News of: Friday, 30th of November, 2012
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The government yesterday launched a nationwide drive to identify readymade garment factories with dismal safety system, five days into the nation's deadliest industrial blaze in Ashulia.
Mizan and Masum are cousins: too young to understand what took away their mothers late Saturday night.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday launched a blistering attack on Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia for her remarks that the government may declare a state of emergency to cling to power.
On Monday, Bablu sold the cow he had bought six months ago with all the savings he and his wife had. The decision was tough but he had no choice.
Knowing that he would die, Polash Mian called his mother to say a final goodbye.
Garment factory owners yesterday came down hard on the media for "exaggerating" the November 24 Ashulia fire incident and thus denting their good name.
As many as four players -- bowlers Shohag Gazi and Abul Hasan and batsmen Anamul Haque and Mominul Haque -- could be given Bangladesh debut when the five-ODI series against the West Indies gets underway at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium here today.
A mob beat four outlaws to death while they were fleeing after their failed attempt to collect illegal toll from a villager at Kaliani Beell area of Faridpur upazila in Pabna yesterday morning.
While the country has been reeling from the shock of Saturday's Ashulia fire, around 100 panic-stricken workers were injured in a stampede following a rumour of fire in two factories at Savar yesterday.
The Bengal ITC-SRA Classical Music Festival 2012 got underway last evening, bringing together the giants of Indian classical music and dances at the biggest ever festival of the kind in Dhaka.
A case was filed with a Chittagong court yesterday accusing six people, including chairman of Chittagong Development Authority, for the deaths caused by collapse of girders of the under-construction Bahaddarhat flyover last Saturday.
Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas went to the United Nations yesterday assured of huge support for UN recognition of a state for his people in the face of strong US and Israeli opposition.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said yesterday she has performance records of all ministers and MPs in her hands and is getting another survey on their activities done by government agencies and her "own men".
The government should introduce special curriculum for children with disabilities and reduce the cost of their study materials in order to integrate them in the mainstream education, said speakers at a roundtable yesterday.
The pro-BNP Doctors Association of Bangladesh has boycotted the Bangladesh Medical Association election on allegations of rigging in different districts including Dhaka, Bhola, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Pirojpur and Jhalakathi.
At least four suspected gamblers drowned after they jumped into a river to escape from chasing detectives on Wednesday evening in Dinajpur.
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday directed the police to ensure security of the chamber of a defence counsel of detained Jamaat-e-Islami leaders accused in war crimes cases.
A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to former speaker Jamir Uddin Sircar and former deputy speaker Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui in four graft cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Jatiya Party yesterday decided not to back any mayoral aspirant in the ensuing Rangpur City Corporation election centring a conflict over picking a favourite.
A Dhaka court yesterday ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to take steps to freeze 71 bank accounts of nine Destiny Group officials in connection with a money laundering case filed by the ACC.
A Thai court yesterday postponed till next month the start of the terrorism trial of 24 leaders of the "Red Shirt" protests that rocked Bangkok in 2010, because one of the defendants was ill.
A roadside bomb killed 10 civilians, including a woman and five children, and wounded eight when it ripped through a van in southern Afghanistan yesterday, officials said.
Leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia in her alliance's massive public rally in Dhaka on Wednesday announced an elaborate political demonstration programme to ratchet up her demand for restoration of caretaker government by the current month.
Two years into implementation, the 193km vital link between Dhaka and the port city of Chittagong has seen 30% of work completion. Yet we are now being told that the government has prioritised the highway expansion project and intends to complete it within a year. Going by newspaper reports, the Roads and Highways Department has completed 80% of the earth-filling work. Apparently, the project ran into a snag since present rules and regulations bar it from taking soil from agriculture lands. One wonders precisely why contingency planning was not done by our planners prior to embarking on such a crucial project. Whatever may be the case, earth-filling exercises remain unattended in certain sections of the highway, particularly Comilla and Daudkandi areas.
The West Indies' tour of Bangladesh has so far highlighted the chasm between the two teams. In the two Tests, Bangladesh were competitive for some time before the tourists' superior strength decided the matter beyond all doubt. But when Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and his opposite number Darren Sammy meet for the toss today at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium here for the first of five ODIs, both will know that they have reached their comfort zones. Even so, the home skipper will likely be in the less comfortable one of the two.
Australia's Ricky Ponting called time Thursday on a 17-year Test career that made him the world's second-highest run-scorer, announcing this week's clash with South Africa will be his last.
