Dhaka, Aug 31 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned home on Friday afternoon from Kathmandu warping up her two-day official visit to Nepal to attend the 4th summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec).
A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 2:35pm (BST).
Earlier, the flight took off from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu at 1:15pm (local time).
Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel and Bangladesh Ambassador in Kathmandu Mashfee Binte Shams saw her off at the airport.
Earlier in the day, Sheikh Hasina attended the Bimstec retreat and closing session.
On Thursday morning, the Prime Minister went to Kathmandu and addressed the opening session of the two-day Bimstec summit on the same day.
Bimstec having seven Member States -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand -- came into being on June 6, 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
During her stay in Kathmandu, Sheikh Hasina held meetings with her Indian and Nepalese counterparts Narendra Modi and KP Sharma Oli.
She also had meetings with Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Bhutan's Chief Adviser or interim government chief Dasho Tshering Wangchuk there.
Dhaka, Aug 31 (UNB) – BNP on Friday turned down the Election Commission’s (EC’s) decision to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the national elections, saying such machines can easily be manipulated.
“The Election Commission in which we’ve no confidence will control the EVMs. We reject their decision of introducing EVMs in the national elections,” said BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed.
Speaking at a discussion, he also said BNP which, what he claims, represents most people of the country will not accept the use of EVMs in the polls. “We don’t accept the decision.”
Youth Forum, a pro-BNP platform, arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club demanding BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release from jail.
Earlier on Thursday, the Election Commission at a meeting decided to send a proposal to the government for amending the electoral laws to pave the way for the use of EVMs in the general elections.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, alleged that the government is behind the EC’s such decision. “I think there’s a big conspiracy behind the move to use the machines for taking votes just three months ahead of the parliamentary polls. The government is directly involved with the plot.”
He said the EC’s hurried decision to use the voting machine has raised various questions in public mind.
Referring to Bangladesh Bank’s reserve heist, the BNP leader said how people can keep confidence in the electronic voting system in a country where central bank’s reserve was plundered through hacking.
“We would like to say voting machine manipulation is not a tough job in a country where central bank’s money can be looted by hacking,” he observed.
Moudud said many countries, including Germany, Italy and Ireland, discarded the use of EVMs in the polls. “Even, 73 percent people in India gave opinions against the EVM use…there’s no country where election was fair and unquestionable using the EVMs.”
He said the move to procure EVMs was taken to indulge in corruption and plunder public money. “Public money will only be wasted by buying the voting machines as those won’t be used in the polls.”
The BNP leader said the government is now trying to keep confidence in machines instead of people as people’s minds cannot be manipulated like machines.
About the efforts of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain to forge a national unity, Moudud said it will turn out to be a successful one as people want all to get united against the current government.
Earlier, at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also opposed the EC’s decision describing EVMs as the magic boxes of vote rigging.
“We think the unilateral decision of using EVMs was taken as part of a master plan to rig votes in the next parliamentary polls,” he observed.
The BNP leader also warned that people with their united efforts will foil the government’s all ‘evil plans’ to manipulate the next election.
Dhaka, Aug 31 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday asked the leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) to do politics upholding the ideology of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“You’ll have to do politics with the ideology of the Father of the Nation. Because, Chhatra League is an organisation which was established in the hands of the Father of the Nation,” she said while addressing a discussion at her official residence Ganobhaban in the city.
BCL, the student wing of ruling Awami League, arranged the programme marking the National Mourning Day.
Noting that BCL has made sacrifice in every achievement of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, also the AL president, asked the BCL men to work for people’s wellbeing.
Terming education the ‘biggest asset’ of a person, she directed every leader and activist of BCL to acquire knowledge first. “With this knowledge, you’ll have to do politics following the ideology shown by the Father of the Nation,” she added.
It is not enough to utter ideology in mouths; rather following and exercising it is very important, the Prime Minister said.
She said it was possible for her government to establish Bangladesh as a role model for development as it followed the ideology of the Father of the Nation.
Pointing at the BCL leaders, Sheikh Hasina said, “If you build yourselves as leaders having ideology, you’ll establish yourselves (in the politics). If you indulge in greed to make assets, you’ll be lost (from politics).”
She asked the BCL leaders to work for implementation of the goals her government fixed to establish Bangladesh as a developed, prosperous and peaceful country in the world.
Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said those spread falsehood against Bangabandhu immediately after the Liberal War still continue their conspiracy.
She said when children took to the streets following the death of two students in a road accident, a vested quarter tried to make political gains using anger of the children. “Many of them (group) are very knowledgeable, dignified, intelligent and internationally renowned persons as well.”
The internationally renowned personalities instigated people to carry out propaganda and falsehood in social media taking the advantage of Digital Bangladesh, the Prime Minister said. “They wanted to get personal gains cashing in on the anger of children,” she added.
“But whenever we took actions against them, there was lamentation all around and pressure came from international levels,” she said.
Mentioning that there was an evil attempt for 21 years after 1975 to remove the name of Father of the Nation from the history, Sheikh Hasina said no one can erase or hide the truth. “Now, Bangabandhu's 7th March historic speech is internationally recognised as the best speech.”
Talking about her mother Fazilatunnesa Mujib's contribution to the country's liberation, she said when Bangabandhu was in jail, she used to convey his instructions to the leaders and activists of Awami League and Chhatra League.
“I found my mother firm in taking decisions,” the Prime Minister said, adding that when there was division among the political leaders about the Six-point Programme, it was Fazilatunnesa who had firmly said it must be a Six-point one, not Eight-point one.
She said despite being the wife of a minister and the President, Fazilatunnesa used to lead a very simple life and help Bangabandhu take right decisions in the critical times.
BCL President Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon presided over the discussion conducted by its General Secretary Golam Rabbani.
Washington, Aug 30 (AP/UNB)— President Donald Trump urged evangelical leaders this week to get out the vote ahead of the upcoming midterm elections and warned of "violence" by opponents if they fail.
Trump made the dire warning at a White House dinner Monday evening attended by dozens of conservative Christian pastors, ministers and supporters of his administration.
Trump was stressing the stakes in November when he warned that, if Democrats win, they "will overturn everything that we've done and they'll do it quickly and violently," according to attendees and audio of his closed-door remarks obtained by media outlets, including The New York Times. He specifically mentioned self-described antifa, or anti-fascist groups, describing them as "violent people."
Asked Wednesday what he meant, Trump told reporters, "I just hope there won't be violence."
"If you look at what happens ... there's a lot of unnecessary violence all over the world, but also in this country. And I don't want to see it," Trump said.
At the dinner, Trump talked up his administration's efforts to bolster conservative Christian causes and urged those gathered to get their "people" to vote, warning the efforts could quickly be undone.
"I just ask you to go out and make sure all of your people vote," Trump said, according to the Times. "Because if they don't — it's Nov. 6 — if they don't vote we're going to have a miserable two years and we're going to have, frankly, a very hard period of time because then it just gets to be one election — you're one election away from losing everything you've got."
Ohio Pastor Darrell Scott, an early Trump supporter who attended the dinner, said he interpreted the comments differently than the media has portrayed them.
"It wasn't any kind of dire warning," Scott said, "... except the things that we've been working on as a body of voters will be reversed and overturned."
"What he was saying," Scott continued, is that "there are some violent people ... but it wasn't that we've got to worry about murder on the streets and chaos and anarchy ... just that the things we've worked for will be overturned."
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council and another attendee, said he, too, interpreted Trump's message as a warning not to be complacent.
While Trump did make a reference to antifa, Perkins told CNN, "I don't think anybody in the room suggested that there was going to be violence across the nation."
"I did not interpret him to say that the outcome of the election is going to lead (to) violence in the streets, and violence in the churches," he told CNN.
Kathmandhu, Aug 30 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi had a meeting here on Thursday and they agreed to work together for the welfare of the people of the two countries.
PM's press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting held at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza in Tahachal Marg.
"They both agreed to work together for the development of the fate of the people of the two neighbouring countries ," said Ihsanul Karim.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her gratitude to India for their support to Bangladesh from its Liberation War to development activities. "We want to take this friendship to a newer height," the Prime Minister was quoted as saying.
Narendra Modi said both the countries want to help each other for their mutual benefits.
The two Prime Ministers hoped that Bimstec will go a long way in economic development of its member countries through enhanced cooperation among themselves.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Moazzem Ali, Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque were, among others, from Bangladesh side.