Dhaka, Mar 16 (UNB) - The speakers from civil society at a roundtable claimed that the government officials cannot avoid responsibility for the horrific fire incident that killed over 70 people in Chawkbazar’s Churirhatta in February.
They claimed this while speaking at the roundtable titled “Chawkbazar Tragedy and Follow-up” organized by Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Sujon) at Jatiya Press Club in the capital on Saturday.
Sujon Secretary Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar said that two former ministers had accused each other just after the incident. “It means that it is the failure of the politicians and the government officials. The victims lost their lives due to the negligence of the government officials and the government organizations in performing their duties properly to solve the problems of the citizens,” he said.
Badiul Alam further said that if the parliament became active, the standing committee of the house could have enquired the incident to find out who was responsible in the Nimtoli fire incident. “Then the government officials were forced to implement the recommendations on the fire incident,” he added.
Noted writer and columnist Syed Abul Maksud said that the chemical businessmen are being blamed only. “As a result, the main accused are spared their liability,” he opined.
“Permanent camp should be set up in Old Dhaka to monitor the problems and to solve these permanently,” he said urging the government to form a cell incorporating members from Rajuk, City Corporations, Public Housing ministry and explosive department.
Dhaka University Professor Robayet Ferdous said that there is no accountability present in the country. “State’s concerned organisations cannot avoid responsibility of the fire incident. Why the 17 recommendations after Nimtoli fire incident were not implemented?”
Muhammad Jahangir read out the keynote paper and presented 13 recommendations in light of Churirhatta fire incident.
“The negligence and aloofness while in duty have been increased for not bringing the responsible government officials to books. So horrific incidents occur again and again,” he opined.
Iqbal Habib, an architect and member secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) said that the civil society of the country has become “dumb citizens society”. A country can’t run in this way and providing compensation instead of taking punitive steps must stop, he mentioned.
“What the city corporation and explosives department are doing? Why universities and UGC do not do research works on such burning issues?” he said.
Chemical businessman Muhammad Belayet Hossain said that we are ready to relocate from the old Dhaka if the government allocates land for us. “The government should build separate zones for the separate industry.”
Bogura, Mar 16 (UNB) – The declaration of independence was made in 1971 as per the command of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, said Md Nazrul Islam, Speech Writer of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday.
“The entity of our Bengali nation would be ruined if the great leader were not born” Nazrul said while addressing a discussion organised by Bangali Sangskriti Sangshad Bogura at Zila Parishad auditorium ahead of Bangabandhu’s 99 th birth anniversary to be observed on Sunday.
Bangabandhu made an indispensible contribution when it came to achieving territorial sovereignty and rights of the people and distinct entity as Bengali nation he said.
He also praised incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a perfect successor of Bangabandhu mentioning that she has managed to establish Bangladesh as a prosperous nation in the global map.
Bangali Sangskriti Sangshad Bogura President Ragebul Ahsan Ripu, Bogura Zila Parishad Chairman Dr Makbul Hasan among others were present.
Dhaka, Mar 16 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday urged the newly-elected leaders of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) to help revive the healthy politics in the country.
“This Ducus election is very important to create the leadership. Let the healthy political trend return to the country through this election. It’s our job to bring back this healthy political trend,” she said.
The Prime Minister made the call when the newly-elected Ducsu leaders, led by its Vice-president-elect Nurul Haq Nur and General Secretary-elect Golam Rabbani, met her at her official residence Ganobhaban in the afternoon.
Sheikh Hasina also urged the Ducsu leaders to learn how to lead Bangladesh in the future. “You’ll have to learn how you can lead the future Bangladesh. So, love the country and its people. If you work to take the country towards development going beyond personal aspirations and gains, you’ll be successful leaders. And this is the teaching of the Father of the Nation. You should follow this.”
She said the government wants to equally ensure development of all sections of the country’s people.
The Prime Minister said those who are followers of the ideology of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman work for the country’s welfare and those who grabbed power suddenly did not do so. “That’s why the country sees development whenever Awami League comes to power,” she said.
“So, we’ll have to go ahead with the Liberation War spirit. You’ll have to promise that Bangladesh will be built with this spirit,” she said.
About the quota reform movement, the Prime Minister criticised the attack on the residence of Dhaka University's Vice Chancellor. “We also waged movements, but never saw such an incident. It actually stigmatised the Dhaka University.”
Talking about the accommodation crisis of the DU students, she said her government constructed more dormitories at the university.
The government will take measures to repair all dilapidated buildings at the university, she said.
Hasina said every university will have to ensure the environment for extracurricular activities like sports, physical and cultural exercises. “We want an education-friendly atmosphere to prevail on the campus,” said the Prime Minister.
About militancy, the Prime Minister said militancy and terrorism are not a problem in Bangladesh alone. “It’s a global problem.”
She said her government has successfully been able to curb this problem.
Citing the mosque attacks in New Zealand, Hasina strongly condemned the terrible incident.
Speaking on the occasion, Ducsu VP-elect Nurul Haq Nur expressed their gratitude to the Prime Minister for helping the DU administration arrange the Ducsu election.
