Dhaka, Aug 20 (UNB) – Bangladesh and India are preparing to sign a number of bilateral documents during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in the first week of October to further bolster their bilateral ties.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen discussed the issues with his Indian counterpart Dr S Jaishankar during a bilateral meeting held at state guesthouse Jamuna here on Tuesday.
They discussed the preparatory measures over Prime Minister’s visit to India and exchanged proposals.
Sheikh Hasina will also attend India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum with the theme ‘Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World’ to be held in New Delhi on October 3-4.
While talking to a small group of journalists, Dr Momen said they discussed issues related to finalisation of programme and agenda of the Prime Minister’s visit.
He said Bangladesh raised the issue of killings along the Bangladesh-India border during his meeting with the Indian External Affairs Minister. “We want zero death.”
Dr Momen said it (border killing) is still happening despite repeated commitments from the Indian side and they assured Bangladesh of looking into it.
At the beginning of the meeting, Dr Momen congratulated the visiting dignitary on his appointment as the External Affairs Minister of India and welcomed his first visit to Bangladesh in this capacity.
The two ministers reaffirmed that the relationship between India and Bangladesh, forged in the 1971 Liberation War, goes far beyond a strategic partnership.
Today it is anchored in history, culture, language and shared values of democracy, secularism, development cooperation and countless other commonalities, both countries recognised.
During the meeting, the ministers expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral ties existing between the two countries.
They reviewed ongoing cooperation including the implementation of decisions taken during the last meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) in February 2019 in New Delhi, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
They expressed satisfaction that both countries are working closer than ever before in every sector, from security and border management, including reducing untoward border incidents, to mutually-beneficial trade and investment, power and energy, river water sharing, including that of the Teesta, development partnership, transport connectivity, culture and consular issues.
They reviewed progress of the projects under the Indian Lines of Credit.
The two ministers expressed satisfaction that Bangladesh and India are enjoying traditionally close cooperation in multilateral and regional forums such as the UN, Commonwealth, Bimstec and others.
Dhaka, Aug 20 (UNB) - Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Tuesday said very little progress has been made to address the lack of legal status for the Rohingya in the region, or to address the underlying causes of the Rohingyas’ exclusion in Myanmar.
A marginalised ethnic minority from Rakhine state, the Rohingya people have in recent decades been subject to mounting targeted state exclusion and persecution, it said adding that two years ago, news of Myanmar’s campaign of violence against the Rohingya dominated the headlines.
MSF Emergency Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar Arunn Jegan said he first came to Cox’s Bazar in June 2017, at a time when thousands of Rohingya were already in Bangladesh from previous waves of targeted violence.
Even then, he said, the needs were massive. “I returned as project coordinator that August, as hundreds of thousands more people arrived. It was obvious the Rohingyas were fleeing violence – in one two-week period between August and September 2017, we watched pillars of smoke, most likely from houses and villages being burned, at several points across the border.”
At the border crossings, he said, they saw Rohingyas arriving with burns, gunshots, lacerations, and smoke asphyxiation. “The trauma was visible on people’s faces and bodies.”
To date, no meaningful solutions have been offered to the Rohingyas, who have been pushed to the margins of society in virtually all the countries they have fled to.
In Bangladesh, over 912,000 Rohingyas still live in the same basic bamboo structures as when they first arrived, face travel and work restrictions, and remain wholly reliant on humanitarian aid, MSF said.
With children unable to attend formal schooling, future generations are deprived of an opportunity to improve their situation.
Many of the illnesses MSF treats at its clinics in Cox’s Bazar are a result of the poor living conditions that the Rohingya endure, with poor access to clean latrines or water.
MSF continues to treat tens of thousands of patients a month, performing over 1.3 million consultations between August 2017-June 2019.
“Two years on, there’re now better roads, more latrines and clean water points in and around the camps. There’s more sense of order. But conditions in the camps remain precarious and big questions about people’s futures are still unanswered,” says Jegan.
The situation facing the Rohingyas still in Myanmar is similarly bleak. In 1982, a citizenship law rendered them effectively stateless, and in recent years they have been stripped of even more of their rights, ranging from civic inclusion, the right to education, marriage, family planning, to freedom of movement and access to healthcare.
In 2012, violence between the Rohingya and Rakhine communities left entire villages razed. Since then, some 128,000 Rohingyas and Kaman Muslims in central Rakhine have lived in overcrowded and squalid displacement camps. Denied freedom of movement and jobs, as well as access to basic services, they likewise rely entirely on humanitarian assistance.
An estimated 550,000 to 600,000 Rohingya remain across Rakhine State, according to MSF. Their already difficult lives have become harder as they and other communities suffer the consequences of a worsening conflict between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army, an ethnic Rakhine armed group.
