Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday joined the opening ceremony of the Dubai Airshow 2019, one of the largest aviation exhibitions in the world, and enjoyed a flying display.
The five-day airshow that began today will continue till November 21 at Dubai World Central (DWC) with the participation of some 1,300 companies from 160 countries.
Sheikh Hasina joined the opening ceremony of the 16th biennial aviation show at the invitation of Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
On her arrival at the venue, the Bangladesh Prime Minister was received by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, also the UAE Defence Minister.
The Prime Minister also enjoyed the flying display there at 2pm (local time).
Later, she attended dinner hosted by Bangladesh Ambassador to the UAE in her honour at 7:30 pm.
Sheikh Hasina arrived here on Saturday night on a four-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
During the five-day airshow, aircraft will take to the skies over Dubai from 2pm to 5pm every day at Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport, also known as Dubai World Central, at 10am.
More than 160 official delegations and 1,300 governmental and private companies from Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa are participating in the event that has become one of the top three airshows in the world.
The Dubai Air Show, which was launched in 1989, has turned as a global platform for the aviation industry to sell its new wares, as the public and private sectors meet to discuss new technologies, opportunities, and hurdles facing the industry.
In 2017, the last aviation exhibition drew 79,380 trade visitors from around the world, which featured 1,200 exhibitors from 63 countries and an order book in excess of $113.8 billion.
Leader of Portsmouth City Council, UK Gerald Vernon-Jackson CBE has said Bangladesh is an exciting country offering opportunity and endless potential, with strong diaspora ties with Portsmouth City.
Gerald is leading a delegation - ‘Portsmouth City Council Trade, Investment and Education Mission’ that started its eight-day visit to Bangladesh on Friday, according to British High Commission in Dhaka.
He termed Bangladesh a “fast growing Tiger economy” and said they have brought some of the best businesses from Portsmouth and beyond.
“We’re keen to show what Portsmouth has to offer Bangladesh and its businesses and the great opportunities that await you when you visit our - Great Waterfront City,” Gerald said in a message on their visit.
He said there will be many fantastic opportunities to share good practices, transfer knowledge and learning within further and higher education, and in research and development facilities with leading institutions and one of the best Universities in the country.
Gerald said all the visiting delegates will take advantage of this excellent networking opportunity and engagement during their visit to the “beautiful country” of Bangladesh.
To undertake business in a new market, there is a need for having entrepreneurial fair, positivity, endurance and patience.
On behalf of Portsmouth City, Gerald thanked all the government agencies, chambers and institutions in Bangladesh for their support in this initiative for the advancement of the two great nations.
The University of Portsmouth supports the ‘trade mission’ to Sylhet and the ambitions to strengthen the economic, education and societal links between our two cities.
The Portsmouth Bangladesh Business Association (PBBA) aims to be the principal bilateral business association committed to the promotion of businesses, industries, cultural and economic activities between the great waterfront city of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom and Bangladesh.
“We’re in a unique and enviable position of being able to facilitate synergy and co-operation between businesses in Portsmouth and Bangladesh,” Raja Ali, Chair of the PBBA said.
He said international trade comes with great rewards and there are numerous challenges that need to be overcome.
“We all need someone to support, guide and believe in our products in order to enter, develop and grow in a new market, this is where the PBBA can help. Our directors and members have a wealth of knowledge and skills at your disposal, which no doubt, will be invaluable,” said Raja Ali.
Like Myanmar, its friends will also feel the “pressure” amid significant development on “legal front” that Bangladesh needs to utilise prudently to keep up the growing global pressure on Myanmar until a solution to Rohingya crisis is found, say foreign affairs analysts.
One of the experts says the pressure is not only building on Myanmar rather it is a pressure for Myanmar’s friends too who kept mum as questions are around why other countries cannot do the same like Gambia and Argentina.
“The pressure on Myanmar should be there until there’s a solution. I think it’ll not be wise for us to give up until a solution is found. I think we shouldn’t stop here,” Prof Imtiaz Ahmed of Dhaka University’s (DU) International Relations department told UNB.
He said there should be negotiations with other countries citing example of Gambia and Argentina, and it will be easier for the government (of Bangladesh) to talk about the issue.
