Pushing activists towards violence is deplorable: Info Minister
Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud has said that pushing party leaders and activists towards violence is deplorable. The minister said this today while speaking to journalists at his ministry’s conference room at the Secretariat. Speaking on the death of a Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader in Panchagarh, Mahmud, also Joint General Secretary of Awami League (AL), said that the man had died of heart attack. Read: Handcuffs, leg irons should’ve been removed during funeral of BNP leader’s mother: Info Minister “I’m saddened by the news of Abdur Rashid’s demise. But he was a heart patient and died of a sudden attack, not during the BNP-Police clash. But BNP leaders pushed their party activists to become violent over the issue, which is bad politics. Violent politics doesn’t bring any good for the country and BNP should quit this path,” he said. Replying to a question, the minister added that AL wants to strengthen the country’s democracy by fair and peaceful elections. “BNP leaders know that they’ve moved away from the people and that’s why they are afraid of taking part in the elections. The government can’t do anything about it. A party which was formed in an undemocratic way can’t place their trust on democratic principles,” he added. Read: Jamaat, which was behind killings of intellectuals in 1971, BNP's main associate: Info Minister The minister further said that AL wants BNP to take part in the next general election with full force. “We want to win the game of politics by playing the election round, not by walkovers. I hope if BNP takes part in the election and we can compete with them properly, we’ll be able to crush them like we did in 2018,” Hasan said.
Govt will deal with country’s internal issues, not foreign diplomats: Quader
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today (December 26, 2022) said the government will resolve internal issues of the country and foreign diplomats have to abide by the rules. The minister said this while talking to reporters at his ministry’s conference room at the Secretariat. Read: Get ready to face defeat: Obaidul to BNP “Foreign diplomats will not put anyone in office, the country’s people will. Foreign diplomats have to follow the (Convention) when they talk about internal affairs of our country. It’s the government who will solve the country’s problems, not them,” Quader said. Quader, also general secretary of ruling Awami League, added that the government does not tolerate “terrorist activities like torching vehicles and shops.” Read: Defeated forces resurrected to avenge: Obaidul Quader “We are always alert to prevent any kind of terrorism. We will take necessary steps if anyone creates chaos and causes public suffering. Law enforcement agencies are always active to tackle violence,” Quader added.
DUTA slams US Ambassador for ‘contradictory’ behaviour
Dhaka University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) on Thursday criticised US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter D Haas’ acceptance of a request from ‘Mayer Daak’ and his visit to the house of a person who had disappeared in 2013, terming the incident as biased and politically motivated. In a statement, DUTA said that the way the US envoy is trying to fulfill the interests of a vested quarter is worrisome. Terming the US diplomat’s behaviour contradictory, it said that he went to the house of a disappeared person, but didn’t hear what Mayer Kanna, an organisation seeking justice for those who were killed and had disappeared during the regime of Ziaur Rahman, had to say. Read: Families of armed forces officers executed during Zia regime seek US ambassador’s intervention for justice “This type of dual nature has saddened us,” the statement read. DUTA also came down heavily on other foreign diplomats, saying that their comments on the internal affairs of Bangladesh are obscene and against diplomatic norms and values. “Countries like the US and the UK regularly tell us to improve our human rights situation, while it’s them who have been providing shelter to the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the martyred intellectuals. We demand clear answers from them when they talk about human rights in Bangladesh,” according to the statement. Read: US Ambassador visits residence of the coordinator of ‘Mayer Dak’ in city Prof Dr Md Nizamul Haque Bhuiyan, General Secretary of DUTA, signed the statement on behalf of the teachers of the university.
