Guard yourselves from six things, and I am your security for Paradise. When you speak, speak the truth; perform when you promise; discharge your trust; be chaste in thought and action; and withhold your hand from striking, from taking that which is unlawful, and bad.?
  • Feed the hungry and visit the sick, and free the captive, if he be unjustly confined. Assist any person oppressed, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.?
  • Speak to men according to their mental capacities, for if you speak all things to all men, some cannot understand you, and so fall into errors. Abuse no-one, and if a man abuse thee, and lay open a vice which he knoweth in thee, then do not disclose one which thou knowest in him.?
  • Meekness and modesty are two branches of Iman [Faith]; and vain talking and embellishing are two branches of hypocrisy.?
  • The world and all things in it are valuable; but the most valuable thing in the world is a virtuous woman.?
  • Whoever doeth good to girls, it will be a curtain to him from hell-fire.?
  • Whoever befriendeth three daughters, or three sisters, and teacheth them manners, and is affectionate to them, till they come of age, may God apportion Paradise for him.?
  • Whoever hath a daughter, and doth not bury her alive, or scold her, or prefer his male children to her, may God bring him into Paradise. [Note: this refers to the practice of female infanticide which was common in those days. The Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. abolished this practice]?
  • God enjoins you to treat women well, for they are your mothers, daughters and aunts.?
  • Do not prevent women from coming to the mosque.?

1Q10 Bangladesh Mobile Operator forecast 2009-2014.-subsciber reach 72.7 Million

http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/1cd52b/1q10_bangladesh_mo has announced the addition of IE Market Research Corp.’s new report “1Q10 Bangladesh Mobile Operator Forecast, 2009 – 2014: Bangladesh will have 72.7 Million Wireless Subscribers in 2014 with Warid’s Market Share Increasing over the Next 5 Years” to their offering.

Mobile Operator Forecast on Bangladesh provides over 50 operational and financial metrics for Bangladeshs wireless market and is one of the best forecasts in the industry. We provide five-year forecasts at the operator level going out to 2014. We also provide quarterly historical and forecast data starting in 1Q2003 and ending in 3Q2011. Operators covered for Bangladesh include: Banglalink (Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E), GrameenPhone (Telenor ASA), TM Int’l (Telekom Malaysia Berhad), PBTL (Singapore Telecommunications Ltd), Warid Telecom International (Bharti Airtel), and BTTB (Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board). Our Mobile Operator Forecasts are updated quarterly and are available for one-time delivery or through regular updates.

Executive Summary:

Wireless subscriber growth in Bangladesh has slowed down

– +4.7% industry average subscriber growth in 3Q.2009

ARPUs have stopped decreasing in Bangladesh’s wireless market

– +2.9% operator-wide average ARPU growth in 3Q.2009

Minutes of Use per subscriber are stabilizing

– -1.7% industry average MOU/Sub growth in 3Q.2009

Strong EBITDA growth continues at GrameenPhone

– GrameenPhone’s EBITDA growth was +27.4% in 3Q.2009

So what is IEMRs Forecast?

Total wireless subscribers in Bangladesh to rise to 72.7 million in 2014

– Given the latest quarter data, we forecast that total wireless subscribers in Bangladesh will increase from 50 million in 2009 to 72.7 million in 2014.

– We expect that GrameenPhone will maintain its leading position in Bangladesh’s wireless market over the next five years with an expected subscriber base of 32 million in 2014.

– The other players will also be gaining more subscribers over the next five years. Our model predicts that Banglalink will have 15.5 million, TM International will have 13.1 million, and Warid will have 6.7 million mobile subscribers respectively by the end of 2014.

Warid’s subscriber market share will be increasing over the next five years

– In January 2010, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission approved that India’s Bharti Airtel take management control of Warid. We expect that the use of the Airtel brand will give Warid an advantage in Bangladesh’s competitive wireless market. Our model predicts that Warid’s subscriber market share will increase to about 9.3% by the end of 2014.

– On the other hand, we expect that Banglalink’s market share will be decreasing from 23% in 2009 to 21% in 2014.

– We forecast that GrameenPhone’s market share will remain in the range of 45% – 46% over the next five years.

ARPU levels in Bangladesh will be rising from 2010 to 2014

Given the latest quarter numbers, we forecast that the industry average monthly ARPU will increase from USD 3.35 to USD 4.46 over the forecast period, 2009 – 2014.

– Our model predicts that Banglalink’s monthly ARPU will increase from USD 2.53 in 2009 to USD 2.66 in 2014, and GrameenPhone’s monthly ARPU will increase from USD 3.77 in 2009 to USD 5.31 in 2014.

