Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Wednesday urged the Chattogram Samiti, Dhaka leadership to work as an agent and to some extent as a "pressure group" for further development of Chattogram m, which helps grow the country’s economy as a whole. Highlighting massive development in Chattogram and Cox's Bazar over the last 15 years, he suggested Chattogram Samiti leaders to arrange productive seminars and symposium on Chattogram development issues. Hasan, also Bangladesh Awami League Joint General Secretary, said Chattogram should not be treated as other divisions of the country as Bangladesh's key seaport is located in Chattogram. Minister Hasan was speaking as the chief guest marking the journey of the new committee of Chattogram Samiti, Dhaka. He said sometimes they see lack of understanding among some people and it takes time to make them understand why development is essential. Showcasing progress to foreign diplomats: Hasan Mahmud on MoFA’s Outreach Programme The minister credited Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her leadership for the massive development that Bangladesh witnessed over the last 15 years. Referring to Bangabandhu Tunnel, he said it has become a reality today. "Nobody did think that tunnel will be a reality." He mentioned that he recently visited Chattogram and Cox's Bazar with around 34 diplomats. "The journey from Chattogram to Cox's Bazar by train was close to Europe," he said. Noting that the entire country has gone through massive development, the foreign minister said he is trying his best for carrying out the next phase of development in Chattogram. Hasan said things were Dhaka centric during military regimes and said there is a need for decentralisation for a balanced development in the country. He said Chattogram will see metrorail like Dhaka and within the city it will be underground Metrorail. BNP was behind BDR mutiny: Hasan Mahmud The minister appreciated Chattogram Samiti Dhaka's welfare activities rising above political differences. "This is the biggest achievement." "We will have differences of opinion. Criticism will be there. Our government welcomes criticism," he added.
Former State Minister for Industries and a ruling Awami League MP Kamal Ahmed Mojumder on Wednesday in parliament demanded trial of former education minister and presently Social Welfare Minister Dipu Moni for allegedly destroying Monipur School and College founded by the AL MP. Kamal Mojumder, a lawmaker from Dhaka-15 constituency, said this while participating on the thanksgiving motion on the President’s speech. Country to have an industrial university: Kamal Majumder In his speech Kamal Mojumder just mentioned the words--former education minister, but didn’t utter Dipu Moni’s name. “My constituency (Mirpur-Kafrul) is home to numerous Jamaat leaders and activists. Jamaat's Amir (Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury) became a candidate (in 2018 elections) from this area in the parliamentary election,” Kamal Mojumder said. Future of our films is brighter: Dipu Moni He said that Monipur School and College, the only educational institution there, is now on the verge of ruin. The school was being run under the direction of the Prime Minister. Kamal Mojumder alleged that all of a sudden, due to manipulation of the former education minister (Dipu Moni) and Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka, Jamaat was put in power to run the educational institution built by him caused disaster in the results in the last academic year as 2300 children failed and the number of GPA achieved students is 1200 less than comparing to the previous year. Dipu Moni secures Chandpur-3 seat He complained that the pro-Jamaat teacher was appointed as the head master who is suffering from paralysis and cannot speak. “Despite repeated requests to the Ministry of Education, he has not been removed yet from his post. They are taking the school to destruction,” he said. Kamal Mojumder called upon the Prime Minister to save the school. “I built this school step by step on the land allotted by you (PM). I don't know why the former education minister has his ill motive involving the school. I want her trial.” Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud in his speech on the thanksgiving motion said that there was conspiracy at home and abroad surrounding the 12th parliamentary elections. “Compared to other elections, there was no violence in the January 7 polls. Many tried to raise questions.” Hasan Mahmud pointed out the voter turnout of Romania, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Ireland and Portugal and said voter turnout in these countries was below 44 percent. He said that so far 78 governments or heads of state have congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and expressed their desire to work with this government.
The 23rd Convocation of the East West University (EWU) took place on Wednesday at Aftabnagar Sports Ground in the capital, conferring degrees to 2,861 students of undergraduate and graduate programmes. Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury, as the representative of the Chancellor, the President, awarded the degrees at the convocation. Moreover, four students were honoured with gold medals for their meritorious excellence. Professor Dr Farashuddin, the Chief Adviser of EWU and the former Governor of Bangladesh Bank, highlighted the contribution of EWU to the country’s higher education sector and urged the government to grant permission for the initiation of MPhil and PhD programmes. Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury stated that the government does not discriminate between public and private universities. Some private universities like EWU have reached such a standard that the time has arrived for them to offer PhD and MPhil degrees.
