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  • mohammad zaman
    attached is a bangla kobita. mz
    Message 1 of 41 , Apr 30, 2003
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      attached is a bangla kobita. mz
    • Dak Bangla
      The Daily Star�����s �����business����� ventures? When �����regrets����� outweigh intentional damages [BangladesherDak News Analysis]: Despite angst-ridden
      Message 41 of 41 , May 8, 2003
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        The Daily Star�s �business� ventures?
        When �regrets� outweigh intentional damages

        [BangladesherDak News Analysis]:

        Despite angst-ridden murmurs to the contrary from our journalist community,
        the Bangladesh mainstream newspapers are by the �freest� in the world.
        Editors and publishers are known to have a piece of the pie in any major
        mega deals with the Government, their newspapers a conduit to exert pressure
        to the various behind the scene corporate lobbying that goes hand in hand
        with such shady deals, and whenever successful ends up in filling coffers of
        the Editors. Slander, corruption, and blackmail to achieve those objectives
        are the order of the day.

        Whether that be the heist of the Stock Exchange of 1996, or the failed save
        Ekushey TV campaign, to manipulation of NGO reporting passing as news to
        garner donor funds, or the more tragic shenanigan of touting young scientist
        to engage in �paid lectures� to solicit funds from extraneous sources, or
        perversely raising funds for sustenance of Acid Victims - citizens of
        Bangladesh have witnessed with grave concerns how newspapers manipulate
        public opinion in the guise of �national interest� of �public interest� �
        when later it becomes amply clear that nothing more than �personal interest�
        dictate decisions of Editors and Publishers in their so called �patriotism�.

        The �eminent� Editor of The Daily Star we understand is a member of the core
        body of Transparency International, Bangladesh chapter, yet in his bid to
        fight �corruption� � we do not see much �transparency� in his recent conduct
        with JW Worldwide, a reputed business house in Bangladesh.

        Beginning with a report on 6th of May when a Daily Star report made
        malicious attacks on the company
        � in what appears to be a deal of 8 lakhs taka on film cleaning, yet it
        concluded with an abrupt butt ended slander of how JW <failed to get a
        contract of Tk 85 crore recently to replace equipment of BTV relay stations
        across the country when the cabinet purchase committee rejected it.> to the
        Editors expression of �regret� - front paged in Daily Star today.

        However reading between the lines one would assume that the Editor is either
        being deliberately na�ve when he mentions < we admit that in describing
        these anomalies, the name of JW Worldwide Ltd came in a way that might seem
        that the company was responsible for the questionable activities. > - Yet
        one cannot help overlook that in the expression of his so called �regret� �
        the entire matter of Takas 85 crores have been happily bypassed!

        What could then be the beguiling reason for the Daily Star to add that last
        butt ended sentence � if it was not to malign JW worldwide and damage it
        business reputation?

        BangladesherDak has obtained a copy of JW worldwide rebuttal and two points
        stand out as significant:

        1.<The said concocted, false, fabricated and manufactured "Star Report"
        referring to JW Worldwide Limited has been made because of the influence of
        business linkages of the Daily Star with commercial houses in Bangladesh to
        undermine our client's businesses in Bangladesh, and of international
        businesses present in Bangladesh, and the undertaking of business by other
        business groups in country>

        2. < In the circumstances, we are instructed to call upon you to retract
        your statement concerning JW Worldwide Limited, and publish this Notice as a
        Rejoinder itself in the Daily Star, word by word, sentence by sentence, as
        our client has instructed vide this Notice to be written to you. >

        There are three filings in this report:

        1. Money skimmers take DFP for a ride: Outsiders make documentary to siphon
        off fund
        2. JW Worldwide letter & our reply
        3. JW Wordwides Clarification -verbatim

        ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]][[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[


        Daily Star, Dhaka, Tuesday 6th May 2003

        1. Money skimmers take DFP for a ride: Outsiders make documentary to siphon
        off fund

        Star Report

        The Ministry of Information has its eyes wide shut to the overwhelming
        presence of evidences of involvement of some outsiders in the production of
        a documentary for the Department of Films and Publications (DFP) to skim
        money.

        Evidences proved that a group of influential outsiders led by one of the
        three assistant press secretaries (APS) to the prime minister made the
        documentary and siphoned off most of the Tk 8 lakh allocation by the
        information ministry for the venture.

