Dhaka, Oct 28 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday sought cooperation from the people of Chattogram Hill Tracts in solving their land problems.
“Cooperate with the Land (Dispute Resolution) Commission (of the CHT) so that it can solve the land problems soon,” she said after inaugurating the newly constructed Sheikh Hasina Chattogram Hill Tracts Complex at Bailey Road in the capital.
The Prime Minister said when lands are acquired to implement any development scheme in the CHT areas people do not get compensation due to problems over land ownership there.
She said if the CHT people get the ownership of own lands against their own names according to the law which is effective for (other parts of) the country, they can get compensation in case of land acquisition.
Sheikh Hasina suggested not following a separate land law which had been enacted during the British colonial period for the CHT area. The Land Commission faces repeated obstacles whenever it goes to work in this regard, she added.
Noting that now the world is marching forward in a much faster way, she said, “So, I think everyone should live with their own lands and own rights. We want this system to be improved.”
The Prime Minister said the government has already implemented most clauses of the CHT Peace Accord signed in 1997 and the execution of some others is underway. “Besides, the government is implementing huge schemes for the overall development of the CHT region.”
She said the government developed the CHT region much making special allocation as the region had completely been neglected for 20 years after 1975.
In this regard, she suggested that the CHT Regional Council propose projects for the overall development of the region so that its people can be more self-reliant economically. “If the CHT Regional Council proposes any project for the development of their respective region, we’ll be able to implement it making special allocation,” Hasina said.
About government jobs for members of small ethnic groups, the Prime Minister said her government is taking steps so that candidates from minority groups living in both hills and plain land get priority in the recruitment process. “Though we’ve cancelled the quota system, I’ve directed the Public Service Commission so that candidates from the CHT region or small ethnic groups always get priority. We’re taking steps and will do, we can give you this word,” she said.
Noting that there will be no development if peace is not maintained, the Prime Minister said, “No more conflict. We signed the peace accord. So, we want peace to prevail in the hills and it will mark progress through this peace.”
Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Convener of CHT Peace Accord Implementation Committee Abul Hasnat Abdullah, Chairman of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, also known as Santu Larma, and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Chattogram Hill Tracts Affairs Ministry RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury also spoke at the event chaired by State Minister of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing.
CHT Affairs Secretary Md Nurul Amin at his welcome speech said the Sheikh Hasina Chattogram Hill Tracts Complex was constructed on two acres of land spending Tk 194 crore.
Alongside a six-storey administrative building and a six-storey dormitory, there are several other structures under the complex.
An audio-visual documentary was screened focusing the development of the CHT area and lifestyle of its people.
Dhaka, Oct 28 (UNB) – BNP on Sunday alleged that Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nurul Huda and Election Commission (EC) secretary Helaluddin Ahmed are working actively to implement the government agenda of ‘snatching’ people’s voting rights.
“The Election Commission is being run by a quarter who’ve sold themselves out, and they’re working to snatch people’s voting rights for fulfilling Sheikh Hasina’s desire,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he further said, “The CEC has said in Khulna that EVMs will be used in a limited way while the EC secretary in Chattogram said they will procure 84,000 EVMs initially. In fact, they both are always active to implement the government’s agenda.”
Despite the opposition by most opposition parties, civil society members, journalists, election observers and social organisations, the BNP leader said the EC is out to use the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) only to appease the government.
He also feared that the EC is planning to use the EVMs on a large scale in the upcoming next general election by amending the Representation of People Order (RPO) as the government is trying to use its all weapons to hang onto power.
The BNP urged the EC to retreat from its plan to sue the EVMs in the polls, saying, “Using EVMs unilaterally by the Election Commission ignoring public opinions is tantamount to snatch people’s voting rights.”
On this day in 2006, Rizvi said some people were killed in the capital and other parts of the country in political violence unleashed by Awami League leaders and activists.
He alleged that Awami League men beat six people to death with oars and sticks and hurling brickbats in the capital’s Paltan area and danced on the dead bodies “at the behest of Sheikh Hasina. People still didn’t forget that awful killings.”
The BNP leader said many leaders and activists of BNP and other political parties have been subjected to killing, enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killing over the last 12 years since October 28, 2006 due to terrorism unleashed by Awami League. “These are serious crimes against humanity, and Awami League must face trial for the offences,” he added.
Dhaka, Oct 28 (UNB)– The Appellate Division on Sunday fixed Monday for passing an order on a leave-to-appeal petition filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia seeking cancellation of the High Court order clearing the way for continuation of the trial proceedings in the case in her absence.
A seven-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain fixed the date to pass the order.
On the other hand, a Special Judge Court installed inside the old central jail is scheduled to deliver its verdict in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case on Monday (29 October).
“We did not get justice from the lower courts and even from the High Court, We hope we will get justice from the Appellate Division” said Khaleda’s Lawyer Advocate Joynul Abedin.
He further said the delivery of the verdict in by the Special Judge Court in the case depends on the SC court order to be given on Monday.
On October 14, the High Court bench of Justice Obaidul Hasan and Justice SM Kuddus Zaman cleared the way to continuation of the trial proceedings of the graft case against Khaleda in her absence as they rejected a writ petition filed by the BNP chief.
