Dhaka, Feb 28 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has directed all Bangladesh missions abroad to provide consular services for its citizens round the clock.
Minister Momen has already written a letter outlining necessary measures to all the heads of missions abroad with much focus on building stronger relations with Bangladeshi expatriates.
In the letter, he directed the mission heads to keep the consular services line open for 24 hours with immediate effect, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Thursday.
The Foreign Minister said it is urgent to improve consular services making it friendly for Bangladeshi expatriates through bringing necessary changes.
He said the flow of investment and remittance into Bangladesh will increase if the Bangladeshi expatriates can be involved in Bangladesh's overall development process.
The desired success depends on friendly relations with expatriates with required services in place, said the Foreign Minister.
He also directed them to make a database on expatriates as per their professions.
Dhaka, Feb 28 (UNB) – As in the past, an Indian Army contingent comprising 170 personnel will participate in a joint training exercise ‘SAMPRITI-8’ in Bangladesh on March 2-15.
The Indian Army team will arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday by an Indian Air Force special aircraft, IL-76.
This is the 8th edition of the joint training exercise which will be conducted at Bangabandhu Senanibas (BBS) in Tangail, according to Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka.
The exercise is aimed to strengthen and broaden the aspects of interoperability and cooperation between Bangladesh and Indian armies and enrich from each other’s experience while carrying out counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism operations.
For the first time in the history of "Exercise SAMPRITI" series, both the armies will undertake exercise related to relief/response operations related to natural disasters -- earthquake, flood etc.
The joint exercise was first held in Assam, India in 2011 and since then both the countries have been hosting the exercise alternatively.
Last year, the training exercise was conducted at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte in Mizoram.
On completion of the exercise, the Indian Army contingent will depart for India on March 16 from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in an Indian Air Force special IL-76 aircraft.
The holding of such joint exercises is symbolic of the strong defence cooperation between the two countries.
Dhaka, Feb 28 (UNB) – A suspected drug trader was killed while another was injured in gunfights in Cox’s Bazar and Lalmonirhat districts early Thursday.
In Cox’s Bazar, suspected drug trader Belal Hossain, 38, son of Abul Bashar of Laxmipur district, was killed in a reported gunfight with members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at Kharangkhali point of Teknaf upazila early Thursday.
Pradip Kumar, officer-in-charge of Teknaf Police Station, said that BGB in a drive arrested Abul Bashar.
Following his information, when a BGB team conducted a drive to recover Yaba tablets, his associates attacked the BGB team and opened fire on them, forcing them to fire back, triggering the gun battle.
After the gunfight, police recovered the body and huge Yaba tablets from the spot.
In Lalmonihat, suspected drug trader Bakul Miah, 37, accused in four drug cases, sustained bullet injuries on his two legs in a reported gunfight with police in Srikhatar Bhuttur Bhatar area in Kaliganj upazila.
Two policemen – sub-inspector Aminul Islam and constable Jahangir Alam—were also injured in the gunfight, said Badal Kumar Mandal, sub-inspector of Kaliganj Police Station.
Dhaka, Feb 28 (UNB) – Voting in the by-election to the mayoral post of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and polls to councillor posts in its 18 new wards and 18 other new wards of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) concluded on Thursday afternoon amid low voter turnout.
The balloting that began at 8am ended at 4pm.
Awami League’s Atiqul Islam cast his vote around 9:10 am at Nawab Habibullah Model School and College polling centre in city’s Uttara area.
Singer Shafin Ahmed, Jatiya Party’s mayoral candidate, cast his vote at Manarat International School centre in the city’s Gulshan area around 12:20pm.
Visiting different polling stations, it was seen that the voter turnout was poor in the morning due to rain since early Thursday.
However, voter presence was relatively higher in the elections to councillor posts in the new wards.
In the first four hours of voting, election officers, polling agents and law enforcers were seen spending time idly at many centres in Gulshan, Mohakhali, Tejgaon, Mohammadpur and Uttara areas as the presence of voters was very low.
