Dhaka, Feb 19 (UNB) - State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Tuesday said the government has worked out some new strategies after reviewing the overall situation to deal with the Rohingya repatriation issue.
“We’ve worked out some new strategies after reviewing things and you’ll soon see implementation of those strategies,” he said while talking to reporters after his meeting with British Secretary of State for International Development and Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt.
Referring to government’s involvement in multilateral discussion, the State Minister said the government is in discussion with other countries on Rohingya issue to find a lasting solution to it.
Welcoming British commitment, Shahriar emphasized the need for early repatriation of Rohingyas to their place of origin.
The meeting, held at the state guesthouse Padma in the afternoon, also discussed issues of mutual interest apart from Rohingya one and UK’s support to resolve the crisis.
The UK is one of the largest donors to the Rohingya crisis, providing £129 million in funding to Bangladesh since the crisis began.
The British Minister, who visited Rohingya camps on Monday, laid emphasis on voluntary repatriation of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Myanmar making sure that they are protected after return.
The UK is committed to remain steadfast partner to Bangladesh both in Sheikh Hasina’s ambition for a prosperous Bangladesh following her re-appointment as Prime Minister for the third consecutive term and in response to the Rohingya crisis, including their safe and dignified return to their own country Myanmar, said the Foreign Affairs Ministry here.
Various bilateral issues, including Brexit, were also briefly discussed at the meeting.
State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman and senior officials from the Foreign Ministry, including Director General (West Europe & EU) Mohammad Khorshed Alam Khastagir, joined State Minister Alam at the meeting.
British High Commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake was also present.
The State Minister also hosted a luncheon in honor of the visiting British Secretary of State and her delegation at the same venue that saw Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni attending.
UK aid also supports all communities in Rakhine State and the UK has led the way in terms of both the speed and scale of its humanitarian response.
On her first visit to Myanmar this week before her arrival here, Minister Mordaunt called for the most vulnerable to be given a say in their country’s future after shifting the work of UK aid there to help disadvantaged and conflict-affected people.
Her words come after the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Rakhine State and violations in Kachin and Shan States, all in Myanmar, according to a press release.
Dhaka, Feb 18 (UNB) – Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on Monday approved a total of 7 proposals including import of 50,000 metric tons of fertiliser and 50,000 metric tons of wheat.
The committee in its meeting with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal approved the proposals.
As per the proposal of the Industries Ministry, Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) will import 25,000 mt of bagged granular urea through Chittagong Port and another 25,000 mt of bagged prilled urea fertilizer through Mongla Port.
Local firm Poton Traders will supply the urea through Chattagram at $336.21 per MT and through Mongla Port at $337.21 per MT.
For the bulk import of fertiliser, the government will have to spend Tk 141.33 crore.
The committee approved a proposal for import of 50,000 mt of wheat from Russia at a cost of Tk 294.95 crore. Singapore-based Agrocrop will supply the wheat at $294.95 per MT.
The Cabinet body approved a proposal of Housing and Public Works Ministry to build 20-storied residential building in Zone –A in Azimpur area for the government officers. A total of 152 flats, each having a size of 1,800 square feet, will be constructed under the project.
GKB & Company won the contract at a cost of Tk 195.69 crore. Internal sanitary, water supply arrangement, gas connections and internal electrification works are included in the contract.
A proposal of the ICT Ministry received the nod of the committee to pay arrear bills Tk 93.45 crore to three internet service providers—Fiber@Home, Summit, and BTCL—for their internet by 18,130 government offices from January 2017 to September 2018.
The committee also gave the nod to a proposal of the Road Transport and Highway Division to raise the cost of rebuilding the Tangail to Elenga intersection by Tk 117.15 crore to Tk 470 crore.
The committee also approved another proposal of the same ministry to award a contract for improvement of 10 km of Elenga-Hatikumrul-Rangpur Highway.
China Construction South International won the contract at a cost of Tk 769.39 crore.
The Education Ministry proposed to procure multimedia system from local and international companies with their service guarantee of five years through direct procurement method.
The Committee also approved in principle a proposal of the Foreign Ministry to award contract under direct procurement method for analysis of data of the survey conducted by UK-based National Oceanographic Centre at the maritime boundary of Bangladesh.
The data analysis will have to be completed in one year instead of the originally proposed 2 years.
Dhaka, Feb 18 (UNB) – The tri-nation motor rally, marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, leaves here for Agartala, the capital of the Indian State Tripura, on Tuesday via Akhaura-Agartala route.
