Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s jail term suspension will have to be revoked first and she needs to go to jail again if she wants to go abroad for treatment. She said this during an interview with the Bangla service of Voice of America (VoA) aired on Saturday (September 30, 2023). The prime minister, now on a visit to the US, responded to a number of questions on US Visa sanction, human rights, Khaleda’s treatment abroad, caretaker government, the constitution and other issues. Khaleda Zia has been kept captive to remain in power: Fakhrul When asked about the possibility of reconsidering the decision to send Khaleda abroad for improved medical care, she said, “My question is, which country in the world can send a convicted criminal abroad for better treatment? Will any country allow it?” “If they want to apply, they have to go to the court and take court permission. We have no authority over work of the judiciary," she stated. Khaleda Zia again moved to CCU from cabin at Evercare Hospital “But yes, we have suspended her jail term, given permission to stay at home. And she is taking treatment now in the most expensive hospital in Bangladesh. If they need to go abroad, the permission to stay at home would first need to be revoked, she will need to return to prison again, and court. Only after obtaining court permission could she travel abroad,” she said. Khaleda under close observation of medical board; no improvement, say doctors
The holy Eid-e-Miladunnabi, marking the day of birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), is being observed across the country today with due religious solemnity. On this day in 570, 12th of Rabiul Awwal of the Hijri calendar, Muhammad (PBUH) was born in Makkah with divine blessings and messages of peace for mankind. He also passed away on the same day. President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages to the people of the country and Muslims across the world. Bangladesh to observe Eid-e-Miladunnabi on Sept 28 The day was a public holiday. Different government and non-government organisations, including the Islamic Foundation, have chalked out elaborate programmes to mark the day. President participates in Eid-e-Miladunnabi programs at Bangabhaban Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Bangladesh Radio are broadcasting special programmes highlighting the importance of the day. Meanwhile, in Chattogram, a ‘Jashne Julus’ arranged by the Anjuman-e Rahmaniya Ahmadiyya Sunnia Trust was brought out from Jameya Ahmedia Sunnia Madrasa ground in Sholosohor area in the morning. Bangladesh-India trade through Hili land port suspended for Eid-e-Miladunnabi Several thousand devotees joined the rally with flags, banners and festoons. Special prayers will be held after Zuhr today on the occasion.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has warned that the country will again plunge into darkness unless the ruling Awami League remains in power. “If the Awami League does not remain in power, the country will again return to the era of darkness,” she said. The prime minister said this while addressing a reception accorded to her by the US chapter of the Awami League in the Holiday Express Inn Hotel here on Wednesday. But, she said, "I know that the people of Bangladesh will not want to go back to darkness." Describing 29 years of the BNP-Jamaat governments as the era of darkness, the PM said they did nothing for the people during the period except making their own fortune. “The BNP-Jamaat clique has erased 29 years from the life of Bangladeshi people. Somehow, the Awami League has bridged the gap of the years by conducting massive development across the country from 2009 to till the date,” she said. Read more: Over 1100 video contents are published on govt’s achievements to mark PM Hasina’s birthday Bangladesh has attained recognition as a developing country during the period as the AL is governing the country with specific plans alongside having continued democratic process and stability in the country since 2009 in line with her government’s Vision 2041 mentioned in 2008 election manifesto, she said. The prime minister said her government has been preparing to start the country's journey as a developing nation from 2026 and for which they have formed a committee led by her principal secretary to find ways to ease the journey towards development and prosperity. “I know, If the Awami League remains in power, Bangladesh’s journey as a developing country will face no difficulty,” she reiterated. Hasina said the next general election is vital for Bangladesh for this reason and they have already formed a committee to formulate the election manifesto as part of the polls preparation. “I have trust and confidence in the people of Bangladesh. The masses still believe that the Awami League only can change their fate and make the country’s development sustainable,” she said. Read more: No one from outside should obstruct elections in Bangladesh: PM Hasina warns in New York She said the people of the country are her only near and dear ones as she lost everything including her father, mother and brothers on August 15 in 1975. “The people of Bangladesh are my strength. The countrymen are my family and I am running the state keeping that in my mind,” she said. She said they have been giving the landless and homeless home free of cost, reaching healthcare services to every doorstep through community clinics, giving stipends to 2.5 crore students to make sure the countrymen won’t suffer anymore. “We have been doing everything in a planned way to ensure the country’s march towards development and prosperity,” she said. She said none of the people of the country of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will remain homeless and ultra poor. The prime minister said they have built Digital Bangladesh