With the passage of time, the presence of voters started growing a bit after 12pm.
Presiding officers at the polling stations said bad weather is the main reason behind thin presence of voters.
Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said the low voter turnout in the ongoing elections to the two city corporations is not the liability of the Commission.
“It's the responsibility of candidates and political parties to bring voters to polling centres,” he said while talking to reporters after casting his vote at IES School and College Polling Station in the city’s Uttara area.
The CEC said it is the commission’s responsibility to create an election environment, not to bring the voters to polling stations.
Replying to a journalist’s question, the CEC said, “Although the voter turnout remained low in the morning, it'll increase at the end of the day.”
Pointing out to two reasons behind the low turnout, Huda said voters are not interested in voting because some major political parties are not participating in it.
In the DNCC, five candidates are vying for the mayoral post, while 116 contenders for 18 general councillor posts and 45 aspirants for six reserved seats which are exclusively for women. Of them, one general councillor candidate was elected unopposed in the city.
The five mayoral candidates are Awami League’s Atiqul Islam (Boat), Jatiya Party’s Shafin Ahmed (Plough), NPP’s AnisurRahman (Mango) and PDP’s Shahin Khan (Tiger) and independent runner Abdur Rahim (Table Clock).
The mayoral post fell vacant after former mayor AnnisulHuq passed away on November 30, 2017. The last mayoral election held on April 28, 2015 saw a high-octane campaign by both Awami League’s Annisul and BNP’s TabithAwal unlike this by-election.
In the DSCC, there are 125 contestants for 18 general councillor posts and 24 women for six reserved seats.
Dhaka, Feb 28 (UNB) – Though he brought some allegations of irregularities at noon, Singer Shafin Ahmed, the mayoral candidate of Jatiya Party for Dhaka North City Corporation by-election, on Thursday evening said he will accept whatever the results may be.
“There’s no major irregularity in the election, except some stray incidents, and the victory and defeat will be ensured with the difference of a low margin of votes,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference at Jatiya Party chairman’s Banani office after the end of voting, Shafin further said,” I’ll accept whatever the results may be.”
He said though the voter turnout was very low in the morning due to bad weather, the presence of voters increased sharply in the afternoon.
“Though I’d some concerns at the beginning of the day, the election was held in a fair and peaceful manner at the end of the day,” the Jatiya Party candidate observed.
Earlier, after casting his vote at Manarat International School centre in the city’s Gulshan area around 12:20pm, Shafin brought the allegation of some irregularities in the voting.
He, however, did not specify the allegations.
“I cast my vote here at Manarat School. Before that, I visited some polling satiations since morning. The election atmosphere at this centre is fine as I haven’t seen any irregularity. But I found some irregularities at other centres where I visited,” Shafin told reporters.
The opposition candidate also said they have collected some evidence of voting irregularities. “Still, I want to see the rest of the time of the voting, and I’ll visit some more polling stations.”
Replying to a question whether he is hopeful about his victory, Shafin said, “I shouldn’t voice my frustration or success right now as still a long to go by while people have started now coming to polling stations due to rain in the morning. Let’s see what happen during the rest of the time.”
About the low turnout of voters, he said people have lost their interests in voting due to irregularities in the previous elections. “Voters might be thinking their votes have no value and that’s why they are not coming to polling stations.”
Voting in the by-election to the mayoral post of DNCC, and in 36 wards of Dhaka north and south city corporations began at 8am amid rain and continued until 4 pm without any break.
Five candidates are vying for the mayoral post, while 116 contenders for 18 general councillor posts and 45 aspirants for six reserved seats which are exclusively for women. Of them, one general councillor candidate was elected unopposed in the city.
The five mayoral candidates are Awami League’s Atiqul Islam (Boat), Jatiya Party’s Shafin Ahmed (Plough), NPP’s Anisur Rahman (Mango) and PDP’s Shahin Khan (Tiger) and independent runner Abdur Rahim (Table Clock).