Dhaka, Nov 15 (UNB) - Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Winnie Estrup Petersen on Thursday said Denmark stands by Bangladesh in its quest to prepare itself for a smooth graduation taking into account the many challenges associated with the new status.
Ambassador Winnie said Bangladesh will lose benefits in terms of low interest financing and free access to the European Union (EU) market with the graduation (to a middle income country).
The diplomat said they believe that the labour market will play an important role in the continued development of Bangladesh, both in terms of growth and investments and also in terms of ensuring stability, democracy, and poverty reduction.’
The Danish Ambassador made the remarks while launching the phase two of Denmark’s strategic sector cooperation in a city hotel.
The phase two of Denmark’s strategic sector cooperation in Bangladesh was launched focusing on occupational health and safety in industries.
Denmark’s development strategy in Bangladesh has a special focus on labour markets and health and safety in the workplace.
Denmark’s focus in this area is supported by Danish Ministry of Employment and facilitated by the Embassy of Denmark in Bangladesh which is working with Bangladesh’s Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Department of Inspection of Factories and Enterprises through a project called ‘Improving the Health and Safety (OSH) of Workers in Bangladesh through the Strengthening of Labour Authorities’.
The phase 1 (2016-2018) of the project consisted of capacity development of the inspectors in Bangladesh’s Department for Inspection of Factories and Enterprises.
Phase two (2018-2021) of the project will continue capacity building and further enable DIFE and the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MOLE) to implement the solutions and knowledge acquired during phase one, said the Danish Embassy in Dhaka.
Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and Employment Afroza Khan said Bangladesh is committed to promote OSH culture in the workplace.
In line with this various legal and administrative measures have taken place during the last few years, she said.
National OSH council is established for ensuring safety.
The Government started ‘OSH Good Practices Award’ from 2018 and is going to establish an OSH academy under a self-funded project costing tk 1650 million.
In the first phase of the project supported by Denmark 143 labor inspectors were trained on construction safety, ergonomics safety, machinery safety, chemical safety and accident prevention.
The second phase will strengthen the ongoing initiatives in order to deliver better inspection services.’
Inspector General in DIFE Mohammed Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan and Director of International Affairs at the Danish Ministry of Employment Ida Hannibal also spoke at the event.
Dhaka, Nov 15 (UNB) - Canada has urged the government of Myanmar to guarantee the necessary safeguards for and protection of any returning Rohingya saying repatriation must not be rushed.
Canada has also underscored the vital role of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to determine the voluntariness of possible returns of Rohingyas and ensure this is based on informed consent.
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau made the call in a joint statement as repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar is scheduled to begin on Thursday (today).
They said Canada is "deeply concerned" about the proposed repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar this month.
UN bodies and international organizations have been clear that conditions for the Rohingya to return to Myanmar are clearly insufficient, they said.
"The crisis continues. Violence and impunity persist in Rakhine state, and refugees continue to flee the country. The Rohingya must not be repatriated to an environment where violence and gross human rights abuses continue to be perpetrated," reads the statement issued on Wednesday.
They said Canada has consistently emphasized that the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar must be voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable and that it must uphold their human rights.
The Ministers said ensuring safe freedom of movement, equal rights, access to health and education services and, most importantly, access to citizenship is essential for all Rohingya.
“We continue to call on the Government of Myanmar to grant full and unimpeded access for UN and international organizations, as well as for international observers, to monitor, assess and facilitate any future repatriation efforts," the statement reads.
Cox’s Bazar, Nov 14 (UNB) – Bangladesh and Myanmar have completed all necessary preparations to repatriate some 150 Rohingyas on Thursday, but the repatriation looks complex and uncertain amid call from the UN to halt it.
The final decision will be taken based on the report of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the situation in Rakhine state of Myanmar.
“The final decision will be known after receiving the UNHCR report. We’re waiting for the report,” said Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) Mohammad Abul Kalam on Wednesday.
While speaking at a press conference at his office in the afternoon, he said the repatriation process was scheduled to begin through Keruntali Ghat of Teknaf crossing the Naf River but later the decision was changed.
According to the fresh decision, 30 Rohingya families are scheduled to return to Myanmar crossing the Ghumdhum point of Naikkhongchhari in Bandarban on Thursday noon, Kalam said.
Earlier, Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin the first batch of repatriation on November 15 with 150 individuals each day until November 30 and a list of 2,260 Rohingyas, including 450 Hindus of 485 families, has been handed over to the Myanmar side.
Diplomatic sources said a total of 450 Hindus are willing to go back and 66 of them have valid documents who do not need any further verification.
Bangladesh also has handed over a new list of 22,432 Rohingyas to Myanmar side during the last joint working group meeting between the two countries.
"The list of 22,432 has not yet verified," an official said adding that both sides want to complete the return of 2,260 Rohingyas if they are willing to go back.
In the latest statement, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi said his agency supports the voluntary and sustainable repatriation of Rohingya refugees in safety and in dignity to their places of origin or choice, and will work with all the parties towards this goal.
The High Commissioner said before making a choice of whether to return or not, the Rohingyas verified by Myanmar as having the right to return should be allowed to visit their places of origin in Rakhine State, or other places to which they might choose to return, so that they themselves can make an independent assessment of whether they feel they can return there in safety and dignity.
He emphasised that the responsibility to improve those conditions rests with Myanmar.
Although UNHCR does not believe the current conditions in Rakhine State are conducive to the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees from Bangladesh, the agency said it remains committed to supporting the government of Myanmar’s efforts to create such conditions, under the terms of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
UNHCR also said it remains deeply grateful to the government of Bangladesh as it continues to generously host Rohingya refugees until they can voluntarily return to Myanmar in safety and dignity.
Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the government of Myanmar to show its seriousness in creating the conditions for return by addressing the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine state, in particular the systematic discrimination against and persecution of Rohingya.
Bachelet also urged the government of Bangladesh to halt plans for the repatriation of more than 2,200 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, warning that the returns would be in violation of international law and put their lives and freedom at serious risk.
The High Commissioner appealed to the Government of Bangladesh to ensure scrupulously that any repatriation takes place in line with international standards of voluntariness, safety and dignity, with full transparency, and only when the conditions are right.
Dhaka, Nov 14 (UNB) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appreciated Summit Group Chairman Muhammed Aziz Khan for his effort to bring LNG, a source of clean energy, that will decarbonise power generation in Bangladesh.
Trudeau also praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a great leader of Bangladesh, developing countries and women, according to a press release issued by the Canadian Embassy in Singapore on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister said this while attending a reception hosted by Canadian High Commissioner to Singapore Nancy Lynn McDonald at her residence on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Singapore to attend the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
The Minister of International Trade Diversification of Canada Jim Carr was also present among other dignitaries, it said.
Islamic University, Nov 13 (UNB) - The authorities of Islamic University (IU) in Kushita on Tuesday introduced five new faculties on the campus.
The five new faculties were Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Technology and the Faculty of Biological Science.
According to the organogram of the university, a total of three departments are under the Faculty of Arts while five departments under Faculty of Social Sciences, two departments under Faculty of Sciences, five departments under Faculty of Engineering and Technology and three departments under faculty of Biological Sciences, said IU Vice-Chancellor Professor M Harun-Ur-Rashid Askari.