“She (PM) cooperated with the university administration. Or else, the election would not have been held,” he said adding that the successive governments after 1990 did not want to take any risk over holding the DUCSU election, but the Prime Minister has taken the risk.
Nurul Haque, who lost his mother when he was only two and half years, said he found his mother’s face resembles the Prime Minister’s. He also touched the Prime Minister’s feet in deep respect.
He also demanded that the Prime Minister consider the issue of resolving the accommodation crisis at the dormitories of Dhaka University.
Nur said Bangabandhu is not the leader of Bangladesh but also the entire world.
Praising the Prime Minister, he said she embodies all the qualities of the Father of the Nation.
Bangladesh Chhatra League President Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shavon, Ducsu Assistant General Secretary Saddam Hossain and Vice-presidents of the hall unions spoke at the meeting moderated by Ducsu GS Golam Rabbani, also BCL General Secretary.
BCL-nominated Sammilita Shikkharthi Parishad panel swept the Ducsu polls securing all the posts of its 25-member executive committee except the VP and social services secretary positions.
In the March-11 Ducus and hall union polls, BCL, the student wing of Bangladesh Awami League, won the full panel in most of the halls and secured 23 posts in the central union.
Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council-backed candidate Nurul Haq Nur was elected Ducsu VP while BCL panel-nominated Golam Rabbani won general secretary (GS) post.
Chandpur, Mar 16 (UNB) - Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni MP on Saturday condemned the terrorist attacks at mosques in Christ Church of New Zealand.
The education minister called upon all to work together to resist fundamentalism, terrorism, militancy and extremism from the country as well as the world.
“In fact, no country in the world is now free from terrorism, militancy and extremism. A peaceful country like New Zealand, incidents like terrorist attacks also took place.”
She said this while talking to journalists at Chandpur Government College playground after formally inaugurating its Annual Sports as the chief guest in the morning.
In the terrorist attacks, at least two Bangladeshis, out of 49 people, have died, she mentioned.
“Luckily our cricket team who were near the spot narrowly escaped the fatal shooting,” she said.
The former foreign minister also expressed her gratitude to Almighty Allah for saving the cricket team.
She expressed her deep sense of sympathy to the members of the bereaved families of the dead and prayed to the almighty for quick recovery of the injured.
Replying to another question, she said, “We are making our syllabus and curriculum time-befitting so that students especially new generation can learn a sense of tolerance and be imbued with the spirit of nationalism, sense of patriotism, good human beings, shunning terrorism, militancy, fundamentalism and extremism from their minds and mindsets.”
She emphatically said that cultural activities and sports in the educational institutions can surely play a vital role in keeping our new generation away from militancy, drugs, terrorism and extremism.
Later, she distributed prizes among the successful participants in the presence of Principal Dr ASM Delwar Husain in the chair.
Later, in the afternoon, she attended prize giving ceremonies of Government Mohila College and Chandpur Puran Bazar Degree College as the chief guest and handed over prizes among the winners.
Chandpur DC Majedur Rahman Khan, SP Jiahdul Kabir, district AL President Nasiruddin Ahmed and party Secretary Abu Nayeem Patwary Dulal, among others, accompanied her in the functions.
Dhaka, Mar 16 UNB) - Dr Craig B Stanford, a professor of Biological Science and Anthropology at the University of Southern California, on Saturday laid emphasis on educating people in Bangladesh about turtles and tortoises to avoid their extinction.
He also encouraged young people to become environmentally more aware and interested saying their role is critical.
Prof Stanford stressed the urgency to save globally endangered species of turtles and tortoises, including in Bangladesh, and discussed some possible cooperative plans.
He spoke at an interactive session – WildHour - held at Cosmos Centre in the city as key speaker discussing the global scenario of endangered and near extinct species of tortoise and turtle alongside the reasons responsible for it.
The event, titled ‘Turtles in Trouble: Conservation Priorities in the 21st Century’, was arranged by Noazesh Knowledge Centre (NKC), an endeavour of WildTeam where around 100 participants, including university students, teachers, researchers and conservation professionals, were present.
Prof Stanford mentioned that the rarest of turtles as well as tortoises that need to be preserved are found in Asia. “Many of the tortoises and turtles which are found in captivity, are extinct in the wild,” he said.
Prof Stanford said the success rate of saving endangered turtle and tortoise species is very low.
He also pointed out key reasons behind the endangerment and extinction of tortoise and turtle species which are --- loss of habitat, serving as food in central Asia and pet trading.
“The financial scale of illegal wildlife trading rivals that of drugs trading,” he added.
Dr Craig stressed raising awareness and dedication of people to save the species of turtles and tortoises which are endangered and near extinct.
WildTeam CEO Dr Anwarul Islam also spoke at the event highlighting the need for such sessions and encouraged the participants to learn from it.
Prof Stanford is a renowned wildlife expert who has worked in countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Northern India and more. He is the Chair of IUCN Tortoise/Freshwater Turtle Specialists Group, 2017-2021.