Dhaka, April 18 (UNB) – The government on Thursday opened a ‘Genocide Corner’ in the historic building at Shugondha, now Foreign Service Academy, remembering the 3 million victims of 1971 genocide, the second worst genocide since WWII.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen formally opened the ‘Genocide Corner’ as part of preserving historic legacy of the glorious War of Liberation marking the Foreign Service Day of Bangladesh.
Prime Minister’s Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam, Education Minister DrDipuMoni, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Muhammad Faruk Khan were also present.
Minister Dr Momen said they carefully chose the building to house the Genocide Corner in a historic room.
The building was built in 1960 and Queen Elizabeth II stayed in the house. After her departure, this house became the President’s House, he said.
After the independence on December 16, 1971, the Foreign Minister said, the house became ‘Gonobhaban’ (People’s House), Prime Minister’s Office.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman discharged his duties for nearly two years from this office (1972-74).
Diplomats from various countries who attended the function wrote their comments on visitor’s book placed at the Genocide Corner.
“The bloodbath and mayhem of 1971 War took the lives of innocent people---3 million were killed, 200,000 women were raped, 10 million had to take shelter in neighboring India and 30 million were displaced internally due to our War of Liberation in 1971. Lest we forget!,” said the Foreign Minister.
On April 18, 1971, Bangladeshi diplomats and staff stationed in Calcutta defying the oppressive and occupation regime of Pakistan took over the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner’s Office and hoisted the Bangladesh national flag atop and thus established the first Bangladesh Mission abroad.
“Therefore, this day is very significant for the independent and sovereign country of Bangladesh,” said Dr Momen.
On 17th April 1971, the Bangladesh government was officially established in Mujibnagar and on the following day, a group of Bangladeshi diplomats and officials led by Deputy High Commissioner Md. Hosen Ali and third Secretary Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, declared their allegiance to Bangladesh government, and took possession of the premise of the Pakistani Deputy High Commission in Calcutta, India, and declared it ‘Bangladesh Diplomatic Mission’, which later became ‘Bangladesh Foreign Office’ in Kolkata.
The other officers who also defected in Calcutta on 18th April 1971 were third Secretary Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Assistant Press Attaché Maksud Ali.
Brave diplomats late Hussein Ali, Anwarul Karim Chowdhury and Amjadul Huq were honored on the day. Representatives of these three diplomats received the crests.
“As we’ve started, we’ll continue to recognize and honor their historic contribution in greater way with even more befitting manner in future,” said State Minister Shahriar Alam.
A cultural function was also held marking the Foreign Service Day.
Dhaka, Apr 18 (UNB) - Advance train tickets for upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr for travelling from Dhaka will be available at six spots -- five in the capital and one in Gazipur, said Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujon on Thursday.
The six spots are Dhaka University, Fulbaria, Mirpur, Kamalapur Railway Station and Airport Railway Station in the capital, and Joydepur in Gazipur.
Besides, a new mobile app will be introduced on April 28 to sell train tickets from Kamalapur Railway Station, the minister said, adding that 50 percent tickets will be sold through the app while the rest from counters.
A new train ‘Banalata Express’ will be inaugurated on the Dhaka-Rajshahi route on April 25 from Rajshahi which will begin operation on April 27, he said while talking to reporters after a meeting with railway officials at the Kamalapur Railway Station.
Before Eid, another new train will be introduced on the Dhaka-Panchagarh route and another on the Dhaka-Benapole route after Eid, Sujon said.
Dhaka, Apr 18 (UNB)- Speakers at a discussion on Thursday emphasised increasing budget allocation for digital activities in administration and technology-based education to reap benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
They made the remarks at a roundtable on the next national budget organised by Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh and Daily Prothom Alo at CA Bhaban in the capital.
They said that skilled foreign hands have to be hired for various industries in the absence of skilled manpower at home. These foreign workers send back a huge amount of money to their countries. The speakers said it is time to emphasise tech-based education for the youth.
Rasheda K Chowdhury, former adviser to the caretaker government, urged the government to reduce inequality in Bangla and English medium education and increase budget allocation for slum dwellers.
Dr Fahmida Khatun, executive director of Center for Policy Dialogue, suggested increasing investment in social safety in the next budget.