'Law of the Sea more relevant than ever with oceans in dire straits'
The UN chief has said the adoption by most nations of the world of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 40 years ago is more relevant than ever as the oceans are now in dire straits. Speaking at a major General Assembly meeting marking the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention Thursday, António Guterres highlighted the breadth of the accord, spanning from "the air we breathe, to the atmosphere that sustains all life, to the ocean-based industries that employ some 40 million people, to the species that call the ocean home." Among the key provisions of the Convention are the conservation of the world's fisheries, marine protection, the right to resources within 200 nautical miles of national shorelines, and of increasing importance, the sustainable and equitable management of mineral-related activities in international waters. Guterres said around 35 percent of the world's fisheries are simply being overexploited. "Sea levels are rising as the climate crisis continues, and the ocean is acidifying and choked with pollution."Coral reefs are bleaching, "epic floods" threaten coastal cities everywhere, and too often, "people working in ocean-based industries are not accessing the support or safe working conditions they need and deserve." Read: UN chief appeals for more fund from developed countries to help preserve biodiversity The UN chief said the recently adopted Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies needed to be adopted swiftly, ensuring that all policies towards the ocean are "underpinned by the best science and the best economic and social expertise." He said it meant bringing the wisdom and knowledge of Indigenous peoples and local communities into the Convention, ending what he called the plastic pollution crisis, and concluding next year the agreement on marine biological diversity of areas beyond national borders. The governments should develop laws and policies that put protection and conservation first, while marine industries and investors, should make conservation, protection and climate resilience a top priority, along with worker safety, the UN chief added. Csaba Kőrösi, president of the General Assembly, said the Convention was known by many as the constitution of the oceans. Read: UN chief warns planet is heading toward `climate chaos' "The fact that UNCLOS is just as relevant as ever is a true UN success story. This document can serve as an excellent example of what can be achieved when multilateralism is done right. What global governance can and should look like," he added.
ACC chief bats for identifying the corrupt, ostracising them
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah Friday called on everyone to identify the corrupt and ostracise them. He made the call while standing in a human chain formed in front of the ACC headquarters in the capital's Segunbagicha, marking International Anti-Corruption Day, which is observed globally on December 9 to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it. The anti-corruption watchdog chief said: "Once Bangladesh ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Things have changed now. But corruption cannot be rooted out overnight. It will gradually disappear." Read: ACC to investigate 3 Islamic banks over scam Requesting everyone to identify the corrupt, he said: "You know who the corrupt are. Boycott them socially." International Anti-Corruption Day is being observed in eight divisions, 64 districts and 495 upazilas of the country. International Anti-Corruption Day seeks to highlight the crucial link between anti-corruption and peace, security, and development. At its core is the notion that tackling this crime is the right and responsibility of everyone, and that only through cooperation and the involvement of every person and institution can we overcome the negative impact of this crime. Read: Basic Bank loan scam: HC orders ACC to complete probe in 3 months States, government officials, civil servants, law enforcement officers, media representatives, the private sector, civil society, academia, the public and youth alike all have a role to play in this.
Business in tatters due to plunder, money laundering: Fakhrul
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday said businesspeople are going through a very tough time due to the economic crisis, mainly caused by widespread plundering and siphoning off money abroad. “Every big businessman is now saying one thing that they’re facing a very bad time and their businesses and factories are shutting down. They are also now in a situation that they even don’t have money to pay the wages of their workers,” he said. Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader also said the government has been blaming the Russia-Ukraine war for the economic crisis. “Maybe there are some reasons behind it. But TK86 lakh crores were laundered in the last 10 years, including Tk,78,000 crores in the last one year. Can the economy of a country exist where people belonging to the ruling party indulges in widespread plundering and money laundering?” Uttar Banga Chhatra forum and Bangladesh Chhatra Forum jointly arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club, marking BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman’s 58th birthday. Fakhrul said the businesses now need incentives and facilities from the central bank at this time to overcome the situation. Read: Successful divisional rallies show people turning around: Mirza Fakhrul “But the banks are refusing to open new LCs due to dollar shortage while huge money from the reserves was plundered earlier. The common people, including the rickshaw pullers and hawkers now say this government is a thief," he said. The BNP leader said people have woken up to get rid of the current situation and oust the government. “A struggle has already begun as people have taken to the streets. I’m getting encouraged in this old age from our every rally to wage another Liberation War to defeat the current regime.” Govt must pay price for taking 7 lives: Fakhrul alleged that police shot dead Bancharampur’s Sonarampur Union Parishad unit JCD leader Nayon Miah on Saturday without any provocation and reason. What kind of a country it is. You have to face trial in the people’s court.” He said their party’s seven leaders and activists, including Nayon Miah, were killed in their ongoing movement for the restoration of democracy and people’s voting rights. “We lost our seven warriors and you (govt) must pay a heavy price for it.” Read: BNP’s ideology stands poles apart from Jamaat, it sees India as a special friend, says Mirza Fakhrul in an exclusive interview with UNB Fakhrul also asked the government to quit power safely before time runs out. “Otherwise, the turbulent mass wave that has already been created will sweep you away like a tsunami.” Accusing the government of implicating the BNP leaders and activists in false cases, he urged the judiciary to ensure justice.
