Voicing deep concern over the firing of mortar shells by the Myanmar Army inside Bangladesh, BNP on Saturday urged the UN and the international community to take steps to stop such insolent activities and violation of international law. “We would like to draw the attention of the United Nations and the international community to take necessary measures to prevent such audacity of Myanmar," said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. Speaking at an emergency meeting at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he also called upon the Awami League government to take appropriate measures boldly to protect the territorial integrity of independent and sovereign Bangladesh." The BNP leader said an alarming situation has been prevailing along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border areas due to repeated incidents of firing mortar shells into Bangladesh territory by the Myanmar Armed Forces. Read: Govt has divided the state system through politicization: Fakhrul He said the military aggression of the Myanmar Armed Forces, which started on August 28, has been increasing due to the weak and subservient diplomacy of the current ‘illegitimate’ government of Bangladesh. “In the latest incident, a Rohingya teenager who was hit by a mortar shell fired by the Myanmar forces died yesterday (Friday) on the zero-line opposite to the Ghumdhum border in Naikhongchhari Upazila of Bandarban. Five more kids were injured in the incident,” Fakhrul said. A week after firing mortar shells along the Bangladesh border, he said the Myanmar forces repeatedly violated the airspace and fired mortar shells from warplanes and helicopters. Read: BNP's movement cannot be suppressed by attacks, arrests: Fakhrul “The mortar shells exploded within 120 meters of Bangladesh territory near the zero-line of Naikhongchhari border in Bandarban, which is a direct violation of international law. The Myanmar forces are often firing toward Bangladesh violating the airspace. BNP strongly condemns and protests the killing of people by firing mortar shells by the Myanmar Army along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border and the violation of international law,” the BNP leader said. He also said Myanmar is showing such audacity by firing mortar shells inside Bangladesh only because of the government’s knee-jerk foreign policy.
Jatiya Party (JP) chairman and deputy leader of the opposition GM Quader has said that his party won’t join any alliance in the next national election. Quader said this while speaking as chief guest at a conference of the Hindu Grand Alliance, held at the Mahanagar Natyamanch on Friday noon. “JP didn’t have any alliance with the Awami League (AL) in the previous election. We just had a polls-time understanding over some seats. Activists of both parties had worked for each other due to the understanding. I would rather say that JP and AL have friendly ties,” said Quader. Quader added that voters don’t want Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to be used in the next general election. “EVM is a machine for stealing votes. Anyone can be elected using this machine. We have been against it from the very start,” added Quader. Read: Jatiya Party relieves Ranga from all party posts The JP chairman also said that boycotting elections is a tough call to make. “We aren’t interested in boycotting the election. We’ll take decisions in this regard after analyzing the situation on the ground. We’ll decide whether we’ll join the polls or not after discussing the matter at the party forum,” said Quader, the younger brother of JP's founder, late H.M. Ershad. The conference was presided over by Dinbandhu Ray and moderated by Priyanka Sukul. Syed Abu Hossain Babla, co-chairman of JP and Sunil Shuvo Ray, presidium member of JP, among others, also spoke at the event.
At least 100 BNP activists were injured during a series of clashes with ruling Awami League rivals onThursday at capital’s Mirpur area over holding a scheduled rally, said the opposition party. “We took permission from police to hold the rally and accordingly asked our activists to join. As our leaders, activists were coming with a procession, activists of AL, Jubo League, and Bangladesh Chaatra League (BCL) attacked them with sticks, rods,” said Aminul Haque, member secretary of Dhaka North unit of BNP. Police also lobbed tear shells at BNP activists, he said. “At least 100 of our activists were injured and 15 were held by police,” said the BNP leader. Such an attack on a protest rally against price hikes of essentials proves that the government wants to prevent democratic rights in a fascist style, said Aminul. Sheikh Bazlur Rahman, president of Dhaka metropolitan north Awami League said a party rally was scheduled there. But BNP also announced a rally later at the same place. He said AL activists were directed to avoid confrontation considering the rallies called by the parties at the same place and same time, “But some overexcited people got involved in a clash,”. The trouble started around 2pm as the ruling party activists reportedly barred their BNP rivals from going to their scheduled rally venue in Mukul Fouz field at Mirpur Section No-6, according to witnesses.. Read: AL-BNP clash leaves 20 injured in Feni Witnesses said the clash occurred around the Mukul Fouz field as the BNP activists tried to resist the ruling party rivals. At one stage, police rushed to the spot and lobbed teargas shells to bring the situation under control. However, sporadic clashes continued at different lanes in the area till 3:15pm. Iqbal Hossain, former joint general secretary of Dhaka north city unit of BNP said the ruling party activists vandalised