Students of Dhaka University (DU) on Thursday formed a human chain on the campus protesting against the attack on several DU students across the country including Dhaka University Journalists Association (DUJA) General Secretary Md Imran Hossain.
Around 150 students, including activists of different student organisations, took part in the programme held at the base of Raju Memorial Sculpture.
Speakers at the programme demanded immediate arrest and punishment of those who attacked Imran in Jhenaidah and demanded the university authorities introduce an emergency helpline to ensure security of the students.
Addressing the human chain, former Ducsu member Tanbir Hasan Shaikat lamented attacks on DU students for protesting against injustice.
"Local ward member and his follower swooped on Duja general secretary when he protested against irregularities in distributing sacrificial meat for underprivileged families. The administration is yet to take steps although the incident has been reported in the media," he added.
Tarek Hasan Nirjhor, a student of mass communication and journalism, said the attack only highlighted the long-standing culture of impunity in the country.
Imran, a student of mass communication and journalism, and his younger brother came under attack allegedly by Abdul Aziz, a UP member of Ward No 2 at Banshbaria UP under Maheshpur upazila of Jhenaidah and his followers when they protested against the uneven distribution of sacrificial meat during the Eid-ul-Azha.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday urged everyone to get involved in serving the country with patriotism by following the principles and ideal of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members.
He made the call while addressing a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs marking the birthday of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib and son of Bangabandhu Sheikh Kamal.
A documentary based on Bangamata and Sheikh Kamal was screened at the meeting.
Foreign Minister Momen said the courage, firm stance and inspiration of Bangamata helped Bangabandhu achieve many things easily.
"We all know the activities of Bangamata nicely depicted in the Unfinished Memoirs of Bangabandhu," he said.
He said Sheikh Kamal, a very humble person and a gentleman, played a significant role for his country in his only 26 years life.
Dr Momen urged all to read books on Bangabandhu to know about him deeply.
Speaking as special guest, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said Bangamata was the nucleus of Bangabandhu family.
The way Bangamata built up the family is something to be followed by at home and abroad as a shining example, he said.
Shahriar said the way Bangamata became a worthy associate of Bangabandhu was something which was impossible without any God-gifted special power.
He said the memory of Bangabandhu had been removed from various places including from national archives, BTV and Ress Information Department.
After the discussion, a doa was offered seeking salvation of departed souls of all martyrs including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib and Sheikh Kamal.
Former ambassador Shahed Reza spoke as key discussant at the meeting attended by senior officials including Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.
Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) on Thursday forecast light to moderate rain and thundershowers over some parts of the country in the next 24 hours.
Light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty wind is likely to occur at most places over Khulna, Barishal and Chattogram divisions, the Met Office said in a bulletin.
Parts of Rajshahi, Rangpur and Dhaka divisions and at a few places over Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions might experience moderately heavy to heavy falls in the next 24 hours starting from 6pm Thursday.
Day and night temperature may rise slightly over the country, the forecast said.
Meanwhile, a mild heat wave is sweeping over Sylhet and Dinajpur may continue.
The Met Office said rainfall activity may decrease in next two days.
The day’s highest temperature was recorded at 37.4 degrees Celsius in Sylhet and minimum temperature 24.5C at Teknaf.
The sun will rise at 5:31am on Friday in Dhaka.
Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) on Thursday operated eviction drive against illegal cable connections and illegal establishments in the capital’s Gulistan and Dhanmondi neighbourhoods.
DSCC launched the drive on Wednesday. On the second day of the drive, DSCC mobile courts visited Gulistan and Dhanmondi.
Executive magistrates Md Muniruzzaman and Irfan Uddin Ahmed led the mobile courts on Wednesday, said a press release.
The mobile courts also evicted hawkers from the footpaths and roadside confectionaries which were operating illegally.
According to the Television Network Operation Act 2006, cable connections cannot be used without written approval of the concerned government agency.
