French Ambassador to Dhaka Jean-Marin Schuh has said Bangladesh and France have a bright future together despite the difficult times they are going through right now.
"More than common interests, we also share a common vision, especially regarding climate change, and we will work every day to strengthen our strategic partnerships in this changing world," the Ambassador said Monday.
In a message on the occasion of the French National Day, which will be celebrated on Tuesday, Ambassador Schuh said they, unfortunately, may never go back to “normal”, to their way of life as it was before COVID-19.
"But this unprecedented disruption can also be seen as an opportunity to emerge stronger from the crisis," he said adding that during the darkest times, they have learned that the actions of every individual are important.
In France, in Bangladesh and everywhere in the world, the social value of the medical staff has been made clear to all, said the Ambassador.
The importance of those carrying out essential roles, who selflessly continued their day-to-day duties to allow two countries to survive the crisis has to be reminded everyday, he said.
There are certain goods and services that must be placed outside the laws of the market, said the envoy.
Ambassador Schuh said the coming months and years will require decisions to be taken, and the governments will have to put healthcare and social protection at the centre of their policies to avoid another disaster.
"In such a context, the need for international collaboration is increasing, as no country can tackle this crisis alone," he said.
Ambassador Schuh said they cannot overcome such difficulties on their own, and it is by standing together that they will meet successfully this huge challenge.
He said the two countries have developed excellent relations since the early days of the fight for Independence led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971.
André Malraux, who fought for freedom during the civil war in Spain, lent him a strong support and now stands as a symbol of our friendship.
"Sustainable development is at the heart of our cooperation and the French Development Agency has been a strong pillar since the beginning," said Ambassador Schuh.
As Bangladesh is facing the dramatic socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, a concessional loan of 150-million euro will be provided to help the country, he said.
The Ambassador also mentioned successful cooperation regarding defense and security. "The visit of Florence Parly in March, our Ministry of Armed Forces, reaffirms our two countries mutual commitment to work side by side to strengthen the stability and the security of the region."
The Ambassador said they commemorate the storming of the Bastille in Paris on the 14th of July 1789.
"More than our National Day, we celebrate the universal values that come from the French revolution and that are at the core of who we are. Just as France, Bangladesh is a country where the word Freedom has a deep resonance, and I want us to remember that our friendship is also anchored in our existence as free Nations," he said.
On 14th of July, they celebrate their national day as it is their tradition, but in a nontraditional way.
"We are not hosting celebrations as we used to. All around the world, for the past four months, our countries have experienced major changes due the current pandemic," said the Ambassador.
He said all of them have been impacted, on different levels. "Some have to deal with grief, many have to deal with job loss, and all of us are longing for the day we will not have to worry anymore about our loved ones’ safety."
The government has appointed Major General Md Ashikuzzaman as Bangladesh’s new Ambassador to Kuwait.
Ashikuzzaman was commissioned in Bangladesh Army in 1988, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.
During his career in military, Ashikuzzaman has been serving in Instructional, Staff and Command appointments at various levels.
He also served in three UN Peace Support Missions in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and D R Congo.
Right before his appointment as the Ambassador, he was serving as Senior Directing Staff (Army) in National Defence College, Bangladesh.
He obtained his Masters of Defence Studies and Masters of Strategic Studies from National University, Bangladesh.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Save the Children International (SCI) on Sunday.
Krishibid Md Abdul Muyeed, director general of the DAE, and Onno van Manen, Country Director of SCI, inked the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.
The DAE DG expressed his satisfaction over the activities and progress of the Suchana programme.
SCI Country Director Onno van Manen extended his sincere thanks for the worthy support from DAE.
Among others, Interim Deputy Country Director of SCI Shamim Jahan spoke on the occasion. He said Save the Children has been working in Bangladesh for the last 50 years for the overall development in Health, Education, Nutrition, Child Rights, Protection as a key catalytic partner of the government of Bangladesh.
Atiar Rahman, Adviser of GoB relations of Suchana programme, explained the background of MoU between DAE and Suchana.
The programme was chaired by Md Shahabuddin, Director (Planning) of the DAE.
Vikram Doraiswami, Additional Secretary in charge of International Organisations and Summits at the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is likely to be the next Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, reports Hindustan Times.
However, there has been no official announcement yet.
Vikram Doraiswami, the Additional Secretary in charge of International Organisations and Summits at the MEA, is a 1992 batch officer.
If finalised, Doraiswami will replace Riva Ganguly Das, the 1986 batch IFS officer, who is likely to take over as Secretary East at the MEA when the incumbent Vijai Thakur Singh retires in September, according to the report.
The current Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das arrived here on March 1, 2019 to take up her assignment.
A total of 21 Bangladeshi Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), who work on migration and development, expressed deep concern over harassment of journalists and migrants’ by Malaysian government following a documentary broadcast by Al Jazeera on mistreatment of migrant workers in Malaysia.
“Summoning the journalists and the reported manhunt for the Bangladeshi migrant worker interviewed by Al Jazeera for the documentary, is a blatant attempt to muzzle the freedom of press and human rights abuse by the Malaysian authorities,” said a joint statement by 21 CSOs.
The CSOs called on the Malaysian government not to harass journalists and expatriates, and instead investigate and take action against those who have been treating the migrants unjustly.
They also urged the Bangladesh High Commission of Malaysia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE) in Dhaka and international organizations to take necessary actions in this regard.
The investigative documentary titled ‘Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown’ was broadcasted on July 3 2020 as part of Al Jazeera’s “101 East” documentary strand.
It shows that the Malaysian government is discriminating against migrants during the epidemic through the Movement Control Order (MCO).
The CSOs noted with deep concern that six media workers of Al Jazeera were called to Malaysia Central Police Headquarters on July 10 for questioning.
They are also being investigated for alleged defamation and sedition by Malaysian police, said the statement by CSOs.
The Immigration Department of Malaysia has issued a search warrant for the young Bangladeshi migrant Raihan Kabir (25) who were interviewed in the documentary.
The CSOs said "We want to make it clear that giving an interview to the media is not a crime and Raihan Kabir did not commit any crime."
"He is staying there legally, although the Malaysian authority has launched a manhunt as if he is a big criminal. We've learned that several Bangladeshis are also being harassed during this unethical manhunt" they added.
The CSOs statement also said that "We're concerned about the safety of this young Bangladeshi migrant."
The Bangladeshi CSOs thanked human rights organizations in Malaysia who stood by the expatriates and urged the lawyers, journalists and human rights activists there to keep an eye on the issue.
They also called on the Malaysian government and law enforcement agencies to investigate the harassment of the expatriate workers in Malaysia which has been shown in the Report.
CSOs urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment and the Bangladesh High Commission of Malaysia to take appropriate measures to protect the rights and dignity of expatriates including the security Raihan Kabir and other Bangladeshi migrants.
The joint statement was made by Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), WARBE Development Foundation, Brac, Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP), Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendro (BNSK), IID Migration Policy Unit, Human Rights Support Society (HRSS), Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA), BASUG, INAFI Bangladesh, Karmojibi Nari, Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS), Devcom, IMA, Awaj Foundation, Rights Jessore, BILS, Bastob, Film for Peace Foundation, and Migration News.