their makeshift stage of the rally and took a position in the venue in a bid to foil the programme. Officer-in-Charge of Pallabi police station, Parvez said the agitation started after activists of both the parties were moving toward the rally spot. “The situation is under control now and the BNP activist could not hold a rally after the clash. They left the spot,” said OC Parvez. Contacted, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Pallabi Zone Arif Hossain said that clashes took place centering the BNP's rally. He, however, denied the attack on the rally by the ruling party activists. “ What they (BNP men) are telling is absolutely false”, he said. Several police members were injured when they tried to disperse the agitators. At one point, when the BNP activists attacked the police, they first fired teargas shells. Then several rounds of rubber bullets were fired to deal with the situation, the ADC (Pallabi Zone) added. Earlier on September 10, BNP announced to hold public rallies in 16 spots under its Dhaka south and north city units until September 27 in protest against the increase in prices of essentials, fuel and transport fares. The rallies are also meant for registering the party’s protest against the killings of Bhola Chhatra Dal leader Noor-e-Alam, Swechchasebak Dal leader Abdur Rahim and Narayanganj Jubo Dal leader Shaon Prodhan. The party has so far held four rallies. END/UNB/ARJ-FA/F
BNP Vice-Chairman Shah Moazzem Hossain passed away on Wednesday night. He was 83. The veteran politician breathed his last at around 9:30pm at his Gulshan residence, said BNP medical cell member Sayrul Kabir Khan. The BNP leader had long been suffering health problems from old age, he added. Shah Moazzem left behind a son and a daughter. Read: Momen mourns Akbar Ali Khan's death Born on January 10, 1939, at Dogachi village in Munshiganj, Moazzem was active in politics since his student life. He actively participated in the Language Movement in 1952, the Six-point Movement in 1966 and the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. He served as the chief whip of the first parliament of independent Bangladesh under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. After the assassination of Bangabandhu, Moazzem joined the cabinet of Khandaker Mushtaque Ahmed as a minister. Later, he joined Jatiya Party during the rule of HM Ershad and was made the secretary general of the party and a deputy prime minister. As Ershad expelled him from Jatiya Party in 1992, Moazzem later joined Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). His first namaz-e-janaza will be held in front of BNP's Nayapaltan central office at 11am. Later, his body will be brought to Munshiganj's Sreenagar where his second janaza will be held after Zuhr prayers. Moazzem will finally be buried at Banani graveyard in the capital.
The next general election in Bangladesh will be held by January 29, 2024 with the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in 150 constituencies out of 300, according to a roadmap published by the Election Commission. “Seventeen out of 29 parties who participated in the recent dialogue gave positive opinion on the use of EVMs while 12 rejected use of EVM. The Election Commission thinks that it will not be rational to use EVMs as most of the political parties want. Use of EVMs in 150 constituencies will be rational for balancing the opinions of all parties,” Election Commissioner Md Ahsan Habib, gave the keynote speech as chief guest in the absence of the CEC. Read:AL hails EC decision to use EVMs in 150 JS seats in next polls EC also said the election has to be held by January 24, 2024 as per the constitution. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal could not attend the event due to illness, but four other Election Commissioners along with senior EC officials were present. The Election Commission (EC) published the roadmap for the upcoming 12th National Assembly elections. Read: EVMs to be used in maximum 150 constituencies in next national polls: EC This was revealed at a function held at the auditorium of the Election Commission building on Wednesday. The action plan mentions the challenges to holding fair elections, what the EC should do to deal with them, review the activities of the parties, increasing the use of election technology etc. The EC said that no one has been able to provide proof of EVM rigging in all the elections that have taken place so far. Read BNP turns down EC’s move to use EVMs up to 150 seats Setting parliamentary constituency boundaries The roadmap says that a new policy will be made in January 2023 to redefine the boundaries of the parliamentary seats. On the basis of which the Geographical Information System will be discussed with the relevant institutions and experts, and the draft of the constituencies will be published in March 2023. The revised delimitation of 300 constituencies will be gazetted in June after objections to the draft were settled in May. Voter list The action plan informs that updates are currently in progress. The updated list will be released on March 2, 2023. With the announcement of the parliamentary election schedule, the voter list of 300 constituencies will be published. Read Election to 61 district councils (Zila Parishads) on October 17 Polling stations EC plans to set up 42,000 polling stations. In this case, the work will be undertaken in June 2023. The draft will be published in July, and the objections will be settled on the draft in August. After that, Election Commission will publish the gazette of the polling station 25 days before the polling. Inspection of parties The process of reviewing the activities of the registered parties will begin this September. In this case, after reviewing all the information, the Election Commission will decide which party's registration will be maintained in May 2023. The final list of registered parties will be published in June of the same year. Before this, registration of new parties will be announced in May. Read EVMs to be used in maximum 150 constituencies in next national polls: EC
