Dhaka, July 18 (UNB) – A group of Dhaka University (DU) students blocked the key Shahbagh intersection for the second consecutive day on Thursday demanding an end to the university’s affiliation with seven colleges.
Imdadul Haque, a first-year student of DU, said they will continue the movement until the university accepts their demand.
The affiliated colleges are Dhaka College, Eden Mohila College, Government Shaheed Suhrawardy College, Kabi Nazrul Government College, Begum Badrunnesa Government Women's College, Mirpur Government Bangla College and Government Titumir College.
About 500 students kept the key intersection blocked from 11am-2pm, causing severe traffic congestion.
Traffic movement from New Market to Matshya Bhaban and Shahbagh to Farmgate remained halted during this period.
The protesters urged DU authorities to accept their demands that include publishing results within two months of the exam and banning mass-transport on the campus.
Dhaka, July 18 (UNB)— Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Thursday directed the deputy commissioners (DCs) to stand strong against drugs, militancy, terrorism and extremism.
He said this at the second session of the fifth day’s annual conference of DCs at the Secretariat.
“Our ongoing drive against drugs will continue. The DCs will work with everyone to raise awareness,” the minister said.
Kamal told journalists that they have discussed problems the DCs have been facing and ways to resolve those.
“The DCs have raised some points which are logical and in the meantime, we’ve been working to implement those,” he said.
Gaibandha, July 18 (UNB) – The normal life came to grinding halt after the district town went under water on Thursday night, causing untold sufferings to thousands of its residents.
The town was inundated after gushing water breached 20 points of the city embankment.
Roksana Begum, the acting deputy commissioner of the district, said the administration is trying to repair the damaged parts.
At the confluence of the Jamuna and Brahmaputra rivers, the water was flowing nearly six feet (191cm) above the danger level at Fulchhari point, said Mokhlesur Rahman, executive engineer of the Water Development Board.
The water of the Ghaghot River has risen 91cm above the danger level.
People in the town were mostly forced to stay indoors. The district’s rail communications with the northern parts remained suspended for the second consecutive day.
More than 700 schools across the district have been shut down. Some of them are being used as shelters but they lack food, drinking water and sanitation facility.
In rural areas, people are sharing shelters with their precious livestock but the shortage of fodder is turning out to be a headache for them. Many people have taken shelter on boats in Char areas.
Municipality Mayor Syed Jahangir Kabir Milon said they are trying to protect the town and its residents. The municipality is providing one meal a day to people in dire need, he said.
The administration said it is distributing relief materials but many affected people said they did not receive anything. “We’re having a very hard time. Let alone relief, nobody even contacted us,” one of them said.
Although the situation shows no sign of improvement, WDB official Mokhlesur is optimistic that the floodwater will start receding at night as there is no rain now.
Cox’s Bazar, July 18 (UNB) — International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been teaching locals communities and Rohingya people to be prepared for natural and man-made disasters.
Liba Akter, a Bangladeshi woman witnesses several disasters and death in the area. She saw a boy who was swept by flood water last year.
Since then, Liba was active in programs organized by IOM aimed at teaching local communities and Rohingya people disaster-risk-reduction skills and mobilizing people to spread the word.
“Severe winds and rains come out of nowhere and destroy homes and kill people. We can’t change the weather, but we can be prepared,” she explained.
In 2018 IOM specialists began training groups of 18-20 people – teaching them official warning signals and flags indicating approaching cyclones and tropical storms. Participants also learned how to identify and maintain emergency shelters, and how to avoid the waterborne illnesses that follow disasters.
Last week, as heavy monsoon rains again struck Cox’s Bazar, 200 people took part in the latest training. Since March 2018, a total 13,446 local people from Ukhiya and Teknaf attended disaster risks sessions.
“Human traffickers take advantage of disasters. Disasters cause hardship and make people vulnerable, which allow traffickers prey on them,” said IOM disaster risk reduction specialist Mohammed Ahsan Ullah.
He further said that Cox’s Bazar district faces numerous socio-economic challenges, and this makes residents particularly vulnerable to human traffickers posing as brokers.
When victims arrive in the destination, their passports are often confiscated, and they are held in prison-like conditions. Men can be forced to work long hours on construction sites for little or no pay, and women may be sent into forced abuse and sexual exploitation, he added.
