Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed returned home on Sunday after a 3-day official visit to Qatar. During the 3-day official visit, the Army Chief enjoyed the semi-final and final games of the '18th AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™' held in Qatar and observed various events of the 'World Aquatics Championships Doha 2024'. Shab-e-Barat on February 25 Besides, the army chief also participated in bilateral meetings with representatives from different countries and discussed various issues of mutual cooperation, says an Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR) Directorate media release. Anita Ghazi Rahman joins Brac Bank as independent director The Chief of Army Staff went to Qatar on February 7 at the invitation of Qatar Olympic Committee and President of Local Organizing Committee Joan Bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed on Thursday visited the activities of Bangladesh Army deployed in Dhaka, Jashore and Savar region as the country gears up for the 12th parliamentary elections. 1 more dengue patient dies; 153 hospitalised in 24hrs The Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) said in a press release on Thursday that the army chief visited the activities of the Bangladesh Army deployed in Jashore region to assist the civil administration on January 7, according to the ISPR. During the visit, he exchanged views with the soldiers on duty and gave necessary directions. Dense fog disrupts flight operations at Dhaka airport; 13 flights diverted General Officer Commanding (GOC), 55 Infantry Division and Area Commander Jashore Area, senior military officials of the Army Headquarters, local civil administration and law enforcement agencies were present on the occasion. After visiting the Jashore region, the army chief inspected the activities of the army personnel deployed in Savar and Dhaka and gave necessary directives. Dhaka's air quality 3rd worst in the world this morning
A senior army warrant officer was killed and two other soldiers suffered injuries when members of the armed separatist group Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA) opened fire on a patrol team in Rowangchhari upazila of Bandarban district on Sunday. The deceased was identified as Master Warrant Officer Nazim Uddin, son of late Shamser Ali of Ghaghatpara village of Rangpur Sadar upazila. The injured army soldiers are being treated at a hospital, according to the ISPR. Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed expressed deep grief over his death. On the occasion of National Children's Day-2023 and Independence Day, the patrol team went to remote hilly areas to ensure the security of a team that went to provide free health care to mothers and children on Sunday noon. Around 1pm, the armed KNA members suddenly opened fire on the patrol team from an ambush vantage point, leaving the warrant officer dead on the spot and two others injured, ISPR said. According to the ISPR, the separatist Kuki-Chin National Army, an armed terrorist group, has previously provided arms training to a militant group "Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya" in Bandarban's hilly areas for money. Besides, the terrorist group tried to stop the road construction work going on in Thanchi under the supervision of the Bangladesh Army. On failing, they kidnapped 12 workers on March 11, 2023. Of them, a worker suffered bullet injuries and four workers are still being held hostage by the KNA. Although the remaining seven workers were released for ransom, they threatened them not to work on the road construction project. Earlier on February 8, 2023, KNA sent a notice to the Transport Owners Association threatening to stop vehicle movement in three upazilas of Bandarban. On Sunday, March 12, 2023, the district administration issued an indefinite travel ban in the area due to security concerns caused by various terrorist activities of KNA members.
The fire that broke out at a cotton godown in Sitakunda upazila of Chattogram district yesterday (March 11, 2023) morning was brought under control this morning, around 22 hours after the incident. Sultan Mahmud, senior station officer of Kumira Fire Service and Civil Defence, confirmed the development, saying that the fire was brought under control with the help of Bangladesh Army and Navy around 8 am this (March 12, 2023) morning. Members of the army, navy and fire service are tirelessly working to douse the blaze completely, he said. The army will brief about the incident when the fire is extinguished, the fire service officer added. Read more: Sitakunda cotton godown fire: Army, Navy join efforts to control the blaze On Saturday night, members of the army and navy joined the fire service in fighting the fire. Meanwhile, a 10-member probe committee, headed by Chattogram district administration’s deputy director Badiul Alam, was formed to investigate the fire. The committee was asked to submit a report within 5 working days, Md Towhidul Islam, executive magistrate of the district administration, said. He said there were 2700 tonnes of cotton inside the warehouse which made it difficult to bring the fire under control. Read More: Sitakunda cotton godown fire: Army, Navy join efforts to control the blaze The fire started at the cotton warehouse of Unitex Group in Chhoto Kumira area around 10:30 am yesterday. On information, five firefighting units from two stations responded to the fire and almost brought the blaze under control around 12 pm. But as the fire flared up again, firefighters struggled to douse the fire due to a lack of a constant supply of water in the area. Six more firefighting units joined in around 8 pm last night. Read More EU releases €1 million in emergency aid for people affected by fire in Rohingya camp in Bangladesh The origin of the fire and the extent of damage could not be ascertained immediately. Earlier on March 4, six people were burned to death and around 33 sustained injuries in a fire after a massive blast at Seema Oxygen Plant in the upazila.
