Twenty-Nine Bangladeshi citizens returned home today (October 03, 2023) after serving jail terms in different prisons of Myanmar. They came back to Bangladesh through Teknaf border following a “Battalion Commander level flag meeting” between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Border Guard Police (BGP) of Myanmar. The steadfast and continued efforts by the Bangladesh Embassy in Yangon and its Sittwe Consulate made the latest repatriation possible after a long hiatus of 18 months when 41 Bangladeshi nationals were repatriated from Myanmar on March 23, 2022, said the Bangladesh Embassy in Yangon. US announces $116 million in humanitarian assistance to people in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Region Among the returnees, 23 are from Cox’s Bazar district, 4 from Bandarban, and 2 from Rangamati of Bangladesh. BGP detained the Bangladeshis on charges of illegally crossing the border into Myanmar at different times. Lt. Col. Mohiuddin, commander of BGB’s Teknaf battalion, led the 10-member Bangladesh team, which included, among others, Zakir Ahmed, Consul of the Bangladesh Consulate in Sittwe, during the handing over/taking over process. Bangladesh-Myanmar visa exemption reinstated
The United States has reiterated that it does not support any particular party and does not want to influence the outcome of the election in Bangladesh. The US only wants to ensure that the people of Bangladesh can freely choose their leaders. “So, let me restate or state in slightly different language what I said last week, which is the United States wants what the Bangladeshis themselves want: free and fair elections that are conducted in a peaceful manner,” US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said during a regular media briefing in Washington on October 2. He, however, once again refrained from mentioning visa restrictions on media. US Ambassador in Dhaka, Peter Haas, during a recent TV interview had mentioned possible visa restrictions on media. Read more: Eminent citizens voice disappointment over US ambassador’s remarks on visa restrictions against media During the US State Department briefing, a questioner said that radical groups that advocate “Taliban-style rule” in Bangladesh along with opposition leaders, have hailed the US ambassador’s remark on including media under the visa restrictions, and have already threatened media persons, circulating a list of journalists who have been critical of radical views. On the other hand, rights activists, anti-war crimes campaigners, editors, writers, minority community leaders found the statement by the US ambassador on possible visa curbs on media to be an “affront to freedom of press” that has been pivotal to the fight against terror, the questioner added. He asked the State Department spokesperson whether the US supports the statement of the ambassador and denies the concerns raised by such a large group of liberals. Miller did not give a direct response, but said that the government, political parties, civil society, and the media in Bangladesh have all expressed their desire that the upcoming national election be free and fair and conducted in a peaceful manner – “as we want.” Read more: No discussion held on visa policy with US Assistant Secretary Bitter: Acting FS “The visa restriction policy that we’ve announced supports this objective and the desire of the people of Bangladesh to freely choose their leaders,” he said.
Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Pranay Verma on Monday said that it wasn't just in the struggle for independence (1971), India would always stand with Bangladesh. "India-Bangladesh relations are lifelong. We are working together on all issues like social, cultural, trade and communication system. We believe that India-Bangladesh relations will last forever," he said. Also read: Commemoration of Int'l Day of Non-violence reaffirms universality of values of peace, tolerance, understanding: Pranay Verma He said this while inaugurating the newly constructed modern honors building of the traditional Kashinagar Degree College in Chauddagram of Cumilla on Monday (October 2) afternoon. Local MP and former Railway Minister Md Mujibul Haque was present as the special guest. Also read: Yoga a gift of India to world: Pranay Verma Indian High Commissioner Pranay Verma inaugurated the newly constructed four-storey modern building of the traditional Kashinagar Degree College in Chauddagram with the grant of the Government of India for the development of rural education in Bangladesh. Also read: Pranay Verma appointed next Indian envoy to Bangladesh
Commemoration of Int'l Day of Non-violence reaffirms universality of values of peace, tolerance, understanding: Pranay Verma
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay Verma on Monday said Mahatma Gandhi's conviction in the innate goodness of humanity and his unwavering faith in peace and non-violence as a force for change remain as relevant today as they were during India’s freedom struggle. He highlighted that Gandhi's historic visit to Noakhali in 1946 exemplified the extraordinary power of dialogue, empathy, and understanding, even in the most challenging of circumstances. "His unyielding dedication to the principles of non-violence and communal harmony not only brought solace to Noakhali, but also left an indelible mark on the conscience of humanity," said the Indian High Commissioner while addressing a seminar. Read: EU's Global Gateway Strategy to support Bangladesh in meeting its green energy transition ambitions: Peteris Ustubs On the occasion of the 154th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, High Commissioner Verma visited the historic Gandhi Ashram in Noakhali and offered floral tributes to the Father of the Indian nation. He also addressed the seminar hosted by the Gandhi Ashram Trust on the theme “Gandhiji’s quest for peace and harmony in Noakhali and its relevance in the contemporary world”. The envoy also pointed out that the commemoration of International Day of Non-violence on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary every year reaffirms the universality of the values of peace, non-violence, tolerance and understanding, and highlights their relevance in dealing with the current global challenges such as terrorism. The International Day of Non-violence is a strong affirmation of India’s long-standing belief that no cause can justify acts of violence and that humanism shall always prevail, said the High Commissioner. Read: ‘Boycotting election isn’t good for anyone’: Info minister tells Japanese ambassador High Commissioner Verma also visited the museum at the Gandhi Ashram showcasing memorabilia associated with Gandhiji’s stay at the Noakhali in 1946 and encouraged the Gandhi Ashram Trust to forge regular cooperation and exchanges with various institutions devoted to Gandhian studies in India.
