Senior journalist and permanent member of Jatiya Press Club Humayun Sadek Chowdhury passed away on Thursday. He was 60.
He was suffering from fever for the last few days and breathed his last while being taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
He will be buried at his family graveyard in Boilchhari village of Banshkhali upazila in Chattogram on Friday after Jum'a prayers.
Humayun Sadek Chowdhury was the former news editor of Daily Arthaniti Pratidin.
Press Club President Saiful Alam and General Secretary Farida Yasmin expressed deep shock at the death of the senior journalist.
Shaheed Dr Milon Day will be observed across the country on Friday, commemorating the 30th martyrdom anniversary of Dr Shamsul Alam Khan Milon who was killed during the 90s’ anti-autocratic movement.
Different socio-cultural and political organisations as well as professional bodies have chalked out various programmes to observe the day with due respect.
The day's programmes include placing wreaths at the grave of Shaheed Dr Milon on the Dhaka Medical College campus, offering 'fateha' there and holding discussions to mark the day.
On this day in 1990, Dr Milon, the then joint secretary general of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) and a teacher of Dhaka Medical College, was shot dead by gunmen near TSC on the Dhaka University campus on his way to a meeting against the then autocratic ruler HM Ershad.
The movement got momentum following the martyrdom of Dr Milon and autocratic ruler Ershad had to quit power finally in the face of a vigorous mass movement.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in separate messages, paid homage to Shaheed Dr Milon, recalling his supreme sacrifice for the restoration of democracy in the country.
In his message, Abdul Hamid said, “Dr Milon embraced martyrdom on this day during the movement for the restoration of democracy in 1990. His that sacrifice intensified the movement and facilitated the restoration of democracy in the country. I believe all the democracy-loving people of the country will remember ever Dr Milon with deep respect.”
He also hoped that the new generation will engage in the practice of democratic norms and rules in the country inspired by Dr Milon's ideals.
In her message, the Prime Minister paid rich tributes to the memory of Dr Milon and those who embraced martyrdom during the anti-autocratic movement.
“Through their sacrifices, the people of the country regained the rights to vote and food. The nation will always recall their contributions to the restoration of democracy with respect.’
Shaheed Dr Milon Sangshad, Awami League, BNP, Dhaka University (DU), Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad, Bangladesh Medical Association, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal will place wreaths at the grave of Dr Milon on the DMC campus and at Milon Smrity Chattar near TSC.
Also read: Shaheed Dr Milon Day observed
Bhutan will sign the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bangladesh in December to further enhance trade and commerce between the two countries.
"All necessary works on the PTA have been completed to sign it next month," said Bhutanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Rinchen Kuentsyl when he paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganobhaban on Thursday.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
Noting that Bangladeshi garments are very popular in Bhutan, the ambassador said, "Bangladesh is not our friend only, it's also our trade partner."
The envoy highly appreciated the pragmatic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina saying that Bangladesh’s economy is growing strongly under her leadership.
He mentioned that a good number of Bhutanese students, particularly medical students, are pursuing their studies in Bangladesh.
Rinchen Kuentsyl praised Bangladesh's contributions to the socioeconomic development and human development of Bhutan.
Expressing satisfaction over the prevailing relations between the two countries, the envoy said he will work to take the bilateral ties forward further during his tenure in Dhaka
In reply, the Prime Minister described Bhutan as a ‘friendly neighboour’ saying that Bhutan was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as an independent country in 1971.
Recalling her visit to Bhutan, she said the two countries share a ‘wonderful relation’ and the existing cooperation between the two countries will continue in different fields in the coming days.
Sheikh Hasina said Bhutan can use Bangladesh’s airports and seaports like Syedpur Airport, Chattogram and Mongla seaports for the mutual benefits.
During the discussion over coronavirus issue, the Bhutanese envoy informed that some 353 people have so far been infected with Covid-19 in Bhutan, but nobody died.