One could have been forgiven for thinking that it was back to the halcyon days of West Indies cricket as Darren Sammy -- their tall, ever-smiling captain -- swaggered through the halls of the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium towards the conference room for the pre-match briefing yesterday.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon has distributed the responsibilities among the newly-appointed ad-hoc committee members during its first meeting at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium office in Mirpur yesterday.
David Villa took his career goal tally to 301 when he netted twice as holders Barcelona eliminated third-tier Alaves 6-1 on aggregate to qualify for the last 16 of the King's Cup on Wednesday.
Holders Abahani and title contenders Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club notched their third successive victory to stay joint top in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League after beating their respective rivals at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
On the first day of the National Swimming Championship, Jewel Ahmed broke his idol Rubel Rana's national record in 400m individual medley but the 18-year old swimmer could not beat his idol in the 50m backstroke on the second day at the Syed Nazrul Isalm National Swimming Complex in Mirpur yesterday.
New Zealand registered their first Test win in
The Combined Sports Organisers' Panel led by Bangladesh's ambassador to Kuwait, Syed Shahed Reza, made a clean sweep winning all the posts of the Bangladesh Olympic Association's polls held at the BOA Media Center yesterday.
Holders Mohammedan SC kept their winning run intact in the Ultra Milk Premier Division Chess League at the close of the seventh round at the Auditorium of the National Sports Council Tower yesterday.
The ad-hoc committee of the Bangladesh Hockey Federation has kept the ball rolling on the turf round the year as the National Youth (Under-18) Hockey Championship is all set to get underway at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium from tomorrow.
Fast bowlers Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus were Thursday left out of the Australian team for the third Test in Perth on Friday after their exhausting workload in Adelaide.
Shatadal Club made a good start in the Chittagong Premier Football League as they beat Chittagong Mohammedan Sporting Blues 2-1 at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.
Brazil on Thursday officially announced Luiz Felipe Scolari as their coach to lead them through to the 2014 World Cup finals on home soil, replacing Mano Menezes, sacked last week.
Robin van Persie scored the fastest goal of the English Premier League season as Manchester United stayed a point clear at the top with a 1-0 win over West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Bayern Munich opened a 10-point gap at the top of the German league on Wednesday with a 2-0 victory at Freiburg ahead of their key Bundesliga clash at home to champions Borussia Dortmund this weekend.
Did the ball cross the line? It's a question which football fans have been asking at least since the 1966 World Cup final, when England striker Geoff Hurst's extra time goal against Germany was given by a Swiss referee on the advice of his Soviet linesman.
Bologna, Atalanta and Fiorentina on Wednesday disposed of lower league opposition to book their spots in the last 16 of the Italian Cup, which will be shorn of another Serie A side in Chievo.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta were on Thursday shortlisted for this year's Ballon d'Or, football's world governing body FIFA and sponsors France Football magazine said.
Manchester City assistant coach David Platt was banned for two European matches on Wednesday after being sent off in the English team's Champions League clash with Real Madrid.
It took four days for the trade body of garment makers to take a mere decision to form a taskforce that will give the factory owners a deadline to upgrade their fire safety measures.
Robi, the country's third largest mobile operator, yesterday posted losses of Tk 66 crore in net profits for the third quarter (Q3) of 2012.
International labour rights group Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) yesterday called for international pressure on Bangladeshi garment makers to get them to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety (BFBS) agreement.
Stocks yesterday went up almost 5.5 percent, putting an end to the downward trend of the past eight sessions.
Emami, an Indian fast-moving consumer goods company, is set to start commercial production in Bangladesh soon from an Rs 20 crore facility, a senior company official said.
An IMF mission yesterday suggested the government amend six specific sections of the Banking Companies Act for getting the second instalment of a $1-billion loan from the lender.
Bangladesh Bank yesterday asked all financial institutions to submit some of their statements through the electronic system instead of presenting those manually.
Sustainable banks have outperformed global banking giants in growth in loans, deposits, assets, equity and income as a latest study finds the ethical banking system is resilient, supports real economy and provides stable returns.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman has recently been awarded a certificate of world record by a Hong Kong-based body, World Record Association, as the central bank governor undertaking the highest number of pro-poor and financial inclusive programmes in the world.
Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, acting president of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, opened a garment and textile laboratory of SGS Bangladesh Ltd in Chittagong on Wednesday.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $48 million to help goods move more smoothly in and out of Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, by overhauling time-consuming, costly and often opaque customs procedures that are inhibiting intraregional trade.
The newly-elected president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) yesterday vowed to work towards lowering bank interest rates to single digits to minimise operational costs of business.
The four-day logjam in Indian parliament over foreign investment in retail sector ended yesterday with the presiding officers of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha deciding to allow separate discussions on the subject under a rule that entails voting.
