Dhaka, Dec 20 (UNB) - Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla has been appointed the next Indian Ambassador to the United States of America (USA).
He is expected to take up the assignment shortly, said Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday.
Senior Indian diplomat Riva Ganguly Das, now serving as Director General of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), is likely to be the next High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh, said a diplomatic source.
However, there is no official announcement yet.
Shringla was appointed Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh in November 2015.
Dhaka, Dec 20 (UNB) - Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said Myanmar should disband its commission of inquiry into abuses in Rakhine state because what it says Myanmar is clearly unwilling to seriously investigate alleged grave crimes against the ethnic Rohingya.
“The Myanmar commission’s dismissal of the extensive documentation of gross human rights abuses against the Rohingya makes abundantly clear that it is not serious about seeking justice,” said Brad Adams, HRW’s Asia director.
The UN Security Council, Adams said, should stop giving credence to this commission and refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.
At a news conference on December 12, Rosario Manalo, chair of the Independent Commission of Enquiry, stated that the commission had found “no evidence” to support allegations of human rights abuses in the four months since it officially opened its investigation, said the New York-based global rights body on Wednesday.
Her statement shows that the commission is disregarding evidence and testimony collected by United Nations fact-finders, the United States State Department, and international human rights organisations since violence broke out in Rakhine State in 2016, said the HRW.
The UN Security Council, which has been negotiating its first resolution on the Rohingya crisis, should view the chair’s comments as further evidence that Myanmar’s commission is not a viable path to justice for victims of abuses.
The UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar issued a 444-page report on September 18 detailing crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide by Myanmar’s security forces in Rakhine State and serious human rights abuses in Shan and Kachin States.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a “flash report” in February 2017 documenting extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, torture, and other abuses by Myanmar security forces in Rakhine State after an attack on security posts in August 2016;
Human Rights Watch has documented the widespread use of sexual violence against the Rohingya in Rakhine State, a massacre in the village of Tula Toli, and the widespread destruction of Rohingya villages in Rakhine State;
Amnesty International has documented serious human rights abuses by the military in Rakhine State and identified some of the military units and officers responsible for atrocities; and
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Fortify Rights issued a joint report in November 2017 documenting abuses by security forces including murder, rape and other sexual violence, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances, and forced displacement.
“The record of Myanmar military abuses against the Rohingya is detailed and voluminous,” Adams said. “What more do Security Council members need to know to call for justice and accountability for grave international crimes?”
The four-member commission, set up by the Myanmar government in May, is the eighth domestic commission created since violence broke out in Rakhine State in 2012.
None of these commissions have led to justice or accountability for human rights abuses such as extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, and arson.
Manalo, the commission’s chair, is a former deputy foreign minister of the Philippines. The commission also includes Kenzo Oshima, a former permanent representative of Japan to the UN, and two domestic commissioners chosen by the government.
One Myanmar member of the commission, Aung Tun Thet, has repeatedly demonstrated his bias, saying in March that Myanmar has a “clear conscience” and that “there is no such thing in our country, in our society, as ethnic cleansing, and no genocide.”
He also serves as chief coordinator of the Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development in Rakhine, which was formed in October 2017, and was a member of the 2016 national commission that rejected the findings of a UN report in its entirety.
The other Myanmar commissioner, Mya Thein, is a former chair of Myanmar’s Constitutional Tribunal.
With government representatives on the commission and the military officers implicated in egregious abuses still in command, victims and witnesses are likely to be at risk.
Some witnesses who have previously provided information about abuses have faced reprisals, while Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been imprisoned for their role in exposing a massacre in Rakhine State.
“Security Council members should call out the Commission of Enquiry for the diversionary and delaying tactic that it is,” Adams said. “Waiting for this commission to finish its work is a waste of time that will only further delay accountability for grave human rights abuses against the Rohingya.”
Dhaka, Dec 19 (UNB) - The United States has reiterated its hope to see a peaceful, participatory and credible national election in Bangladesh saying violence only undermines the democratic process.
“One of the messages that I continue to pronounce is the need that the upcoming election will be free, fair, credible, participatory and peaceful,” said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller.
Ambassador Miller made the remarks while addressing businesspeople at a luncheon meeting hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) at a city hotel on Wednesday.
“You must assure, you must avoid and you must condemn violence. Violence only undermines the democratic process,” he said encouraging all to follow democratic process.
Miller made similar statements after his meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and other political leaders.