Indonesian Ambassador to Bangladesh Heru Hartanto Subolo has said Bangladesh and Indonesia have shown resilience and determination to progress and develop during the 51-years of diplomatic relations. “In 2023, the two nations have attained a stronger partnership,” he said as the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Dhaka celebrated its 78th Independence Day on Sunday evening. During the bilateral meeting between President Joko Widodo and President Mohammed Shahabuddin in Jakarta last month, both leaders agreed to a concrete cooperation between the two countries. To make a concrete cooperation, three MoUs have been signed, which are cooperation in the field of health, energy, and agriculture sector. Indonesia launches Southeast Asia's first high-speed train, funded by China
Continuing its partnership with the Thai government, VFS Global, an outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, has re-won the contract to process visa applications for Thailand from Bangladesh. The company will cater to travellers from Bangladesh across visa categories through its visa application centres (VACs) in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet, said VFS Global. VFS Global’s relationship with the government of Thailand dates to nearly two decades. The company has processed more than 1.14 million Thai visa applications since 2005. “The renewal of the Thai visa contract attests to VFS Global's superior business performance, commitment to improving customer experience, and unshakable faith placed in us by the 70 sovereign governments we work with, including Thailand,’’ said Prabuddha Sen, Chief Operating Officer - South Asia, VFS Global. Thailand has some of the most popular tourist destinations of choice for travelers from Bangladesh, according to VFS Global.
EU's Global Gateway Strategy to support Bangladesh in meeting its green energy transition ambitions: Peteris Ustubs
European Union (EU) Director for Middle East, Asia, and Pacific at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA) Peteris Ustubs has said the Global Gateway Strategy will support Bangladesh in meeting its green energy transition ambitions in a sustainable and smart way . "It is the European Union’s response to boost cooperation with partners worldwide. We believe it marks a new era of the longstanding EU-Bangladesh cooperation. This comes at a timely moment, as Bangladesh sets the ground for its LDC graduation in 2026,”he said. Ustubs visited Bangladesh from September 30 to October 2 to discuss further strengthening EU-Bangladesh cooperation on the green energy transition. In the context of the EU’s Global Gateway Strategy, his visit focused on strengthening the partnership between the European Union and Bangladesh, particularly in the domains of climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energy, regional energy connectivity, and sustainable development. Read: In Egypt, host of COP27, a small step toward green energy
Marking the International Day of Non-Violence, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday said they commemorate not only the birth of Mahatma Gandhi but also the timeless values he championed: mutual respect and understanding, justice, and the power of peaceful action. "Let us heed his words today and re-commit ourselves to this essential purpose," he said in a message on the International Day of Non-Violence. Guterres said the world confronts grave challenges: growing inequalities, rising tensions, proliferating conflicts, and worsening climate chaos. "We also see divides deepening within countries – with democracy under threat and hate speech and intolerance on the march," he said. Guterres said they can overcome these afflictions and chart a course towards a brighter, more peaceful future. Read: Gandhi’s philosophy of truth, humanism, non-violence underscored "If we understand – as Gandhi did – that the magnificent diversity of our human family is a treasure, not a threat. If we invest in social cohesion, nurture the courage to compromise, and the determination to cooperate. If we ensure that all of us – regardless of status, background, circumstance, or faith – can live lives of dignity, opportunity, and rights. If we unite around our common humanity," said the UN chief. He also said, "Let us remember Gandhi’s wise counsel: “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” Read more: Gandhi’s ideals of peace, non-violence policy recalled
In a meeting with the Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud said continuously boycotting elections is not good for any party. He said this while talking to reporters after meeting the ambassador at the ministry’s office on Sunday. “The topic of the upcoming election was raised during our discussion. I made it clear that the next election will uphold the principles of being free, fair, and transparent; the Election Commission is responsible for it,” he said. No reason to be delighted over US visa policy: Information Minister He mentioned the issue of boycotting elections and said, “I stressed the point that boycotting elections is never beneficial for any party. Simultaneously, we delved into preventing political violence in the country, reminiscent of incidents in 2013-14-15, which the BNP has been attempting intermittently.” Conspiracy can’t foil next elections: Hasan Mahmud In our discussion, I assured him that the election would be fair and free, said Hasan, adding that it would involve the active participation of the people and various political parties. Regarding Japan-Bangladesh relations, the minister said, “I thanked the Japanese ambassador for Japan's consistent economic and infrastructural support over the last 52 years. Our conversation also touched upon the prospect of closer collaboration for the future development of the country.” Japan wants to increase investment in Bangladesh: Japanese envoy told FBCCI
Acting Foreign Secretary Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam on Sunday said the US side did not raise anything related to the recently announced US visa policy. "I can unequivocally tell you that they did not initiate any discussion about the visa policy," he told reporters after his meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Rena Bitter. He said the visit was part of regular engagement and she did not come for discussing any specific issue. They discussed issues of mutual interest regarding consular issues, said the acting Foreign Secretary. Asked how the visa policy will be applied, he said it is up to the US side and the government does not show any interest to know it. "You (media) might have that enthusiasm." The acting Foreign Secretary, however, raised the issue of delay in getting visas by Bangladeshi students and Bangladesh-origin people who work in international organizations.