Iranian Ambassador to Bangladesh Mohammad Reza Nafar on Wednesday urged its Bangladeshi friends to inspire children about art and culture, saying that Bangladesh is playing a leading role in art and culture in the region.
"Inspire your children about art and culture. I hope artists will play an important role in building a new world as the Covid-19 pandemic has changed many things," he said.
The Iranian Ambassador made the remarks after visiting the ongoing two-month long group art exhibition titled “Sheikh Hasina: On the Right Side of History” at Cosmos Centre in the city.
Deputy Managing Director of Cosmos Group Masud Jamil Khan welcomed the Ambassador and briefed him about the exhibition.
Ambassador Reza Nafar expressed deep sorrow over the deaths of people, including some of his family friends, due to Covid-19 who had much affection for art and culture.
He said every nation is affected by the coronavirus and mentioned that everything will have to be redesigned in the post-Covid-19 era.
"It's sad to note that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the global economy, politics and art and cultural arenas," said the Iranian envoy.
Referring to his meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Ambassador said Prime Minister Hasina has also special love for art and culture.
The mother of Prime Minister Hasina used to recite poems of Persian poet Khwaja Shams-ud-Din Muḥammad Ḥafez-e Shirazi, known by his pen name Hafez or "Hafiz" to help her sleep, Ambassador Reza Nafar quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
Appreciating the host of the art exhibition, he said, "It's an honour for me to be here. My wife and daughter have also special interests in artwork. It gave me an opportunity to come out (from the confinement due to Covid-19."
The Ambassador said the exhibition carries a special meaning for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
"I came here to see an art exhibition but I got an opportunity to get introduced with a greater world," he said.
Thanking the host, the Ambassador in a separate message said coronavirus has doused the visage of the world with paint of sorrow and the need for a new plan is hugely felt to change the present atmosphere. “It’s the only art that provides people with a good mood.”
He said the rich art ingenuity of the dexterous Bangladeshi artists in creating exquisite artworks visible in powerful and lasting paintings of the valuable the exhibition, more than anything indicates the lofty spirit and love for the national and spiritual values found in the hearts of the dear artists of Bangladesh.
Without a doubt, the Iranian Ambassador said, each and every one of the paintings in this exhibition is the golden page of the manifestation of the belief and the attitude of the freedom-seeking Bengali artists who care so much about the exaltation of the name of their motherland. “Visiting this treasure trove was a privilege that made me so pleased,” he added.
Masud Khan said it is necessary to recognise the huge value of art and culture to society as it promotes peace.
“Today, the world without art cannot be imagined as each artwork brings tranquillity in its own way. At this troubling time of Covid-19 pandemic, art has become even more important to our society,” he said, adding that the exhibition is part of the year-long programme to celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Masud Khan said Iran is a very old friend of Bangladesh and laid emphasis on enhanced trade relations between Bangladesh and Iran.
Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud formally inaugurated the group art exhibition on December 15, 2020.
Gallery Cosmos in collaboration with the Cosmos Atelier71 recently hosted an art camp supported by the Cosmos Foundation on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu.
Artists Alakesh Ghosh, Ahmed Shamshuddoha, Sheikh Afzal, Nasir Ali Mamun, Bishwajit Goswami, Ratneshwar Shutradhar, Rasel Kanti, Monjur Rashid, Sourav Chowdhury, Maneek Bonik, Jayanta Sarkar, Azmol Hossain, Fida Hossain, Amit Nandi, Didarul Limon, Tamanna Afroz, Fahim Chowdhury, Miskatul Abir, Proshun Halder, Hasura Akter Rumky and Surovi Akter had participated in the camp.
The artworks produced at the camp are being showcased at the exhibition. The exhibition will remain open till February 12, 2021, at Cosmos Centre and can only receive 20 visitors at any one time.
Earlier, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson, Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan and US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller visited the art exhibition.
The Iranian Ambassador visited different wings of the Cosmos Group at Cosmos Centre, including UNB newsroom and WildTeam office.
Dr M Anwarul Islam, WildTeam’s CEO and Professor of Zoology at the University of Dhaka was, among others, present.
