The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of “The Air Transport (The Montreal Convention, 1999) Bill, 2020” raising compensation to Tk 1,17, 62, 334 from Tk 20, 37, 600 for one’s death and injury caused by an air accident.
The approval came at the Cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her office.
Briefing reporters at the Secretariat, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said the draft law has been formulated to in accordance with “The Montreal Convention, 1999″ to safeguard air passengers.
“If the proposed law is passed, each of the air passengers will get US$ 1, 38,544 (Tk 1,17, 62, 334) for death or injuries caused by any air accident,” he said.
Bangladesh is a signatory to the Montreal Convention which deals with the passengers’ rights and compensation, but it was not transformed into any law in Bangladesh. Since Bangladesh has no law over the convention, the people of Bangladesh do not get benefits as prescribed in the Convention.
Referring to the plane crash in Nepal in 2017, he said each of the passengers who were killed and injured in the plane crash in Nepal got negligible compensation.
The cabinet secretary said any aircraft company will have to pay US$ 5,734 as compensation to a passenger due to flight delay in line with the proposed law which was only US$ 20 in the existing law.
Due to damage or lost of baggage and cargo of a passenger, the flight carriers must to pay US$ 1,381 and US$ 24 for per kilogram respectively in the draft law which is only US$ 20 now, he mentioned.
The law will be applicable for death, damage or loss and, delay even in the case of domestic air transportation, said the Cabinet Secretary adding that the government can make the proposed law applicable by formulating necessary rules.
The cabinet at its meeting also approved in principle the draft of “The Bangladesh Travel Agency (Registration & Control) (Amendment), Bill, 2020” incorporating provisions of realizing up to Tk five lakh as fine for delayed application for renewal of licences.
The aim of the draft law is to run the travel agencies smoothly in the country, said Anwarul Islam.
He said the draft law has been formulated to strengthen activities of the Directorate of Registration as well as empower the Registration Authority to realise fine from the travel agencies who would be failed to get the renewal of registration in time.
He said there is also a provision in the proposed draft law on transferring ownership under some specific conditions and opening new branches in other parts of the country.
Besides, the Cabinet meeting gave approval in principle to the drafts of the “Iodised Salt Bill, 2020” and “Chattogram Port Authority Bill, 2020”.
The Cabinet Secretary said the aim of the “Iodised Salt Bill, 2020” is to check various diseases caused by lack of iodine.
He said there are provisions in the draft law to form a national committee on Iodised Salt, an observatory and monitoring committee, to set up a Salt Research Institute in the country and apply “Mobile court Act, 2009”in this regard.
While talking about the “Chattogram Port Authority Bill, 2020”, Anwarul Islam said the draft law has been proposed for making the existing law more time-befitting one.
The meeting also gave nod to a proposal of the Ministry of Youth and Sports on celebrating National Sports Day on April 6 every year alongside observing the day as the International Sports Day.
Jatrabari Waste Collection Workers' Union on Monday demanded permanent jobs for the informal waste workers of Dhaka North and South City Corporation areas.
They also demanded for proper education facilities for waste-workers’ children.
The demands were made at a media campaign titled ‘Safety and security of informal and household waste collectors’ jointly arranged by Jatrabari Waste Collection Workers' Union and Grambangla Unnayon Committee at the Jatiya Press Club.
Jatrabari Waste Collection Workers' Union President Rina Begum said permanent jobs are a crying need for the workers in order to support their family.
"We collect waste from various houses and roads in the city corporation areas and earn our livelihood by selling them especially various plastic and metal items found there...We could sell plastic at a higher price before, but now the selling rate has dropped. As a result, it has become very difficult to run the family. So we urge the city corporation authorities that we should be given jobs under them,” she said.
She mentioned that although the City Corporations are responsible for waste management, informal waste collectors and household waste collectors are working on their behalf.
“But the city corporations do not give us any Identity Card. We work without professional protection in harmful and dangerous environment. So we need to be provided with security,proper training and equipment,” said Rina Begum.
Other demands of the union include --- ensuring proper education, technical and vocational training and healthcare for the waste-workers’ children, creating time-befitting legal framework to ensure better health care and security of their livelihoods, introducing social safety net programme for the waste-workers.
Jatrabari Household Waste Collection Workers' Union President Rustam Ali and Grambangla Unnayon Committee Executive Director AKM Masud were present on the occasion.
The Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE) in Myanmar submitted its final report on Monday noting that war crimes, serious human rights violations, and violations of domestic law took place during the security operations between August 25 and September 5, 2017.
The report, however, claimed that findings reveal “no indication” of a pattern of conduct from which one could reasonably conclude that the acts were committed with ‘genocidal intent’, according to the Office of the Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE).
Although these serious crimes and violations were committed by multiple actors, there are reasonable grounds to believe that members of Myanmar’s security forces were involved, the report claimed.
The ICOE came up with its final report when the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ highest court, is scheduled to deliver its decision on the provisional measures requested by The Gambia in its genocide case against Myanmar on January 23.
Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s (ARSA’s) “initial attacks” - drawing on a very large number of mobilised villagers – provoked the response by Myanmar’s security forces, the ICOE report reads.
It claimed that the killing of innocent villagers and destruction of their homes were committed by some members of the Myanmar’s security forces through disproportionate use of force during the internal armed conflict.
The ICOE’s final report covers the context and historical background of Rakhine State; the inter-communal violence of 2012, and armed conflict of 2016 and 2017; findings of the ICOE’s Evidence Collection and Verification Team (ECVT); measures to establish accountability; principal observations; and 22 recommendations.
The principal observations of the ICOE concern the following topics: wide gaps in the narratives; allegations of human rights violations, ‘ethnic cleansing’, and ‘genocide’; disproportionate or excessive use of force; mass displacement of Muslims; internally displaced persons; lack of social cohesion or unity; quality control in conflict-related fact-finding; and international courts.
The ICOE held its 15th meeting on Monday in Nay Pyi Taw for the last time before submitting its final report.
The ICOE signed and submitted its final report to Win Myint, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar at the Presidential Palace, Nay Pyi Taw, in the presence of Union Ministers for the Office of the State Counsellor and Office of the Union Government.
The ICOE also met Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
The report makes a reference to the mass displacement of persons who fled to Bangladesh in 1971 and 1992, and the further cycle of violence in Rakhine State since 2012.
The full report analyses in detail the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s (ARSA’s) attacks and the subsequent response by Myanmar’s Defence Services and Police Force from 25 August to 5 September 2017. It shows that the scale of armed violence was such that there was an internal armed conflict.
The ICOE has not found any evidence suggesting that these killings or acts of displacement were committed pursuant to an intent or plan to destroy the Muslim or any other community in northern Rakhine State, the report added.
“There’s insufficient evidence to argue, much less conclude, that the crimes committed were undertaken with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, or with any other requisite mental state for the international crime of genocide,” the ICOE report reads.
The report mentioned that the ECVT findings reveal no indication of a pattern of conduct from which one could reasonably conclude that the acts were committed with ‘genocidal intent’.
The full report counts 461 pages, including 31 annexes. Among the annexes are more than a dozen case files which provide a basis for the requisite further investigations by the Union Attorney General’s Office and the Office of the Judge Advocate General.
The Myanmar government and Myanmar’s Defence Services must continue their respective investigations, taking into account the ECVTs’ findings, it said.
President Abdul Hamid on Monday urged the scouts to continue their active role in raising social awareness against drugs, terrorism, militancy, child-marriage and fanaticism.
"I hope, the scouts will keep up their active role in raising awareness against drugs, terrorism, militancy, child-marriage and fanaticism as they do always," he said.
The President was speaking at the inaugural programme of the 9th National Cub Camporee held at National Scout Training Centre at Mouchak, Gazipur.
Terming the scouts as future leaders of the nation, he said, "You’ll build a hunger- and poverty-free, secular Bangladesh which Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had dreamt of.”
Mentioning that there is no alternative to hard work and practice, Abdul Hamid said, "Scouting teaches students to be good citizens alongside their academic activities. So, scouting has to be utilised for serving the country."
"National development will be accelerated if the education of scouting is reflected on individual, family and social lives," he added.
He also urged them to come forward to assist in relief work during flood, cyclone, building collapse, fire and other natural disasters.
Hamid said the government has taken many initiatives like Vision 2021, Vision 2041 and Delta Plan-2100 to make the country prosperous and developed one in 2041, and attain the Sustainable Goals of Development (SDG)-2030.
Around 9,000 cub scouts of Naval, Air, Railway and community-based units of all schools in every upazila is participating in the campaign. Each unit comprises six members and a unit leader.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, President of Bangladesh Scouts Abul Kalam Azad, Bangladesh Scouts chief national commissioner and the Anti-Corruption Commission commissioner Md Mozammel Haque Khan also spoke at the programme.
The President, also the Chief of Scouts, opened a commemorative stamp on the occasion of Camporee. The President's Scouts Award was also distributed among 48 scouts while the President's Rover Scout among four.
Secretaries concerned to the President were also present at the programme.
Bangladesh has got 53.66 lakh new voters after its 2018 general election, according to the draft updated electoral rolls revealed by the Election Commission on Monday.
The number of voters will stand at 10,96,06,187 (nearly 11 crore), including 5,53,25,292 men, 5,42,80,542 women and 353 transgender, once the updated voter list is finalised.
EC Additional Secretary Mokhlesur Rahman revealed the draft electoral rolls at a press conference at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city. Director General of the National Identity Registration Wing Brig Gen Saidul Islam was present.
A total of 67,58,341 fresh voters -- 35,82,163 men and 31,75,825 women -- have been enrolled in the draft list, while 13,92,236 voters who died by the time have been deleted from the list.
Meanwhile, the Commission has identified 2,07,635 dual voters and removed them from the list during the updating programme.
The Election Commission for the first time disclosed the number of transgender voters collecting their data with their own identities during the updating exercise.