Dhaka, Jan 22 (UNB) – Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury on Tuesday told the BNP that the people of the country were expecting the party to act.
“Bangladesh’s democracy and the country itself have been snatched away. The people are expecting steps from your party (BNP),” he said, addressing the party’s Vice-Chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu.
Zafrullah was speaking at a programme marking the homecoming day of Mawlana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani organized by Bhasani Anusari Parishad at Jatiya Press Club.
“Come out on the streets,” he said.
Jatiya Party’s former minister and secretary general Mostafa Jamal Haider said democracy was “destroyed” through the “farcical December 30 election.”
Dudu, Jahangirnagar University former chancellor Jasim Uddin Ahmed, JU teacher professor Dilara Chowdhury spoke, among others, at the programme.
Dhaka, Jan 22 (UNB)- Despite owning some of the world’s largest reserves of hydrocarbons (oil and gas), the Middle Eastern nation of Iran stands out as unique in its region for having captured a place in people’s hearts in every corner of the globe through a purely creative pursuit - namely cinema.
By the time Asghar Farhadi’s ‘A Separation’ became the first Iranian winner of the prestigious Best Foreign Language Film award at the Academy Awards, Oscar in 2012, a culmination of an extraordinarily rich vein of creativity dating back at least to Darius Mehjui’s Gaav (The Cow, 1969) Iran’s New Wave Cinema had emerged as its most famed and essential export.
The superior storytelling and visual mastery of Iranian films have long been admired by Bangladeshis, and film societies such as Rainbow, who are behind Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF), have always accorded due importance to the Iranian section in their programmes. The work of the surprisingly resourceful and engaging Iranian Cultural Centre also merits mention in this regard.
Looking to drive the engagement with the Iranian film fraternity deeper still, this year the organisers of DIFF invited the Managing Director of Tehran’s Farabi Cinema Foundation, Alireza Tabesh, to be a part of DIFF 2019.
Founded in 1983, the Farabi Cinema Foundation, as the biggest body in the Iranian Film industry, is the leading company in the fields of production, international distribution and promotion of Iranian films.
During his stay, Ali Reza Tabesh was specifically invited to think of strategies for synergy between the two countries in the field of cinema. He has pointed to the existing areas of potential cooperation and said festivals in both countries for children and young adults could pave the way for the production of more movies.
The Bangladeshi actor, director and producer, Ananta Jalil, met Alireza Tabesh at his office in Tehran last year to discuss ways to collaborate with the Iranian foundation. UNB’s Shafikul Islam sat down with the Iranian (ART) after the conclusion of DIFF 2019 to learn what he had managed to learn.
Tabesh stressed the need for more cooperation and taking advantage of cultural and cinematic capacities. Referring to historical, cultural and religious commonalities between the two countries, he said these potentials have provided a foundation for cultural and cinema relations.
UNB: How are you feeling in Bangladesh?
ART: I am very much delighted to visit Bangladesh on the occasion of participating in Dhaka International Film Festival. You know that Iran has the active participation in the festival every time. Many films from Iran compete here. Many film-related persons are invited to the festival. I am very much happy to be a part of it.
UNB: Have you seen any Bangladeshi film? Please share your experience.
ART: I have little experience of watching Bangladesh films. I saw some films at the festival. I am informed that commercial aspect gets the priority in making the films. But I know Bangladesh has many talented filmmakers who can produce better films. I also know the name of many good filmmakers- Tareque Masud, Zahir Raihan, Alamgir Kabir.
UNB: How the festival can be helpful for the filmmakers?
ART: Iranian films have gained the attraction from everywhere. They are accepted around the world for their high standards. Iran has been participating in the festival since its inception. Twenty-five films, including four in Asian competition, five in International Section, five in Women Filmmakers Section, five in Children Section and six in the Spiritual Section have participated in the film festival.
Alongside Bangladesh, films are participating in many festivals in Iran. This collaboration is important for both countries to exchange experience and share their views.
UNB: How was it possible for Iranian films to gain popularity without using any sex, violence scenes?