Prof Imtiaz said there are already questions around why the European Union (EU), Canada, France or other countries cannot do the same on the legal front as they talk much about human rights.
No Immediate Dramatic Change
“There’ll be no immediate dramatic changes in the situation on the ground despite last few days’ progress on legal fronts, but it’ll definitely create further pressure on Myanmar,” Distinguished Professor, Department of Politics and Government at Illinois State University, USA told UNB.
However, he said, in the past whenever Myanmar faced the likelihood of renewed international pressure, its friends - China, Russia and India - encouraged Bangladesh to pursue a bilateral solution to the Rohingya crisis. “This is a kind of diplomatic game.”
Prof Riaz said it is absolutely necessary for Bangladesh to take necessary steps and extend clear support to the legal measures that are being taken internationally.
“It’ll go in favour of Myanmar if Bangladesh hesitates to take steps to that end fearing discord with India and China,” he mentioned.
Prof Imtiaz, however, said there are some changes in that front as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently directly conveyed to Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi to resolve the crisis.
Prime Minister Modi, during his meeting with Suu Kyi on the sidelines of the ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok, conveyed the importance of speedy, safe, and sustainable” return of Rohingyas to their homes in Rakhine in the interest of the people, and regions of the three countries -- India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
Recently, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also had a meeting with State Counsellor Suu Kyi and urged Myanmar authorities to create an environment “conducive” to the repatriation of Rohingyas to their place of origin.
“So, this (position of India and Japan) wasn’t there two years ago. We had waited for two years to solve it bilaterally,” Prof Imtiaz said adding that it is not two months that Myanmar’s friends could ask Bangladesh for a bilateral solution.”
The DU professor said policymakers in Bangladesh need to talk carefully and in a more guarded way as internationalisation of the Rohingya issue is growing. “It’ll not be so easy for Myanmar to escape.”
He said one thing is clear that the issue reaches the international level right now and this no longer remains an issue of Bangladesh and Myanmar as it is clearly understood that Myanmar is not serious about bilateral mechanism.
“So, obviously there’ll be pressure on Myanmar,” he said citing example of Argentina and Gambia which other countries might follow.
Prof Imtiaz said if they look at Argentina case, it is clear that there is no question Suu Kyi will visit there.
He also said Gambia filed the case on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and it will be difficult for Myanmar to go to the OIC countries.
On the other hand, Myanmar on Friday claimed an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) is "not in accordance with international law".
About Myanmar’s reaction over ICC investigation, Prof Riaz said Myanmar’s reaction is not surprising and it is trying to deflect the pressure by questioning the legality of it.
“But there’s little doubt that the crimes committed by Myanmar falls within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” he said.
The global affairs analyst said preliminary examination of the ICC’s Prosecutor’s office found “a reasonable basis” for the allegations of crimes committed by Myanmar and pre-trial Judges accepted that ‘there exists a reasonable basis to believe’ of widespread and systematic acts of violence.
“Myanmar can’t hide behind this so-called jurisdiction argument,” said Prof Riaz.
Govt Remains Supportive
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said as victim of the world’s horrific genocide, Bangladesh from the very beginning of its statehood, always has been supporting the oppressed and violated people around the globe.
“The Rohingya crisis was created by Myanmar and indeed it has been a problem of long decades in Myanmar. To stop the recurrence of Rohingya persecution, exodus and bringing the perpetrators of this crisis into justice is crucially important,” he said.
To that end, Dr Momen said Bangladesh remained “supportive” to the international mechanisms currently in the process towards ensuring justice for the Rohingyas.
Bangladesh welcomed the initiative of ICC and is encouraged by the recent submission of the case by Gambia to the ICC on behalf of OIC group under the Genocide Convention 1948.
“We believe, ending of the culture of impunity would bring some positive development towards the solution to Rohingya crisis,” Dr Momen said.
Recent Dev on Legal Front
On November 14, pre-trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court has authorised the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation for the alleged crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction committed against the Rohingya people from Myanmar.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her investigation will seek to uncover the truth. “My Office will now focus on ensuring the success of its independent and impartial investigation."
Meanwhile, Suu Kyi is among several top Myanmar officials named in a case filed in Argentina for crimes against Rohingya Muslims and it shows the Nobel Laureate, for the first time, has been legally targeted over the crisis.