In a powerful show of protest against the recent deaths in an Ashulia garment factory fire, 111 persons wearing shrouds to resemble corpses lied down before BGMEA Bhaban in the capital's Karwan Bazar yesterday.
The government has no intention to ban politics of Jamaat-e-Islami right now, said Local Government and Rural Development & Co-operatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday asked Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir to openly announce the date and time of encounters instead of attacking law enforcers like cowards.
Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday lambasted BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for announcing on Wednesday the December 9 countrywide road blockade over the demand for the restoration of the caretaker government system.
Ameer Hossain, mastermind of Parag Mondol abduction, was placed on a 10-day remand by a Dhaka court yesterday.
Nothing can soothe him now.
Speakers at a programme yesterday said the malpractice of denying people information had been going on in the country since the British colonial period.
A section of teachers, students and staff of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) kept confined the university's vice chancellor and his family members to their residence for around one and a half hours yesterday.
Seven people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Magura, Bogra, Natore and Jhenidah yesterday.
The High Court (HC) yesterday extended for six months its earlier order that granted bail to BNP leader Tarique Rahman in an extortion case filed during the regime of immediate past military-backed caretaker government.
The High Court yesterday scrapped the proceedings of a corruption case filed against Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, deputy leader of the parliament.
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a November 12 High Court order which stayed till December 11 the process for elections to the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), scheduled for December 6.
The 13th death anniversary of Syed Mahbubul Haque (Benu Mia) will be observed today.
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its Bangladeshi member organisation Odhikar urged international clothing brands to pressurise their supplier factories in the country to ensure workers' rights.
A UN war crimes court yesterday acquitted Kosovo's ex-prime minister Ramush Haradinaj of murder and torture during the 1990s war of independence, enraging Belgrade with the second such acquittal in two weeks.
Journalists from several reputed European news agencies and newspapers including BBC and Le Figaro attended a number of United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) assisted programmes in the country from November 26 to 29.
Anjuman Ara Jamil, wife of Brig Gen (retd) Jamil Uddin Ahmad Bir Uttam who was assassinated along with Bangabandhu and his family members on August 15, 1975, passed away yesterday.
The second convocation of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) was held yesterday.
Rapid Action Battalion-7 arrested an alleged robber and seized two revolvers, 12 bullets and 300 Yaba tablets from his possession after chasing him down on a CNG-run three-wheeler on Paikpara road in Chittagong's Patiya upazila yesterday.
Teachers and students of Rajshahi University yesterday formed a human chain on campus protesting the countrywide unrest created by Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamaat backed Islami Chhatra Shibir.
Today is the 14th death anniversary of science writer and educationist Abdullah Al-Muti.
Today is the third death anniversary of Akhtar Ahmed Khan, former secretary general of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ).
Today is the 24th death anniversary of eminent film maker and playwright Aazharul Islam.
Today is the 24th death anniversary of Anwara Khatun, a member of erstwhile Bengal Legislature Assembly, says a press release. She was a close associate of Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, Moulana Bhashani and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Defying a ban on eucalyptus, the nurseries in the district have kept on producing and selling saplings of the harmful tree.
Gambling is going on unabated under the nose of law enforcers at different villages in five upazilas of the district.
Tender schedules were snatched from two contractors allegedly by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Jubo League activists on Panchagarh civil surgeon (CS) office premises on Wednesday afternoon.
Rangpur Sugar Mills incurred a loss of around Tk one crore as around 3,000 tonnes of molasses worth Tk two crore remained unsold for the last one year.
The International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women is observed on November 25 every year as per the UN resolution adopted on December 17, 1999. The aim of the day is to raise awareness against violence against women including domestic violence. The day also marks the beginning of a 16-day period of activism against gender violence which starts on November 25 and ends on December 10, the International Human Rights Day.
Parents taking their children to Wills Little Flower School, Viqarunnisa Noon School and other schools and colleges at Kakrail and Bailey Road area from Purana Paltan, Bijoynagar and Motijheel are extremely happy and grateful to the traffic authorities for allowing rickshaws on these roads. We hope the traffic authorities will continue to allow rickshaws on these roads. Without rickshaws, it becomes very difficult for the parents to take their children to school.
The tragedy at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia was of such a magnitude that we have to gasp with horror and deep anguish. One hundred and eleven workers were burnt to death… it was like hell broke loose. We shudder to think about the agony of those who died. Death is inevitable, but to die in such a way is most unfortunate. We pray for the departed souls and for the families of the deceased. May the Almighty give them strength to bear it.
