NEWS ON DATE - 01-12-2022
The 25th anniversary of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord will be observed on Friday. Different programmes have been arranged in the three hilly districts, marking the anniversary of the peace treaty. Read more: 25 Years of CHT Peace Accord: Eminent citizens say expectation remains unfulfilled President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday issued separate messages marking the completion of 25 years of the significant treaty. President Abdul Hamid in his massage said Chittagong Hill Tracts is rich with natural resources and a place of potentials. The Peace Accord is speeding up the socio-economic and cultural development of Chittagong Hill Tracts, he said. He urged all to work unitedly for the development of the hill region. In her message, the Prime Minister said the Awami League government has been working tirelessly for the overall development of the hilly region in the light of the peace treaty. Various schemes are being implemented for the development of all sectors including education, health, electricity, communication, infrastructure and mobile network in the region, she added. “We are committed to maintain peace all over the country including Chittagong Hill Tracts,” said the PM. “I hope we will be able to build a peaceful, happy Sonar Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through the socio-economic development of the Hill Tracts people with united efforts of all.” Read more: PM is very sincere to CHT people: Ushwe Sing She sought cooperation from all to fully implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord. On December 2, 1997, Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) signed the peace deal with the then Awami League government, led by Sheikh Hasina. Then Jatiya Sangsad Chief Whip Abul Hasnat Abdullah signed the agreement on behalf of the government while Joritindra Bodhipriyo Larma (Santu Larma) on behalf of PCJSS.
Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh on Thursday said the local-level development is affected by poor institutional effectiveness as the efficacy of public institutions has gradually eroded in the country. “Capacity of public institutions to service the disadvantaged groups, profile and prestige of local leadership have diminished overtime. Citizens’ voice has weakened too.” said Citizen's Platform Convenor Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya. Read more: Economic mismanagement creating instability in market: Debapriya He was addressing a media briefing in the city’s BRAC Centre Inn to share local opinions received from a series of sub-regional consultation meetings. The Citizen’s Platform arranged the seven consultation meetings between June and October this year to understand how much the local realities reflect the national development narrative. More than 500 engaged citizens from 25 districts of Bangladesh participated in the meetings and expressed their views and opinions. Dr Debapriya said that citizen’s voices, role of CSOs and NGOs and civic activism of students suppressed by a “culture of fear” that has intensified in the recent past. Middle class on the retreat He said that local situations reveal that the leadership role of the middle class is retreating in setting social norms and inclusive cultural approach in society. “Their socio-cultural role has been squeezed. The middle class is also under pressure due to lack of employment, high inflation and decline of income,” he added. He said that the disjunction has widened between national development narrative and local experience as there is uneven distribution of the development gains due to discriminatory design, weak delivery and limited access to resources and public services. Dr Debapriya said that, according to the consultation participants, the impact of ongoing inflationary pressure has fallen disproportionately on the marginalised groups and people with low income. “Traditionally ‘left behind’ groups are not being able to reach national averages,” he said. Read more: Economy needs transitional policy to overcome the crisis: Debapriya The gap between national development narrative and local realities, and asymmetries were aggravated further by lack of democratic accountability, he added. Focusing further on local realities, he said the rich tradition of cultural activities gradually receding; social fabric weakened as values of tolerance, trust and compassion withering away; and political space for pluralistic views, conversation and engagement narrowing. “There is rising concern among the district-level citizens that the smooth developmental progression of Bangladesh may get jeopardised due to adverse national and global economic outlook, as well as because of the apprehended political violence during the upcoming democratic transition,” said Dr Debapriya.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that the uninterrupted power supply will continue through strengthening the distribution network. "Underground cable network with optical fiber will ensure reliable power supply through dual sources," he said while visiting the sites of six ongoing projects in Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) on Thursday. He also said that installations of underground cables, substations and a central SCADA system will strengthen the power distribution network. DPDC Managing Director Engineer Bikash Dewan was present on the occasion. The DPDC has been implementing a project titled: "Extension and Strengthening of Power Distribution System under the DPDC". Read more: BERC now to consult with govt before any move on retail power tariff hike proposals The DPDC said that under the project some new 14 substations of 132/33 kV capacity and 26 substations of 33/11 kV capacity will be installed while capacity of some 8 existing substations of 132/33 kV and 4 substations of 33/11 kV will be enhanced. Considering the scarcity of land in Dhaka city, some modern and high capacity 35/50 MVA of 33/11 kV power transformers are being installed by the DPDC. This is the first time this type of power transformer is being installed in Bangladesh by DPDC. Under the project, some 20 km of existing overhead distribution lines in Dhanmondi area will be converted into underground cable networks. As a result, Dhanmondi area will be free form overhead cables and the power distribution will be uninterrupted. Under the DPDC project, overhead transmission lines and towers in Hatirjheel area will be removed and underground cables will be installed, which will greatly enhance the aesthetic beauty of the area. Read more: Saudi firm, BPDB sign deal to set up 1000MW solar power plant in Bangladesh Besides, a state-of-the-art mechanised wire house is being constructed at Tongi with an open hangar attached. This will be the first such wire house in the power sector in Bangladesh.
