Election to Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) and by-elections to Bogura-1 and Jashore -6 seat will be held on March 29.
Election Commission senior secretary MD Alamgir announced the election schedule after a meeting on Sunday.
The Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 seats fell vacant following the deaths of AL MPs Abdul Mannan and Ismat Ara Sadique.
As per the schedule announced by the Election Commission, the deadline for the submission of nomination papers is February 27 while the scrutiny of nomination papers is on March 1 and the last date for the withdrawal of candidacy is March 8.
The election symbol will be allotted on March 9.
Awami League on Saturday picked Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, joint general secretary of Chattogram city unit of the party, to contest the CCC mayoral election.
Floating an alternative idea for Bashan Char, an island in Noakhali district, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday said it could either be a resort or good place for homeless people instead of relocating Rohingyas there.
“We can think of an alternative instead of sending Rohingyas there. This is my personal thinking and there has been no decision from the government yet,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Sharing his experience of recent visit to Bashan Char, Dr Momen said this is a very beautiful place having a nice lake and other facilities. “So beautiful place it is!”
Mentioning economic activities there, the Foreign Minister said it would be better if other people are sent to Bashan Char instead of sending Rohingyas only.
He said there are high and huge dams around the area.
Earlier, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh would not relocate Rohingya people to Bashan Char if all concerned think that would be a problem for them.
Bangladesh is hosting around 1.1 to 1.2 million Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar district and there is a fear that there might be landslides during the upcoming monsoon causing casualties, according to officials.
The Foreign Minister recently visited Bangabandhu Shilpanagar, Matarbari power plant (under construction) and Bhasan Char.
State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Md Enamur Rahman, BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were present during the visit.
“It’s amazing!” said Dr Momen describing what he saw and mentioned that the government wants to increase investment, export and diversify the export basket.
Three United Nations (UN) agencies along with the government of Bangladesh on Sunday launched the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy Plus Livelihoods (SAFE Plus) project to mitigate deforestation and improve livelihood opportunities in Cox’s Bazar.
SAFE Plus is a joint project among the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the World Food Programme (WFP) to address environmental degradation through avenues such as distribution of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) and stoves, reforestation, and improved access to food production through livelihoods programming.
The LPG stove and gas distributions lessen the need for people to collect firewood, causing further damage to the environment, said the UN agencies mentioning that the reforestation activities rehabilitate unique forest reserves and protect natural resources.
The livelihoods and self-reliance programming bolsters food production and business opportunities for the host community through which they can benefit economically.
The three-year project was designed in partnership with government agencies to increase collaboration between several sectors.
“My ministry is delighted to be working with the UN to address the environmental issues in Cox’s Bazar, and we urge development partners to further support this,” said Senior Secretary at Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief Md Shah Kamal.
At the agreement signing ceremony, the Additional Secretary and UN Wing Chief at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) Sultana Afroz reconfirmed the support of the government for the SAFEPlus project as it addresses the priorities of the government in Cox’s Bazar.
Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Md. Mizanur Rahman stressed, “SAFEPlus programme should continue as long as Rohingyas are residing in Cox’s Bazar.”
FAO Representative in Bangladesh Robert Simpson said SAFEPlus capitalises on the technical capacities of the three UN agencies and government partners to meet the evolving needs of the people of Cox’s Bazar.
“It’s expected to have significant multiplier effects -- from improved food and nutrition security, to sustainable management of natural resources, increased livelihood opportunities, and strengthened social cohesion.”
Chief of Mission of IOM Bangladesh Giorgi Gigauri said they are delighted to announce SAFEPlus as a programme that addresses both the human and the environmental needs of the refugees and host community. “In addition to cutting household expenditures, SAFEPlus promotes smokeless homes, making them healthier and safer.”
Country Representative for WFP Richard Ragan said protecting the environment and improving livelihood opportunities are keys to ensuring food security for people in Cox’s Bazar.
“By working together with other UN agencies, we’re ensuring we’ve a comprehensive and well-rounded programme that addresses the underlying causes of environmental degradation whilst simultaneously improving livelihoods opportunities for people in Cox’s Bazar.”
Throughout this year, SAFEPlus will reach households in the host community with a livelihood programme while technical support will be provided to farmers to increase the production of high-demand vegetables, and reforestation activities will continue.
A tribunal here on Sunday sentenced nine people to life term imprisonment each for killing a man in 1996.
The lifers are Mohammad Nasim, Abdul Malek, Joynal Abedin, Iqbal Hossain, Zohra Haque, Yeasin, Abul Hashem, Dulal and Selim.
The tribunal also fined them Tk 20,000 each, in default, to suffer three months more rigorous imprisonment.
According to the prosecution, Kamal Pasha alias Dipu, 23, was hacked to death by the convicts following enmity over controlling cable service business in city’s Mirpur Mazar Road area on January 13, 1996.
Victim’s father Dewan Abdur Rahman filed a case with Mirpur Police Station.
Mohammad Nasiruddin, inspector of CID, submitted a chargesheet against them on October 10, 2013.
After examining the records and 15 witnesses, Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal Judge Manir Kamal handed down the verdict.
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Sunday said nothing is happening behind the scene over Khaleda Zia's release from jail.
“There’s nothing secret,” said Quader when asked whether there is any secret understanding between the government and BNP over its chief Khaleda Zia’s release on parole.
Replying to a query from reporters about BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir’s phone call, he said the BNP leader asked him over phone to inform Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina about Khaleda’s release on parole.
“There’s nothing wrong in it. He asked me to tell the Prime Minister. But the Prime Minister didn’t inform him anything yet,” he said.
Quader, also the Road, Transport and Bridges minister, further said, “I repeatedly tried to say it’s a matter of the court…she’s in jail in corruption cases…it’s not a political case.”
Replying to another query, he said BNP did not file any appeal for Khaleda’s release on parole. “If they submit any appeal, then we’ll see whether there’s any logic in it.”
Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister, has been in jail since February 8, 2018. She was convicted in two corruption cases. Her party insists that the cases are politically motivated but the government denies the charges.
The BNP chief has been receiving treatment at the BSMMU since April 1 last year.