Dhaka, Sept 21 (UNB) – BNP on Friday described the order of Special Judge Court-5 to continue the trial in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case inside Old Dhaka Central Jail in absence of Khaleda Zia as ‘contrary to justice’.
“The court, set up inside the jail, yesterday (Thursday) ordered continuation of the hearing on Khaleda Zia’s case in absence of her. We think this order is contrary to justice and basic rights,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He further said, “We would like to say with anger that we can’t accept the order. People also can’t accept it. We think this order should be changed.”
Fakhrul came up with the remarks while speaking at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
He said the government should ensure all the facilities for Khaleda Zia that she deserves as per the Constitution also as a citizen of the country.
The BNP leader also called upon the judiciary to ensure justice for their ‘seriously sick’ chairperson and take steps for her proper treatment by halting the hearing on the Zia Charitable Trust case inside the jail.
The special court on Thursday ordered that the trial proceedings in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case be continued in absence of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
The court also fixed September 24, 25 and 26 for placing arguments.
Opposing the court order, Fakhrul said now people are not getting justice from the court as the government has established its control over the judiciary, especially the lower ones.
Mentioning that three dates have been given in a week for hearing on Khaleda’s case, he questioned as to why the court is trying to hastily complete the trial. “We can understand that the government is trying to ensure a way to keep Khaleda Zia in jail for a long time. But people don’t expect it from the court. People want the court to ensure justice.”
He voiced deep concern over Khaleda Zia’s health condition as she is very sick. “The jail authorities and the medical board (formed by the government) also admitted that she (Khaleda) is very sick, and she is not even capable of walking. They also suggested admitting her to a hospital.”
Fakhrul hoped that the government will refrain from showing 'inhuman' attitude towards their party chief.
He also renewed their party’s demand for ensuring Khaleda’s treatment in any specialised hospital.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Rafiqul Islam Miah, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury were present at the press conference.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB) - BNP senior leader Nazrul Islam Khan on Thursday said the contents of former Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha’s book, ‘A Broken Dream: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy’, have exposed that Bangladesh’s judiciary has now no ‘freedom’.
“The contents of his (Sinha’s) book went viral on Facebook and other social media platforms. He wrote many things in his book which manifested that the judiciary is not independent,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader also said Sinha’s comments proved that the government and its different organs are ‘regulating’ the judiciary resorting to various tactics.
Nagorik Odhikar Andolon Forum arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club.
Nazrul, also a BNP standing committee member, said though the judiciary is not legally under the administration, the reality is that a lower court judge could not stay in the country for ‘acquitting’ Tarique Rahman in a case while a Chief Justice ‘was forced’ to leave the country and resign for giving some observations in the 16th amendment case verdict.
Amid the row over some of his observations in the 16th amendment verdict, Justice SK Sinha, the 21st Chief Justice of the country, stepped down on November 10 last year while he was abroad.
The BNP leader said the government wants to obliterate the opposition political parties, press freedom and the independence of the judiciary only to cling onto power.
He called upon the government to come to the path of democracy shunning its ‘repressive’ acts, and take steps for holding a credible election after releasing their chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail.
Otherwise, he warned, that they will wage a united movement to force the government to concede to their demands.
Earlier at a press conference at the BNP’s central office, party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said former Chief Justice Sinha in his book narrated how the government took the judiciary under its ‘control’ by forcing him to leave the country and resign.
The BNP leader said, “In his autobiography, he (Sinha) wrote that he was forced to leave the country due to threat and pressure by the government. He also clearly narrated that he was intimidated and threatened by the intelligence agencies to leave the country, and compelled him to resign after holding his family hostage.”
Rizvi alleged that Sinha’s statements manifested that the government implemented its number-1 mission by jailing and convicting Khaleda Zia in a ‘false’ case after establishing its control over the judiciary ‘at gunpoint’.
The BNP leader said the government is now going to implement its second mission through the verdict in August-21 grenade attack case to be delivered on October 10.
He also said the fixing date for pronouncing verdict in the August-21 case ahead of the national election is part of the government’s well-designed plot.
Rizvi said people have doubts over justice in the case as the ruling party leaders are saying in advance that BNP will fall in a serious danger after the pronouncement of the verdict.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB) – The ‘National Sports Council Bill, 2018’ was passed in the Jatiya Sangsad on Thursday, aiming to make the existing law more time-befitting one.
State Minister for Youth and Sports (Independent Charge) Dr Biren Sikder moved the bill in the House which was passed by voice vote with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
Piloting the bill, the state minister said it will replace the National Sports Council Act, 1974.
According to the Bill, there will be a National Sports Council and the Youth and Sports Minister will be its chairman. This Council will hold at least one meeting a year.
There will be a 19-member executive committee for four years where chairman of the Council will lead it. This executive committee will hold at least one meeting in every three months.