Outgoing Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki has said he sincerely hopes that the "safe, voluntary and dignified" repatriation to Myanmar will happen soon. "As the crisis is turning into its sixth year, it is essential to keep the attention of the global community, while multiple emergencies have been taking place in different parts of the world," he said. The envoy said Japan will continue to work toward the resolution of the Rohingya issue. Read more: Momen ‘not worried’ about Japanese Ambassador’s remarks, calls him a ‘simple, good person’ He said education, skills development and livelihood opportunities are the critical areas of responses for the resilience of the Rohingyas. Ambassador Naoki had an official visit to the camp in Cox's Bazar on Thursday, where over 920,000 Rohingyas reside. Witnessing the ongoing activities in the field, he said, "Every time I visit Rohingya camps, I am impressed by the tireless work of the UN agencies and NGOs for assisting the refugees. This is my last visit to the camp before leaving this country, but I will continue to extend my thoughts and empathy to the government of Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees and host communities." Read more: Japan, UNFPA join hands to provide $3.7 million assistance to Rihingyas in Bhasan Char, host communities in Noakhali He visited an E-voucher outlet and Upcycling Center of WFP, a Learning Center of UNICEF, a skill development site of UNHCR, where Rohingya refugees produce hygiene kits under the collaboration of Japanese company Fast Retailing and UNHCR, and the office of RRRC. Ambassador Naoki also observed the protection and camp management activities of IOM as well as sustainable land management and environmental rehabilitation project of UNHCR. Since the large influx in August 2017, Japan has contributed over 175 million USD to various interventions in Cox's Bazar as well as in Bhasan Char through international organizations and NGOs, according to the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka. These assistances included food assistance, healthcare, WASH, shelter, protection, and gender.
President Jiang Zemin, ex-President of China died on 30th November at the age of 96. He was the man who lead China after the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989. He presided over the economic growth of China which sees it as the leading contender to the US for global economic supremacy. His death has been mourned officially which means his legacy is considered as part of the state policy continuum.. The CCP has written a letter informing the people of China of his death, writes Xinhua news agency. It states, "Comrade Jiang Zemin's death is an incalculable loss to our Party and our military and our people of all ethnic groups". His history for the moment seems secure. Jiang's death has more than a little symbolic meaning. It comes just a few days after China saw anti-Covid restrictions protest, the first street protest after the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. The extremely strict zero covid policy has been very unpopular as it has bitten into many Chinese lives including economics. Western commentators say it was sparked by the Covid stringencies but the main cause was economic slowdown. “China is also in the midst of a sharp economic slowdown exacerbated by zero-COVID.” Clearly Covid has not spared anyone including China. Read more: China’s protests are small but significant Jiang himself was not a political softie and put down student protests in Shanghai as the “pro-democracy demonstrations” spread across China in 1989. However, his period also saw phenomenal economic growth and most associate his name with the rise of prosperity. Policy continuation ? Western media is promoting the idea that there is a lot of nostalgia for his era but scholars have disagreed saying that Jiang was also an authoritarian like the current leader Xi. The CCP letter said, “ our beloved Comrade Jiang Zemin" as an outstanding leader of high prestige, a great Marxist, statesman, military strategist and diplomat and a long-tested communist fighter. “The focus on his ideology is significant implying that he acted according to the state principles held by all Chinese leaders. “ He served as president from 1993 to 2003 but held China's top job, as head of the ruling Communist Party, from 1989 and handed over that role to Hu in 2002. He only gave up the position as head of the military in 2004, which he also assumed in 1989.” (Reuters) In China, the leadership pattern is based on clan loyalty and this has always been the case. Jiang had his Sanghai group and his successor Hu Jin Tao went to some lengths to remove them from positions of power and build his own. After Hu’s era, Xi has removed them from similar positions and even had Hu escorted out from the Congress meeting where Xi was elected a leader for the third term. Read more: So it's farewell time Ali Imam bhai Meanwhile, China continues to feel the impact of the Covid management crisis and protests. Some easing of restrictions is being noted while they also caused production to slow down. Asia's industrial activities in general have faced difficulties too due to China’s since they rely so heavily on them for parts and goods. However, though the Western world seems to be hoping that China will crash as a state followed by large scale 'pro-democracy" rebellion, that may not be the case. This won’t be the first time when such hopes are dashed. Which means the threat to the West’s global economic supremacy posed by China will continue which really took on steam when Jiang Zemin came to power.
