Dhaka, Jan 31 (UNB) – Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday pushed for implementing a decision that prohibits rallies in the capital except on holidays.
The minister also expected that the city corporations will take steps to restore footpath from the illegal occupants for the easy walking of pedestrians.
“Haphazard vehicle parking should be controlled in an iron hand,” he said while briefing journalists after holding a view-exchange meeting with the officials of Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) in city’s Nagar Bhaban.
Earlier, the DTCA in a meeting decided not to allow anyone to hold any rally in the capital except holidays.
Besides, the minister asked the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to stop blowing horn in front of schools and hospitals.
Quader said that more than two passengers in motorcycle would not be allowed and it is obligatory for both the riders to use helmets as well as to follow traffic rules strictly.
He also directed the authorities concerned to create awareness among the students about the traffic laws by including traffic rules in the text books.
Dhaka, Jan 31 (UNB) - German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas has congratulated Dr AK Abdul Momen on his appointment as the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.
In a message, the German Federal Minister has praised the tremendous economic and social progress of Bangladesh, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Thursday.
He has also expressed his conviction that the government will remain on this path of dynamic development.
Dhaka, Jan 31 (UNB) - Muslims have lambasted sports apparel giant ‘Nike’ for selling a brand of Air Max sneakers with a design on its sole that resembles the Arabic word for “Allah”.
The sports giant is being asked to recall the sneakers, with Muslims saying they have “insulted Islam”, reports the Daily Mail.
The outrage began when Muslim customer Saiga Noreen noticed what she believed was the Arabic word for Allah on the shoe. She immediately launched an online petition, demanding that the company remove the popular shoe from its worldwide market.
The petition, which has gained more than 6,000 signatures in just hours, blasts Nike for allowing God's name to be 'trampled, kicked and become soiled with mud or even filth'.
Currently, over 16,000 people have signed the petition, with a goal of 25,000 signatures.
Other supporters took to Twitter to express their outrage over Nike's allegedly blasphemous product.
The design features the words Air Max spelled out in a custom, joined-up font on the sole of the shoe, which was released last year.
In Muslim culture, showing the sole of your shoe is seen as the height of disrespect as it implies you want to hurt someone with it.
The shoe is considered dirty because it touches the ground and is associated with the foot, the lowest party of the body.
“It is outrageous and appalling of Nike to allow the name of God on a shoe. This is disrespectful and extremely offensive to Muslim's and insulting to Islam,” Noreen said.
“Islam teaches compassion, kindness and fairness towards all. We urge Nike to recall this blasphemous and offensive shoe and all products with the design logo resembling the word Allah from worldwide sales immediately.”
“We also request stricter scrutiny of products before they enter the market. I urge all Muslim's and everyone who respects the freedom of religion to sign this petition.”
Nike became embroiled in a similar controversy in 1997 when it was forced to recall thousands of pairs of Air Bakin' sneakers following outcry from Muslim customers.
Flame like letters with the word ‘Air’ written on the heel could be read as Allah in Arabic script.
However, Nike denied allegations it intentionally insulted the Muslim community, saying the logo was a “stylised representation of Nike's Air Max trademark” and had no religious significance, as reported by RT.
“It’s intended to reflect the Air Max brand only. Any other perceived meaning or representation is unintentional,” a Nike representative said.
Dhaka, Jan 31 (UNB) – Election Monitoring Forum (EMF), a platform of 31 polls monitoring oranisations registered with the Election Commission, on Thursday claimed that the parliamentary elections were held in a free, fair, peaceful and festive manner.
Forum Executive Director Prof Mawlana Md Abed Ali came up with the claim in a report on the election observance presented at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club.
The report was compiled based on monitoring of 17,165 polling centres in 239 constituencies out of total 299, he said.
“The presence of voters in the centres which were monitored was satisfactory and no unpleasant situation was noticed there,” Abed Ali said.
Mentioning that the overall behaviour of the candidates was cautious, he said, “Some contestants were harassed by law enforcers on the excuse of cases which was unexpected. The Election Commission failed to take quick action in this regard.”