Kalinga Motor Sports Club (KMSC) with support from Indian Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has arranged the motor rally as part of the year-long programme to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The rally, which is spreading the message of peace, non-violence; and promoting safe driving, entered Bangladesh through the Petrapole-Benapole border on Sunday.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader attended a flag-off event at the Indian High Commission here on Monday afternoon.
At the function, acting Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Dr Adarsh Swaika highlighted Mahatma Gandhi’s deep relations with Bangladesh.
Columnist and research scholar Syed Abul Maksud, among others, spoke on the occasion.
The rally began on February 4 at Rajghat and will conclude on February 24 in Yangon, Myanmar.
The motor rally with 10 vehicles will cover 7,250 km in 22 days in three countries.
The rally will pass through Sabarmati, Porbandar, Sewagram, Jabalpur, Dandi, Yervada, Lucknow, Chauri-Chaura, Champaran, Santiniketan and Kolkata.
The rally delegation, comprising of 35 participants and 10 vehicles, is led by Shambhu Singh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, government of India.
Dhaka, Feb 18 (UNB) - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has said an estimated 574,000 people in Cox’s Bazar Rohingya will face the coming cyclone seasons with only rotting bamboo and shredding plastic to protect them.
After 18 months, it said, housing conditions have dramatically deteriorated, leaving people “worryingly exposed”.
A Red Cross Red Crescent survey found that 82 per cent of the 700,000 people in sprawling camps urgently need sturdier shelters to protect them from extreme temperatures, monsoon downpours and two cyclone seasons a year, according to a media release issued both from Cox’s Bazar and Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
It is almost exactly 18 months since 25 August 2017, when violence erupted in Rakhine state of Myanmar, forcing people to flee.
Ahead of the cyclone season in April and May, the Bangladesh Red Crescent and government agencies are also training thousands of volunteers from the Rakhine community in cyclone preparedness.
In the past 18 months, the Bangladesh Red Crescent, supported by IFRC and Red Cross and Red Crescent partners from around the world, has reached over 250,000 people with emergency help including food, water and shelter equipment. More than 160,000 have received medical care.
Head of the IFRC country office in Bangladesh Azmat Ulla said housing conditions in these camps are basic.
“However, after 18 months, they’ve dramatically deteriorated, leaving people worryingly exposed. The aid community in Cox’s Bazar needs to prioritise repairing and replacing these battered shelters, so that people have some protection against the elements, and are provided with at least some basic comfort and dignity,” he said.
In recent weeks, Red Crescent staff and volunteers have distributed tarpaulins, ropes and tools to 49,000 families (benefiting 200,000 people).
The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, supported by IFRC and other Red Cross and Red Crescent partners, has so far trained 8,400 people to make their shelters safer, and more training is coming.
Secretary General of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Feroz Salah Uddin said people, in the coming months, need sturdier structures that can resist cyclones and other forms of disasters.
“Our trained technicians are helping camp residents improve their own shelters. This is especially important for people with disabilities, the elderly as well as female and child-headed households,” he said.
Azmat Ulla said all the cyclone preparedness training, well-rehearsed emergency drills and necessary equipment in the world will not protect people if a deadly tropical cyclone barrels up the Bay of Bengal, as has happened in the past.
The fact remains that these people have nowhere to evacuate to, he said adding that “The pitiful state of people’s shelters illustrates how utterly unsustainable and unsafe this life is. We continue to call for an urgent political solution to this crisis. But in the meantime, more is needed to at least provide people with basic comfort and dignity.”
Dhaka, Feb 18 (UNB) - Vice-President of German federal parliament Claudia Roth along with two MPs will visit Bangladesh in the last week of February to learn about the consequences of climate change in the country and discuss possible remedies.
A Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the States of South Asia will also visit Bangladesh.
Claudia Roth (Alliance 90/The Greens) who has been in the Bundestag since 2002 will be accompanied by the MPs Matthias Zimmer (CDU/CSU) and Frithjof Schmidt (Alliance 90/The Greens).
The delegation of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the States of South Asia consists of the Chairman of the group, Tobias Pflüger (The Left Party) and MPs Gabriele Katzmarek (SPD) and Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP), according to German Embassy in Dhaka.
Besides their talks in the capital, they will visit Cox’s Bazar and meet with the government officials and representatives of the Rohingya in order to get a comprehensive picture of the challenges in dealing with the refugee crisis.
The two high-level parliamentary delegations attest to the strong and diverse relationship between Germany and Bangladesh, said the Embassy.