Democracy International awarded five journalists in print, online and television for the best gender-sensitive political reporting. The awardees are Kamrun Nahar Sumi (New Age), Farhana Taher Tithi (Daily Newspaper), Ismail Hossain Russel (Jagonews24.com), Abdul Halim Aditya Rimon (Dhakapost.com) and Atoar Hossain (Nagorik TV), according to a press release. They were part of a group of 23 journalists who received training on gender sensitive political reporting, organised by Democracy International under USAID’s Strengthening Political Landscape in Bangladesh project. The workshops aimed to raise awareness among media professionals about the importance of women’s participation and representation in politics, and how to avoid negative stereotypes and biases in their coverage. The workshop also featured sessions by politicians from the three main parties and experts on related topics. The winners were awarded based on the quality and impact of their reports, which were published or broadcasted between November 2023 and February 2024. They received their awards and certificates from Dana L. Olds, the Chief of Party of Democracy International’s SPL project, at a ceremony in a hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday. Organised in two batches, the training sensitized journalists on the importance of women's representation in politics and ways to counter the impact of negative portrayal of women in the media. Politicians from the three main parties of Bangladesh and subject matter experts conducted the training covering gender discrimination in women's political participation, representation of women political leaders in media, use of gender sensitive language, legal framework of women's political empowerment and other topics in detail. The final training session, held at a capital hotel, culminated in the presentation of awards and certificates by Dana L., Chief of Party of Democracy International's SPL Project. In her remarks, she emphasized the power of the media as the Fourth Estate to frame political issues and shape perceptions through fair portrayals of women in the media. Deputy Chief of Party (Programmes) Aminul Ehsan, Deputy Chief of Party Lesley Richards, Senior Director Lipika Biswas, and Senior Programme Specialist Rita Das were also present at the ceremony. Democracy International congratulates the awardees for their dedication to promoting gender-sensitive political reporting and looks forward to their continued contributions to fostering democracy and inclusivity through journalism in Bangladesh.
A 10-day long collaborative endeavour, 'Exercise Cope South-2024' involving the Bangladesh Air Force and the Pacific Air Force, USA, organised by Bangladesh ended at Bangladesh Air Force Base Bangabandhu on Wednesday. Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) Air Vice Marshal Hasan Mahmood Khan graced the closing ceremony as the chief guest. Combined exercise between Bangladesh Air Force and US Pacific Air Forces begins He delivered the closing address among the invited guests and participants from both the nations and joined in a photo session. Major General Erich C. Novak, head of delegation also put up his remarks on behalf of Pacific Air Force, USA. Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy, Ms Helen LaFave joined the ceremony as Special Guest. Besides, officials from the US Embassy, high-ranking officials from all three services as well as Bangladesh Armed Forces Division, participants from both the forces, representatives from Bangladesh Police attended the programme, said a media release of ISPR. In 'Exercise Cope South-2024', one C-130J and one AN-32 transport aircraft from Bangladesh Air Force and two C-130J transport aircraft from the Pacific Air Force, USA participated alongside 250 members from the Bangladesh Air Force and 77 members from the Pacific Air Force, USA. Joint exercise of BAF, US Pacific Air Force ends Besides, 12 paratroopers from the Bangladesh Air Force, 30 paratroopers from the Bangladesh Army, and 40 paratroopers from the Bangladesh Navy actively participated in the exercise. 'Exercise Cope South' is designed to enhance BAF capability as well as to ensure maximum utilisation of the BAF transport aircraft in combating disaster and natural calamities. This collaborative exercise is aimed to enhance interoperability between both the forces, facilitate exchange of training, standardisation of maintenance of transport aircraft, assessment of functional suitability of available equipment along with identification of future equipment requirements for improving capability through different activities. This collaborative effort will not only bolster disaster response capabilities but also foster mutual understanding and cooperation between the two nations, according to the press release. It will also serve as a catalyst for strengthening the enduring friendship between Bangladesh and the United States.