The report also said the magistrates, presiding officers, polling officers and the other administrative officers involved in the election process helped the forum work properly during the election. “They didn’t create any obstacles to us.”
Abed Ali also thanked and greeted the EC on behalf of their organisations for holding the election with utmost efficiency.
The forum also recommended that the Election Commission (EC) give minimum honorarium to the observers in all of the upcoming elections.
It some recommendations, including strengthening the EC and law enforcement agencies, meting out punishment to those involved in election violence and compensating the families of the victims, to hold fair elections.
The press conference was also attended by SAARC Human Rights Foundation Director Md Masum Chowdhury, EMF coordinator Monir Hossain, Human Rights activist Md Zayed Hossain, Md Shahidul Islam, Khadakar Faruk Ahmed and Sultana Razia Rila.
Dhaka, Jan 31 (UNB) - Bangladesh has urged the United States to send back Rashed Chowdhury, the fugitive killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, now staying in the US with political asylum.
"I urged him (US Ambassador) to send Rashed Chowdhury back," Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters on Thursday after his meeting with the US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dr Momen said he informed the US envoy that the USA used to bring back their convicted fugitives from other countries.
Following the US path, he said, Bangladesh wants to bring back the fugitive self-confessed killer (Rashed) who had been convicted by a court under a free judicial trial.
The Foreign Minister referred that earlier the USA deported Mohiuddin Ahmed, another convicted killer of Bangabandhu, to Bangladesh.
The Foreign Minister also said the US envoy appreciated the last 11th parliamentay election.
"We didn't discuss that much over the election as the Ambassador visited my constituency to observe the polls on the election day," he said.
Referring to the Rohingya issue, the Foreign Minister urged the US to request those countries which maintain close relations with Myanmar so that they can take effective steps to resolve the crisis.
The Ambassador assured the Foreign Minister that the USA would extend its all-out support to Bangladesh for resolving the Rohingya problem.
The Foreign Minister said they also discussed various issues related to trade and commerce, including the purchase of military equipment.
About the purchase of military equipment, he said he informed the US envoy that Bangladesh is open to all regarding military purchase and it prefers cost-effective goods.
"I urged them to invest more in Bangladesh, especially in the energy sector, as we set target to generate 24,000 MW by 2021," Momen said.
He also urged the US side to extend support to Bangladesh for achieving the country's various economic goals.
"We talked about good governance, democracy and how we can build strong US-Bangladesh relationship including economic partnership, military sales and Indo Pacific strategy," said the US Ambassador while talking to reporters after the meeting.
Ambassador Miller said he would love seeing Foreign Minister Dr Momen travel to the United States.
The envoy mentioned about Minister Dr Momen's strong and enduring ties and contacts with the US at various levels.
He said he is happy to meet a person like Dr Momen as a Bangladesh Foreign Minister who received several degrees from the US having teaching experience in US universities.
The Ambassador said he had the opportunity to meet Dr Momen on the election day (Dec 30) in Sylhet and hoped to have more officials meetings in the coming days.
Later, the US envoy separately met State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and discussed pertinent issues in Bangladesh-US bilateral relations.
The State Minister pointed out that though Bangladesh’s exports to USA under GSP were minimal, some promising business entrepreneurs suffered due to GSP suspension.
Referring to the recent passage of EPZ Labour Act, the State Minister pointed out that the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is extremely labour-friendly.
He said high tariffs coupled with GSP suspension puts Bangladeshi businessmen into a formidable challenge in entering the US market.
The State Minister emphasized on public diplomacy for expansion of Bangladesh-USA political and business ties.
The Ambassador, who arrived in Dhaka on November 18 last year, is a career member of the US senior foreign service, joined the Department of State in 1987.
He served as US Ambassador to Botswana from 2014 to 2018 and Consul General at the US Consulate General in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 2011 to 2014.
Ambassador Miller also served in Washington, San Francisco, Miami and Boston and at US embassies in El Salvador, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iraq, and India.