“We should lay emphasis on domestic income because we won’t get many facilities from international community after 2027 after getting developing country status. So we need skilled human resources,” she also said.
Faruq Ahmed Siddiqi, former chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, said that the government should stress increasing tax GDP ratio and reduce rich-poor disparity in the budget.
“Good governance should be implemented in National Board of Revenue (NBR) to facilitate collection of huge revenue,” he said.
AF Nesar Uddin, President of ICAB, said that the government should modernise administration’s activities and remove hassles for taxpayers.
Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, chairman of NBR, said that the tax ratio will increase if manpower is increased in NBR.
“We’ll increase manpower soon. Earlier, we laid emphasis on education and health sector in the budget but now we have to give importance to electricity, energy and infrastructure development,” he said.
Kamrul Islam, former senior vice president of DCCI, Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, president of Bangladesh Merchant Bank’s Association, Md Humayun Kabir, Chairman of Taxation and Corporate Laws Committee, Syed Nasim Monzur, former MCCI President and Major General Muhammad Imrul Quayes (retd), Secretary of ICAB, among others, were present.
Dhaka, Apr 18 (UNB) – Noting that Bangladesh is proud of its cultural heritage where communal harmony plays a significant role, State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid on Thursday said the present government is working relentlessly to conserve and promote the heritage of ethnic minority communities.
He made the comments at a seminar titled ‘Importance and challenges of protecting heritage of small ethnic groups in promoting national culture’ arranged by Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) at its auditorium.
The seminar was attended by scholars, government and military officials, students and representatives of different small ethnic groups.
“Currently, there’re 50 listed ethnic tribes in the country. The Cultural Affairs Ministry is considering building infrastructures in the three districts of Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) to preserve the cultural heritage of local ethnic communities,” the state minister said.
He also said the ministry has a plan to establish cultural exchange centres in those three districts.
Khalid said the government is working to fully implement the CHT Peace Accord and has taken all kinds of initiatives to promote the cultures of ethnic minorities.
Prof Dr Syed Anwar Husain, Bangabandhu Chair Professor of Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), presented the keynote paper at the programme exploring different aspects of the ethnic culture.
He also highlighted how these groups are contributing to enriching the cultural diversity of Bangladesh.
“Development of their (small ethnic groups) cultures could bring unity in diversity ultimately promoting and strengthening national solidarity,” Prof Anwar said.
BIISS Director General Maj Gen AKM Abdur Rahman said the active participation of small ethnic groups is important for the successful implementation of Vision 2021. “Understanding cultural diversity will surely help Bangladesh prevent racial and ethnic divisions,” he added.
Chattogram Hill Tracts Development Board Chairman Naba Bikram Kishore Tripura, Rangamati Science and Technology University Vice-chancellor Dr Pradanendu Bikash Chakma and acting Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Secretary Md Mesbahul Islam, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Dhaka, Apr 18 (UNB) – Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Thursday demanded judicial probe into the alleged negligence of duty by police in connection with the murder of Feni madrasa girl Nusrat Jahan Rafi.
The anti-graft watchdog in a statement also demanded strong enforcement of law to ensure punishment of those involved in the murder.
“Violence against women across the country considering the number and gravity of atrocities now reached at a level which is unimaginable. There is no alternative to ensuring strict enforcement of law against the responsible people and their associates to deal with this situation,” said the statement.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, “We hope investigation will be carried out properly and the responsible people will get exemplary punishment. But, we are worried about the allegations brought against the police officials concerned over their negligence of duty and connection in the incident.”
Each allegation against the police officials concerned should be investigated properly and the police officials concerned as well as the overall police administration should be brought under accountability, he said.
Withdrawal of a police official from a police station can’t be a punishment, said Iftekharuzzaman adding, “Country’s people want to see proper implementation of the Prime Minister’s assurance that none of those involved in the murder will be spared.”
On April 6, Nusrat was set afire at an examination centre allegedly by people loyal to the principal of her madrasa after he was arrested and subsequently suspended as she had accused him of sexually harassing her in Sonagaziupazila of Feni district.
Nusrat Jahan lost her battle for life on April 10 at Dhaka Medical College Hospital in the capital.