Companies Mentioned:

– Banglalink/Sheba (Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E)

– GrameenPhone (Telenor ASA)

– TM Int’l (Telekom Malaysia Berhad)

– PBTL (Singapore Telecommunications Ltd)

– Warid Telecom International (Bharti Airtel) (For Warid, only the subscriber data is available.)

– BTTB (Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board)

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/1cd52b/1q10_bangladesh_mo

CONTACT: Laura Wood, Senior Manager, Research and Markets Fax: +1 646 607 1907 (US) Fax: +353 1 481 1716 (Rest of World) e-mail: press@researchandmarkets.com

((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to info@m2.com.

For full details on (SGAPY) SGAPY. (SGAPY) has Short Term PowerRatings at TradingMarkets. Details on (SGAPY) Short Term PowerRatings is available at This Link.

For full details on (TELNY) TELNY. (TELNY) has Short Term PowerRatings at TradingMarkets. Details on (TELNY) Short Term PowerRatings is available at This Link.

UK sending ships to scrap yards in Bangladesh-with little or no safety regulations

www.theecologist.org According to an Ecologist investigation, UK companies are among those using loopholes in European and international law to sell ships to Bangladesh scrap yards with little or no safety regulations. The ship breaking industry is booming in Southern Bangladesh but NGOs say workers are frequently exposed to toxins and that at least one worker dies every week from explosions or falling steel plates. UK based Andrew Weir Shipping Limited is one of a number of companies whose vessels have ended up on the beaches of Bangladesh in the past year. The company has sold four ships through a cash intermediary in China and at least one of them ended up in the notorious ‘Lucky Shipyard’ where children as young as 12 dismantle ships without safety equipment. Two other UK companies, Zodiac Maritime Agencies and FGM Shipping Management Limited are both alleged by the French NGO Robin des Bois to have sold ships for scrapping in Bangladesh in the last year. Under the Basel Convention, any ship containing hazardous substances cannot be sent for disposal in a developing country without extensive pre cleaning. However, these rules can be bypassed in two ways. Firstly owners can wait till the ships are in international waters before declaring their intention to scrap the vessel, where the Convention does not apply. Secondly, the ships can fly the flags of countries that are not party to the convention such as Antigua and Barbuda. According to the NGO Platform on Ship Breaking, two thirds of the world’s vessels are sailing under so called flags of convenience belonging to small states that compete by promising to keep taxes, fees and regulations light for ship owners. There is no implication that workers have been killed or injured dismantling ships owned by UK companies. But when contacted, Andrew Weir Shipping Limited refused to confirm whether its ships had been cleaned of hazardous substances before arriving in Bangladesh. Zodiac Maritime Agencies confirmed it had sent a ship to Bangladesh but could not provide proof that it had been cleaned of hazardous waste. FGM Shipping Management Limited did not comment on the allegations.

BDR Rivel overview!!:Bangladesh-2009-2010

For some in Bangladesh, a mutiny a year ago that left 74 dead strengthened the democratic government, while others allege that the use of torture to extract confessions is undermining the justice process.

In the headquarters of Bangladesh’s border guard force, where the uprising began, the walls of Major General Mohammad Mainul Islam’s otherwise immaculate office are still pockmarked with bullet holes.

The bloodstains have been scrubbed away, the bullet holes are neatly circled as evidence, which will soon be used in court, and Islam now says, proudly, that the handling of the crisis a year ago on Thursday was a big step forward.

?Not a single bullet was fired to stop this mutiny. A large mutiny was controlled in a peaceful, democratic way; you must appreciate that is a good thing, and a good lesson for everybody,? he said.

On February 25, 2009, Islam’s predecessor and 56 other senior army officers were shot dead when soldiers at Bangladeshi Rifles (BDR) headquarters in Dhaka went on a killing spree, later hiding the bodies in sewers and shallow graves.

Angry soldiers, citing grievances about pay and conditions, killed 74 people during the 33-standoff at the headquarters, including civilians, before they looted the compound and burned parts of it down.

The siege briefly threatened the survival of the newly elected government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who refused to use force to end the mutiny ? instead offering an amnesty in a televised appeal.

The decision upset powerful figures in the army, which had relinquished power just weeks before, and many observers worried that the standoff could lead to a return of military rule.

?It was the prime minister’s judgement and vision, and with hindsight I can see how disastrous it would have been to fight fire with fire,? Islam said.

Bangladesh ? one of the poorest countries in the world ? has a history of political violence, coups and counter-coups since winning independence from Pakistan in 1971.