ART: Iran has 120 years of experience in filmmaking. Entertainment also exists in Iranian films. The Iranian film industry is one of the vital industries in the world. Iranian films mainly focus on the humane, ethical and spiritual issues. Though films in Hollywood and Bollywood are big budget films, Iran films with low budget have influence around the world. The main reason behind it is that we emphasise on the story of the films. So, if the story is attractive, we do not need to add sex, violence [scenes] in the film. Iranian films also promote the versatility of the culture and reflection of real life.
UNB: Do you have any suggestion for Bangladeshi filmmakers?
ART: Bangladesh needs to focus on the different type of world standard movies parallel to other film lines of the world. Alongside, introduction with the good stories, filmmakers should use the latest technology and updates for making their films. Iran’s culture-oriented, humanitarian and educational cinemas can be good for the development of the Bangladesh cinema.
Dhaka, Jan 22 (UNB) - Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Tuesday launched the NOC Automation and IMEI Database (NAID) services to prevent the import of illegal cell phones.
Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar on Tuesday officially inaugurated the service at BTRC Bhaban in the city.
The database has been launched with the financial help of Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association (BMPIA), he said.
“It will prevent invasion of illegal phones to the local market and eventually will increase the revenue collection in a large amount as well as prevent stealing of mobile phones in the country,” he added.
From now on, customers intending to purchase a device can get the 15-digit IMEI number by dialling *#06# from the handset.
The legality of the handset can be checked by sending an SMS with the IMEI to 16002 and through a return SMS cell phone users will be able to know whether their sets have been imported through a legal channel.
The telecom regulator has already built a database of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number of mobile sets which have been legally imported since January 2018.
Earlier on Monday, Zakir Hossain Khan, BTRC senior assistant director, told UNB that with the BTRC database, users will be able to lock their stolen phones if their IMEI numbers are included in the databank.
Acting secretary of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministry Ashok Kumar Biswash, BTRC Chairman Jahurul Haque, BMPIA president Ruhul Alam Mahbub and other top officials of the ministry, among others, were present at the launching ceremony.
Dhaka, Jan 22 (UNB) – The children and grandchildren of Freedom Fighters (FF) on Tuesday formed a human chain blocking the city’s Shahbagh intersection for around two and half hours demanding the reinstatement of 30 percent FF quota in government jobs.
Witnesses said the protesters blocked the intersection around 4:20 pm halting vehicular movement on the city’s key intersection.
Several hundred people under the banner of “Children and grandchildren of freedom fighters” (Muktijodhar Santan and Projonmo) were seen chanting slogans with placards and festoons demanding the reinstatement of the quota.
Shahbagh Police Station Officer-in-charge Abul Hossain, however, claimed that around 200 people blocked the intersection around 4 pm creating acute sufferings to the commuters.
Meanwhile, expressing solidarity with the protesters, leaders and activists Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) joined them.
The protesters also demanded punishment of the quota movement activists who claimed themselves as ‘Razakars’.
Later, they withdrew the blockade around 6:30 pm in the evening, he said.
Dhaka, Jan 22 (UNB) - The general inflation rate slightly came down to 5.35 percent in December last from 5.37 percent in the previous month (Nov) thanks to the slight fall in both food and non-food inflations.
"The general point-to-point inflation rate slightly eased to 5.35 percentage point in December last," said Planning Minister MA Mannan on Tuesday releasing the monthly consumer price index.
The new planning minister also disclosed that the implementation rate of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) during the first half (July 2018-Dec 2018) of the current fiscal year was 27.45 percent with an overall expenditure of Tk 49,645 crore.
But the ADP implementation rate in the first half (July 2017-Dec 2017) of the last fiscal year was 27.02 percent with an overall expenditure of Tk 44,331 crore.
The minister said the ADP implementation rate could have been higher than 27.45 percent in the first half of the 2018-19 fiscal year unless there was no bar to fund release during the last general election held on December 30.
According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) data, the food inflation declined to 5.28 percent in December 2018 from 5.29 percent in November 2018.
The non-food inflation rate also decreased slightly to 5.45 percent in December 2018, which was 5.49 percent in November 2018.