He thanked the Cosmos Group for the invitation and organising such a wonderful exhibition featuring Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Visitors have been advised to wear masks all the time while visiting the exhibition and maintain an appropriate distance from each other.
Three people were killed and 15 others injured after a bus overturned in Bogail area of Bhanga upazila in Faridpur on Wednesday.
Identities of the deceased could not be known yet, Officer-in-Charge of Bhanga Highway Police Md Omar Faruk said.
The accident occurred at 12 pm, leaving three people dead on the spot.
Road accidents in Bangladesh
Road accidents in Bangladesh remain one of the leading causes of deaths in Bangladesh. In the last five years, 37,170 people were killed in 26,902 accidents across the country.
Besides, 82,758 people were injured in these accidents, according to a report released by Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity (BJKS), a passenger welfare body, in October last year.
According to the report, 8,642 people were killed and 21,855 injured in 6,581 road accidents in 2015 alone.
In 2016, some 6,055 people were killed and 15,914 injured in 4,312 road accidents.
Also read: Road crashes kill 439 in Nov alone: Report
Road safety is a global development challenge. Every year, 1.35 million people worldwide lose their lives while driving, cycling, or walking on the road and another 50 million are seriously injured.
A recent World Bank study has shown that for South Asia as a whole, a 50 percent reduction in road deaths would generate an estimated gross benefit of about $1.2 trillion.
Also read:5 killed in Kushtia road crash
Six Parliamentary Standing Committees were reconstituted on Wednesday.
Also read: HSC results: 3 amendment bills placed in JS
Chief Whip Nur-E-Alam Chowdhury on behalf of Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina proposed the reconstitution in the House.
Later, the proposals were adopted by voice vote with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
Also read: JS passes Sylhet Medical University Bill
Tanvir Shakil Joy from Sirajganj was made the member of the JS Committee on Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry while Habib Hasan from Dhaka-18 made the member of the JS Committee on Textile and Jute Ministry.
Naimur Rahman Durjoy of Manikganj became the member of the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources Ministry while Rumana Ali made the member of Parliamentary Committee on Home Ministry.
Shabna, Jahan from Reserved Woman Seat was made the member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Welfare Ministry while another MP from reserved woman seat Kaniz Fatema Ahmed made the member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Women and Children Affairs Ministry.
Light rain or drizzle is likely to occur at one or two places over six divisions including Dhaka in the next 24 hours commencing 9 am on Wednesday.
The six divisions are Dhaka and Mymensingh, Sylhet, Khulna, Barishal & Chattogram, said a bulletin of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).
Weather may remain mainly dry with partly cloudy sky elsewhere over the country, it said.
About the synoptic situation, BMG said trough of low lies over West Bengal and adjoining area and seasonal low lies over South Bay.
Also read: Dry weather expected to continue
Moderate to thick fog may occur over the country from midnight till morning and it may continue at places over the country till noon.
Also read:Dry weather likely: Met Office
Night temperature may rise slightly and day temperature may fall slightly over the country.
Also read Dry weather likely
The Iodised Salt Bill, 2021, aiming to ensure proportionate use of iodine in salt and regulate the salt market in the country was placed in Parliament on Wednesday.
Also read:3 amendment bills placed in JS to publish HSC results
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Humayun Mahmud placed the Bill and then it was sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny.
The Committee was asked to submit its report within seven days.
Under the proposed law, a 14-member national salt committee, headed by the Industries Secretary as its chairman, will be formed to oversee production, processing, refining, storage, transportation and marketing of salt, ensuring iodine use in salt, supply iodine to the salt factory, regulating salt import, as well as to place recommendations over salt management policy.
There will be a separate cell under the Industries Ministry to ensure the mixing of proportionate iodine in salt.
If anyone wants to produce, process, store, import, supply salt or set up a salt factory, the concerned person will have to get registered under the proposed law.
If anyone produces, processes and imports salt and runs iodised salt factory without registration, or doesn’t maintain the standard, the person will be sentenced to one to three years of jail and fined Tk 50,000- Tk 15 lakh or both.
The law violators can be punished through mobile courts.