President Mohammed Shahabuddin on Wednesday said special care should be taken to ensure that no one is subjected to undue harassment while carrying out routine street checks. "The sad thing is that when I opened the newspaper recently, I got news of some negative activities of police - which saddens me like all the people of the country," he said. The President said while addressing the programme addressing the high officials of the police on the occasion of Police Week 2024 at Bangabhaban. He said vehicles carrying various goods including food items also have to pay a unauthorised toll on the roads. As a result, the price of food items at the consumer level is increasing and the suffering of the people is increasing as well. "You have to take responsibility to stop these activities. But you have to be careful that no one from the police force is involved in these activities," he said. The President also directed to take the strict action against the culprits as it is the duty to serve the people selflessly. He hoped that the police will always stand by the people as a friend and ensure their safety.
Another sexual harassment complaint has been filed against Prof. Naadir Junaid of Mass Communication and Journalism Department of Dhaka University, who is currently on a three-month forced leave following the first official complaint filed against him. A former student of another university in the capital filed the complaint with proctor office this morning, DU Proctor Prof. Md. Maksudur Rahman confirmed saying, “Previously, I received the complaint by e-mail and then received a physical copy this morning.” “I forwarded a copy of the complaint to the Vice-chancellor’s office”, he added. The student alleged the DU prof of sexual harassment and prolonged psychological abuse in the letter. DU sends Naadir Junaid on 3 months' forced leave following sexual harassment complaint The written complaint reads, “Naadir Junaid was our guest faculty and as a class representative I had to keep contact with him for academic purposes. But he used to call me in between 10 pm-12 am and tried to continue the calls for hours even though I was very uncomfortable." The teacher tried to pursue her in phone calls of sexual nature, and questioned if something was wrong with her as she didn’t show interest, she wrote; which reflects a pattern of behaviour that was also mentioned in the first official complaint against him. She also alleged that the teacher used to ask her personal questions about her female classmates. She also mentioned the repercussion she had to face if she tried to avoid him, saying, "Whenever I tried to avoid him or showed indifference, every time I fell victim to his reaction and insults in the classroom." Academic freeze: DU MCJ students start indefinite boycott of classes demanding investigation, suspension of Prof. Naadir Junaid She also wrote, the teacher approached another classmate of her and few others in the department where he was a guest teacher. Earlier, a female student of Dhaka University’s Mass Communication and Journalism department filed a sexual complaint against DU prof. Naadir Junaid on February 10. Following this, the students of the department boycotted all academic activities and hung locks on the door of classrooms and the office of Naadir Junaid demanding justice . On February 11, another female student of the same department filed a complaint against the prof. Naadir Junaid of trying to cover up sexual harassment allegation against a student of the same department. SSC questions leaked before exam in Kurigram: Two individuals interrogated On the face of the students' protest, the DU administration sent the Prof to 3 months' forced leave. Prof. Naadir Junaid couldn’t be reached for a comment despite several attempts.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged not to listen to rumours regarding price hike of essentials. “I will request everyone not to pay heed to the rumours. If everyone is aware and do not pay heed to rumours, then no one can create problems by spreading rumours,” she said. The Prime Minister said this while in Parliament responding to a supplementary question of ruling party MP elected from Bhola Ali Azam during the PM’s question-answer session. She said that the government is aware enough to ensure that unscrupulous traders cannot play with any kind of food. “Wr have to import many products, we are dependent on others, We want to overcome dependency, want to increase our own production,” she said. In response to Opposition Chief Whip and Jatiya Party MP elected from Kishoreganj Mujibul Huq Chunnu, the Prime Minister said that the government takes legal measures including mobile courts against the dishonest traders. “Even then, if anyone intentionally increases the price of any product, strict action will be taken against him,” she said. She mentioned that the elected public representatives also have responsibility in this regard. “If everyone cooperates in market monitoring, these unscrupulous traders will not be able to increase the price of daily commodities in such a dishonest way.” She called upon all to remain vigilant regarding this matter. “And from the government side we are taking strict actions. I will take further steps. I am punishing by setting up a mobile court. we are doing our best.”
