Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) - Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali on Monday said the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India reached the best-ever one with the current focus being on key areas – trade, investment, connectivity and energy.
He credited the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the relations between the two countries to a new height.
Muazzem Ali was delivering a key note address on “India-Bangladesh relations” at Sikkim University in Gangtok to the students, faculties and officials of the prestigious institution.
Highlighting Bangladesh’s outstanding socioeconomic success under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said Bangladesh today is one of the fastest growing economies of the world with a record 7.86 percent GDP growth last year, and 8.13 percent so far in this fiscal year.
He said India too is fast emerging as a global economic power with strong growth coupled with scientific and technological achievements.
The envoy stressed all-round economic cooperation between the two countries, saying that the successes of both the neighbours offer each other opportunities to further deepen their economic relations.
“It has gone beyond the strategic partnership level and now encompasses all aspects of our bilateral cooperation. We’re confident that the reelections of both the Prime Ministers with landslide victories in their national elections will enable us to further consolidate and expand the ever-increasing bilateral ties, based on shared vision and mutuality of interest,” said the High Commissioner.
He mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to visit New Delhi in the first week of next month from October 3-7. “We hope the visit would further strengthen our cooperation.”
Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) – The United States has said it will continue partnership with the government of Bangladesh and its international organisation and non-governmental organisation partners to address the Rohingya crisis in ways that uphold humanitarian principles while benefiting all people in Cox’s Bazar.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller visited Cox’s Bazar on September 13-15 and during his trip, he met organisations providing assistance to Rohingyas and communities hosting the Rohingyas.
The United States is the world’s leading contributor of humanitarian assistance in response to the Rohingya crisis, having provided nearly $542 million (TK4,552.8 crore) since the outbreak of violence in August 2017; and, is committed to continuing to help those affected by the crisis, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Monday.
US assistance supports Bangladeshi communities in Cox’s Bazar and the assistance helps improve the lives of Bangladeshis in host communities by expanding access to healthcare and enhancing economic and education opportunities, it said.
US assistance also supports humanitarian organisations and the government of Bangladesh in improving preparedness, infrastructure, and shelter for monsoon and cyclone seasons, the Embassy added.
This funding is in addition to the more than $7 billion (TK58,800 crore) in US development assistance provided to Bangladesh since 1971.
In 2018 alone, the US government, through USAID, for example, provided over $219 million (TK1,839.6 crore) to improve the lives of people across Bangladesh through programmes that increase food security and economic opportunity, improve access to education and healthcare, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and boost resiliency to climate change.
The United States said it recognises the challenges the Rohingya crisis has posed for local communities and the government of Bangladesh.
The generosity of the people and government of Bangladesh in opening their hearts and borders to vulnerable Rohingyas is an example to the world, said the US Embassy.
Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) - UN human rights experts on Monday urged the Bangladesh government to carry out an “independent, impartial and effective investigation” into all the deaths that have occurred in Rohingya camps.
“The search for justice for the young Bangladeshi man killed on August 22 is of the utmost importance, but it’s equally necessary to ensure that the presumption of innocence is upheld and that reactionary, summary and ad hoc justice is not doled out solely to placate the legitimate concerns of the host community,” said a joint media release issued by the experts from Geneva.
The UN experts are Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association; Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Felipe González Morales, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants; Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on minority issues; David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
They said tensions flared between local communities and refugees following a “failed refugee repatriation attempt” and the murder of a young Bangladeshi man on August 22.
They said Bangladeshi police subsequently killed four Rohingya men and arrested at least one in response to the killing.
The UN experts expressed “serious concerns” about tight new restrictions and an “increased military presence” at Rohingya refugee camps following a massive “Genocide Day” protest last month.
An estimated 200,000 refugees gathered for the so-called “Genocide Day” rally in Cox’s Bazar to mark the second anniversary of their exodus from Myanmar. They called for Myanmar citizenship rights and other guarantees before they agree to return.
Since the demonstration in Cox’s Bazar on August 25, a number of the protest organisers have been questioned and subjected to intimidation, the experts said. A curfew is now being strictly enforced on those in the camps, and mobile phones have been banned and confiscated.
A number of NGOs have also been banned or suspended, allegedly for helping to organise the protest and attempting to persuade refugees not to return to Myanmar.
“We’re alarmed by the sudden crackdown on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and are seriously concerned, not only that these restrictions have been applied in a discriminatory manner against members of the Rohingya minority, who are refugees in Bangladesh, but also that curfews and communications shutdowns could facilitate further serious human rights abuses against them,” the release added.
Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) - The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) on Monday distributed food items among Rohingya families living in makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar district.
An ERC delegation, led by Saeed ALkhemeiri, supervised the distribution of the aids among Rohingyas and visit their humanitarian conditions.
The move is in line with the UAE leadership's directive and with the monitoring of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the ERC and in association with UAE Embassy, Dhaka.
The Emirates Red Crescent has been distributing aids to Rohingya since the beginning of the Rohingya influx into Bangladesh, said the UAE Embassy in Dhaka.
Earlier, the ERC collected more than US$ 18 million fund in a weeklong campaign to support the forcefully displaced Rohingya people sheltered in Bangladesh.
The nationwide campaign carried out last week of May amassed the fund from various platforms, including social media and thousands of individuals and charities.
The UAE is among the first countries to respond to the Rohingya crisis, especially in response to the needs of women and children, by launching the 'UAE for Rohingya Women and Children' campaign, said the Embassy.
It provides assistance in the areas of education, food, health services, water, sanitation and shelter.
The Embassy said the UAE always responds to the needs of refugees around the world and aims to ease their suffering.
Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) - Bangladesh and Sweden on Monday agreed to work together to upgrade their cooperation to a ‘broader relationship’ in the coming days.
The two sides discussed the ways and means extensively to achieve the goal as the Foreign Offices of the two countries held the first round of Political Consultations at State House Padma here.
Ambassador Kamrul Ahsan, Secretary (Bilateral & Consular), led the Bangladesh side in the consultations while Swedish side was headed by Ambassador Cecilia Ruthstrom-Ruin, Head of the Department for Asia and the Pacific in Swedish Foreign Office.
Rogingya issue was discussed with due importance as the Bangladesh side appreciated Sweden’s strong political and humanitarian support for the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.
The Swedish side expressed deepest appreciation for Bangladesh’s generous hosting of the displaced Rohingyas fleeing atrocities in Myanmar.
They also vowed to remain seized in terms of humanitarian and political support, including the issue of accountability on the part of Myanmar.
The foreign ministers of the two countries signed an MoU in Stockholm in September 2016 for holding regular consultations between the two Foreign Offices.
The first round of consultations covered a wide range of bilateral and regional and international issues of mutual interest, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
Bilateral trade and investment figured prominently in the discussion in view of Bangladesh’s scheduled graduation from LDCs in 2024 and Sweden’s genuine interest in having robust economic relations with Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh side recalled Sweden’s support, particularly the then Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme’a strong voice of support for our Independence in 1971 under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and subsequently Sweden’s development assistance for the reconstruction of the war-ravaged economy.
The Swedish side appreciated Bangladesh’s tremendous socio-economic development over the past one decade under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and outlined Sweden’s future strategy of development cooperation with Bangladesh.
Among other issues, Sweden’s global deal initiative, SDGs implementation, climate change, good governance and human rights, migration including Global Compact for Migration (GCM), peacekeeping and peace building, countering terrorism and violent extremism, regional issues of mutual interest and UN reform formed the discussion.
The next round of consultations will take place in Stockholm at a mutually convenient date.