        The 30-minute documentary, one in Bangla and another with English sub-title,
        carries propaganda against the Awami League-sponsored convention on human
        rights and 'repression' on the Hindu community immediately after the last
        general election. Copies of it were distributed among Bangladesh embassies
        abroad and foreign missions in Dhaka.

        The Daily Star obtained a copy of the CD styled 'Glimpses of Truth', which
        clearly showed that it was not made by the DFP, but by a group of outsiders.

        Officials said it is mandatory to use names of the DFP, Ministry of
        Information and the monogram of the Bangladesh government in the credit line
        of any government film or documentary. But neither the name of the DFP nor
        any private organisation was stated in the documentary.

        The credit line of every documentary that the DFP produces should read:
        "Presented by the Department of Films and Publications (DFP), Ministry of
        Information, People's Republic of Bangladesh (along with the official
        monogram)."

        But this particular documentary skipped those words.

        Evidence and investigation revealed the APS, who rather prefers to introduce
        himself as a spokesman of Hawa Bhaban (popularly known as unofficial
        secretariat of the ruling BNP), a political appointee DPS (deputy press
        secretary) to the PM and several outsiders were directly involved in the
        production of the CD.

        After the publication of a report in The Daily Star on April 15 under the
        headline 'PMO staff mint money from puffed up photo, documentary budget',
        the information ministry sharply reacted and issued a rejoinder on the same
        day terming it 'unfounded, factually incorrect and fabricated'.

        The information ministry claimed no APS of the Prime Minister's Press Wing
        was involved in the making of the documentary. Since the DFP is the sole
        authority to make documentary films on behalf of the government, there is no
        scope at all for outsiders to get directly involved in the film making
        process, read the ministry rejoinder.

        Following the rejoinder, The Daily Star investigated further and found out
        that the documentary was completely made outside the DFP and by powerful
        outsiders.

        Sources at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the DFP explicitly said
        that none from the DFP was involved in the CD production.

        They said the DFP has no technological capabilities to make a video CD
        because it only works on celluloid film. The DFP has a video wing introduced
        during the Awami League regime, but it is not working because many of its
        equipment are out of order and obsolete.

        Names of some DFP officials were however used in the CD in an apparent
        attempt to avoid legal consequences. Talking to The Daily Star, a number of
        senior DFP officials denied their involvement in the production of the
        documentary.

        Many officials felt government rules and procedures were violated in this
        case.

        After publication of The Daily Star report, the DFP changed some vital
        papers and documents at the instruction of the higher authorities to guard
        against future complexity, sources disclosed. But it could not change or
        insert anything to the title or the credit line as copies of it have already
        been distributed.
        Following is the credit line mentioned in the CD: Supervision- Maruf Kamal
        Sohel, a political appointee DPS of the PM's Press Wing; Information and
        Research Ashiuzzaman, executive editor of Envoy; Nurul Azam Paban of BTV;
        Anwarul Islam of Dainik Ittefaq; Mehadi Hasan of Daily Inqilab; Farid Alam
        of Ajker Kagoj (now in NTV) and Parag Arman of Dainik Dinkal. Interviews by
        Mehadi Hasan Palash. Producer- Sardar Amin, Management- Shamim Hasan with
        the co-operation of Syed Mahbubur Rahman, director general (DG) of DFP, and
        ABM Salahuddin, director of DFP. Sardar Amin is learnt to be a DFP official,
        but his designation and official identity was not used in the credit line.

        A reporter of the now defunct ETV was also involved in the production
        process, but his name was dropped when he quit following disagreement with
        the APS.

        To justify additional payment, names of two persons were shown in the credit
        line in four different ways. Anwar Al Din and Anwarul Islam is one person
        who works in the Bengali daily Ittefaq. Same goes with Mehadi Hasan and
        Mehadi Hasan Palash of Inqilab.

        In the video CD, it is clearly written that Ashik Islam and Anwar Al Din
        have made the documentary. Touhidul Islam alias Ashik Islam is the said APS
        while Anwar Al Din is a staff reporter of Ittefaq.
        Both of them are members of the Film Censor Board. Known as stalwarts of
        Hawa Bhaban, the two are also associated with the FDC (Film Development
        Corporation), BTV and DFP.