Jegan said, “When I think of the future for the Rohingya, my biggest hope is that they’re able to return home safely. Until then, I hope they’re afforded greater self-sufficiency, education rights, as well as the legal recognition they deserve. If these things don’t happen now, I fear the Rohingyas will be in the same situation in another two years, only with even fewer services available to them. Any decrease in aid should only come in tandem with growing self-sufficiency.”
The Rohingya likewise remain in limbo in Malaysia, where they have been fleeing to over the past 30 years.
There, lack of legal status pushes them and other refugee and asylum seekers into an increasingly precarious situation. Unable to work legally, they often disappear into Malaysia’s urban black market economy, where they are vulnerable to exploitation, debt bondage or work accidents.
Walking down the street or even seeking medical care can result in refugees being sent to detention centres or extorted.
“History has repeated itself with the Rohingyas and they remain forgotten. The government of Bangladesh has been accommodating but it’s not their burden to carry alone. This is a regional issue affecting all of Myanmar’s neighbours, as well as an international one. We’ve to step up and ensure that they aren’t just getting food and water but a future too”, Jegan said.
Dhaka, Aug 20 (UNB) - Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Tuesday expressed their interest in enhancing cooperation in energy sector, especially in hydroelectricity projects, to meet the growing demand of energy in the two neighbouring countries.
"Hydroelectric projects can be implemented effectively as the cost of such projects are lower," Jaishankar said when he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban.
The Indian External Affairs Minister handed over a letter of invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her bilateral visit to India in the first week of October.
Sheikh Hasina extended her thanks to Modi for the invitation and greeted him.
PM's press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
He said the Indian minister mentioned that the Indo-Bangla relations have taken a new heightduring the last five years.
"Understanding and collaboration in different sectors have increased."
The Indian minister put emphasis on simplification of visitsby the people of the two countries and increasing the regular contacts between the two friendly counties.
Sheikh Hasina said the avenues in the field of connectivity between the two countries are widening. "Many routes in rail, road and air connectivity between Bangladesh and India have been opened," she said.
Hasina said Bangladesh and India have wonderful relations and excellent cooperation in different sectors as the two countries have solved many problems bilaterally.
Mentioning the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), she said, "It (LBA) was done creating an example in the world ... India’s all parties in parliament unanimously supported the LBA Bill."
The prime minister said India can use Bangladesh's Chattogram, Mongla and Payra ports.
Calling India a true friend of Bangladesh, she said New Delhi is continuing support to Bangladesh since independence.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Muazzem Ali, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Riva Ganguly Das and PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hassan were present at the meeting.
The Indian external affairs minister arrived here last night on a three-day official visit at the invitation of his Bangladesh counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen.
It is Jaishankar’s first Bangladesh visit after taking oath of office in Narendra Modi’s cabinet on May 30.
Dhaka, Aug 20 (UNB) – A joint expert team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nation will assess the feasibility of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in controlling Aedes mosquitoes in Bangladesh.
To tackle the diseases caused by Aedes mosquitoes, the joint IAEA-FAO-WHO expert team will visit Bangladesh from August 21 to 23, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.
The sterile insect technique is an environmentally-friendly insect pest control method involving the mass-rearing and sterilization, using radiation, of a target pest, followed by the systematic area-wide release of the sterile males by air over defined areas, where they mate with wild females resulting in no offspring and a declining pest population.
IAEA has approved the expert mission following an initiative taken by Bangladesh Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna, with the support of the Health Services Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Ministry of Science and Technology, after the dengue fever outbreak in the country.
The work of the expert team - consisting of Rafael Argilés Herrero and Danilo de Oliveira Carvalho, technical officers of the Insect Pest Control Section at the joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, and Rajpal Yadav, scientist, Vector Ecology and Management, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, WHO – is expected to help Bangladesh in successfully tackling the diseases caused by the Aedes mosquito population in the country.
“We’re trying to avail best possible scientific know-how to tackle the Aedes mosquito. We thank IAEA for prompt response to support Bangladesh in this time of need,” said M Abu Zafar, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in Vienna.
Dhaka, Aug 20 (UNB) - The Embassy of Japan and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) on Tuesday jointly organised a seminar on higher study in Japan.
The seminar, ‘Study in Japan Seminar 2019’, provided useful information on the opportunities of higher education in Japan, including the Japanese government scholarship, study and life in Japan as well as its advantages and possible career perspectives afterwards.
Two professors of SUST who received their doctoral degrees from Japanese universities spoke about their study experiences in Japan.
Around 150 students of SUST participated in the seminar held in Sylhet, said the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka.
Over the last five decades, Japan has been providing government scholarship to more than 4,000 Bangladeshis, the Embassy said.
In 2018 alone, more than 120 Bangladeshi students newly received this government-funded scholarship and are now studying in Japan on various academic fields.
The scholarship application opens twice a year in May (Embassy recommendation) and October (University recommendation).