When rioters stormed Brazil’s top government buildings in January to dispute the outcome of the presidential election, many soldiers stood by as far-right protesters broke windows, defecated in offices and destroyed valuable art. The images from Brasilia that day still haunt the left-leaning government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He has strived ever since to ensure that military leaders defend South America’s largest democracy and stay out of politics. The threat isn't just hypothetical. Brazil has lived through four military coups – the most recent one in 1964, followed by two decades of brutal dictatorship. Also Read: Bolsonaro says he may return to Brazil in the coming weeks Lula’s task is fraught. The military is filled with supporters of ex-president Jair Bolsonaro, and its role in the new government is being diminished by the day. Lula has already tapped more than 100 civilians to replace military officers Bolsonaro appointed to key positions, and he has moved oversight of the country's intelligence agency to his chief of staff's office, among other changes. “Lula needed to manage his relationship with the military to be able to govern, and will continue to do so,” said Carlos Melo, a political science professor at Insper University in Sao Paulo. Melo said Brazil's military has long believed that it has "some kind of guardianship of the country’s political process," and Bolsonaro only fueled that belief. Also Read: Brazil deluge toll hits 44 as search continues for missing Bolsonaro, a former army captain, appointed more than 6,000 military officers to jobs across his government and revived an annual commemoration of the 1964 coup to stoke nostalgia for the days of military rule. Although that era was marked by human rights abuses and the loss of civil liberties, Bolsonaro and many of his supporters remember it fondly as a time of strong nationalism, economic growth and conservative values. They view Lula's efforts to tame the military as heavy-handed and misguided. “Stop looking through the rearview mirror and govern for all Brazilians,” Bolsonaro's former vice president, Gen. Hamilton Mourão, who is now a senator, said in an interview. The most significant move Lula has made so far has been to elevate Gen. Tomás Paiva to be the army’s top commander. Paiva, 62, has pledged to keep soldiers out of politics and to respect the results of October’s election, in which Lula beat Bolsonaro by a razor-thin margin. Yet Paiva has also acknowledged that most the military’s leaders voted for Bolsonaro, and he lamented Lula’s victory to subordinates just three days before the new president called to offer him the promotion — comments he later said were misinterpreted. Lula has taken various other steps aimed inoculating Brazil from the risk of another violent uprising with at least tacit support from some in the military: — He blocked the appointment of a Bolsonaro loyalist to command the Goiania battalion, based an uncomfortably close 124 miles from the capital. — He placed the country’s intelligence agency — formerly overseen by members of the military — under the office of his chief of staff, which is led by civilians. — He took a symbolically important trip to the U.S., which before the election had warned Brazilian military leaders to steer clear of politics if they wanted access to arms purchases and cooperation from American armed forces. For now, there is no evidence of another uprising being planned or of military leaders questioning Lula's orders, according to a high-ranking official in the army and a person who works closely with the defense minister, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly. Lula enlisted the military’s cooperation twice in February: as part of a massive operation to expel some 20,000 illegal miners from the Yanomami Indigenous area in Brazil’s Amazon, and to help rescue people after mudslides near Sao Paulo. These represented early tests of the relationship between Lula and the military, and the results were very positive, said political consultant Thomas Traumann. Still, there's no guarantee of long-term stability, he said. It remains to be seen whether military retirees and active duty service members who either took part in the Jan. 8 riots or turned a blind eye to them will receive punishment. Some analysts believe that would be important to deter future action. One video from Jan. 8 showed policemen at the presidential palace in the rare position of barking orders at soldiers: “Lead your troops!” one officer shouted at members of the presidential guard, which is part of the army. Another video showed dozens of rioters surrounded by police in the palace, as a general attempts to free them. “Are you nuts?” a policeman asks. “They’re in custody!” Hundreds of civilians who participated in the riots have been jailed and dozens indicted. But service members have so far been spared. The military prosecutors’ office and the top military court have opened 17 investigations, although neither has been transparent about the process. The incoming Chief Justice of Brazil’s Superior Military Court, Joseli Camelo, said he was encouraged recently when the army canceled a plan to commemorate the upcoming anniversary of the 1964 military coup, a dictatorship-era tradition that Bolsonaro revived. “This is just another demonstration that the commander is aligned with all the powers towards our common challenge, which is to pacify Brazil and definitively reinforce democracy in our country,” Camelo said. Mourão, Bolsonaro's former vice president, says the military should not spare any of its members who are proven guilty of taking part in the riots. “The armed forces are shaped to be rigorous in the investigation of disciplinary errors and military crimes,” he said. Even before taking office in January, Lula — who served as president from 2003-2010 — knew it was essential for him to bolster ties with the country’s right-leaning military. Some highly regarded military leaders had openly derided him before the election, and some even campaigned to reelect Bolsonaro. For months, the army permitted anti-Lula protesters who were openly supportive of a military coup against him to camp outside their barracks. In Lula’s first two presidential terms, his relationship with the military was marked by conciliation rather than confrontation, said Fabio Victor, a journalist who just published a best-selling book on Brazil’s armed forces and politics. But Jan. 8 appears to have altered his calculus. In contrast with Bolsonaro's administration, few members of the armed forces work at the presidential palace, Victor said. With an eye toward the future, Lula's allies in Congress are pushing for constitutional changes that would more clearly define the military's powers and limits, and his ministers are looking at overhauling military education. “Lula today is very suspicious of the military,” Victor said.