Shun luxury and serve the people: PM Hasina tells elected Zila Parishads
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the only aim of her government is to establish a welfare-oriented local government for the betterment of the people. “We want to establish a public welfare-oriented local government. That’s our sole objective,” the premier said while speaking at the oath taking ceremony of the newly elected Chairmen and members of the 59 Zila Parishads of the country. Sheikh Hasina administered the oath to the newly elected 59 Chairmen of the Zila Parishods at a ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in Dhaka. On the other hand, LGRD Minister Md Tajul Islam administered the oath to the newly elected 623 members of the Zila Parishads. The PM asked the Zila Parishad chairmen and members to identify the problems of their respective areas and solve those. “You have to think about the ways and process to improve the fate of the people of the country,” she said. She said although the elected representatives belong to different political parties, they must all work for the entire population of their constituencies. The elections have been held in a free and fair manner, she said. Read: PM on forex reserves: Better to spend on people's welfare than keep it idle “You are the elected representatives and you are not for enjoyment and resort to luxury. You are here to serve the people,” she said. She said that if the elected representatives can win the hearts of the people only through dedicated service to them. If the public representatives, she said, prefer plundering people’s wealth to serving them “that will be the end of their political career,” she warned. The prime minister said that she wants to see the elected representatives to pay back the trust their voters reposed on them through selfless service. She also asked them to take special care in keeping their areas clean to prevent spread of dengue, the mosquito-borne disease now on the rise in the country. Recalling the steps taken by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for decentralisation of state power, the PM said the great leader had upgraded all the subdivisions to districts. In light of the initiatives of Bangabandhu, she said, the government has been working to fulfill all the basic needs of the people, including healthcare, education, housing, food and clothes. She mentioned that steps have been taken to ensure food security for all and the government is working to provide housing for every single homeless person. Read: Awami League never wasted a single taka of Bangladesh’s money: PM She directed the chairmen, members and representatives of other local government bodies to find out whether anyone left homeless in their localities and come forward to help them get houses. Hasina said the Awami League government has created scopes for all the elected representatives, irrespective of their political affiliation, to work for the development of their respective areas. She said that her government has been working to reach the cherished goal of building a hunger-and-poverty-free 'Sonar Bangla' dreamt by Bangabandhu. She said the elected officials have now greater responsibilities in serving the people who have chosen them through ballots.