– BNP on Saturday voiced hope that as a friendly, neighbouring country India will support the people of Bangladesh to succeed in their struggle for democracy, just as they helped them gain independence during the Liberation War in 1971. Speaking at a rally in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also claimed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina could not make any visible gain from her recent four-day India tour as India is no longer happy with Awami League (AL). “We certainly hope that India will also support the struggle of the people of Bangladesh for democracy and a democratic system since it helped us in the Liberation War in 1971. We also expect the same thing from all the democratic countries,” he said. Criticising the government for what he termed its repressive acts and failure to deliver, the BNP leader said the government cannot be given any more time to stay in power. “They (AL) don’t want time from the people of Bangladesh. Going to our neighbouring country India, they sought more time and steps so that they can stay in power for one more term. I would like to say it clearly that no one can do anything here without the support and love of the people of Bangladesh,” Fakhrul said. The BNP Dhaka south city unit’s Motijheel, Paltan and Shahjahanpur zone organised the rally in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, protesting the increase in prices of essentials, fuel and transport fares and the killing of three leaders of its associate bodies. Fakhrul said their party wants to maintain friendship with all countries, including India: “We think that India is a friendly country to us.” Read: BNP to intensify movement in Dhaka city with 16 rallies in September He said they hoped that the Prime Minister would take steps to resolve the outstanding issues with India, including the sharing of waters of the Teesta and other common rivers and stopping border killings and reducing the trade gap during her visit. “They (PM and AL) also expected that India would give them everything, but it didn’t happen as India is also not happy with them.” He alleged that the current government has ruined the country’s economy by indulging in 'widespread' plundering and corruption. Referring to a report by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), he said, Tk75,000 crores were siphoned off abroad from Bangladesh last year. “They’re indulging in mega corruption in the name of mega projects. They’re looting from every project, but not doing anything for the common people. Most of the banks’ funds have now been depleted. So, our backs are pushed against the walls. We must wake up to remove this regime,” the BNP leader said. Stating that Awami League has long been in power by force, he said a strong unity of people is now mandatory to restore democracy and establish a government ‘of the people’ by ousting the current regime.
As part of the party’s move to intensify its ongoing ant-government movement, BNP has drawn up a program of public rallies at 16 spots in Dhaka city till September 27, in protest against the increase in transport fares, and the prices of essentials and fuel oils. BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the programme, to be organized jointly by the party’s Dhaka North and Dhaka South units, from a rally in front of the party’s Nayapaltan central office. The rallies are also meant for registering the party’s protest against the killings of Bhola Chhatra Dal leader Noor-e-Alam, Swechchasebak Dal leader Abdur Rahim and Narayanganj Jubo Dal leader Shaon Prodhan. Fakhrul said, “We’ve initiated a movement and it’ll continue. We would arrange protest rallies at 16 spots of the capital, including this one, until September 27.” Once these programmes are observed, he said they will announce the next programmes of action across the country. “Join the movement,” Fakhrul urged. As part of the programmes, a rally arranged by Dhaka south city unit’s Motijheel, Paltan and Shahjahanpur zone was arranged in front of the BNP central office today (on Saturday). Read: Get ready for final push against AL govt: Fakhrul to BNP activist The party’s Uttara east zone will arrange a rally on September 11 (tomorrow)while Shahbagh and Ramna on September 12 in front of Dhaka Reporters’ Unity, Uttara west zone on September 13, Pallabi zone on September 15, Sutrapur and Dholaikhal on September 16, Postagola on September 18, Gulshan on September 19, Basabo on September 20, Mirpur on September 21, Konapara on September 22, Mohammadpur on September 23, Kamrangirchar on September 24, Badda September 25, Kalabagan zone September 26 and finally Tejgaon zone on September 27. Besides, he said Dhaka south and north city units will arrange a silent sit-in programme by holding candles on September 27. Fakhrul said strong unity of people is now necessary for the restoration of democracy and getting rid of misrule through an effective movement. The BNP has been organising demonstrations across the country since the government raised fuel prices and adopted the Loadshedding policy. BNP has also been alleging that their three activists were killed while over 1,000 were injured as police and ruling party men worked together to attacked the party’s programmes in different parts of the country.
