Finland, June 4 (UNB) - Bangladesh and Finland on Tuesday agreed to work together on the climate change issue.
The consensus came at a meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Finland President Sauli Niinisto at the President’s official residence in Helsinki.
The Prime Minister who is in Finland on a four-day visit sought strong support from the European Union over the safe and secured repatriation of the 1.1 million Rohingya who have taken shelter in Bangladesh.
The Prime Minister’s Speech Writer (Secretary) Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters after the meeting.
The Finnish President lauded Sheikh Hasina for the economic uplift of Bangladesh under her leadership.
He also expressed concern that Bangladesh will be badly affected if the sea level rises due to climate change.
Sauli Niinisto also emphasised on strengthening the global warning system to reduce losses from the natural calamities, especially tidal surge.
About the climate change issue, the Prime Minister said one-thirds of Bangladesh will be submerged if the sea level rises by 1 metre.
She noted that different initiatives have been taken to mitigate climate change consequences.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned the formation of Bangladesh Climate Resilience Fund with own resources to face the climate change effects.
She also informed the Finnish President about her government’s various measures, including creation of green belt along the coast of Bay of Bengal and formation of volunteers, to offset the impacts of natural disasters like cyclone and tidal surge.
Sheikh Hasina pointed out that Bangladesh is highly densely populated and it is very tough to give shelter to the vast number of Rohinyga people.
She expressed concern that Myanmar did not keep its promise to take back the Rohingya even after signing an agreement to this end.
Responding to a query from the President, the Prime Minister said relations with Myanmar did not deteriorate even after the forceful eviction of 1.1 million Rohingya by the Myanmar authorities.
She said Bangladesh pursues the foreign policy of ‘friendship to all, malice to none’ and it maintains very good relations with its neighbours.
Sheikh Hasina narrated different development indices, including 8.13 percent GDP growth this year, and urged the Finnish investors to invest in Bangladesh.
Mentioning that her government is setting up 100 exclusive economic zones, she said the Finnish entrepreneurs could have one of them if they want.
The Prime Minister lauded Finland for recognising Bangladesh immediately after the War of Liberation in 1971. “We always value the support and cooperation that Finland extended to Bangladesh during and after the liberation of the country,” she said.
The Prime Minister narrated how her father and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman struggled throughout his life and was subjected to incarceration for the emancipation of people and independence of the country.
Responding to a query of the President, Hasina also recollected her own struggle after the assassination of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members.
She said she returned home with the people’s support in 1981 and it was the people who voted her four times as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
The Prime Minister invited the Finnish President to visit Bangladesh at his convenient time and sought Finland support in electing Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque as the Deputy Director General of IOM.
At the beginning of the meeting, both the Prime Minister and the Finnish President exchanged greetings.
The President received Sheikh Hasina at his residence on her arrival. The Prime Minister signed the visitor book, the PM’s speech writer said.
Dhaka, June 4 (UNB) - Holy Eid-ul-Fitr, the largest religious festival of Muslims, will be celebrated in the country on Wednesday as the Shawwal moon was sighted in Bangladesh sky on Tuesday.
The decision was taken at the second meeting of the National Moon Sighting Committee on Tuesday night after reassessing the information about the Shawwal moon sighting.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah came up with the announcement around 11pm.
He said they revised the decision as they later got information about moon sighting in the country’s sky.
Earlier at a press conference in the evening, the state minister had said the new crescent moon was sighted nowhere in Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, thousands of people have already left the capital to celebrate the Eid with their near and dear ones at their respective village homes.
Besides, all the preparations have been completed across the country, including the capital, for smooth holding of Eid congregations.
In the capital, the main Eid congregation will be held at the National Eidgah on the High Court premises at 8:30am. President Abdul Hamid is expected to join the Eid jamaat.
However, the venue of the main congregation will be shifted to Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in case of inclement weather. In that case, the jamaat will be held at 9am.