On June 25 last, the bill was placed in the House and it was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Youth and Sports Ministry for further scrutiny.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves here on Friday morning for London en route to New York on a weeklong official visit to the United States to join the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
She will address the UNGA at the UN Headquarters, as usual in Bangla, on September 27 placing fresh specific proposals for sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis, said Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali at a briefing here on Thursday.
Sheikh Hasina also will have a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the same day.
On the sidelines of the UNGA, the Prime Minister will also sit in bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders, including Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
She will attend a reception to be hosted by US President Donald Trump.
Sheikh Hasina will receive International Achievement Award from the Inter Press Service News Agency, and Special Recognition for Outstanding Leadership Award from the Global Hope Coalition for her farsighted and wise leadership over the Rohingya issue on September 27, the minister said.
A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Prime Minister will depart Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday at 9:55am for London, UK.
The flight is scheduled to reach Heathrow Airport in London at 3:55pm (local time) on the same day. Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Nazmul Qaunine will receive the Prime Minister at the airport.
After a two-day stopover in London, she will leave for New York on Sunday morning by a British Airways flight. The flight is scheduled to reach Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey at 1:40pm (local time).
Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin and Bangladesh permanent representative to the UN Masud Bin Momen will receive her at the airport.
After the reception at the airport, a ceremonial motorcade will escort the Prime Minister to Hotel Grand Hyatt New York, where she will stay during her visit to the USA.
On the first day of her visit to the USA, Sheikh Hasina will attend a reception to be accorded to her by the Bangladeshi community in the United States at Hotel New York Hilton Midtown in the evening.
On the second day, the Prime Minister will attend a high-level event on Global Call to Action on World Drug Problem, to be arranged by the permanent mission of the United States to the UN at the UN Headquarters.
She will take part in a group photo prior to statements by UN secretary general Antonio Guterres and US President Donald Trump.
The Prime Minister will later join the high-level event on the Global Compact on Refugees: A Model for Greater Solidarity and Cooperation, to be organised by the UN high commissioner for Refugees at ECOSOC Chamber at the UNHQ.
Sheikh Hasina will hold a meeting with her Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte at the bilateral meeting booth, UNHQ.
The Prime Minister will attend a luncheon roundtable meeting to be organised by the US Chamber of Commerce at Hotel Grant Hyatt New York.
In the afternoon, she is scheduled to address the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at the General Assembly Hall.
She will attend the Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York, to be organised by the World Economic Forum at Convene Conference Centre in New York.
Hasina will attend a roundtable discussion on Investment for Education of Women and Girls, convened by the Prime Minister of Canada at the conference room 11 of UNHQ.
She will join a high-level event titled Making Impossible Possible: Unlocking Human Potential through the International Finance Facility for Education to be organised by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education at the UNHQ.
In the evening, the Prime Minister will attend a reception to be hosted by Donald Trump at Lotte New York Palace Hotel.
On September 25, Hasina will join a high-level side-event on Cyber Security and International Cooperation, to be organised by the permanent mission of Bangladesh and UN Office on Disarmament Affairs in the UNHQ.
She will attend an official luncheon to be hosted by the UN Secretary General at the General Assembly Building.
In the afternoon, she will join the UN Secretary General’s high-level event on Action for Peacekeeping at the UNHQ.
On September 26, Unicef executive director Henrietta Fore, UN high commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi and high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini will separately call on the Prime Minister at the UNHQ.
The Prime Minister will have a meeting with Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid at the same place.
On September 27, Hasina will attend a high-level side-event on the Situation of Rohingya Minority in Myanmar, to be organised by the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia and the OIC Secretariat in the UNHQ.
She will have a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the secretary general’s meeting room, UNHQ, while President of International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer will call on the Prime Minister at the bilateral meeting booth, UNHQ.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to meet Sheikh Hasina on the same day.
The Prime Minister will attend a high-level discussion on Economic Growth through Women’s Empowerment to be hosted by the President of Lithuania at the UNHQ and expected to join a reception accorded by the Inter-Press Service at UNHQ.
She will address the 73rd UNGA in the evening and join the Annual Dinner of the Global Hope Coalition at Park Avenue, New York.
On September 28, Hasina will address a press briefing at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in New York.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to return home on October 1 after a stopover in London.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be honored with two awards for her role over Rohingya issue appreciated by the international community.
She will receive International Achievement Award from the Inter Press Service news agency for sheltering thousands of Rohingya showing an example of humanity.
Earlier, two former UN Secretary Generals - Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Ghali; and Finland President Martti Ahtisaari received the award.
The Prime Minister will receive Special Recognition for Outstanding Leadership Award from the Global Hope Coalition for her farsighted and wise leadership over the Rohingya issue.
The awards will be conferred on her in two separate events on September 27 in New York.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali came up with information while briefing media on Prime Minister’s New York visit to attend the 73rd UN General Assembly.
A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Prime Minister will depart Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday at 9:55 am for London, UK. She is scheduled to reach New York on September 23.
The general debate of the 73rd session will be held from September 25 to October 1.