Dhaka, Aug 23 (UNB) - The United States on Friday said it joins the international community in welcoming the United Nations’ decision to designate August 22 as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.
“The United States resolves to defend and promote religious freedom everywhere,” said the US Embassy in Dhaka in a press statement as the world formally recognised the victims of persecution based on religious expression.
The US recognises the open, constructive, and respectful debate of ideas, as well as interreligious, interfaith, and intercultural dialogue, at the local, national, regional, and international levels, can play a positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement, and violence.
“We thank the government of Bangladesh for participating in the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom and view the forum as a catalyst to further dialogue on this important topic around the world,” the statement reads.
The Ministerial, held in Washington July 16-18, 2019, brought together more than 1,000 members of civil society and 105 representatives of foreign governments and international organisations in the largest human rights conference ever hosted by the US Department of State, to discuss religious freedom challenges and identify concrete actions to combat religious persecution and discrimination.
“We’ll always continue to stand for the freedom to live, to work, and worship according to the dictates of your conscience. And freedom of religion will always be an American anthem,” the statement said quoting US Vice President Mike Pence as saying during the Ministerial.
Dhaka, Aug 23 (UNB) - The Hindu community of the country observed Janmashtami, marking the birth of Lord Krishna, on Friday with due religious fervour.
According to Hindu religion, Lord Vishnu incarnated in the universe as Lord Krishna in the prison of Raja Kangsa on this day, the eighth of “Shukla Pakkha” (bright fortnight) in the month of Bengali calendar Bhadra in Dwapara Yuga in order to protect “Dharma” from the hands of devils.
Sri Krishna was born to Devaki and her husband Vasudeva in Mathura to which Krishna’s parents belonged.
Members of the Hindu community brought out processions in the capital, divisional cities and district towns displaying the eventful life of Krishna and held other programmes on the occasion.
The largest procession of Janmashtami was brought out in the city’s Palashi intersection. Even torrential rain could not dampen the festivity. The participants had colorful banners and festoons depicting the birth of Krishna and his early years.
Animesh Paul, a student who took part in the procession with his friends, said this festival helps him believe in a future for everyone. “The message is that no-one should be without love for others,” he said.
Various social, cultural and religious organisations chalked out elaborate programmes to celebrate the occasion.
The day is a public holiday.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in separate messages greeted the members of Hindu community.
In his message, the President said Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony where people of all religions perform their own religious rituals freely.
In her message, the Prime Minister hoped that the ideals and teachings of Krishna will inspire his disciples to further consolidate the ties of communal harmony, friendship and fraternity.
National dailies will publish special articles while Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television and other private TV channels and radio stations aired special programmes highlighting different aspects of the eventful life of Lord Krishna.
Khulna, Aug 23 (UNB) - Police here on Friday arrested a journalist under the Digital Security Act for spreading hate speech on Facebook.
The journalist was identified as Shaheen Rahman, publisher and editor of Prothom Shomoy, an online news portal.
Md Kamruzzaman, Assistant Commissioner of Khulna Metropolitan Police, said Shaheen was spreading hate speeches against politicians and well-known public figures for a long time.
Lastly, Shaheen spread rumours against Khulna Press Club President and ATN Bangla’s district correspondent SM Habib.
Police arrested Shaheen under Digital Security Act after a case was filed against him on August 8, Kamruzzaman said, adding that the journalist was accused in another case filed under the same Act.
Dhaka, Aug 22 (UNB) – Muzaffar Ahmed, who was part of the wartime Bangladesh government in exile and a close friend of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, died at a hospital in the capital on Friday night.
The 98-year-old was admitted to hospital recently with old age complications.
The chief of National Awami Party (NAP) breathed his last around 7:50pm while being treated at the ICU of Apollo Hospital, his niece Anwara Begum said.
Muzaffar, born on April 14, 1922 in Debidwar upazila of Cumilla, taught at Dhaka College and Dhaka University. He took part in the 1952 Language Movement.
He was one of the organisers of NAP, CPB and guerilla force of the student union. After the independence, he was elected an MP in 1979 and contested the 1981 presidential polls.
Three years ago, he declined the government’s offer Swadhinata Padak, the highest civilian award.
President, PM mourn death
President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina mourned the death of the veteran politician.
In a message, the President prayed for the salvation of the departed soul and extended condolences to the bereaved family.
Prime Minister Hasina, in a separate message, expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Prof Mozaffar.
She described his role in the Liberation War and various democratic movements of the country in his long political life.
“The Nation will forever remember his contribution in the progressive politics of the country,” the Prime Minister said.
Sheikh Hasina prayed for the eternal salvation of the departed soul and expressed sympathy to the bereaved family.
Dhaka, Aug 23 (UNB) - Teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) on Friday observed 'Black Day' marking the attack on the institution’s teachers, students and officials on August 20-23, 2007, during the military-backed caretaker government.
Demanding punishment of the culprits, DU students and teachers donned black badges and held various programmes on the campus.
A discussion was held at TSC auditorium in the morning with Vice-Chancellor Professor Akhtaruzzaman in the chair.
VC Akhtaruzzaman praised the then activities of DU teachers and students, saying that the university played a leading role at that crucial time.
He said it was not a conflict between the Army and the students. “If the then government realised the demands of the students, then the scenario could have been different,” he said. “But it failed to do so.”
Among others, DUTA President Professor ASM Maksud Kamal, General Secretary Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam, Dhaka University Central Students' Union Vice-President Nurul Huq Nur and officials of DU were present.
Earlier, a protest rally was also held at Aparajeyo Bangla premises marking the day.