and turned Bangladesh into a developing nation as per 2008 election manifesto and are now pursuing to transform the country into a “Smart Bangladesh” as the journey towards development will be continued. “Stay alert so none can play ducks and drakes with the fate of the people of the country,” she urged the people. Terming the BNP-Jamaat as the terrorist political parties, the premier said their character has not yet been changed as they are hatching conspiracy at home and abroad to undermine the image of the country on the global stage. “Their (BNP-Jamaat clique) character is yet to change. So, they are out to undermine the country through hatching conspiracies and spreading propaganda,” she said, adding: “We have to give them a good reply showcasing the huge development works conducted by the Awami League across the country at home and abroad." The prime minister asked leaders and workers of the US chapter of the Awami League to make their communication stronger with congressmen, senate members and local government representatives of their localities in America and apprise them of Bangladesh’s development and the BNP-Jamaat clique’s falsehood and conspiracy to undermine Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina, also the President of the Awami said her party had started fighting for the rights of the people since its birth and these included the Language Movement, six-point demand and War of Liberation. “The development of Bangladesh has been possible due to having the Awami League in power. Nobody else will work for the country’s development with such devotion and love. We want the advancement to be continued and none can hinder it,” she said. The prime minister arrived in Washington DC on September 23 from New York after attending the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session and other high-level side and bilateral meetings from September 17-22.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has described Bangladesh's relationship with the United States as "outstandingly warm and cordial," but noted that some quarters are trying to inject bitterness into this relationship through lies. The foreign minister said that the United States believes in democracy and human rights. "So, there is similarity in our views and thoughts with the United States. In principle, the two countries have similarities. However, some individuals may not appreciate our development," Momen said, calling upon the Bangladeshi expatriates in the United States to be vigilant. Govt can't guarantee violence-free election without support from all: FM Momen He urged the Bangladeshi diaspora to take a stand, regardless of their political affiliation, to challenge those who lie about Bangladesh. The foreign minister was speaking at a views-exchange meeting organized by the Bangabandhu Foundation in New York's Bangladeshi-dominated Jackson Heights on September 26. The foreign minister said, "We have remarkably friendly relations with the United States. America believes in the same principles and values we believe in. Bangladesh is the country where we have fought for democracy. Although we won the popular vote, we were not allowed to form the government in 1971. Rather, genocide was unleashed on us, and then Bangabandhu declared independence." FM Momen for strengthening trade, investment ties with African nations Momen said Bangladesh declared independence to establish democracy, justice, and human rights. "Because of this, we had to sacrifice three million lives during the Liberation War. Nowhere in the world have so many people sacrificed themselves for democracy and human rights in such a short period of time. We are the only nation in the world that has made such great sacrifices for democracy and human rights," he added. Referring to the replacement of the Digital Security Act, he said, the government accepted the suggestions provided by the United States as a friendly country. Read Cyber Security Bill before making comments: FM "The United States expects free and fair elections, and we are also committed to free and fair elections. But there are some people in our country who want to boycott the elections, they fear elections," the foreign minister said, referring to the opposition, that they are trying to thwart the election. The foreign minister said Bangladesh is now the 35th largest economy in the world. "If Bangladesh's current economic development continues, we will become the 26th largest economy in a few years. We have 17 crore people, so our own market is huge. That's why many people are interested in our country, because our per capita income has increased 5 times," he said. Momen said the poverty rate has been reduced by more than half. "All these have become possible due to the implementation of goal-oriented measures of the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina." Momen also said, "We are now self-sufficient in food. We are third in the world in fish and vegetable production. We are fourth in the world in rice production. Our agricultural land has shrunk, but food production has quadrupled. This has been possible due to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina." Momen said as Bangladesh is making progress, many people do not like the development activities of the country. "We are an independent, sovereign country. Our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has given us a beautiful foreign policy. And this principle is 'friendship to all, malice to none.' We believe in this principle. We follow a balanced foreign policy," said the foreign minister. Bangabandhu Foundation United States unit General Secretary Abdul Quader Mia was present at the event as a special guest. Other leaders including Moshiur Malek, Fakir Ilyas, Abdul Khalek Mia, New York Correspondent of Bangladesh Protidin Lovelu Ansar were present.