Marking a step forward in the enhancement of disaster management in Bangladesh, CARE Bangladesh, in partnership with NIRAPAD, facilitated a workshop titled ‘Roadmap for the Effective Implementation of Standing Orders on Disaster (SOD) 2019’ at a hotel in Dhaka on Tuesday. Under the USAID-funded ‘SHOUHARDO-III DRR Activity’, this workshop was aimed at disseminating the results of an extensive study which intended to bolstering local disaster management capabilities through a detailed assessment and enhancement of the Disaster Management Committees' capabilities across grassroots levels. Md. Mijanur Rahman, director general of the department of disaster management (DDM), presided over the event while Md. Kamrul Hasan, secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), was present as the chief guest. One killed, six injured in Gazipur factory fire The study's findings were presented and discussed throughout the course of the workshop, to refine the collective understanding and development of actionable strategies for disaster management. Md. Kamrul Hasan said, ‘'SOD is a living document that facilitates spontaneous disaster response by the different layers of administration.” He emphasised the importance of widespread awareness about SOD at all levels using the existing government channels including National Institute of Local Government (NILG). He also announced that the next revised version of SOD would cover the aspects of anthropogenic disasters. Md. Mijanur Rahman commended the effectiveness of the SOD during recent cyclones, especially in lowering the death toll. Looking forward, he discussed the importance of periodic revision of SOD and plans to include CPP volunteers in future updates to strengthen the procedure. PM promises uninterrupted electricity supply during Tarawee and Sehri In his address, Mustapha El Hamzaoui, Director, Humanitarian Assistance Office, USAID, acknowledged the advancement of Bangladesh in Disaster Management. He opined that the Area-Based Collaboration framework would be an important approach for the localization of disaster management. Any plan for SOD implementation involving the community and local organization would also support achieving USAID’s localisation goal. The event demonstrated the commitment to empower local disaster management actors, and the collaborative approach presented by CARE Bangladesh and NIRAPAD, with the support of USAID, reflects a dedicated stride towards sustainable development and disaster resilience.
Non-governmental representatives participating on the third day of the MC13 of WTO in Abu Dhabi have condemned the disruption of their normal activities in the name of security. The WTO's (World Trade Organisation) 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) has begun on Monday and it will end on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Ministers from across the world are attending the conference to review the functioning of the multilateral trading system and to take action on the future work of the WTO. Three of the NGO representatives were briefly detained on various allegations in the first two days of the conference. One of them is an Indian peasant leader, who handed a paper to a journalist he knew. He was immediately arrested for allegedly distributing leaflets inside the convention centre, a detainable offence. Two other non-government delegates from Norway and the United States were detained for taking pictures inside the convention centre. The security personnel also stopped leaflet distribution, confiscated placards, and stopped them from taking photos of their own actions, according to a press release received here on Wednesday afternoon. BCI demands special fund to finance young entrepreneurs in upcoming budget "This is my 11th MC and I've never seen anything like this level of repression. The WTO Secretariat has insisted that it is working towards clarifying things with the host country. But we see no evidence that the DG – who is widely known as a person who, shall we say, can get her way when she wants – is insisting on our rights being restored.” said Deborah James, facilitator of the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network of CSOs (Civil Society Organisation). The WTO Director General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has billed this ministerial meeting as the most “open, transparent and inclusive process” to date. Yet her institution is failing to ensure participants that the guiding information communicated by the WTO, and the prevailing practice with regards to what civil society can do, actually holds for MC13, Ms James added. "Participants, especially from developing countries, are fearful of even walking alone in the conference centre now, lest they be unjustly detained and possibly deported, and then unable to secure visas ever again. This climate of fear should not be the result of advocacy in an institution of global economic governance," said Rahmat Maulana Sidik, executive director of Indonesia for Global Justice, according to the release. PM promises uninterrupted electricity supply during Tarawee and Sehri "It was a long way to Abu Dhabi from my country. I came here to get work done, and I do not feel safe to do the normal activities that I always do in Ministerial Conferences. The uncertainty of not knowing if I will be detained just for giving away my research is paralyzing me from doing what I am supposed to do,” said Sofia Scasserra, researcher from Argentina with the Transnational Institute. EquityBD Policy Research Coordinator Barkat Ullah Maruf said that the participation of NGO representatives is very important. This is because they help government representatives to make public-oriented decisions with various information and analyses. But such obstruction is reprehensible, he added.