Dhaka, Sept 24 (UNB) - Overcrowded, hilly and rain-soaked mega camp for Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district is precarious for everyone, but especially for people with disabilities, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.
More than 700,000 people reside in the camp after fleeing the Myanmar military’s campaign of ethnic cleansing more than a year ago.
“Walking through the camps, we found large Rohingya refugees with disabilities,” said Bill Frelick, refugee rights director at Human Rights Watch, in a video message.
“Many of the people in the camp had acquired their disabilities from brutal attacks by Myanmar’s military,” Frelick said.
Despite efforts by the United Nations, humanitarian organisations, and the refugees themselves to build handrails, many walkways are impassable for people who have difficulty walking, said the New-York-based rights body.
Hussein Ahmad, whose 17-year-old son was shot in the neck during their escape from Myanmar and is now paralysed from the waist down, said: “I thank the doctor who gave my son a wheelchair, but I can’t use it because the roads are very dangerous and keep getting worse. It’s time for my son to study, but he can’t walk, and his life is being destroyed in front of me.”
Work to shore up the hastily and haphazardly built huts and other camp structures has been hindered by the Bangladeshi government’s insistence that the refugees are only staying temporarily and will soon return to Myanmar, said the HRW.
“With such widespread misery and obvious needs for the Rohingya refugees generally, there’s a risk that refugees with disabilities will be overlooked,” Frelick said. “But this is precisely the time when the needs of people with disabilities ought to be a priority.”
Chattogram, Sept 24 (UNB) - Maidul Islam, an assistant professor of Chittagong University (CU), was sent to jail on Monday in a case filed over making ‘derogatory remarks’ on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Facebook.
District and Sessions Judges Court Judge Md Ismail Hosen passed the order after rejecting the bail plea of Maidul Islam when he surrendered before the court on expiry of his eight-week anticipatory bail granted by the High Court, said defendant’s lawyer Bulon Bhowmick.
Earlier on July 24, former leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League and CU student Md Iftekhar Uddin Ayaz filed the case with Hathazari Police Station under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.
On July 15, the Sociology teacher had to leave the campus along with his family following continuous threat reportedly from BCL activists over his Facebook post in support of quota reform movement.
The BCL men also declared Maidul Islam and another CU teacher persona non-grata on the campus.
Sylhet, Sep 24 (UNB) – A female leader of Awami League was killed on Sunday night as her scurf got tangled with the wheel of a motorcycle near Koitak Bridge area in Chatak upazila.
The deceased was identified as Ratna Begum, 40, vice president of Awami League Sylhet city unit.
Sabina Sultana, general secretary of Awami League Sylhet city unit, said when Ratna was going to Koitak in a motorbike with her son around 9 pm her scurf got tangled with the wheel and she fell down from the bike.
Ratna was taken to Sylhet Osmani Medical College and Hospital with serious injuries where doctors declared her dead, she said.
Dhaka, Sept 24 (UNB) - Indian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu arrived here on Monday evening on a five-day visit to Bangladesh to discuss trade and other bilateral issues.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed received the Indian Minister upon his arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 6:22 pm, said an official. Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardan Shringla was also present.
Though the Indian minister arrived here at the invitation of Minister Tofail Ahmed, he will have important meetings with top leaders where political issues are likely to dominate as India gives importance to political stability, a diplomatic source told UNB.
He will have a bilateral meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Tofail Ahmed on Wednesday morning at state guesthouse Padma where they will discuss issues of mutual interests between the two countries.
On the same day, Suresh Prabhu will have a meeting with Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shajahan Kamal to discuss potential areas of cooperation, an official told UNB.
He will meet President Abdul Hamid on Thursday.
The Indian Minister will have his first meeting with Prime Minister's Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam at 9 pm on Monday.
He will have another meeting with Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday evening.
The Indian Minister will also visit Bangabandhu Museum in the city on Thursday to pay respects to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
There is a plan to take the Indian minister to Tofail’s constituency – Bhola - as he desires to visit rural areas. He will attend a civic reception there.
Commerce Minister and Civil Aviation Minister of Bangladesh will host a dinner in honour of the Indian Minister on Tuesday.
Suresh Prabhu will also attend a discussion on Bangladesh-India trade relations with business leaders on Tuesday.
The Indian Minister will leave Dhaka on Friday morning.
New York, Sept 24 (UNB) – Mentioning that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman are convicted in graft cases, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Jukto Front leaders Dr Kamal Hossain and Badruddoza Chowdhury have got together with corrupt people to fight against corruption.
“Getting together with all such corrupt persons, Kamal Hossain and Badruddoza Chowdhury will fight corruption now. Manna will also fight,” she quipped while addressing a civic reception accorded to her by the USA chapter of Awami League at Hilton Hotel in New York.
Sheikh Hasina said Khaleda Zia has been convicted for embezzlement of the money of orphans while Tarique Zia in the 10-truck arms-haul case and a corruption case.
She said former caretaker government adviser Mainul Hosein, who was ‘convicted’ in Kakrail land dispute case, also joined them.
Besides, Sheikh Hasina said, Barrister Moudud Ahmed who availed of former President HM Ershad's clemency after being convicted in a corruption case and lost his Gulshan house for occupying it illegally is also with them.
Criticising Dr Muhammad Yunus, the Prime Minister said he did not quit the post of Managing Director at Grameen Bank despite winning the Nobel Prize. “Now he’s rich providing loan to the poor at a high interest rate.”
Dr Yunus made the World Bank's finance to the Padma Bridge suspended with the help of his friend Hillary Clinton, she said adding, “After my arrest during the caretaker government, he (Dr Yunus) awarded double A plus Mark to the Iajuddin-led government.”
“Now all these people -- an interest taker (Shudkhor), a bribe taker, one plunderer and a killer involved in 21 August killing attempt -- are now got together on a single platform,” Hasina said.
Referring to Jukta Front, the Prime Minister said, “Why will it have to oust the government? What’s the reason? What the work did we leave undone for the country? There’s no such a sector where there’s no development ...these (developments) have been possible as Awami League is in power.”
Pointing at Dr Kamal Hossain, Hasina said a noted person did the politics of Awami League in the past and then went out to forma party of his own but failed.
“Since he couldn’t develop a party, they all are now on the same platform. Who’s he? My uncle Kamal Hossain. He got together with Badu Kaka (uncle)of BNP's Tarique Zia who was forced to run away along the rail line being chased when he came out Bangabhaban,” she said.
The Prime Minister said Mahmudur Rahman Manna was elected President and Secretary of Dhaka University Central Student Union (Ducsu) again and again as he had been in the good book of Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad.
Hasina, however, said, “I would like to want to welcome them as they’ve been able to come under one platform at least. Let them do it. Let them join the election. If people cast their votes for them, they’ll come to power. I’ve no problem because I’ve no desire to have anything.”
Noting that there are both merits and demerits of social networking sites and digital devices, the Prime Minister said her government passed the Digital Security Bill to prevent the bad impacts of the sites and devices.
Blasting the journalists for criticising the bill, she said, “The journalists only think about their own interests, but they don’t consider the social problems caused by the digital devices.”
Sheikh Hasina focused on socio-economic uplift and the development of various sectors.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, AL Presidium Member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, MP also spoke on the occasion. PM's Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Ministry Dr Dipu Moni were, among others, present.
US Awami League President Siddiqur Rahman presided over the programme.