Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) – Japan has reiterated its continued support for the safe and voluntary return and resettlement of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine state of Myanmar.
Japan also highly commended Bangladesh’s humanitarian support to the displaced Myanmar nationals.
The issue came up for discussions at the second Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) between Bangladesh and Japan held in Tokyo on Monday. The first FOC was held in Dhaka on February 2015.
Japan will further promote the Japan-Bangladesh comprehensive partnership and continue to fully support Bangladesh's development on all fronts so that the country can attain the status of a middle-income country by 2021, said Senior Deputy Minister of at Japanese Foreign Ministry Kazuyuki Yamazaki.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque is leading a 10-member delegation to Japan for the Foreign Secretary level dialogue.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Rabab Fatima, and representatives from other ministries were also present during the discussion, according to the Foreign Ministry here.
The FOC reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and took stock of the implementation status of decisions taken in the past at different levels of the two governments.
Consensus was reached to strengthen economic and commercial relations, and to explore new areas of cooperation.
The Foreign Secretary expressed hope that Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (Big-B) Initiative will accelerate cooperation for the development of quality infrastructure and the investment environment in Bangladesh and will strengthen regional connectivity.
He urged Japan’s support to set up skills and Japanese language training center in Bangladesh to train potential Bangladeshi workers for recruitment in highly skilled and less skilled sectors under Japan’s newly adopted immigration law.
Foreign Secretary Haque requested Japan to foster greater friendship and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
Defining Bangladesh’s plan to develop inclusive and people-centric blue economy, he called for Japanese assistance and collaboration in deep sea fishing and ocean resource mapping.
On the sidelines of the FOC, Foreign Secretary Haque paid a courtesy call on State Minister of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Ichiro Tsukada at his office and discussed issues of mutual interest.
Tsukada is also Secretary General of Bangladesh-Japan Parliamentary Friendship (JBPFL) which works to enhance and strengthen cooperation between parliamentarians of the two countries.
Haque also met Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobukatsu Kanehara at Prime Minister’s Office and discussed bilateral, regional and strategic issues.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) - Rohingya organisations across the world on Monday called for accountability for genocide and crimes against humanity in Myanmar and urged the US government to take urgent actions.
“We urge the US government to urgently act to hold Myanmar military official’s accountable for genocide,” said a statement jointly issued by the Rohingya groups.
The US government has referred to what happened to Rohingya people as "ethnic cleansing,” which is partially accurate, they said.
However, they claimed, the US should make a clear legal determination of the facts which amount to the crime of genocide. “The Myanmar military and authorities made systematic preparations to commit mass atrocity crimes against our Rohingya community - with the intent to destroy us.“
“We’re deeply concerned by international inaction, including from the US government. We urge the US government to make a clear genocide determination and to pursue other policies and responses,” the statement said.
The Rohingya groups also called on the Donald Trump administration and all the people of conscience within the US government to make sure the United Nations Security Council impose an arms embargo on Myanmar and refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICC should investigate and prosecute the Myanmar military’s crimes against Rohingya people as well as the Kachin, Shan, and others, said the statement.
United States House passed a resolution 1091 stating that atrocities against the Rohingya as crimes against humanity and genocide, according to the statement.
The resolution is calling for “all those responsible for these crimes against humanity and genocide should be tracked, sanctioned, arrested, prosecuted, and punished under applicable international criminal statutes and conventions.”
On December 3, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum came to the conclusion that there is compelling evidence that the Myanmar military committed crimes against humanity and genocide against the Rohingya of Rakhine State.
On the same day, the international law firm Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) hired by the United States State Department to investigate the august 25, 2017 military “clearance operations” on the Rohingya in Myanmar, said it found the evidence of genocide based on interviews with over 1,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, according to the joint statement.
The signatories to the statement are Arakan Rohingya Development Association – Australia (ARDA), Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO), British Rohingya Community in UK, Burmese Rohingya Association in Queensland-Australia (BRAQA), Burmese Rohingya Association Japan (BRAJ), Burmese Rohingya Community Australia (BRCA), Burmese Rohingya Community in Denmark, Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK), Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organisation, Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative, Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation in Malaysia (MERHROM), Rohingya Advocacy Network in Japan, Rohingya American Society, Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee, Rohingya Association of Canada, Rohingya Community in Finland, Rohingya Community in Germany, Rohingya Community in Sweden, Rohingya Community in Switzerland, Rohingya Organisation Norway, Rohingya Society Malaysia (RSM), Rohingya Society Netherlands and Rohingya Women Development Network (RDWN).
Many of the organisations have documented how Myanmar authorities are responsible for human rights violations in Rakhine State including killings, rape, destruction of property, and burning of villages.
The government of Myanmar denies Rohingya citizenship and the very existence of their ethnicity, the statement adds.
On September 24, the US State Department released its report documenting mass human rights violations against our Rohingya people. The report shows that the campaign was "well-planned and coordinated."
The report, however, makes no determination that the violence amounts to genocide or crimes against humanity.
On September 18, the UN independent international Fact-Finding-Mission on the situation in Myanmar released its final report concluding that Myanmar’s top military generals should be prosecuted for genocide against Rohingya in Rakhine State as well as for crimes against humanity.
In July, human rights group Fortify Rights published an extensive report exposing how the Myanmar authorities made “extensive and systematic preparations” for attacks against Rohingya civilians during the weeks and months before Rohingya militants attacked police on August 25, 2017.
Dhaka, Dec 17 (UNB) - Newly appointed Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh Hendrikus GJ Harry on Monday stressed the need for continued international pressure on Myanmar to take back their nationals living in Bangladesh.