On November 11, Gambia filed a case at the United Nations’ highest court, accusing Myanmar of “genocide” in its campaign against its Rohingya Muslim minority.
Gambia, which filed the case on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to urgently order measures “to stop Myanmar’s genocidal conduct immediately.”
Rohingya and Latin American human rights groups submitted the lawsuit in Argentina on Wednesday under the principle of “universal jurisdiction,” a legal concept enshrined in many countries’ laws.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown on Rohingyas in Rakhine State.
Not a single Rohingya was repatriated over the last two years due to Myanmar’s “failure” to build confidence among Rohingyas and lack of conducive environment in Rakhine State, officials here said.
Bangladesh has so far handed over names of over 1 lakh Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities for verification and subsequently expediting their repatriation efforts but Myanmar is yet to take back its nationals from Bangladesh, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
BBIN (Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal) Chamber of Commerce has been launchedrecently aiming at fostering connection among the partnered countries.
The new multi-country chamber was formed at a programme at the Press Club, New Delhi, said a press release on Saturday.
President of the Indian Economic Trade Organisation (IETO) Asif Iqbal said the purpose of this chamber is to foster the participation of and dialogue between various stakeholders, including governments, civil society organisation, educational institutions and academic communities of these countries, according to IETO.
“Our task is to promote sustainable policies for regional strategic trade and commerce initiatives with India and Bangladesh spearheading this organisation so as to create awareness of various opportunities available in all business areas, motivate commitment at the highest level for their solutions, and thus promote better management of strategic collaborative ideas at national and international levels,” Asif explained.
This was revealed by the representatives of the organisation that the organisation’s prime focus is to develop trade and commerce.
The BBIN chamber will be celebrating Mujib Day in memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheik MujiburRahman in 2020 in six cities of India namely Bangalore, Kolkata, Agartala, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad with the active participation of businessmen and CEO’s of Bangladesh and India under one roof.
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has received a donation of 1,500 pairs of spectacles from Fuji Optical Co. Ltd. for Rohingyas and vulnerable Bangladeshi host community in Cox’s Bazar.
These were handed over to Orbis International on Saturday as part of their ‘Eye Care Programme’ within the Rohingya settlements and local communities in Ukhiya.
The donation is in addition to a donation of 1,000 pairs of spectacles in 2017, bringing the total to 2,500, said the UN agency.
“UNHCR is providing support for both refugees as well as local people. We need more of this kind of services. It is a very good initiative”, said Md Shamsud Douza, Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) at the ceremony.
Fuji Optical Co. Ltd. has been working with UNHCR since 1984 to provide clear sight to thousands of refugees.
The Fuji Optical Co. Ltd. is one of UNHCR’s longest-standin gprivate sector partners. The CEO, Dr. Akio Kanai, was the recipient of UNHCR’s NansenRefugee Award in 2006, in recognition of his life changing work with UNHCR.
Orbis began their program in Cox’s Bazar in 2018 in partnership with the ‘Cox’s Bazar Baitush Sharaf Hospital’ (CBBSH), to provide eye care services to both refugees and host community. This includes an outreach program, school sight testing program, andscreening at child friendly spaces. A screening centre has been established in Camp 11,Balukhali, while a Vision Centre was opened at the Ukhia Upazila Health Complex.
CBBSH is a long-standing partner of UNHCR and acts a referral hospital for secondary care for refugees, in addition to serving the local population.
As part of UNHCR’s assistance to the host communities, UNHCR implements programmes that support improving capacities of hospitals and health points within the district.
CBBSH has received a fully equipped ambulance for use for both refugees and host community.
“We’re not just helping one person with a pair of spectacles, but the whole family, who will benefit from their sight. We must focus on establishing strong services for all communities. All are human beings and deserve our support”, said Marin Kajdomcaj,Head of UNHCR Sub-Office in Cox’s Bazar, who attended the ceremony in Ukhiya.
“Since 2018, over 120,000 eye screenings have been conducted, over 2,800 patients have undergone cataract surgery, over 20,000 people have received medicine, while over 9,000 pairs of spectacles have been distributed to patients free of charge” added Dr Munir Ahmed, Country Director of Orbis International, Bangladesh.