We have learnt from the recent “Science & Life” page of this daily that researchers have shown for the first time that embryonic stem cells that they have programmed to develop into neurons can integrate into existing brain circuits and fire patterns of electrical activity that are critical for consciousness and neural network activity. The research team transplanted human stem cell-derived neurons into a rodent hippocampus, the brain's information-processing centre. Then they specially activated the transplanted neurons with optogenetic stimulation, a relatively new technique that combines light and genetics to precisely control cellular behaviour in living tissues or animals.
It was awful that Jamaat-Shibir men could overpower police, snatched their rifles, and used those to beat them up. The more shocking news was, Jamaat-Shibir men tried to kill a policeman by burning him alive in Bogra on l2th November. And on 13th November, the Shibir men beat the cops brutally and tried to slit a Jubo League leader's throat in the city. The law minister also came under their attack. How come they could be so organized, frenzied and virulent? As we knew from the media and the police reports, they launched their campaign of violence to foil the war crimes trial. The message is all clear that they have both muscle and money to achieve their ends. Ideologically, Jamaat-Shibir is no different from the Islamist militants. The whole nation needs to rise against Shibir and their nefarious activities.
Recently, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said that our national parliament is getting ineffective day by day. About 97% members of our parliament are connected with negative activities. They are also involved in various crimes. The report also showed that the opposition members of the parliament had boycotted about 80% parliament meetings. But as parliament members, they are enjoying 100% privileges from the country. TIB said that boycotting parliament needs to be stopped by making law. It is high time we changed these practices.
Seasoned politician Tofayel Ahmed appeared on Tritiomatra on the occasion of historic Jail Killing Day on November 3, 2012 and gave a vivid description of the untold sufferings he went through at different locations during those difficult times. What drew my attention most is his candid response to the question put forward by Zillur Rahman at the conclusion: "The mission for Bangladesh is far from being achieved even after 40 years into independence."
Good grades cannot really guarantee one a good job. In fact, a person's achievements in the academia do not always reflect in their career. As puzzling as this may seem, but unfortunately it is true.
Many Bangladeshis assume that Nobel prize is equivalent to prizes given to the winner of any game. Bangladeshi people should be ashamed when a senior minister of the cabinet speaks in dismissive terms about an internationally reputed and respected person who is the lone Nobel laureate our country. The senior minister himself is a respected person of the country but we cannot respect him unless he comments decently. Another minister claims that anyone who loves sandwich and coffee can win a Nobel prize if he/she wishes so. This minister is another respected person and he deserves sympathy from each and every citizen of Bangladesh as he is the son of a highly respected person and first prime minister of Bangladesh in exile, who was killed brutally in Dhaka Central Jail 37 years ago in this month of the year. We all pray to Almighty Allah for his departed soul.
That day while I was strolling along the road after offering my Asr prayer in the Masjid, I witnessed three policemen passing by on a motorbike in a leisurely pace. None of them had helmets on. According to traffic law, more than two persons can not ride on a motorbike. It is the duty of the people connected to the law enforcement agencies to abide by the traffic rules and encourage people to follow them. If the traffic police do not follow the rules, how do they expect the public to follow the rules?
An assembly charged with writing Egypt's new constitution began voting on its final draft yesterday, a process President Mohamed Morsi hopes will help to end a crisis which erupted when the Islamist gave himself sweeping new powers.
India's government has conceded to opposition pressure to allow lawmakers a vote on allowing foreign supermarkets in the country, in a bid to end a parliamentary deadlock that has stalled key reforms.
Nepal's president yesterday gave the restive nation's warring political factions six more days to form a national unity government to take Nepal into parliamentary elections next year.
A major inquiry yesterday called for new laws to underpin a tougher watchdog for Britain's "outrageous" newspapers in a verdict that sets up Prime Minister David Cameron for a bruising political battle.
Sri Lanka's main Tamil party yesterday demanded troops be withdrawn to barracks in the former rebel heartland of Jaffna after the worst ethnic violence since the end of the island's decades-long civil war.
President Barack Obama and erstwhile Republican opponent Mitt Romney held a private lunch yesterday at the White House as they tried to move on from a bitterly personal election campaign that divided America.
The main road to the airport of the Syrian capital Damascus has been closed and there have been no flights since early morning, as rebel groups reported fierce fighting in the area.
Sri Lanka's main Tamil party yesterday demanded troops be withdrawn to barracks in the former rebel heartland of Jaffna after the worst ethnic violence since the end of the island's decades-long civil war.
India is set to amend its hate speech laws following a public outcry over two women arrested for posting comments on Facebook after the death of hardline politician Bal Thackeray.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up at Ecuador's London embassy for five months, has a lung condition that could get worse, the South American country's envoy to Britain said Wednesday.