The death toll from a boating accident in a lake in northwest Pakistan over the weekend reached 51, the military said Tuesday. The vessel was carrying children and teachers from a seminary on a picnic. Police on Sunday said at least 10 students drowned after their boat capsized in Tanda Dam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. They said then that the vessel was carrying 25 people. Later, however, officials said the boat was overcrowded and in fact was carrying 57 people, mostly children, and at least 51 had died. Read more: 19 women drowned as boat capsizes in Pakistan's Indus River: media The military said in a statement that divers from the army and local emergency service rescued five survivors. It said the search for the remaining person was continuing. Such accidents are common in Pakistan, where rickety wooden boats are often used to transport goods and people on rivers and lakes. Most operate without life jackets.
A member of the armed separatist group Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) was shot to death in a reported gunfight with members of the Army in Ruma upazila of Bandarban district on Saturday. The identity of the deceased could not be known immediately. Tipped off, a team of Bangladesh Army conducted a drive at the middle point of Arthapara and Baslang Para in the evening, said Alamgir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Ruma Police Station. Sensing danger, the KNF members opened fire at the Army, forcing them to fire back, according to the soldiers' account. One separatist was shot dead. Later, police recovered the body of the KNF member from the spot in the morning. Also read; Indigenous man shot dead in Bandarban One gun, ten bullets and different goods used by the criminal gang were seized from the spot. Being panicked, the local people took shelter at Marma Welfare Centre in Ruma upazila Headquarters. Local administration with the help of the Army provided food and medical assistance to them. A group of young men formed the banned armed separatist group Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) in 2020, according to authorities.
Indian chief of Defence Staff had a courtesy conversation with the Bangladesh Army chief over the phone on Thursday night. This is the first time that General Anil Chauhan had a courtesy conversation with Bangladesh Army Chief General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed after taking charge as India's chief of Defence Staff, the Inter Services Public Relation Directorate said. During the conversation, they hoped for more training cooperation between the armies of the two friendly countries. Also, the Bangladesh Army chief invited India's chief of Defence Staff to visit Bangladesh. The conversation is expected to boost relations between the armies of the countries, the Inter Services Public Relation Directorate said. Read more: Bangladesh, India sign first contract under US$500 million defence LoC
Companies from at least 13 countries have helped Myanmar build up its capacity to produce weapons that are being used to commit atrocities following a 2021 military takeover, independent international experts have found. The report released Monday by the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar details how the country has stepped up arms production since the army seized power on Feb. 1, 2021, igniting a mass public opposition movement. The army’s takeover from elected civilian leaders reversed nearly a decade of progress toward democracy after 50 years of military rule. After security forces used lethal force against peaceful demonstrators, opponents of military rule took up arms. Some U.N. experts have characterized the situation as a civil war. Read more: Myanmar's military govt 'willing to take back Rohingyas' . The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has documented more than 2,700 civilian deaths in the violence, including 277 children, while more than 13,000 people have been detained. The true number is believed to be much higher. Companies in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East are supporting the military supply chain, the report says, urging those businesses to ensure they are not facilitating human rights abuses. The growth of the homegrown arms industry comes as some countries have enforced arms embargoes or sanctions against individuals and companies involved in trading or manufacturing arms. In October, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions against Aung Moe Myint, a businessman close to the army who it said facilitates arms deals on its behalf. His brother, Hlaing Moe Myint, and the trading company they founded, Dynasty International Company Ltd., were also targeted. One of its directors, Myo Thitsar, also was designated for sanctions. In November, the U.S. imposed sanctions on aircraft suppliers to the military, citing deadly air strikes on civilians. Myanmar has no private arms makers, so any such companies are run by the Ministry of Defense and Directorate of Defense Industries, the report said. Local factories still can draw upon licensed technology and overseas supply chains, technical support and other backing, sometimes by sending equipment to Singapore and Taiwan for upgrading and maintenance, it said. In a statement, council expert Chris Sidoti urged that governments investigate and when justified initiate action against companies that enable Myanmar's military to make weapons used in “indiscriminate attacks on civilians." “Foreign companies that profit from the suffering of the Myanmar people must be held accountable," said Sidoti, a human rights lawyer and a member of the U.N. Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar from 2017 to 2019. A report last year by the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights outlined some of those links, naming companies in Russia, China, Ukraine, Israel, Singapore and the Philippines. A major factor driving the buildup in the domestic arms making industry is the risk that imports of arms, military aircraft and other weaponry will be cut off by embargoes or sanctions. The army is now self-reliant in making small arms and light weapons, the report says. Myanmar's arms-making capacity includes a wide variety of items from assault rifles and machine guns to mortars, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, missiles and missile launchers and artillery and air defense systems, it said. Read more: Myanmar's military regime must end its violence, release those unjustly detained: US Land mines and naval mines are among other products being made in Myanmar, said the report, citing people who have worked in the industry and also photos of weapons displayed at a defense and security exhibition in Bangkok that showcased such products. Weapons factories, known as “KaPaSa," an abbreviation of the local name for the Directorate of Defense Industries, draw on components such as fuses, optical sights and detonating caps imported from India and China. They also have computer numerical control, or CNC, machines for milling, grinding and other functions made in Austria, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, the report said. The exact number of such factories is unclear but analysis of satellite images and other information has identified dozens of such facilities. Much of the technology used in the arms-making industry was transferred for civilian use before the military took control, ousting the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. But more research is needed on the complex network of suppliers, licensors of technology and other details of weapons manufacturing, the report said. Myanmar has endured decades of armed conflict between the central government and ethnic minorities seeking greater autonomy, mostly in border regions.
Armed Forces Day will be observed across the country on Monday with due solemnity and enthusiasm. On this day in 1971, Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising army, navy and air force came into being and launched an all-out attack on the Pakistani occupation forces. Since the country's independence, the day has been observed as the Armed Forces Day every year. The day’s programmes will start with the offering of special prayers in mosques of all cantonments, naval outposts and establishments and air force outposts after Fajr prayers seeking divine blessings for the country’s welfare and progress and continued development and progress of the Armed Forces. Read more: Be ready to fight if enemy attacks peace-loving Bangladesh, PM urges armed forces President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths at ‘Shikha Anirban’ (the Eternal Flame) at Dhaka Cantonment in the morning to pay homage to members of the Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives in the War of Liberation. President Abdul Hamid, who is also the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion. The chiefs of the three services will place wreaths at ‘Shikha Anirban’ at Dhaka Cantonment in the morning from their respective forces. Later, the three chiefs will pay courtesy calls on the president at Bangabhaban and the Prime Minister at the Armed Forces Division at Dhaka Cantonment. On the occasion, the Prime Minister will host a reception and meet the family members of the Bir Shresthas and other gallantry award-winning freedom fighters at Army Multipurpose Complex. In the afternoon, Sheikh Hasina will also host a reception at 4pm at Sena Kunja in Dhaka Cantonment to commemorate the day. The chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force will also accord receptions to the award-winning freedom fighters of their respective forces and their inheritors. Meanwhile, programmes have been chalked out to observe the day at all army garrisons, naval ships and establishments and air force bases throughout the country. Bangladesh Television (BTV) will broadcast a special programme titled ‘Special Anirban’ after its 8 pm bulletin on Monday highlighting the significance of the day. Bangladesh Betar will broadcast a special ‘Special Durbar’ programme at 7:30pm. The national dailies will publish special supplements on the occasion. President Abdul Hamid, who is also the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion. In his message, President Abdul Hamid said the government has formulated ‘Forces Goal 2030’ to modernize the Armed Forces. Under the purview of it, modern military equipment is being added to the Armed Forces which will undoubtedly make the forces more modern, efficient and dynamic. He also expected that, by imbibing the spirit of the great liberation war, the members of the Armed Forces will make every effort to uphold the glory of the armed forces through loyalty to the state and leadership with the coordination of hard work and patriotism. In her message, Prime Minister said “I hope that the members of Armed Forces will perform their duties with patriotism, professionalism and sincerity by imbibe the spirit of the Liberation War. We’ll be able to build a hunger-poverty-free and happy-rich golden Bangladesh dreamt by the Father of the Nation with the collective efforts of all.”