Public-private partnership key to SDGs financing: Tazul
LGRD Minister Md Tazul Islam has said public-private partnerships can be the catalyst for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 in Bangladesh, as the private sector has been identified as a key financing source by the country. "Financing is a key aspect of continuing momentum on delivering the SDGs at the local level. While the government emphasises financing development activities at the grassroots level, we need to work more to ensure that the resources of the government can bring the best possible outcome in achieving SDGs," he added. The minister was speaking as the chief guest in a national-level workshop organised jointly by the government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the key integrator of SDGs in the UN system, at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre Thursday. The workshop, "SDG Localisation in Nine Lagging Districts: Findings and way forward" was organised to share the results of the efforts in nine lagging districts: Sunamganj, Kurigram, Natore, Cox's Bazar, Patuakhali, Satkhira, Gopalganj, Sherpur and Feni. "The SDG Implementation Review Report shows that Bangladesh has not only adopted the SDGs in the development agenda but also has started the process of translating the goals according to local priorities, which is termed as SDG localization," Tazul said. Read: LGRD minister urges public representatives to build 'creative society' Zuena Aziz, principal coordinator for SDGs at the Prime Minister's Office, said: "We partnered with the UN to pilot and define the approach in nine lagging districts across Bangladesh, with at least one district from each of the eight divisions." "For that, we ask not only development partners but also the private sector and civil society to come forward with their resources, knowledge, and solutions." "Bangladesh government has given more emphasis on SDG localisation. The country has identified 39+1 national priority indicators and took significant steps towards setting the framework for institutionalising the SDGs at different levels," said Gwyn Lewis, UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh. UNDP Resident Representative Stefan Liller said: "There is an important funding gap to achieve the SDGs both at the national and local levels. An estimation from 2017 shows that an additional $928 billion are needed only in Bangladesh." "So, we need to think and act on how to generate new financing instruments and new financing streams to bridge that gap – in this case, for local priorities. We also need to explore innovative solutions of how funding for local priorities can be channelled, allocated, coordinated, spent and reported in more efficient ways." Read: People from all religions must be united to stop conspiracy: LGRD Minister "Sweden is a strong promoter of democratic governance, and we are happy to have been a development part in this process," said Maria Stridsman, head of cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden. "It's quite obvious, with local involvement, you are much more likely to develop a solution which will fit local problems. And that is also the case for Bangladesh."
Strengthening law a must to ensure tobacco-free Bangladesh: Minister
Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Wednesday said it is necessary to strengthen the tobacco control law to achieve the goal of a tobacco-free Bangladesh. He also said the initiative to fortify the tobacco control law to curb tobacco use is a timely one. The minister came up with the comments during a meeting with a delegation from research and advocacy organization PROGGA and ATMA (Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance) at the Secretariat, said a press release. Read: Fallow lands to be brought under cultivation: Agriculture Minister The meeting was organised to inform the minister about the progress made by the Health Ministry in amending the tobacco control law and the potential role that the Agriculture Ministry can play in the process. Dr Abdur Razzaque said his ministry has full support for the Health Ministry's proposals for tobacco control law amendment. The delegation of PROGGA and ATMA informed the minister that currently the prevalence of tobacco use stands at 35.3 percent (37.8 million) of the adult population (15 y/o and above). They said the tobacco-induced deaths and diseases cost the economy dearly since the financial toll is much higher than the revenue generated from tobacco sector. Read: No famine risk in Bangladesh right now: Agriculture Minister Realizing the extent of tobacco’s devastation, the Prime Minister voiced her commitment to build a tobacco-free country by 2040 and accordingly provided the directive to bring time-fitting changes to the tobacco control law, they observed. Following clear directive from the PM, the Health Ministry took the initiative to amend the law.
Action if any attempt is made to leak questions: Education Minister
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni has said that measures will be taken if anyone tries to leak questions of the ongoing Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams of 2022. The Minister said this while talking to reporters after visiting Begum Badrunnesa Government Women’s College exam center in the capital on Sunday. “We’ve taken action against some people who had tried to leak questions of this year’s Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams in Kurigram’s Bhurungamari upazila. We’ll collectively prevent such attempts this time too by punishing those who’ll commit such offence,” Dipu said. The Minister also urged the parents not to stay outside the exam centers as this makes entrance of the examinees difficult. Replying to a question about coaching centers, she said Coaching centers are needed as it’s impossible for teachers to pay attention to each and every student in the classrooms. Read: June 25 SSC exam rescheduled to June 24: Education Minister “We hope that the need for coaching centers will decrease once the new curriculum is introduced. However, we’ve given directives to shut coaching centers during public exams. To implement this directive, we need help from the local administrations,” Dipu added. It was planned to hold this year’s HSC exams in July-August period but couldn’t do so due to flooding in the country’s northeast, she said adding, “If natural disasters hit any part of the country in the future, we’ll postpone exams in that area and hold exams in other areas as per schedule. Later, we’ll hold exams in the disaster-hit area within the quickest possible time.”