On Monday, Ambassador Miller and the Prime Minister discussed the strong enduring ties between the United States and Bangladesh, and challenges the two countries can work together to address in partnership.
They also discussed the need for free, fair, credible and peaceful elections that reflect the will of the Bangladeshi people, according to a message US Embassy shared on its verified Facebook page.
On Tuesday, Ambassador Miller met and Mirza Fakhrul at BNP’s Gulshan office.
Meeting with the press afterwards, Ambassador Miller said, “As Bangladesh begins its grand exercise in democracy, the United States encourages a free, fair, credible, fully participatory and peaceful national election.”
He said every eligible candidate should have the same opportunity to campaign and every eligible voter should have equal access to the polls.
“Everyone, no matter the political party or sentiment, should act peacefully and responsibly. All sides must avoid and condemn violence. Violence hinders the democratic process and only serves those who wish to undermine it,” Miller was quoted as saying in another Facebook message.
Dhaka, Dec 19 (UNB) - US Ambassador Earl R Miller on Wednesday said increased economic engagement with Bangladesh will be one of their top priorities in the coming years and termed Bangladesh a significant market for them having 170 million people.
“I hope to see more American companies engaging in Bangladesh and more Bangladeshi companies engaging in the United States,” he said while sharing his priority areas during his tenure in Bangladesh.
The US envoy was talking to reporters after the regular luncheon meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) at a city hotel. AmCham president Nurul Islam moderated the event.
Ambassador Miller said the US companies and US businesses are doing well in Bangladesh. “We can do so much better. So, I look to work with the people of Bangladesh and the government of Bangladesh to bring in more trade delegations, more trade missions and more CEOs.”
“I’m very encouraged by the first meeting I had with the quality of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh with the quality of the American companies those already here. I want to double this number and triple this number,” Miller said adding two more words – ‘Joy Bangla’.
Earlier, the US envoy said he is proud that the US is the single largest export destination for Bangladesh. The value of two-way trade is more than $7.47 billion in a year and the balance of trade is heavily tilted towards Bangladesh which was more than $6billion last year in favour of Bangladesh.
The trade is projected to be even higher between the two countries in the future as US export to Bangladesh increased 100 percent year-on-year in 2017.
“I intend to make US business one of mission’s top priorities,” the Ambassador said adding that he will work here to remove unnecessary or arbitrary regulations, cumbersome customs procedures and corruption that affect the economic growth of Bangladesh.
The US envoy said Bangladesh has been making a great strive to strengthen the workplace safety with the help of Accord and Alliance, but needs to do more, especially in the area of labour rights.
Dhaka, Dec 19 (UNB) – Bangladesh Ambassador to South Korea Abida Islam has said Bangladesh’s achievement in the safe migration sector is “immense”.
“Bangladesh is playing a significant role in formulating international migration policy,” said Ambassador Abida while speaking at a function marking the International Migrants Day at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Seoul on Tuesday.
The event began with the national anthem of Bangladesh and Korea, said the Bangladesh Embassy in Seoul on Wednesday.
The second part of the programme will be held on December 23.
In December 2016, a five-day long 9th Conference of Global Forum on Migration and Development was held in Dhaka. A decision was taken to form the Global Compact at the conference.
Bangladesh also participated actively in Morocco Conference 2018. In that conference, the United Nations approved “Global Pact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration.”
Ambassador Abida said about 12 million Bangladeshi migrant workers are working in 168 countries of the world and they are contributing significantly in the economy of Bangladesh by sending remittance.
She congratulated all the Bangladeshi EPS (Employment Permit System) workers working in Korea and praised their spontaneous participation in different welfare works.
A drama ‘Hundi’ was screened at the last part of the event. The drama was directed by Sheikh Al Mamun, a Bangladeshi national residing in Korea with the supervision of Embassy of Bangladesh.
The aim of this drama was to create awareness among Bangladeshi EPS workers for sending remittance through legal way.
First Secretary (Labour)Mokima Begum who conducted the event stressed on the significance of the day.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo also celebrated the International Migrants Day on Wednesday at Bangabandhu Auditorium of the mission.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Rabab Fatima thanked the Bangladeshi community for attending the programme.
She made a detailed presentation stating the importance and significance of the day.
The Ambassador elaborated the different initiatives of Bangladesh government for the welfare of Bangladeshi migrants all over the world and to transform our population as human resources.
She also focused on the different aspects of the new immigration law recently passed by Japan, and the prospects for Bangladeshis.