Dhaka, Jan 18 (UNB) - Accusing the ruling party of ‘hijacking’ people’s voting rights, Gano Forum president and Jatiya Oikyafront Convener Dr Kamal Hossain on Friday warned that those involved in it will not be spared.
“Not only a farce in the name of election took place but also a grand robbery of the vote took place across the county. No one said the election was held in a fair manner,” he said.
Dr Kamal further said those involved in such activities have not been elected. “People’s voting rights have been hijacked after hijacking the state. I want to warn them no one will be spared.”
He came up with the remarks while exchanging views at Gano Forum’s Arambagh central office with party leaders and activists who worked in favour of Oikyafront candidate for Dhaka-6 in the December-30 election.
Those who rigged votes in the national election, in fact, disrespected Bangabandhu and his colleagues who sacrificed their lives for the country’ independence.
Dr Kamal urged the country’s people to get united and raise their voice against the national election ”forgery”.
He also accused the ruling party men of plundering thousands of crores of public money. “We’ve seen many autocrats but no one of them could facially survive. People repeatedly taught the autocrats and exploiters,” he said.
Dr Kamal urged the ruling party men to refrain from plundering public wealth and quit power immediately.
He also alleged that the people of an independent country were left in a helpless condition. “This absolutely temporary. People are getting organised,” he added.
Chattogram, Jan 18 (UNB) – The fire which broke out at warehouses in a closed jute mill in the city’s Pahartali area on Friday afternoon was brought under control after around five and half an hours.
Deputy assistant director of Chattogram Fire Service and Civil Defence M Jasim Uddin said they brought the fire under control around 10:30pm.
He said the fire originated at a warehouse at Victoria Jute Mills, which was earlier shut down, around 5pm and spread to nearby ones.
Sources said eight companies, including RFL, Unilever and Unitex, established warehouses after hiring the vacant spaces of Ispahni Group-owned Victoria Jute Mills.
Quoting witnesses, local councillor of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Nesar
Ahmed Manju said the fire originated at the RFL godown and spread to others.
Jasim said they suspected that the fire ensued from an electric short circuit.
Three warehouses were gutted fully while three others partially in the fire, he said, adding that firefighters could save the goods of two other godowns.
On information, 10 firefighting units with 22 vehicles rushed in brought the flame after frantic efforts of five and a half an hours, the Fire Service official said.
Bagura, Jan 13 (UNB) – Two workers died after falling in a crater while extracting sand from Nagor river in South Chatra village of Shibganj Upazila on Friday noon.
The deceased were identified as Khairul Sheikh, 28, son of Amjad Sheikh and Mosharof, 20, son of Mostafa. Both of them hailed form Baniachapor village in Alampur Union under Khetlal Upazila of Joypurhat district.
One of the workers was trapped in the crater when he got down investigating a faulty pipe while extracting sand, said Inspector Mizanur Rahman Khan of Shibganj Police Station.
Later, another worker went down to rescue him, but both of them buried when sand collapsed on them, he said.
Locals immediately took them to the upazila health complex where the doctors declared both of them dead, the inspector added.
Dhaka, Jan 18 (UNB) - The UN’s human rights expert on Myanmar on Friday expressed alarm at the escalating violence in northern and central Rakhine State and Chin State, and called on all sides to exercise restraints in use of force and ensure the protection of civilians.
“Both sides must take precautions and ensure the protection of civilians,” said Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.
She said this conflict risks exacerbating divisions among communities in an already fractured state, further complicating the complex situation that exists in the country
“The government should prioritise the safety and wellbeing of all the people of Rakhine State and work towards peace around Myanmar,” Lee said.
Since November 2018, the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, and Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic armed organisation, have been engaged in heavy fighting, resulting in deaths and injuries to civilians, according to a message received here from Geneva.
At least 5,000 people have been displaced from their homes.
Lee condemned an attack by the AA on the four Border Guard Police posts on January 4, 2019, and expressed concern at the Tatmadaw’s disproportionate response to the attack. “It is unacceptable for the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army to conduct hostilities in a manner that impact civilians,” Lee said.
Following the January 4, AA attack, the Tatmadaw deployed a large number of troops to the region. Reports say heavy weapons and artillery, as well as helicopters, have been used in civilian areas, leading to civilian deaths and injuries.
“What’s happening in Rakhine reminds me of the tactics used by the Tatmadaw against ethnic populations for decades,” the Special Rapporteur said. “All the people of Rakhine State, including the Rakhine, Mro, Daignet, Hindu and Rohingya, have suffered enough.”
Blocking Aid is Illegal
On January 10, the Rakhine State government sent a letter to the UN and international humanitarian agencies instructing them all, with the exception of the World Food Program and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to suspend their activities in the five townships in northern Rakhine that are affected by the conflict, Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw, Rathedaung, Buthidaung and Maungdaw.
“It’s vital that assistance is able to reach those who have fled violence, and the government must immediately reverse its decision not to allow access to all humanitarian organisations,” Lee said adding, “I remind the government and the Tatmadaw that blocking humanitarian access is a serious violation of international humanitarian law.”
She said even before the government’s recent order, access to the region for humanitarian organisations was limited, and even less so for media and independent monitors.
“I call on the government to allow full and unfettered access to the region to allow a free flow of information in the interest of the public,” Lee said.
“I’m also seriously concerned about the dangerous rhetoric being used by the government. The ethnic Rakhine population must not be demonised and targeted by the military on suspicion of association with the AA. Equally, this conflict must not be used by the Tatmadaw as a means to further its ongoing campaign of violence against the Rohingya population remaining in Rakhine state."
So far, 15 people have been arrested, apparently on suspicion of links to the AA, including seven young people who were detained for bringing supplies to displaced people at a monastery.
Reports say two of the 15 people remain in detention, including a village administrator, and that they have been charged under the Unlawful Associations Act.
Dhaka, Jan 18 (UNB) - Jatiya Party cochairman GM Quader will lead the party as its head when its chairman HM Ershad will go abroad for medical treatment.
Ershad's deputy press secretary Khandaker Delwar Jalali made the announcement in a press release on Friday.
According to section 20/1/Ka of the party’s constitution, the incumbent chairman of the party has appointed his brother Quader as its acting chief, the release said.