In an effort to promote local tourism, a weeklong beach carnival and tourism fair is set to start today (September 27, 2023). The local administration has taken all preparations to inaugurate the carnival that will continue till October 3. Hotels and motels in Cox’s Bazar are ready to welcome local and foreign tourists. Tourism fair to begin Sunday at DU Rooms of hotels and motels are booked ahead of the tourism fair. Abu Morshed Chowdhury, president of Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Cox’s Bazar, said the fair can positively brand local tourism. Muhammad Shaheen Imran, deputy commissioner of Cox’s Bazar district, said different programmes including circus, beach bike rally, cultural programmes, fireworks, road show, seminar, kite festival, magic show, fire spinning, surfing, beach marathon, beach volleyball and concert will be held during the weeklong fair. Popular band Chirkutt, as well as artistes from Sunamganj, Kushtia, Sylhet, Kurigram and Mymensingh will arrive to perform at the carnival. 10th Asian Tourism Fair & 1st Bangladesh Tourism Development Summit 2023 opens Young dancers from Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati, and the Rakhaine community from Cox’s Bazar will also participate in the fair. A number of stalls have been set up at Laboni Point and other beach points. 3-month ban on fishing, tourism in Sundarbans begins on June 1 Hotels and motels in Cox’s Bazar have offered up to 60 percent discount on the occasion.
Though US Ambassador Peter Haas mentioned inclusion of media in the visa restriction policy for Bangladesh, the United States Department of State refrained from mentioning media. “I will say that, as we noted when we announced these new visa restrictions on Friday, they include – they include both members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition,” US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said during a regular media briefing on September 25. He also said when the US Secretary of State announced the new visa policy in May, the purpose was not to take a side, but to ensure or to support free, fair, and peaceful national election in Bangladesh. Chief Justice rails against US visa policy on last working day Responding to a question specifically on the inclusion of media in the visa restrictions, the State Department spokesperson said: “I think what we have said, and we – so we have not announced because visa records are confidential – we have not announced the specific members or the specific individuals to which this will apply, but it made clear that they will apply to members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition.” Clarifying the issue after US Ambassador Peter Haas’ remarks, the US Embassy in a Facebook post on Monday said, “We are applying the [visa restriction] policy in a balanced way against anyone [undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh] – regardless of being pro-government, opposition party, members of law enforcement agencies, members of the judiciary, or media persons.” Image of police won’t be affected due to US Visa policy: IGP US Embassy Spokesperson Bryan Schiller said the visa restriction policy can be applied to anyone “found to be undermining” democratic elections in Bangladesh. “This could include vote rigging, intimidating voters, use of violence to prevent people from exercising their rights to freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly, and the use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from participating in the electoral process or expressing their views,” he told UNB while responding to a question. Responding to a question on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release and treatment abroad, US State Department Spokesperson Miller said, “I just don’t have any comment on that.” What could be the possible reasons to apply US visa restrictions against someone?
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan paid a visit to the US Embassy in Dhaka and engaged in friendly cricket with US Ambassador Peter Haas. The US Embassy shared a video on their social media platforms, showing Shakib bowling to Haas, who in turn faced Shakib's deliveries. The video captured the camaraderie between Shakib and the US Ambassador, along with others briefly participating in the friendly game of cricket. Bangladesh poised to be a formidable contender in World Cup, Shakib believes Accompanied by his wife and children, Shakib also posed for a photo with the US ambassador. Bangladesh ready for Asia Cup with Shakib at the helm Shakib's wife, Umme Ahmed Shishir, lives in the US with their children, and Shakib frequently travels to the US whenever he finds breaks in his busy cricketing schedule. Shakib is currently enjoying a break from cricket. He is expected to join the national team soon that will travel to India to take part in the World Cup. Shakib chosen as ODI Captain of Bangladesh