British oil giant BP was temporarily banned from winning new US government contracts Wednesday after agreeing to plead guilty to criminal charges in the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.
Two winning tickets - bought in Arizona and Missouri - share a $550m US Powerball lottery jackpot, the second-biggest US prize ever, organisers said yesterday.
A Russian court yesterday ordered to ban access on the Internet to the videos of performances by the jailed feminist punk band Pussy Riot, ruling the films to be extremist.
Myanmar riot police fired water cannon and tear gas at protesters against a Chinese-backed copper mine yesterday, injuring dozens in a crackdown hours before Aung San Suu Kyi visited the area.
The Pakistani doctor jailed for his role in the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden is on hunger strike, sources including a relative told the BBC.
A French court yesterday cleared Continental Airlines of any crime over the July 2000 crash of an Air France Concorde but upheld a ruling that the US airline bore civil responsibility for the disaster.
Arts & Entertainment
“I strongly believe every Bangladeshi loves music. Bangladeshis have an inherent musical soul and sensitivity. Most people have not been initiated into classical music and perhaps don't have ears ready for it but I do believe people appreciate good music.
“I see this festival as a culmination of some plans we have. I recognise the tremendous contribution of Bengal Foundation.
Despite the blistering heat and the inevitable traffic snarl-ups of Dhaka, we inched our way in anticipation from the airport to the Dhaka Club. Ustad Rashid Khan was to perform live in the evening at the 'Celebrating Life' event of The Daily Star and Standard Chartered Bank.
Vilayat Khan was born in Gauripur, then undivided British India (now Bangladesh). His Father Enayat Khan was a sitar maestro. His family traces its pedigree back to the court musicians of the Mughals. Vilayat's father was recognised as a leading sitar and surbahar (bass sitar) player of his time, as had been his grandfather, Imdad Khan, before him. Vilayat was taught in the family style, known as the Imdadkhani Gharana or Etawah Gharana, after a village outside Agra where Imdad Khan lived.
-Indian classical music has one of the most complex and complete musical systems ever developed.
5 pm till 4:30 am next day
Dedicated to Sitar Virtuoso Ustad Vilayat Khan
SRA on Strings
In a notorious passage in Atlas Shrugged written in 1957, Ayan Rand argues that all the passengers in a train filled with poisoned fumes deserved their fate. A Russian from a prosperous family who emigrated to the United States, Rand apparently believed that the poor deserved to die and the rich deserved unmediated power. Those words rang out in the garment factory in Ashulia last week, when grieving families sifted through fire wreckage looking for their loved ones.
President Obama has just been elected to run the government of the most powerful country of the world for a second successive term. During the first term, his administration's policies and activities had been under intense scrutiny. But what do we know of his foreign policy objectives during this term? Very little; hence, the question mark at the end of the title.
Seeking apology for past conduct is coming into sub-continental political culture. But just. We have a long way to go in matching some Asian countries like Japan for one, and of course, the West in terms of public expressions of contrition for wrongdoing by leaders.
As I prepared to take the helm of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in 1993, one of the many things I focused on was an examination of innovative ways to address poverty. I already knew about Grameen Bank and its work to give microcredit to poor women in Bangladesh but as I studied Grameen more closely, it became clear that Muhammad Yunus and his colleagues had discovered a series of strategies that were absolute breakthroughs in addressing poverty. Years before visitors had begun arriving from around the world to study Grameen Bank and to take the seeds that had blossomed in the soil of Bangladesh and transplant them in their own countries.
Setting up of a Banking Reforms Commission has become imperative to reform the banking sector and monitor activities of the commercial banks, including the state-owned banks, to make sure that they are working purely on the basis of banking ethics and business calculations.
1947-1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine begins on this day, leading up to the creation of the state of Israel.
Fiber To The Home (FTTH) Council Asia Pacific, a nonprofit organisation, on Sunday organised a workshop on development of fiber infrastructure in Bangladesh.
Facebook is telling its users to ignore rumors spreading on the social network that they need to post a statement to protect their copyrights of their comments and other materials.
Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer defended his company's record on innovation and financial performance at the annual shareholders' meeting, but conceded that he should have moved faster to get into the booming tablet market dominated by Apple Inc's iPad.
A Dutch court ruled on Wednesday that some of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy smartphones and tablets infringe an Apple patent in the latest round of the two firms' worldwide battle.
Young IT professionals, with the help of sanitation experts will go for an intensive brainstorming and programming marathon session to develop innovative IT applications to tackle the poverty in Bangladesh.
Kaspersky Lab has introduced Kaspersky Small Office Security (KSOS) in Bangladesh for the small office environments.