Besides, five more congregations will be held at the National Mosque.
Arrangements will be there at the National Eidgah and the National Mosque for women to take part in the Eid prayers alongside their male counterparts.
Eid congregations will also be held in eidgahs, mosques and open spaces across the country.
Sholakia Eidgah in Kishoreganj and Gor-e-Shahid Boro Math in Dinajpur are all set to host two largest Eid congregations.
The national flag will be hoisted atop government and non-government office buildings on the day. The main city streets and road islands will be decorated with the national flag and banners inscribed with 'Eid Mubarak' in both Bangla and Arabic.
Television channels and radio stations will air special programmes.
Special diet will be served in hospitals, jails, government children homes, centres for persons with disabilities, shelter homes, orphanages, vagrant welfare and destitute welfare centres.
Meanwhile, Dhaka Metropolitan Police has taken stringent security measures to ensure smooth holding of Eid congregation at the Jatiya Eidgah.
Tangail, June 4 (UNB) – Stuck in long gridlock for hours, a woman gave birth to a baby girl on the road here on Tuesday morning on her way to Kurigram from Gazipur to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with her near and dear ones.
The newborn was named ‘Swarani’ to remember the incident.
Baby’s father Habib Hossain of Porarvita village in Kurigram Sadar upazila said he along with his pregnant wife started for their village home from Gazipur by a bus in the early hours.
They got stuck in a long tailback on the Dhaka-Tangail highway and reached the roundabout of the Bangabandhu Bridge around 10am when her wife went into labour, he said, adding that then they got down from the bus.
Later, his wife gave birth to a baby girl through normal delivery by the road around 10:30am, Habib said.
In the meantime, a passenger of the bus called national emergency helpline 999 for help, he added.
Two nurses from Bhuapur Upazila Health Complex rushed in by an ambulance and they provided the mother and the baby with primary treatment.
Sajeda Khatun, senior nurse of the hospital, said the baby was born before they arrived at the spot.
Both the mother and the baby girl were doing well, she said, that the couple started for their home again along with the baby girl.
Day-labourer and part-time rickshaw-puller, Habib lives in Gazipur with his wife. They were going to their village home to celebrate Eid with other family members.
Dhaka, June 4 (UNB) – A day after transferring him to the Road Transport and Highways Division, the government on Tuesday revoked the transfer of Deputy Director of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) Manzur Mohammad Shahriar, who led Monday’s drive against popular local brand Aarong.
The Public Administration Ministry issued a notification cancelling the transfer order.
Aarong’s Uttara branch was fined Tk 4.5 lakh for irregularities and sealed off temporarily by the DNCRP during a drive supervised by Shahriar on Monday.
Soon after the drive, the DNCRP deputy director was transferred to the Khulna zone of Road Transport and Highways Division as estate and law officer on deputation – a move that triggered widespread criticism on the social media.
A notification issued by the Public Administration Ministry on Monday asked him to join the new workplace by June 13, saying he would be considered as stand released from his current position in the afternoon of the day.
However, Public Administration Ministry’s Additional Secretary Sheikh Yusuf Harun insisted that Shahriar’s transfer order had nothing to do with the drive.
Sylhet, June 4 (UNB) – A woman was killed and 30 people were injured as a bus fell into a ditch by the Dhaka-Sylhet highway in Osmaninagar upazila on Tuesday.
The deceased was identified as Khursheda Begum, 20, wife of Faruk Miah of Berigaon village in Sunamganj Sadar upazila.
Officer-in-charge of Sherpur Highway Police Station Jasim Uddin said the Sylhet-bound ‘Shahjalal Paribahan’ bus from Dhaka skidded off the road and plunged into the ditch at Goalbazar Brahmangram around 5am after its driver lost his control over the steering.
The accident left Khursheda dead on the spot and 30 other passengers injured, he said.
Firefighters from Tajpur Fire Station and highway police rescued the injured and took them to hospitals.