Terrorism is a global challenge; terrorists have no religion, no boundaries.
So there needs to be more engagement of people from all walks of life to prevent, control, and stop terrorism and militancy, the religious affairs ministry said in a notification issued Monday.
Anti-terrorism and anti-militancy messages will have to be prepared through the religious scholars and experts working at the Bangladesh Islamic Foundation.
Then it will have to be regularly communicated through the khatibs and imams of the local mosques. They will ensure giving anti-terrorism and anti-militancy speeches before the Friday prayers, said the notification.
Steps will have to be taken to disseminate the correct interpretations of the Holy Quran and Hadith through social media platforms, it added.
Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has held its air defence exercise 'ADEX 2020-3’ in Dhaka, Chattogram, Jashore, Cox’s Bazar, Tangail and Barishal.
The goal of Monday’s exercise was to assess and evaluate the efficiency and capability of BAF Air Defence and identify the weaknesses and draw lessons for further improvement in air defence system, the Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) said.
As a part of the exercise, BAF pilots practised different air combat manoeuvres and tactics, including attack and interception by fighter aircraft, surveillance from air to the enemy attacking area, protecting air bases, transporting weapons and special operations.
All types of BAF fighter aircraft, transport aircraft, helicopter, radar squadrons and air defence missile units participated in the exercise.
It will help to identify the limitations and draw appropriate lessons for improvement in future, the ISPR handout said.
The participation of all manpower and material of BAF in this exercise will also be more effective in strengthening air defence capability of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Navy also participated in the exercise in limited scale to make the exercise more effective and realistic.
The government has planned to go for tougher punishment like raising the pecuniary fine by mobile courts to force people to wear masks to stop the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’ve asked divisional commissioners to monitor it (mask use) for another week. If the existing fine doesn’t work, motivate people in a greater way and then go for tougher punishment. The fine may be raised,” said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam.
He was briefing journalists after the weekly Cabinet meeting, held at the Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The PM joined the meeting virtually from her residence Ganobhaban.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister asked the authorities concerned to carry out a greater campaign and force people to wear masks, said the Cabinet Secretary.
The divisional commissioners informed that several thousand people were fined throughout the country on Sunday. The mobile courts were conducted in 35 places of the capital alone on the day, he said.
If the existing punishment does not work, then the mobile courts may fine even Tk 5,000 instead of the existing amount of Tk 500 or Tk 1,000, he said adding that the number of Covid-19 patients is on the rise again in hospitals across the country.
Besides, the Cabinet gave the final approval to the draft of the Bangladesh Film Artistes Welfare Trust Bill 2020, aiming to ensure the welfare of the actors and actresses, and provide financial support to insolvent and ailing artistes.
At the meeting, the Economic Relations Division (ERD) informed the Cabinet about the foreign aid.
The amount of grant declined to 3pc of the total foreign aid Bangladesh received in 2019-20 fiscal year, which was less than 5 percent in 2018-19 fiscal, 30pc in 2009-10 fiscal and nearly 85pc in 1971-72 fiscal year, Anwarul Islam said.
On the other hand, the amount of debt increased to 97pc of the total foreign aid in 2019-20 fiscal year, which was 95pc in 2018-19 fiscal, 70pc in 2009-10 and 7pc-8pc in 1971-72 fiscal year, he said.
Bangladesh received US$ 7,121 million (US$ 7.12 billion) in foreign aid in 2019-20 fiscal year and now the cumulative amount of foreign aid stood at US$ 44,023 million which is 13.34 percent of GDP, he said adding that Bangladesh is not in the risk of foreign debt trap as the amount of foreign debt is less than 14 percent of GDP.
In 1989-90 fiscal year, the ADP size was Tk 5,103 crore and foreign aid was Tk 3,256 crore which was 63.8pc of ADP. In 2009-10, the ADP size was Tk 28,500 crore and the contribution of foreign aid to the ADP was 39.65pc, he added.
In 2018-19 fiscal, the ADP size was Tk 176,620 crore while foreign aid was Tk 51,660 crore, which is 29.25pc of ADP, he said, adding that the foreign aid declined in terms of percentage that means domestic investment went up.
The Cabinet Secretary said Bangladesh has never been a defaulter in repayment of any foreign debt.