        The APS had no proven expertise in film related jobs; still he was sent to
        Switzerland in October last year as a 'technical expert' to supervise
        cleaning of around 20 films that contains pictures of official activities of
        late President Ziaur Rahman.

        His trip to Switzerland reportedly came as a favour returned by the JW
        Worldwide, a business firm that clinched a bid worth Tk 86 lakh for cleaning
        those films. A mid-ranking former Workers Party leader-turned-businessman
        was instrumental in getting the job for JW Worldwide, thanks to his strong
        connection with the Hawa Bhaban and the APS, sources said.

        DFP officials said the film-cleaning task could easily have been done in
        neighbouring India, Thailand and Singapore. But as the cleaning was done in
        Switzerland for unknown reason the project cost shot up, incurring huge loss
        to the national exchequer.

        Similar project was carried out to clean old films on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
        during the Awami League period. It was done in Madras (now Chennai) with
        considerably low price and the quality of the job was the same as in
        Switzerland.

        The JW Worldwide meanwhile failed to get a contract of Tk 85 crore recently
        to replace equipment of BTV relay stations across the country when the
        cabinet purchase committee rejected it.

        Source: [http://www.dailystarnews.com/200305/06/n3050601.htm#BODY3%5d

        2. JW Worldwide letter & our reply

        Daily Star Dhaka, Thursday 8th May 2003

        JW Worldwide has contradicted a part of a news item with the headline "Money
        Skimmers take DFP for a ride" published in The Daily Star on May 6.

        In its communication it made the following points, "The film cleaning work
        awarded by DFP to JW Worldwide Ltd was done through a tender process. In
        fact, the tender was floated three times. On all three occasions JW
        Worldwide was the lowest technically qualified bidder. During the first and
        second tender, although JW Worldwide was the lowest responsive bidder, the
        contract was not awarded to JW Worldwide. In the third tender, JW Worldwide
        was again lowest and DFP had to award the contract to us. The process was
        very clear and transparent.

        As per tender conditions, two persons nominated by DFP were in Switzerland
        alongwith one of JW Worldwide's representatives to oversee the work. Our
        client quoted from a Switzerland Flim Cleaning company since according to
        the available quote which was received from USA, Canada and Thailand, the
        lowest quote JW Worldwide had was the Swiss Company.

        In the said Tk 85 crore BTV project, although JW Worldwide was lowest and
        technically qualified by the Tender Committee of BTV our client's offer was
        not recommended by the Ministry of Information to the Purchase Committee, as
        stated in the "Star Report", nor was our client's bid rejected by the
        Purchase Committee. Our client reiterates that its offer was not even
        recommended by the Ministry despite being the lowest and technically
        qualified bid.

        Elsewhere in the "Star Report", reference is made to "a mid-ranking former
        Workers Party leader turned businessman in getting the job for JW Worldwide
        Limited due to his strong connection with the Hawa Bhaban and the APS".

        Our Reply:

        Our report intended to highlight the questionable activities in the DFP
        which has raised serious public questions about its financial dealings,
        abuse of power and wastage of public money. It also highlighted the
        questionable role of some of the members of the Prime Minister's Office--
        for example, the role of the APS, PMO Press Wing in the film cleaning
        process. But we admit that in describing these anomalies, the name of JW
        Worldwide Ltd came in a way that might seem that the company was responsible
        for the questionable activities. However it was not our intention to pass
        DFP's onus on to JW Worldwide. We sincerely regret this error and any damage
        done to the image of the company.

        Editor

        Source: [http://www.dailystarnews.com/200305/08/n3050801.htm#BODY15%5d


        3. JW Wordwides Clarification -verbatim

        The Editor and Publisher of the Daily Star,
        and 6 May, 2003 the Staff Reporter of the News Item entitled
        "Money skimmers take DFP for a ride"
        19 Karwan Bazar
        Dhaka-1215

        Fax No. 8125155, 8126154

        Dear Sirs,

        We write upon instructions from our client JW Worldwide Limited of Sharif
        Mansion (5th Floor),56-57 Motijheel C.A.,Dhaka-1000 to address you as under:
        -

