Dhaka, Mar 20 (UNB) - Visiting Australia’s Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism Paul Foley has said his country will continue to support Bangladesh and its people to address the threats of terrorism and violent extremism.
He emphasised that terrorism and violent extremism are challenges shared by all countries and Australia will continue to support Bangladesh and its people to address these threats as a longstanding development and security partner.
As Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, Foley leads Australia's international engagement on counter-terrorism and counter-violent extremism, according to Australian High Commission in Dhaka.
Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Julia Niblett welcomed the visit by Foley that began on March 19.
He will leave Dhaka on Thursday after visiting Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar.
The visit underlines the importance Australia places on its security engagement with Bangladesh, including tackling together the global scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, said the High Commission in a statement on Wednesday.
In echoing the High Commissioner’s earlier public statement, Foley extended his heartfelt condolences to the Bangladeshi victims of the shocking terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, and their families.
Foley highlighted the statements of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemning this atrocity in the strongest possible terms.
As the Prime Minister said, Australia shares the grief of Muslim communities the world over, and will not tolerate the right-wing extremist ideology that fueled this terrorist attack.
During his visit, Foley will accompany the High Commissioner, the Executive Director of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), Dr Khalid Koser MBE, and the Chair of the GCERF Governing Board, Ms Carol Bellamy, to visit GCERF-supported activities and engage with participants, including women and youths.
Dhaka, Mar 19 (UNB) - Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali on Tuesday said energy sector cooperation is the hallmark in the renewed engagements between Bangladesh and India.
“There’s a positive momentum in cooperation between our two countries in the power sector and the achievements so far have been highly encouraging,” he told an International Conference on the “India’s Energy Security: Inter-regional Cooperation to Energy Security Society.’
The conference was held at the Centre for South Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, said the High Commission. It was presided over by Prof Bhardwaj, Chairman, Centre for South Asian Studies.
Syed Muazzem said the engagement in the power sector has expanded under the farsighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“It’s a matter of great pleasure that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have taken the partnership between the two countries far beyond a strategic partnership, touching upon virtually all areas of human endeavor,” he said.
“We’re happy that Bangladesh and India are experiencing very substantive cooperation in the energy sector,” the envoy said adding that currently Bangladesh’s import from Indian stands at 1160 MW.
India and Bangladesh, he said, are now cooperating on renewable energy and nuclear power.
Bangladesh entered the era of Nuclear Power on November 30, 2017 with the inauguration of the construction of the 2400 MW Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna, which would be built with Russian and Indian collaboration.
The development of the power plant is India’s first-ever nuclear venture in the neighborhood, where it will be providing technical assistance to Bangladesh.
Syed Muazzem said Dhaka and New Delhi are also moving to the sub-regional cooperation. A trilateral investment of 1125 MW hydro-power project in Bhutan, by Bangladesh, India and Bhutan is also under discussion.
Another trilateral hydro-power project in Nepal by Bangladesh, India and Nepal is also under consideration and an MoU with GMR, India and Bangladesh was signed in April 2017 for import of 500 MW power from Nepal to Bangladesh.
Dhaka, Mar 19 (UNB) - A total of 2,200 Bangladeshi students have been selected for Indian scholarships under both new and old schemes designed for the heirs of Bangladesh’s freedom fighters.
The government of India awards scholarships each year to commemorate the invaluable contribution of the gallant freedom fighters towards Liberation of Bangladesh.
A function was organised by the High Commission of India on Tuesday at its Chancery for scholarship distribution to the selected candidates.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan attended the function as the chief guest and GOC-in-C Eastern Command from Indian Army Lt Gen MM Naravane was the guest of honour on the occasion.
Senior officials from Bangladesh Armed Forces and the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, and freedom fighters also attended the programme.
Two schemes are concurrently being implemented and till now, 12,957 students have been awarded scholarships totalling Tk 23.66 crore, said the Indian High Commission.
The ‘Muktijoddha Scholarship Scheme’ was introduced by the government of India in 2006 for the descendants of freedom fighters.
Under the old scheme, scholarships were awarded to higher secondary and undergraduate level students.
Some 11,336 students have been benefited under this scheme so far and an amount of Tk 17.42 crore has been utilised for this purpose.
Under the new scholarship scheme, ‘Notun India Bangladesh Maitree Muktijoddha Sontan Scholarship Scheme’, a total of 10,000 students will be awarded scholarships over the next five years and Tk 35 crore will be utilised for this purpose.
Dhaka, Mar 19 (UNB) - UN acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar Knut Ostby has expressed deep concern over new reports of fighting between the "Arakan Army" and Myanmar security forces causing civilian casualties and displacement of communities in Rakhine State.
Ostby urged all sides of the conflict to ensure the protection of civilians, resolve differences through peaceful means and uphold their responsibilities under International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law, including the preservation of sites of cultural heritage.
He called for effective humanitarian access to populations in need of aid, particularly the children, women, elderly and other affected people.
"The United Nations is in contact with Myanmar authorities and stands ready to continue with the humanitarian support to the affected civilian populations," reads a statement issued on Tuesday.
Dhaka, Mar 19 (UNB) - How do we speak about something we cannot see? Fabienne Francotte show “Being the Other” is concerned with giving this question form.
This series maps junctures of shared trauma communicated through wordless intimacies that the artist was invited into, while working with the Rohingya community of refugees in Bangladesh.
Arranged in three parts, the show speaks to the many ways in which latent trauma is carried precariously between the need to cope, to acknowledge and to persevere.
Fabienne Francotte’s work is on view together with the Rohingyas’ artworks at Edge Galleries, Edge Foundation, in city’s Gulshan 2 on Tuesday.
The exhibition will continue at the Nalinikanta Vattashali Hall of the National Museum at Shahbagh in Dhaka from March 23 to 30.
The series of prayer mats laden with traces of their owners, explore the tangled interactions between, the Rohingya men and their relationship to the divine.
Treasured and carried with them over the course of their migration, Francotte imagines these mats shifting into emblematic objects upon which both dispossession and hope are located.
For the men, spirituality becomes a place of solace, and of longing, while simultaneously being a means of re-leveraging a lost power within their everyday lives.
The series of larger paintings follows traces of bodies once whole, now contorted by memory, violence, and silence.
The lines that contour the bodies, at moments disappear into the background, while elements such as the face of a Burmese soldier, a dress once worn, a bottle of perfume, and a pair of shoes, to name a few, emerge authoritatively on the canvas.
All of them as stand-ins for a history that cannot be known. The final set of pieces, features a collection of portraits stitched together; a reconstructed composite of selfie’s taken by the young girls in the community.
Rendered on brightly adorned plastic table cloths, these images reflect on the intimacies and politics of friendship and solidarity and their potential as powerful forces of resistance.
The manner in which these faces overlap say, “stand behind me I will protect you”, while another says, “if you can’t speak, I will speak!” and together they form a community of balance and support.
Adorned in make-up, and posing for photographs, they hold each other while looking firmly forward.
While an initial reading of the work may risk engendering associations of loneliness, abuse, and suffering, the artist encourages sustained looking.
“Especially toward the images that a viewer may find hard to take in. In suggesting this perhaps Francotte is also alluding to a way in we might see and acknowledge pain? In her words, “to not just see the drama of the surface, but move beyond it into the container of the soul.”