The Cabinet was informed about the measures and future action plans taken by the Agriculture Ministry to offset the Covid-19 fallout.
At the meeting, Disaster Management and Relief Ministry placed a report on its activities taken during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has no plan to remove stray dogs for now. And no dogs will be relocated without consulting the ministry concerned and petitioners.
Attorney General AM Amin Uddin said this to the court on Monday, referring to his conversation with DSCC Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.
Then the High Court dropped a writ petition – that sought cancellation of DSCC move to relocate stray dogs – from its cause list.
The bench of Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Mohammad Ali came up with the order.
Barrister Sakib Mahbub stood for the petition, while Attorney General AM Amin Uddin, Deputy Attorney General Debashish Bhattacharya, and Assistant Attorney General Nasim Islam represented the state.
Later, Shakib told the reporters that the High Court dropped the petition for now, but they can move the same petition before the court if required.
On September 17, actor Jaya Ahsan, Obhoyaronno, People for Animal Welfare filed the petition.
The writ petition sought a High Court rule seeking an explanation of why DSCC's decision to dump and relocate dogs should not be declared illegal.
According to Section 7 of the Animal Welfare Act 219, stray animals cannot be removed, relocated, and dumped, the write petition said.
However, there are allegations that stray dogs have been removed from TSC and Dhanmondi and dumped in Matuail landfill following the verbal orders of DSCC.
DSCC recently started to shift stray dogs claiming that they are spoiling the city.
The move triggered a heated debate, between animal lovers and those who consider the street dogs a nuisance, on social media.
UNICEF is working with major global airlines and freight providers to step up efforts to deliver close to 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 to over 92 countries around the world as soon as vaccines become available.
To kick-start preparations, UNICEF together with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), briefed major global airlines last week on the expected capacity requirements and discussed ways to transport close to 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, UNICEF said on Monday.
This is in addition to the 1 billion syringes that need to be transported by sea-freight.
This virtual meeting comes close on the heels of the first-ever logistics event held virtually by UNICEF to discuss the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines.
The landmark discussion brought together more than 350 logistics partners, including air freight operators, shipping lines and global logistics associations.
“As work continues to develop COVID-19 vaccines, UNICEF is stepping-up efforts with airlines, freight operators, shipping lines and other logistics associations to deliver life-saving vaccines as quickly and safely as possible,” said Etleva Kadilli, Director of UNICEF’s Supply Division.
"This invaluable collaboration will go a long way to ensure that enough transport capacity is in place for this historic and mammoth operation. We need all hands on deck as we get ready to deliver COVID-19 vaccine doses, syringes and more personal protective equipment to protect front line workers around the globe. By protecting these workers, we are ultimately protecting the millions of children who depend on their critical services.”
In the coming weeks, UNICEF is also assessing existing transport capacity to identify gaps and future requirements.
The procurement, delivery and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is anticipated to be the largest and fastest such operation ever undertaken.
UNICEF is leading efforts to procure and deliver vaccines from manufacturers that have agreements with the COVAX Facility.
In collaboration with PAHO, UNICEF will coordinate the purchase and delivery for 92 low- and lower middle-income economies as quickly and securely as possible.
These efforts build on UNICEF’s longstanding efforts with the logistics industry to transport supplies around the world despite restrictions related to the pandemic.
Since January, UNICEF has delivered more than US$190 million worth of COVID-19 supplies such as masks, gowns, oxygen concentrators and diagnostic test kits in support of countries as they respond to the pandemic.
As the largest single vaccine buyer in the world, UNICEF normally procures more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunization and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries.
This unparalleled expertise includes the coordination of thousands of shipments with various cold chain requirements, making UNICEF an expert in supply chain management of temperature-controlled products, which is especially needed during this historic undertaking.
To minimise disruptions to routine immunization programmes due to the operations related to the COVID-19 vaccines and syringes, UNICEF and partners will continue to coordinate closely with logistics operators for timely delivery around the world.
“The support of governments, partners and the private sector will be paramount to transport vaccines for deadly diseases such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus, as well as for COVID-19, as efficiently as possible,” Kadilli said.
Last month, UNICEF began a process to stockpile more than 1 billion syringes by 2021 to guarantee initial supply and pre-position in advance of COVID-19 vaccines.