        1.That our attention has been drawn to a news paper report entitled "Money
        skimmers take DFD for a ride" appearing in the front page, spanning columns
        2,3,4 and 5 and spanning columns 4,5 and 6 on page 11 in the Daily Star of
        Tuesday, 6 May, 2003. The authorship of the Report is signified as a "Star
        Report";

        2.That whilst most of the said "Star Report" does not concern our client, JW
        Worldwide Limited, on page 11, in columns 6 and 7, principally column 7, the
        Star Report undermines, seriously prejudices and defames JW Worldwide
        Limited without any basis in fact;

        3.That the said "Star Report" states "His trip to Switzerland reportedly
        (italic on behalf of the Notice Giver) came as a favour returned by the JW
        Worldwide, a business firm that clinched a bid worth Tk.86, 00,000 for
        cleaning those films";

        4.That the "Star Report" further states: "The JW Worldwide Limited failed to
        get a contract of Tk.85 crores recently to replace equipment of BTV relay
        stations across the country when the cabinet purchase committee rejected
        it";

        5.That we are further instructed by JW Worldwide Limited to set forth the
        following facts:-

        (a) The film cleaning work awarded by DFP to JW Worldwide Ltd was done
        through a tender process. In fact, the tender was floated three times. On
        all three occasions JW Worldwide was the lowest technically qualified
        bidder. During the first and second tender, although JW Worldwide was the
        lowest responsive bidder, the contract was not awarded to JW Worldwide. In
        the third tender, JW Worldwide was again lowest and DFP had to award the
        contract to us. The process was very clear and transparent;

        (b) As per tender conditions, two persons nominated by DFP were in
        Switzerland along with one of JW Worldwide's representatives to oversee the
        work. Our client quoted from a Switzerland Film-Cleaning company since
        according to the available quote, which was received from USA, Canada, and
        Thailand, the lowest quote JW Worldwide had was from the Swiss Company;

        (c) In the said 85 crore taka BTV project, although JW Worldwide was lowest
        and technically qualified by the Tender Committee of BTV our client's offer
        was not recommended by the Ministry of Information to the Purchase
        Committee, as stated in the "Star Report", nor was our client's bid rejected
        by the Purchase Committee; our client re-iterates that its offer was not
        even recommended by the Ministry despite being the lowest and technically
        qualified bid.

        6. Elsewhere in the "Star Report, reference is made to "a mid-ranking former
        Workers Party leader turned businessman in getting the job for JW Worldwide
        Limited due to his strong connection with the HAWA Bhaban and the APS";

        7. We are instructed that the statements referenced in paragraph 3, 4 and
        above, published by the Daily Star, are concocted, false, fabricated and
        manufactured, made with ill motive, for collateral purposes to undermine,
        seriously prejudice, put out of business and defame JW Worldwide Limited;

        8. We are further instructed that the said concocted, false, fabricated and
        manufactured "Star Report" referring to JW Worldwide Limited has been made
        because of the influence of business linkages of the Daily Star with
        commercial houses in Bangladesh to undermine our client's businesses in
        Bangladesh, and of international businesses present in Bangladesh, and the
        undertaking of business by other business groups in country;

        9. That the publication of the "Star Report" is concocted, false and
        manufactured bereft of any due diligence exercised by the Star Reporter,
        Editor and Publisher, made without any serious investigation undertaken by
        them without exercising even the minimal standards of professional
        journalism, in an arbitrary, mala fide manner without regard to the genuine,
        lawful business carried on by JW Worldwide Limited;

        10. That the Star Report has manifestly engaged in rumour mongering and
        perverted sensationalism.

        In the circumstances, we are instructed to call upon you to retract your
        statement concerning JW Worldwide Limited, and publish this Notice as a
        Rejoinder itself in the Daily Star, word by word, sentence by sentence, as
        our client has instructed vide this Notice to be written to you. In the
        event of your failure to so publish this response on behalf of our client in
        the Daily Star on or by Thursday, 8 May, 2003 on the first page in 5 columns
        similarly as in your original "Star Report" of 6 May, 2003, and to
        acknowledge and `apologise for having published the baseless, concocted,
        defamatory statements about the JW Worldwide Limited, our client has
        instructed us to take necessary steps, including the initiation of legal
        proceedings in an appropriate Court of law for compensation in the sum of
        Tk.10 crores against the Editor, Publisher and the Star Reporter jointly and
        severally.


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