On October 18, a leave-to-appeal petition was filed with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court against the High Court order.
On September 20, Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Judge Court-5 of Dhaka decided to continue the trial proceedings in the absence of the main accused.
On September 27, the BNP chairperson filed the writ petition with the High Court challenging a lower court’s decision.
Meanwhile, the special court on October 16 fixed October 29 for passing verdict in the corruption case.
Khaleda Zia, who has been in jail since her conviction in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8, refused to appear before the court during the trial of the Zia Charitable Trust graft case on ‘safety grounds’.
Later, the government shifted the court to jail premises to ensure her safety. Yet, she did not appear before the court.
The state counsel appealed to the court to continue the trial proceedings of the case in the absence of Khaleda Zia. The court accepted their pleading.
The case was filed by the Anti-corruption Commission with Tejgaon Police Station in August, 2011, accusing Khaleda and three others of abusing power to raise funds for the trust from unknown sources.
Berlin, Oct 28 (AP/UNB) — Germany's central region of Hesse was voting Sunday in a state election marked by discontent with infighting in the national government — and its results could help determine whether Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration has a long-term future.
The election for the state legislature in Hesse, which includes Germany's financial center of Frankfurt, comes as support for the country's governing parties is sliding and tensions are high in a federal coalition that has been in office only since March.
Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union is defending its 19-year hold on Hesse, previously a stronghold of the center-left Social Democrats, the chancellor's federal coalition partners in Berlin. A disastrous result for either or both parties could further destabilize the national government and ultimately the position of Merkel, Germany's leader for the past 13 years.
Two weeks ago, two of the federal governing parties — the Christian Social Union, the Bavaria-only sister to Merkel's CDU, and the Social Democrats — were battered in a state election in neighboring Bavaria.
That has given extra significance to the election in Hessen, which is home to 6.2 million of Germany's 82 million people.
Hesse's conservative governor, Volker Bouffier, complains that "the election campaign has been completely overshadowed by Berlin." Social Democrat challenger Thorsten Schaefer-Guembel says "we are experiencing a crisis of confidence — that has a lot to do with the fact that too much waffling is going on and too little being done."
Voters appear generally satisfied with Bouffier's government, the first coalition between the CDU and the traditionally left-leaning Greens to last a full parliamentary term, and an unexpectedly harmonious alliance.
But only the Greens, who are in opposition nationally, are benefiting in polls.
Recent surveys have shown support of up to 28 percent for the CDU and up to 21 percent for the Social Democrats, down from 38.3 and 30.7 percent respectively in a 2013 vote. They show the Greens as high as 22 percent, up from 11.1 percent five years ago.
Gains are likely for other smaller parties, and the far-right, anti-migration Alternative for Germany party appears set to enter the last of Germany's 16 state legislatures with support of up to 13 percent. The party entered the national parliament last year and, along with the Greens, has benefited from the federal government's disarray.
Such results would make various regional coalitions possible, with the Greens potentially joining parties to their right or left or even, if their results are exceptionally good, having a chance to make their local leader Tarek Al-Wazir — currently Bouffier's deputy — the state governor.
Observers believe Bouffier losing power or a disastrous result for Schaefer-Guembel would further destabilize Merkel's federal coalition. The two men are deputy national leaders of their parties.
A loss for Bouffier would make life more difficult for Merkel, who has indicated that she plans to seek another two-year term as CDU leader at a congress in December. The government's frailty has weakened her.
The Social Democrats only reluctantly entered Merkel's national government in March, and many are dismayed by what has happened since. A very poor performance in Hesse could embolden critics to push for the Social Democrats to leave the federal coalition, and endanger the job of party leader Andrea Nahles.
The government has been through two major crises, first over whether to turn back small numbers of migrants at the German-Austrian border and then over what to do with the head of Germany's domestic intelligence service after he was accused of downplaying far-right violence against migrants. It has failed to convince voters that it's achieving much on other matters.
"If this government were to break apart now, it would come down to early elections," CDU general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said this week.
She argued that the three governing parties should instead, after the Hesse vote, prioritize a few policies and implement them as "an important signal" to Germans of the government's effectiveness.
Khulna, Oct 27 (UNB) - Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Saturday said Election Voting Machine (EVM) will be used on a limited scale in the next national election to check vote rigging as well as protect the interest and dignity of voters.
The CEC came up with the remark while inaugurating the EVM Fair at Public Hall in the city.
Although EVM will not be imposed by force, the Election Commission has a plan to use this machine on a smaller scale in the next general election considering the law and opinion of others, he said.
The EVM system has been launched to ensure transparency and a rigging-free voting to secure the interest of voters, he said.
In the current system, irregularities can occur in handling the ballot papers but EVM can eliminate such irregularities, Nurul Huda said.
Chaired by Deputy Commissioner Md Helal Hossain, the programme, was attended, among others, by Divisional Commissioner Lokman Hossain Mia, Deputy Inspector General of Police Md Didar Ahmad, KMP Commissioner Humayun Kabir and Police Super SM Shafiullah.