The country was run by a military dictator from 1982 to 1990, before democracy was restored in 1991. In January 2007 the army again stepped in and democracy returned with elections, which Hasina won, in December 2009.

Hasina’s civilian government has dealt with the fall-out from the mutiny through democratic channels, including internal reforms ? which address many of the mutineers’ grievances ? and legal proceedings.

One year on, the wheels of justice are grinding slowly forward, but there are concerns about the use of torture on suspects and the reliability of any convictions as a result.
Nhereen Ferdousi, widow of Colonel Mujib Hoque, a senior BDR officer killed during the mutiny, wants justice ? but justice she can believe in.

?We are very much hopeful that they will bring justice, but it must be the right kind of justice. We don’t want any innocents to be blamed,? she told AFP.

On Wednesday, the government announced that around 900 border guards would be tried in civil courts on murder, arson and looting charges related to the mutiny. Bangladesh has the death penalty for murder.

In parallel, an estimated 3,500 people face charges in military-run Special Courts for involvement in the mutiny, where they face a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

Rights group Amnesty International has raised concerns that ?highly charged emotions in the aftermath of the mutiny? could mar the ongoing legal process, citing the deaths of 48 BDR personnel in custody, allegedly due to torture.

?They beat my husband while he was hanging from the ceiling, they even beat his toes,? said Sharifa Begum, 46, whose husband Torab Hossain has been in Dhaka’s central jail since May 2009.

Her son Sharif Ahmed, 28 and also a BDR soldier, has been missing since June. Both of them were posted at the BDR Headquarters during the mutiny.

?My husband told me: I have confessed but only to prevent severe torture. I did not touch any weapon, nor assist any mutineers. I’m innocent,? she said.

The BDR’s Islam maintains that there is no evidence of torture in custody leading to the deaths, and said if there were, it would be fully investigated.

BDR Rivel overview!!:Bangladesh?2009

2010

Dhaka trial of Bangladesh mutiny begins

The trial has begun in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka of border guards accused of taking part in a mutiny a year ago.

The revolt by members of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) left 74 people dead, including 57 officers.

The mutineers blamed their revolt on bad pay and years of mistreatment by corrupt officers.

Last year, the government set up six special courts to try suspected mutineers. Trials began in November and the first verdict is expected in May.

The mutiny took the country to the brink of nationwide conflict. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said it was a plot to bring down her government.

Some 80 border guards went on trial in Dhaka on Tuesday charged in connection with the mutiny.

Proceedings are taking place in the same room at BDR headquarters – Darbar Hall – where the rebellion was launched when two soldiers tried to kill their commanding officer who was giving a speech at the time, the BBC’s Mark Dummett in Dhaka reports.

Searchers lift an officer's body from a manhole near the mutineers' barracks in Dhaka, 27 February
Searchers pulled bodies out of sewers around the barracks

Charges against the mutineers include conspiracy to kill officers and civilians, using weapons and explosives, creating panic, looting and trying to hide bodies.

In all some 3,500 soldiers are to stand trial in military courts for taking part in the mutiny.

A smaller group, which one newspaper puts at about 800, are to stand trial for murder, rape and looting, in a separate civilian court.

No date has yet been set for that trial which will be, by some measure, the largest in the country’s history, our correspondent adds.

At least 50 border guards detained for questioning have died in custody, the authorities say. Human rights groups have expressed alarm and suspect the figure could be higher.

Rights groups doubt the military’s account that some of the detainees committed suicide, while the rest had heart attacks or died of other illnesses.

Chevron (CVX.N) to share its stake in a gas block with GS Caltex

Bangladesh’s oil and gas authority said on Wednesday it had approved a plan by U.S. energy firm Chevron (CVX.N) to share its stake in a gas block with a leading South Korean oil company.
Bangladesh approved the U.S. firm’s plan to share almost half of its stake with GS Caltex [GSCAL.UL] to tying up the first ever Korean company for hydrocarbon exploration in Bangladesh,”But Chevron will remain as the operator of the block.
Confirming this to Reuters, Chevron said that GS Caltex would join it and state-managed Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (BAPEX) as partners in block 7.

“The agreement, approved by the Bangladesh government, results in GS Caltex assuming a 45 percent interest. Chevron is the operator and holds a 45 percent interest, and BAPEX a 10 percent interest,” the company said in a statement.

Chevron had submitted the proposal several months ago to Petrobangla.

Chevron has already conducted a 2D seismic survey covering 1,040 square kilometers, spending $14 million in 2006 and found prospecs there.

Chevron said it had also completed a comprehensive 3D survey in block 7 and was analysing data.