Offenders can be get two-year jail or maximum Tk 1,00,000 fine for violation of the law. The punishment for repeated offenders is three-year jail or maximum Tk 2,00,000 in fine.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) can play a critical role in broadening the meaning of water through the inclusion of cultural, gender, ecological, and psychological aspects, says an international relations expert.
“Water diplomacy is not only water-centric; it entails how actors define the meaning of water,” said Dr. Medha Bisht, Senior Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, South Asian University, Delhi.
Dr Bisht made the remarks at a webinar hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Wednesday on Hydro-diplomacy as a tool for cooperative water governance.
It was part of a series of webinars designed for civil society organisations (CSOs) on the management of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) river basin, said IUCN on Thursday.
Since 2010, Bangladesh and India have shifted the narrative from ‘water sharing’ to ‘water management,’ because it can help build collaboration among stakeholders for integrated water resource management, said former Ambassador Tariq A Karim.
“The Ganges Water Treaty between Bangladesh and India is based on trade-offs, diplomats realized this was necessary to develop the Treaty," said the former diplomat and member of the India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI).
The objective of the webinar was to introduce participants to water-diplomacy principles and strategies that CSOs can apply in the GBM rivers to strengthen regional water cooperation.
Beyond water, the issue of river sediment flow emerged as an important issue.
Sediment flow is linked to regional and local food security, particularly in Bangladesh, and requires regional cooperation; therefore, it is an important theme to include in current bilateral agreements on rivers.
“Rivers are the shared symbol of common resources and means for regional cooperation. Invoking cultural narratives in the water dialogues contributes to building regional and community level narrative on river and water resources,” said Sabyaschi Dutta, Executive Director, Asian Confluence, India.
The role that CSOs play in influencing and developing local narratives on transboundary water governance was highlighted throughout the webinar, as a useful mechanism to demonstrate local solutions for cooperation on water that can be upscaled to the national level.
For example, CSOs initiated a dialogue between local farmers from Assam and the local Bhutanese officials on the Saralbhanga River and the Bhutanese government agreed to stop the upstream diversion of water.
Bipul Chatterjee, Executive Director, CUTS International Jaipur, India also emphasised the importance of local narrative on governance.
He said, “CSOs bring in a bottom-up approach to hydro-diplomacy. It is important that CSOs engage with the local line departments and build their understanding of the challenges faced by local communities.”
To be effective in facilitating regional water cooperation, CSOs need to be better integrated in a network, understanding the key actors and how to connect them.
They need to engage with formal initiatives and processes and develop a community of CSOs, with a common vision.
IUCN facilitated a visioning process gathering more than 25 CSOs from the five GBM countries, leading to the development of ‘A civil society vision for connecting the people of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) river basin.’
However, because of increasing geopolitical tensions in the GBM region in last 15 years, the space for CSO participation in regional water dialogues is shrinking, and limiting their effective contribution to water governance arrangements.
‘’The community and CSOs have little say in the development of water treaties in the GBM region,” said Ajay Dixit, Executive Director, Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, Kathmandu, Nepal.
He also reminded participants that the water treaties in the region are very limited in scope.
“Waters are still being seen as shared, instead of as a common resource’’ he said.
Most of the current bilateral water agreements take a construction-focused approach, targeting one issue such as flood control, rather than planning for the integrated management of the basin.
The webinar participants agreed on the need for governments to move from seeing water diplomacy as only a way to solve conflicts, to a more positive and comprehensive approach to enhance mutual benefits for countries and their respective communities.
There is a need to shift from ‘civil society only’ networks to policy networks that facilitate constructive engagement between state (governments) and society, to foster a more effective dialogue on water diplomacy, they said.
The webinar series is part of the BRIDGE GBM project, facilitated by IUCN, and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through the Oxfam Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA) programme.
The project aims to build the water governance capacity of a network of CSOs in the GBM River Basin, with a focus on strengthening CSO engagement in transboundary water management issues.