The PM said that the people of all professions and classes, including administration, the armed forces, police, BGB as well as her party leaders and activists are working together to contain the Covid-19 in Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has been giving highest importance to agriculture sector to ensure food security of the people.
PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah was present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said eight ‘iconic mosques’ with modern facilities will be constructed in the country’s eight divisions with Saudi Arabia's assistance.
The Prime Minister said this when Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Essa Yousef Alduhailan paid a courtesy call on her at the latter’s official residence Ganobhaban.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
Sheikh Hasina said 560 model mosque-cum-Islamic cultural centres are being constructed at the upazila level across the country with Saudi assistance.
She also recalled the development of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque with Saudi support.
Mentioning that her government gives priority to the agriculture sector, she said Bangladesh could provide farm labourers to Saudi Arabia.
About the relations between the two brotherly countries, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh always values these ties. There is cooperation between the two countries in many sectors.
“Saudi Arabia has a special place in the hearts of Bangladeshis,” she said.
The Saudi envoy highly praised the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and hoped that the existing friendly relationship between the two countries would deepen further under her leadership.
He said the bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, security and manpower between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh will continue.
The envoy mentioned that over 1.5 million Bangladeshis are working in different sectors in Saudi Arabia. “They’re very hard-working and making immense contributions to Saudi economy,” he said.
Essa Yousef said Saudi entrepreneurs are keen to come to Bangladesh for investment and their government also welcomes Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to Saudi Arabia to promote trade and business between the two brotherly countries.
“There is a huge potential of investment in Saudi Arabia and we’ll extend full support to Bangladeshi entrepreneurs in this regard,” he said.
Expressing satisfaction over the existing excellent relations between the two friendly countries, the Saudi envoy said it will be his responsibility to take forward the relationship during his tenure.
The coronavirus issue also came up for discussion at the meeting, Ihsanul Karim said.
At the outset of the meeting, the Prime Minister welcomed the new Saudi ambassador and assured him of extending full support during his stay in Bangladesh.
PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah was present at the meeting.
Later, Bhutanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Rinchen Kuentsyl paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister at the same place, said the PM’s press secretary.
Under a global partnership, Unilever and UNICEF in Bangladesh are donating health and hygiene products to 25 government hospitals, 30 tea garden workers as well as to marginalised communities who lack access to hygiene products.
Unilever is supporting UNICEF’s efforts to enhance sanitation and hygiene through the donation of bar soaps to help slow the spread of coronavirus in rural communities of Bangladesh, said a press release.
UNICEF will be distributing the bar soaps through their widespread WASH programme which is working to improve the hygienic behaviour of the vulnerable community.
UNICEF, in consultation with Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), identified 25 government hospitals who are providing COVID-19 treatment all over Bangladesh for the Unilever product donation.
Of the 25 hospitals, eight, including Kurmitola General Hospital, Kuwait Maitree Hospital, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Mugda Medical College Hospital, are from Dhaka alone while the rest are from outside the capital.
On the other hand, tea garden workers are often among the marginalised and vulnerable members of society. They are particularly at risk during the coronavirus pandemic because they can have limited access to water, sanitation and health facilities.
UNICEF has been working with the Bangladesh Tea Association (BTA) over the years to improve tea workers’ conditions. As part of UNILEVER and UNICEF collaboration, UNICEF and BTA identified 30 tea estates and distributed cleaning and personal hygiene products for tea workers in the country.
Kedar Lele, Chairman and Managing Director of Unilever Bangladesh Ltd, said: “It is our responsibility to reach out to as many people as possible and help them in their fight against the virus.”
“No one agency, organisation or sector can address the pandemic alone. Strategic collaboration between the public sector and businesses is critical during this crisis,” said Veera Mendonca, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Bangladesh.
Back in March, shortly after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, Unilever introduced a wide-ranging set of measures to support global and national efforts to help tackle the spread of the virus.
Unilever has globally committed €50 million in product donation to Global Health Bodies and most of these donations are directed to UNICEF and UNHCR to help those in most need.