Minister for Education Dr Dipu Moni said on Wednesday that they want the participation of all political parties in the upcoming zilla parishad and national elections. She also said there is no scope for bringing in any political party if they have the intention to make the elections questionable. Minister Moni, also joint general secretary of the ruling Awami League (AL), said this while responding to queries from journalists at a function at Chandpur Circuit House in the evening. Asked about the use of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the elections, she said the use of the EVMs depends on the election commission (EC), and the AL will assist them in holding a fair election. “I don’t know whether all parties will reach a point regarding the use of the EVM, however, we will have to march forward for the sake of development with technology unless all are agreed,” Dipu said. Read: AL wants competitive elections: Obaidul Quader The minister reiterated that the national elections will be held on time and won’t wait for anyone. Some political parties oppose opposition without reasonable grounds. Expressing her optimism of participation of all competent parties in the upcoming election, she said it is their political right if they don’t compete in the election despite having all arrangements. Chandpur Deputy Commissioner Kamrul Hasan, Superintendent of Police Milon Mahmud and the party’s leaders and activists were present there.
Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader Wednesday said the Election Commission (EC) is trying to arrange a stage-managed general election by using electronic voting machines (EVMs) in up to 150 seats. "During their dialogues (with the EC), almost all the political parties opposed the use of EVMs, but the Election Commission decided to conduct voting with it. Most people in the country think that EVMs are vote-rigging machines," he said. Referring to the chief election commissioner's recent remarks that it is not their responsibility to ensure all parties' participation in the polls, the Jatiya Party chief said it has cast doubt in the public mind about the EC's ability to conduct a free, impartial and acceptable election. "It seems that the EC is trying to implement an agenda. On the other hand, the people of the country are unable to speak out. If there is a movement for any demand, the police and opponents are attacking it," he said. GM Quader, also the deputy opposition leader in parliament, said there will not be a level playing field if the national election is held in such a context. "Where the government has 90 percent influence (on state machinery), having the police and administration in its hands, a fair election cannot be expected." Read: Scope for politics gets limited: GM Quader He said there is no crisis in the Jatiya Party and it will not face any split. "The Awami League and BNP have repeatedly tried to harm the Jatiya Party. None of those who left the party could establish themselves as a strong organiser. Even if someone leaves like this, the Jatiya Party will not be weak." Replying to a question, GM Quader said Raushon Ershad called him repeatedly to inquire about his condition as his vehicle was recently hit by a bus and told him she does not want to be the chairman of the National Council. He also said the top leaders of the Jatiya Party think that Raushon was forced to announce the party's council under pressure. "Taking advantage of her illness, some outsiders may be trying to implement a different agenda by using Begum Raushon Ershad's name." In response to a question about the formation of an electoral alliance, the Jatiya Party chair said a decision will be made on it following a discussion in the party forum before the election. "The Jatiya Party will decide on the formation of any alliance considering the reality and the expectations of the commoners." GM Quader, however, said their party is now preparing for elections in all 300 seats. "We are implementing regular programmes to strengthen the party."
The United Kingdom today (September 7, 2022) expressed deep concern over the recent political violence between police and BNP activists, especially in Bhola and Narayanganj that left three people killed. In a brief statement on the verified Facebook page of the British High Commission in Bangladesh, the UK called on all parties to exercise calm and restraint, choosing dialogue over violence. “The UK is gravely concerned about recent violence between political parties and law enforcement, particularly after the deaths of BNP activists in Bhola and Narayanganj,” the statement reads. The statement was issued following a meeting between a four-member BNP delegation and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson. BNP delegation included party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, organising secretary Shama Obayed and executive committee member Tabith Awal. Read: Jubo Dal activist killed in N’ganj; BNP activists-police clash in parts of country Stating that engagement with political parties is a key part of the UK’s diplomatic presence in Bangladesh, the statement said Dickson was pleased to meet Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders at the British High Commission today (Wednesday), discussing the current political situation. Contacted, Amir Khosru Mahmud told UNB that they met Dickson at the invitation of the High Commission at 2pm. “We had around one and a half hour meeting and discussed the latest political issues in Bangladesh, including the recent incidents of police firing at our peaceful programmes,” he said. As the high commissioner wanted to know from them, Khosru said, “We narrated what actually happened and how law forcers and political goons attacked our peaceful programmes across the country, leaving our three leaders dead and injured many others.” He said they also talked about false cases filed against thousands of leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies across the country by law enforcers. “We think it’s the beginning of the end of democracy and electoral process. If it continues a level-playing field will never be created and a credible election won't be held in Bangladesh."