Dhaka, Jul 18 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday stressed the importance of maintaining the international standard of fish and fish products for export as riverine Bangladesh can grab the first position in the world in producing fish from inland water bodies.
“It’s very essential to maintain the quality of fish (and fish products) which we’re exporting to foreign markets,” she said while inaugurating the National Fish Week 2019 in the city.
The Prime Minister said once there was no good laboratory to ensure the quality of fish and fish products in the country, but her government set up three ISO-accredited laboratories in Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna to maintain the international standard of fish and fish products.
The Department of Fisheries under the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry arranged the event at the auditorium of Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB).
“The fish which we’ll export should be of good quality so that those can enter the international markets,” Sheikh Hasina said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that there had been some unpleasant incidents over fish export while shrimp export faced suspension in the past when BNP was in power.
Assuming office in 1996, she said, the Awami League government resumed the shrimp export.
The Prime Minister said the fish production in the last 10 years has increased by 58.35 percent to about 4.277 million metric tonnes. “Our target is to increase the production to 4.5 million metric tonnes, not to remain stuck at 4.277 million metric tonnes.”
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation's report of 2018, Bangladesh ranked third in producing fish from inland water bodies in the world, she noted.
“Bangladesh is a riverine country. Inshallah, we’ll be able to grab the first place (in the world) in the future coming out of the third place,” Hasina said.
At the inaugural ceremony, the Prime Minister also distributed ‘National Fisheries Award 2019’ among a number of individuals and organisations for their contributions to the fisheries sector.
A video presentation was made depicting the country’s success in the fisheries sector.
State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Md Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru presided over the function, while Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Md Raisul Alam Mondal delivered the welcome speech.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Fisheries and Livestock Ministry Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu was present at the dais.
Director General of Fisheries Department Abu Sayed Md Rashedul Haque conducted the award distribution function.
Later, the Prime Minister opened a fish fair on the KIB premises.
Hasina said her government has taken an initiative to revive all the inland open water bodies, including ponds, canals and beels through local government bodies and other institutions.
She said the government has already started dredging works in the country’s rivers to boost water flow and conservation capacity.
Noting that fish is the main source of animal protein, she said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched a fisheries development campaign by releasing fish fry in the Ganobhaban Lake in 1973 to inspire people for increasing the fish production.
Bangabandhu mentioned fish as a potential export product along with jute, leather and tea, she said.
Hasina, also the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said, “Had the Father of the Nation remained alive, Bangladesh would have become a developed and prosperous country in the world within 10 years of its independence.”
Mentioning that the poverty rate declined to 21 percent from 40 percent after her government came to power in 2009, she said the purchasing power and financial solvency of people have increased.
Since the demand of fish is increasing alongside the rise in purchasing power in the country, the government has taken various measures to enhance fish production, she added.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has a source of diversified fishery resources. More than 11 percent people in the country are directly or indirectly involved in fish cultivation, she said.
The contribution of the fisheries sector to GDP is about 3.61 percent. Fish also provides about 60 percent of the total animal protein intake, she said.
With a view to ensuring the rights of genuine fishermen in the Jalmahal, the government has formulated new `Jalmahal Policy’ and enlisted the fishermen and provided them with identity cards, said Hasina.
She said her government has formulated ‘Hatchery Acts and Rules’ and ‘Fish & Animal Feed Acts and Rules’ and established fish sanctuaries and Shrimp Research Institute, Bagerhat.
“Hilsa is our national fish. Measures have been taken to protect the mother fish during spawning period and to prevent the destruction of ‘Jatkailish’ for boosting the hilsa production,” she said.
The Prime Minister said the government formulated a blue economy policy to utilise and collect the huge marine resources.
The approval for providing license to nine long-liners and seven purse seiners has been given to encourage deep sea fishing, preferably of tuna and tuna like species. But the response to deep sea fishing is poor, she said.
Talking about the sacrificial animals ahead of the holy Eid-ul-Azha, the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to take necessary measures so that the animals will be slaughtered in designated places to keep the environment clean.
She urged people to collect rawhides in scientific ways and utilise the leftover of the animals properly.
Later, the Prime Minister released fish fries at the Ganobhaban Lake.