It has also started mobilizing equipment to initiate drilling in the field which might cost of $20 million to delineate hydrocarbon reserve potentials in the block.

Chevron supplies around 950 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd), which is almost half of the country’s total gas production of 1996 mmcfd.

Bangladesh suffers a daily gas shortage of up to 300 mmcf that has forced at least 300 manufacturing firms in the southern Chittagong area to halt operations, officials said. ($1=69.30 taka)
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GS Caltex Corp., South Korea’s second-biggest oil refiner, has agreed to invest in a natural gas exploration project in Bangladesh to boost its energy assets overseas.

The company signed a contract to buy a 45 per cent stake in Block 7 in Bangladesh from Chevron Corp., Seoul-based GS Caltex said Sunday in an e-mailed statement, without saying how much it will pay for the holding, Bloomberg reported.

Chevron Dhaka Office confirmed to UNB that GS Caltex will join Chevron and Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (BAPEX) as partners in Block 7.

They said the agreement, approved by the Bangladesh government, results in GS Caltex assuming a 45 per cent interest. Chevron is the operator and holds a 45 per cent interest and BAPEX owns 10 per cent.

Korean refiners including GS Caltex and bigger rival SK Energy Co. (KSE:096770) are expanding investments in overseas energy assets to diversify revenue sources and secure supplies on expectations that oil prices will rise as the global economy recovers. Crude oil prices have doubled in the past year.

GS Caltex in a statement said Chevron currently holds 90 per cent of the onshore block, while Bapex owns the balance. The South Korean refiner has won approval from the Bangladesh government for the investment.

GS Caltex, equally owned by GS Holdings Corp. (KSE:078930) and Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, has stakes in six exploration projects in countries including Russia, Cambodia and Thailand.

Bangladesh ship breakers protest new standards-Prohibition of toxic

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh ? Bangladesh’s ship breaking yards ground to a halt Monday as some 30,000 workers protested a government decree aimed at improving environmental standards in the industry, police said.

Under a government order issued in late January said, ships heading for breaking yards must now be certified as toxic chemical-free before they are imported and scrapped.

“Ship breakers are demanding the order be reversed and 30,000 ship breaking workers are protesting with a massive rally in the centre of Chittagong,” said local police chief Monirul Islam, referring to Bangladesh’s second-largest city.

The order comes after a boom year for ship breakers, with the number of yards growing to around 100 from just 40 in early 2009 and turnover hitting a record 700 million dollars.

With no natural iron ore deposits, Bangladesh is dependent on recycled steel for its fast-growing economy. Some 45 percent of the world’s ship breaking happens on the southeastern Sitakundu coast.

“The government order is tantamount to a death sentence for the industry,” said Jafar Alam, head of the Bangladeshi ship-breakers association.

“Tens of thousands of workers will lose their jobs because of the order,” he said.

The industry employs an estimated 40,000 people.

Activists hailed the government’s order as the “biggest achievement in many years” in their battle to enforce environmental and work safety standards in the yards.

“Now the yards cannot import ships that contain deadly toxic waste like asbestos, mercury and PCPs,” said Mohammad Ali Shaheen, the local head of the rights group coalition, NGO Platform on Ship Breaking.

“It will ensure the safety of the workers who were made to clean up these pollutants with their bare hands. The government has proved that it’s stronger than the ship breakers and I hope it won’t back off from this stand.”

Last year, 26 people were killed at the ship breaking yards, a figure that charities call a huge underestimate, as it only counts on-site accidents and does not include workers who were laid off after being made ill by toxic chemicals.

Ships heading for Bangladesh routinely contain chemicals banned in many developed countries such as asbestos.

It is stated by the environment and forest ministry that government officials would examine the ships to issue cleaning certificates at this end. What we can understand is that the responsibility of whether a ship carries toxic substances would now critically and entirely, devolve on our officials. Of course, these would have to be examined at our end; by all means do it; but would it not have been a fail-safe mechanism if the pre-cleaning certificates were produced by the exporters to do an effective cross-checking with? We feel that the relaxation of the rule could spawn manipulation, and even corruption, even though the environment ministry seems determined not to allow intrusion of hazardous vessels in to our maritime territory .

As it is, a large number of ship breaking yards themselves have no clearance certificates; yet they are operating with impunity risking all sorts of hazard to 30,000 workers and posing economic risks to their dependents.

Clearly, government’s compliance with the High Court directives to formulate necessary ship-breaking laws in conformity with Bangladesh’s obligations under international conventions and her own environment conservation act and rules has been long overdue