He made the remark when he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban.
PM's press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
The Netherlands envoy highly appraised the economic development of Bangladesh and mentioned that he will work to strengthen the relations between the two countries further.
"Bangladesh has immense opportunity to develop further in agricultural sector," Harry said.
He mentioned that the Netherlands is helping Bangladesh materialise the Delta Plan 2100 saying both the countries have a common long-term Delta Plan.
Harry handed over a letter of Queen Maxima to the Prime Minister.
Welcoming the newly appointed envoy in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina recalled the support of the Netherlands during the Liberation War of the country.
She deeply appreciated its support in formulation of the Delta Plan 2100 and sought further assistance for its implementation.
The Prime Minister also sought Dutch support in water management and preventing river erosion.
She said the government is establishing 100 special economic zones across the country and invited foreign investment in those.
Talking about agricultural sector, the Prime Minister stressed the need for expanding the agriculture market to create more opportunities to sell argo-based commodities.
About the repatriation of Rohingyas, the Prime Minister said, China and India are building houses in Rakhaine for the Rohingya people, while Japan also expressed desire to extend cooperation in this regard.
Dhaka, Dec 16 (UNB): Non-profit OSTITTO Foundation, working with underprivileged children in Bangladesh, wants to take a leading role in social development activities globally, its founder Sajid Islam says.
He shared his aspirations at the International Volunteer Forum-2018, organised by Future Team in Moscow in the first week of December. Russian President Vladimir Putin was chief guest at the programme.
Around 15,000 social activists, including participants from 150 countries, took part in the event marking the International Volunteer Days.
“I represented Bangladesh ... My speech in Moscow focused on how our country was doing well economically and socially. We have a lot of social volunteer platforms thanks to the people who are always willing to help,” Sajid told UNB.
Sajid is currently a final year fashion design student at Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology in Dhaka.
He has been involved with social activates since childhood. He started working with Jaago Foundation and later decided to set up OSTITTO to work with the underprivileged children.
“We are providing them free education. We have also been donating blood since 2014,” he said, adding that he planned to organise workshops for students suffering from depression.
“My goal,” he said, “is to sacrifice my life for the development of the society.”
Dhaka, Dec 16 (UNB) - Bangladesh missions abroad on Sunday celebrated the 48th Victory Day paying homage to the 1971 Liberation War martyrs and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Bangladesh was born as an independent country on December 16 in 1971 after the Pakistani occupation forces surrendered after a nine-month bloody war. The new nation emerged through the sacrifice of three million freedom-loving Bangalees and the honour of 200,000 women.
The missions celebrated the day with elaborate programmes, including hoisting of the national flag, discussion meetings and cultural functions.
Special prayers were offered seeking divine blessings for the martyrs of the Liberation War, Bangabandhu and his family members killed along with him on the tragic night of August 15, 1975.
Messages from President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and State Minister for Foreign Affairs M ShahriarAlam were read out by heads and officials of the missions, according to messages received here.
Discussants fondly remembered the supreme sacrifices the freedom fighters had made at the call of Bangabandhu against the brutal Pakistani soldiers who carried out one of the history's worst genocides, killing three million unarmed civilians.
Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi gratefully recalled the support India had extended during Bangladesh’s struggle for freedom and the supreme sacrifices made by Indian soldiers who fought alongside the freedom fighters.
India had also sheltered an estimated 10 million Bangalees who were forced to seek refuge in the neighbouring country.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali attended the Victory Day programme in Kolkata, according to Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
The High Commission will organise a cultural evening on Monday marking the Victory Day.
Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad and Deputy High Commission in Karachi also celebrated the day with great enthusiasm and festivity.
A daylong programme was held on the Chancery premises with the participation of the expatriate Bangladesh community in Islamabad and the officers and staff members of the High Commission.
The Chancery Building and premises were nicely adorned with miniature Bangladesh national flag, pictures of the Birsreshtho, Victory Day posters and other decorative items, according to Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad.
High Commissioner Tarik Ahsan paid rich tributes to the memories of Bangabandhu at whose call, inspiration and moral leadership people from all walks of life joined the War of Liberation.
He termed the victory as the victory of moral force against military aggression, of justice against injustice and of human values against feudal mentality.
A video documentary on the Liberation War and the glorious victory was screened and a cultural segment, participated by the officials of the High Commission, Bangladeshi children and expatriate Bangladeshis living in Islamabad, was organised.
The Bangladesh missions in Tokyo, Seoul, Yangon, Hanoi, Riyadh and Bangladesh High Commission in Singapore also celebrated the day with due fervour and festivity.
Bangladesh High Commissioner in Singapore Md Mustafizur Rahman highlighted, with deep reverence and gratitude, the great contribution of the Father of the Nation to lead and inspire the Bangalees to fight against the Pakistani juntas and local collaborators that ultimately resulted in the victory on December 16, 1971 following a bloodshed war of nine months.
Bangladesh Ambassador in Seoul Abida Islam urged the expatriate Bangladeshis to maintain the current achievement by discharging their duties and responsibilities towards motherland.
Meanwhile, heads of foreign missions stationed in Dhaka also joined the Victory Day celebrations in the city.
“Celebrating Bangladesh Victory Day wearing the national colours, with British High Commissioner Alison Blake,” European Union (EU) Ambassador in Dhaka RensjeTeerink said sharing a photo on her Facebook page on Sunday afternoon.
British High Commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake also conveyed greetings and best wishes to everyone on the Victory Day.
She attended different events commemorating Bangladesh's Victory Day on behalf of the British High Commission, Dhaka.