Justice Obaidul Hasan took oath today as the 24th Chief Justice of Bangladesh. The president administered the oath at 11 am at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban, witnessed by the president's wife Dr. Rebecca Sultana, Cabinet members, former chief justices, judges of both the Appellate and High Court divisions, heads of the three services, principal secretary to the prime minister, the attorney general, and Supreme Court lawyers, including SC Bar Association leaders. Cabinet Secretary Md. Mahbub Hossain conducted the ceremony. The president made the appointment as per Article 95 (1) of the Constitution on Thursday as the outgoing chief justice retired on the day. Chief Justice rails against US visa policy on last working day Hassan, a senior judge of the Appellate Division, was appointed the chief justice on September 12. Obaidul Hassan was appointed as an additional judge of the Supreme Court’s High Court Division in 2009 while his appointment was confirmed as a permanent judge in 2011. He was elevated as a judge in the Appellate Division on September 3, 2020. Hassan was born on January 1, 1959, at Chayashi village under Mohanganj upazila in Netrokona district to Dr Akhlaqul Hossain Ahmed and Begum Hosne Ara Hossain. Hassan was appointed as the chairman of International Crimes Tribunal-2 on March 25, 2012 and in his capacity as the head of that court, also known as War Crimes Tribunal, until September 15, 2015, he pronounced 11 verdicts. Denial of Bangladesh genocide weakens claims for justice and redress Obaidul Hassan is married to Nafisa Banu, who currently serves as Member (Finance) of Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority’s Board of Directors. The couple has a son, Barrister Ahmed Shafquat Hassan. Obaidul Hassan's younger brother Sajjadul Hassan is a parliament member (MP) from Netrokona-4 constituency while he previously served as a senior secretary at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). Obaidul Hassan initially obtained his graduate and postgraduate degrees in economics from Dhaka University prior to studying law and made his debut as a practitioner in the Dhaka District Court in 1986, and got his enrollment in the High Court in 1988. He became an Appellate Division lawyer in 2005 and was appointed as an assistant attorney general and deputy attorney general for 5 years from 1996 to 2001. Justice Obaidul Hassan to take oath as country’s 24th Chief Justice on Sept 26 As a Supreme Court judge Obaidul Hassan joined several international legal conferences in different countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Netherlands and Argentina. He led the Bangladesh delegation to an international crimes conference in Buenos Aires in 2015 and in the same year he attended a views exchange meeting with the International Crimes Court and the International Crimes Tribunal judges in The Hague. Obaidul Hassan authored several books including 'Obornonio Nirmomotar Chittro Ekatturer Buddhijibi Hotyakando O Onnanya', 'Bangabandhu Bangladesh Ekjon Juddho Shishur Golpo O Onnanya' and 'Bangabandhu, Rabindranath O Oshamprodayeek Bangladesh'.
Bangladesh Bank has introduced a US dollar booking policy for maximum 1 year, at a higher rate, to meet future requirements. According to the new rules, after one year, the bank will be able to charge a maximum of 5 percent more than the current dollar price with a 'SMART' rate. The central bank issued a circular in this regard on Sunday. Despite Bangladesh Bank Governor’s decision to not raise exchange rate before election, dollar rate hiked again Under the new rules, dollars can be kept with bookings for up to one year. For this, the buyer has to pay extra. It will be determined by the method with which loan interest rate is determined now. Currently, the dollar price for import is fixed at Tk 110.5. If anyone wants to book a dollar for future, he/she will have to pay Tk 123 per dollar after one year. Selling dollars at higher prices: What is Bangladesh Bank’s action against treasury heads of 10 banks?
Despite Bangladesh Bank Governor’s decision to not raise exchange rate before election, dollar rate hiked again
Bangladesh Bank decided not to bring major changes in the US dollar exchange rate before the upcoming national election. The central bank’s Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder informed of this decision at a meeting with managing directors and CEOs of banks recently. At that meeting, the governor said that Bangladesh Bank will not make any policy changes regarding the dollar market or the foreign currency market before the national election. Despite this decision, the dollar rate has been raised by Tk .50 or 50 paisa in all cases. The price of the dollar has increased to Tk 110 in case of export and expatriates’ income, and to Tk 110.50 in case of import. Read: Selling dollars at higher prices: What is Bangladesh Bank’s action against treasury heads of 10 banks?The dollar rate was hiked again yesterday, which is effective from today. The dollar crisis in the country has become evident since March 2023, following the downturn caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. To deal with this crisis, Bangladesh Bank fixed the dollar price at the beginning. This worsened the crisis. Later, last September, Bangladesh Bank withdrew from determining the price of the dollar. Read: Bangladesh Bank seeks explanations from 13 banks for selling dollars at higher prices This responsibility has been given to the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB) and Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association (BAFEDA). Since then the two organizations have been jointly setting the dollar price for export, remittance earnings, and payment of import liabilities. Read more: Dollar goes off kerb market after central bank-led raids of money exchanges