Dhaka, July 17 (UNB) – The United States has banned Myanmar military’s commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and other senior military leaders from travelling to the US for gross human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings in northern Rakhine State during the “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingyas.
“With this announcement, the United States is the first government to publicly take action with respect to the most senior leadership of the Burmese (Myanmar) military,” US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Department of State publicly designated the individuals Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Soe Win, Brigadier General Than Oo and Brigadier General Aung Aung; and their immediate family members for the named individuals’ responsibility for gross human rights violations and killings.
“We designated these individuals based on credible information of these commanders’ involvement in gross violations of human rights,” Secretary Pompeo said adding that the law requires him to publicly or privately designate such officials and their family members.
He said the Department of State is focused on policies that will change behavior and promote accountability. “We believe this action is one step toward achieving these goals.”
The US Secretary of State said they remain “concerned” that the Myanmar government has taken no actions to hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations and abuses.
He said there are continued reports of the Myanmar military committing human rights violations and abuses throughout the country.
“One egregious example of the continued and severe lack of accountability for the military and its senior leadership was the recent disclosure that Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing ordered the release of the soldiers convicted of the extrajudicial killings at Inn Din during the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya,” Secretary Pompeo said.
The Commander-in-Chief released these criminals after only months in prison, while the journalists who told the world about the killings in Inn Din were jailed for more than 500 days, he mentioned.
International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Dr Fatou Bensouda has recently requested the Court’s Judges to authorise an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya people from Myanmar.
The outcome of this request is still pending and is before the Court’s judges.
A delegation from the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC headed by Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart is currently in Bangladesh on a weeklong visit.
“The delegation currently in Bangladesh will not engage in any evidence collection in relation to any alleged crimes,” reads a media advisory.
The purpose of this visit, in general terms, is to engage with relevant stakeholders and explain the judicial process and the status of the situation, it said.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda considers that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation in relation to the alleged deportation of members of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh and related crimes committed in the context of the 2016 and 2017 waves of violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar.
The ICC delegation members,who held meetings with Ministers and senior officials here, are scheduled to have an internal meeting on Thursday and leave for Cox’s Bazar on Friday afternoon.
They will visit Rohingya camps and hold a meeting with government authorities there on Saturday.
On Sunday, the ICC delegation members are scheduled to hold meetings with Cox’s Bazar DC, Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) and regional heads of Rapid action Battalion (Rab), BGB and acting superintendent of police in Cox’s Bazar.
They are scheduled to leave Dhaka on Monday (July 22).
Dhaka, July 17 (UNB)—The number colleges with hundred percent pass rate in this year’s Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations has increased by more than double compared to the previous year.
A total of 909 colleges have achieved hundred percent pass rate under 10 education boards this year while the number was 400 in 2018.
Besides, the number of colleges with zero percent pass has come down this year.
A total of 41 colleges saw zero per cent pass this year which was 55 in 2018.
A total of 9,88,172 candidates among 13,36,629 students cleared the tests and 47,286 students achieved highest grade GPA 5.
Dhaka, Jul 17 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government has a plan to introduce electric and high-speed trains in the country to make the railway services better and faster.
"We’ve a plan to generate more electricity as we’re now producing 22,000MW…we’ll be able to introduce electric trains in near future…we’ll set up rail lines for remote areas as well to introduce speedy trains for easier communications," she said.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating ‘Benapole Express’ for plying between capital Dhaka and Benapole, and the extension service of Dhaka-Rajshahi nonstop intercity ‘Bonolata Express’ train to Chapainawabganj.
When the Awami League government came to power, she said, it inherited only 1,600 MW of electricity generation capacity, but it now jumped to 22,000MW.
Hasina mentioned that with the introduction of electric and speedy trains, goods transports will be easier and faster creating opportunities for enhanced business and trade.
"The economy will get stronger…we’ll be able to establish poverty- and hunger-free Golden Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and for what the freedom fighters fought and laid down their lives," she said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the current distance between Dhaka and Benapole by railway is much longer -- 385 kilometres.
"There’s good news! On completion of the Padma Bridge, we’ll set up Bhanga as a railway junction…we’ll link Jashore with Faridpur, and then there’ll be no problem to go to Benapole through that route. The distance will get reduced by 180 kilometres while the journey time by 4-5 hours. Anyone will be able to travel to Benapole from Dhaka at the minimum time," she said.
In this regard, she asked the authorities concerned to recruit necessary manpower to the railway and provide modern training to make its staff capable of operating such modern trains.
“Such steps will strengthen both the railway communications and the national economy fulfilling the desire of establishing a prosperous Bangladesh,” she said.
The prime minister thanked the Asian Development Bank for always supporting Bangladesh in developing its railway sector.
Hasina said trains can carry a greater number of passengers and goods at lower cost which is very much important for a densely populated country like Bangladesh.
"But it’s regretful that during the BNP regime they had wanted to close this sector. After returning to power, we created a separate ministry for the railway sector and made separate allocation in the national budget so that they could provide services to people," she said.
Terming communications as very important for development, Hasina said the aim of her government is to take communications services closer to mass people.
For that, she said, the government is improving the services on roads, airways, waterways and rail communications gradually.
About the new trains, the prime minister said, these are the gifts of her government for the people of Rajshahi and Khulna Division ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan and ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash also spoke on the occasion. Railways Secretary Mofazzal Hossain highlighted various achievements of the railway through a power-point presentation.
A video documentary was also screened at that time on the development of Bangladesh Railway.
Later, the Prime Minister also exchanged views with government officials, businessmen and beneficiaries at Benapole and Chapainowabganj ends through the videoconference.
Dhaka, July 17 (UNB) - Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam on Wednesday said the Deputy Commissioners have been asked to take effective measures to prevent the spread of dengue.
“An anti-mosquito drive will be conducted from July 25 to July 31,” he told reporters after attending the second sessions on the fourth day of the Deputy Commissioners’ Conference at the Secretariat.
Replying to a question about the ineffectiveness of mosquito medicine, Tajul said the city corporations will collect samples of mosquito kit and retest it.
“A certificate is being taken from the World Health Organisation for the medicine used to prevent the spread of mosquito. We’ve sprayed medicine approved by the WHO,” he said.
The number of dengue patients has increased this year.
Earlier this month, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the hospitals have received many dengue patients and are treating them.
Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral infection, is spread to people through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 100 million people get sick from infection, and 22,000 die from severe dengue.
Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon said the medicines they are using to kill the mosquitos are “slightly less effective” but assured that the situation “is under control”.
There is no specific treatment for dengue or severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1 percent, the WHO says.
Dhaka, July 17 (UNB) – A group of students of Dhaka University blocked the key Shahbagh intersection on Wednesday demanding an end to the university’s affiliation with seven colleges.
Mostakim Ahmed, one of leaders of the demonstrators, said they are demanding ending the affiliation as DU “does not have the capability to bear the burden of seven colleges”.
About 300 students, under the banner of general students, took to the street around noon, halting vehicular movement on the busy road.
Traffic movement from New Market to Matshya Bhaban and Shahbagh to Farmgate remained suspended due to the blockade, causing immense sufferings to the commuters.
The DU students demanded the authorities to accede to their four-point demand that include publishing results within two months of the exam, and banning mass-transport on the campus.
The affiliated colleges are Dhaka College, Eden Mohila College, Government Shaheed Suhrawardy College, Kabi Nazrul Government College, Begum Badrunnesa Government Women's College, Mirpur Government Bangla College and Government Titumir College.