Norway has shown interest in investing in the ship recycling industry in Bangladesh, which has already set the February 2023 deadline to modernise and turn green all vessel-breaking facilities across the country.
This was conveyed to the country's Environment, Forest and Climate Change minister Shahab Uddin by Norwegian Ambassador to Bangladesh Espen Rikter-Svendsen during a virtual meeting on Wednesday.
"There are many environmental similarities between Bangladesh and Norway, both countries are located along the coast. That's why the two countries have the opportunity to work on the sea," the Ambassador said.
"Norway has experience working in the ship recycling industry. In this case, mutual cooperation can be increased. Norway is now interested in trade and investment," he added.
During the discussion, the two sides also discussed the possibility of working together in tackling the effects of climate change, poverty alleviation, plastic pollution control and other areas. They also pledged to work together in various areas related to waste management.
On his part, the Minister said that the Bangladesh government was working to create a sustainable environment by implementing extensive afforestation programmes. "The government is also working to control all types of pollution," he said.
The Minister also reiterated Bangladesh's commitment towards climate change.
"The country is now leading various international fora on climate change. And with the opening of the Regional Office of the Climate Vulnerability Forum and the Global Center of Adaptation in Dhaka, Bangladesh will be able to play a stronger role in the International Forum on Climate Change," he told the diplomat.
A sub-inspector of Bandarbazar police outpost was suspended on Wednesday as he allegedly helped suspend SI Akbar, an accused in a case over Raihan’s death in police custody, to flee Sylhet police lines.
The suspended SI is Hasan Uddin of Bandarbazar police outpost.
Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) confirmed the matter in a press release in the afternoon.
Members of Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) arrested constable Titu Chandra Das, who was also suspended over the death, from Sylhet police lines on Tuesday.
On October 11, Rayhan Ahmed, 34, a resident of Akharia in Sylhet city, was beaten to death in police custody, said the family of the victim.
His wife Tahmina Akter Tanni filed a case with Kotwali Police Station the following day accusing a number of unidentified people.
Besides, the authorities on October 12 suspended four policemen, including the in-charge of Bandarbazar Police outpost Sub-Inspector Akbar Hossain, in connection with the death of a man ‘in police custody’ in Sylhet.
Three policemen have been withdrawn in this connection on the same day.
Police rejected the allegation and said Rayhan was caught by locals of Kastghar area during the robbery and was lynched.
Besides, the case has been transferred to the Police Bureau of Investigation.
Also read: PM monitoring Sylhet Raihan killing case: FM
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a new contribution of US$ 5 million from the government of Japan towards its support to farmers in the host community and displaced people from Myanmar who are now living in Cox’s Bazar district.
Japan’s contribution will support WFP’s farmers’ market programme, in which refugees can purchase fresh foods produced by local farmers at the markets regularly, using a WFP Assistance Card.
Some 2,400 local farmers in Cox’s Bazar Districts have been engaged to supply fresh vegetables that could serve the needs of 100,000 people.
“I heartily express my congratulations to WFP on winning the Nobel Peace Prize for its significant contribution to the eradication of world hunger and poverty through food assistance,” said Ambassador Ito Naoki.
Through this project, he said, both farmers from the host community and displaced people will benefit. "I sincerely wish that this project will be able to support the displaced people and host community in Cox’s Bazar and contribute to the development of Bangladesh.”
Alpha Bah, WFP Deputy Country Director said the farmers’ market model demonstrates the enormous economic opportunities the refugee response can provide to local populations,.
“The market is mutually beneficial, too, providing income to local food producers and increasing dietary diversity among the refugee population. By building a symbiotic economic relationship, the model also contributes to a peaceful co-existence and social cohesion between those two groups.”
Japan’s contribution has been critical for WFP’s refugee response since it was expanded in 2017. Its initial funding of US$ 15 million helped WFP provide lifesaving assistance to the Rohingya families when they first arrived in Cox’s Bazar, said WFP on Wednesday.
In 2019, Japan contributed a further US$ 5 million to support the livelihood of smallholder farmers in Patuakhali and Cox’s Bazar Districts and the expansion of WFP’s e-voucher programme for the refugee population.
Each month, WFP provides food assistance to 860,000 displaced people from Myanmar and more than 500,000 vulnerable people in the host community.
Some 2,560 stranded expatriate Bangladeshis were sent back to eight countries by special flights.
This information was reveled at a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Ministry on Wednesday.
The countries are Italy, UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Saudi Arabia and Oman.
The 16th meeting of the parliamentary body was held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban with its chairman Muhammad Faruk Khan in the chair, said a handout.
In the meeting, it was said that the Foreign Affairs Ministry has arranged the repatriation of the expatriates who got stranded in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic to their respective workplaces through special flights by extending the validity period of their Visa and work permit through effective diplomatic communication.
Committee members Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Nurul Islam Nahid, Golam Faruk Khandakar Prince, Md Abdul Majid Khan and Md Habibe Millat attended the meeting.
In the meeting, it was also said now some 6.5 lakh Bangladeshi women workers are employed in different countries across the world.
The committee stressed the need for strengthening economic diplomacy with the world to utilize the new potentials for boosting export of Bangladeshi products.
The parliamentary committee put emphasis on estimation of the demand of different countries by Bangladeshi missions and preparation of a roadmap by the ministry in this regard to unlock export potentials of Bangladeshi products.
In the meeting, the two newly appointed Bangladeshi envoys to Canada and Indonesia placed their plans in this regard.
The committee asked Bangladesh ambassador to Indonesia Air Vice Marshal Mohammad Mostafizur Rahman to work for securing the support of Indonesia over the Rohingya issue.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and other officials of the ministry and the parliament secretaries were present at the meeting.
The United States has thanked the government of Bangladesh for its tremendous efforts to ramp up production of personal protective equipment and deliver those to the US during the early stages of the COVID-I9 pandemic before they really could get their feet underneath.
"It’s a little-known fact but I had the chance to thank the Bangladeshi Government," said US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun during a telephonic briefing on Tuesday.
He said Bangladesh did it before they really could get their feet underneath to produce this kind of important protective equipment for their medical professionals.
"And we owe a word of gratitude to the people of Bangladesh and to their private sector for having moved so quickly to advance this," Biegun said.
In a landmark , Bangladesh joined the select group of countries that manufacture world-class, large-scale Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by shipping 6.5 million PPE gowns to US brand Hanes, for ultimate delivery to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
During his recent visit to Bangladesh, the US Deputy Secretary of State discussed close cooperation with Bangladesh in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh and the US discussed their "invaluable cooperation" in combating COVID-19, the impressive results that the government here in Bangladesh has achieved, and US work together on producing and rolling out important protective equipment and also medicines in the near future, ultimately with the hope of close coordination and cooperation on the distribution of vaccines once one is found to be safe and reliable.
Biegun said he had a chance to thank Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the generosity of the Bangladeshi people and the support of the Bangladeshi government in providing shelter for the Rohingya people.
He also discussed with the Prime Minister as well as Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen how they can cooperate in order to try to find a resolution to the Rohingya crisis.