BNP senior leader Mirza Abbas on Thursday alleged that an evil quarter has been exploding crude bombs with slogans in BNP’s name as part of a plot to have the opposition leaders and activists arrested in ‘false’ cases. “We’re now seeing bomb explosions happening across Dhaka city with slogans in the name of BNP. Their aim is to get the BNP leaders arrested in any way,” he said. Read more: BNP at IGP’s door; Seeks remedy for ‘fictitious’ cases Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, Abbas also claimed that a group within the government is spreading false propaganda centing the BNP rally in the capital on December 10 to mislead people. “One thing is clear we want to hold the rally peacefully. We won’t create any chaos in our peaceful programme,” he said. He said the government has got panicked unnecessarily over BNP’s rally. “We don't want any conflict as this is just our divisional rally.” The BNP leader, however, alleged that the government has been indulging in serious suppressive acts centring the rally. “We’re not afraid of it. We’ve taken it as part of our rally.” He said their party has been taking all-out preparations to make the Dhaka rally a success. “Our leaders and activists are holding meetings across Dhaka Division. Preparatory meetings are also being held at Nayapaltan and Gulshan in Dhaka. We’ll hold the rally at Nayapaltan. People will come from outside to join it and we’ll do whatever is necessary to arrange the rally,” Abbas said. Replying to a question, he said their party only sought Nayapaltan, not any other venue, for their December-10 rally. Read more: Allow us to hold Dec 10 rally at Nayapaltan: Fakhrul The BNP leader said their party had over a hundred rallies at Nayapaltan without any trouble earlier. “What would be the problem if we arrange the rally at Nayapaltan on December 10? Efforts are on to mislead our leaders and workers. But don't be confused.” Asked what their party may do if it is not finally permitted to hold the rally at Nayapaltan, he said time will say what to do.
The date of submitting the probe report in journalist couple Sagar-Runi murder case has been deferred for the 94th time. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Rashedul Alam fixed January 4 for the submission of investigation report during a hearing after investigating agency Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) didn’t submit the report today. Maasranga Television News Editor Sagar Sarowar and his wife ATN Bangla senior reporter Meherun Runi were found dead in their rented apartment in the city’s West Rajabazar area on 11 February 2012. Nousher Ali Roman, brother of Runi, filed a case with Sher-e-Banglanagar Police Station on the following day. Police arrested Tanvir in connection with the murder case on October 1, 2012. Later, he secured bail in 2014. Read more: Sagar-Runi murder: Final hearing on 10-year old HC rule on Tuesday Law enforcers have so far arrested eight people, including Tanvir, in connection with the murder case. The seven other suspects are Rafiqul Islam, Bakul Mia, Abu Syed, Mintu alias Baggira Mintu alias Masum Mintu, Quamrul Hasan alias Arun, security guard Enam Ahmed alias Humayun Kabir and Palash Rudra Pal. Read more: Sagar-Runi Murder: Govt urged to bring perpetrators to justice Sagar-Runi Murder: Govt urged to bring perpetrators to justice
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) will now consult with the government before any move towards holding a public hearing on retail power tariff hike proposals. "We think we should first consult with the government before starting any process for public hearing on the submitted proposals”, Mohammad Bazlur Rahman, Member (Power) of the BERC, told UNB. Such remarks from the BERC Member came against the backdrop of the government’s latest move to amend the BERC Act 2003 to create scope for the government to take arbitrary decisions on raising retail and bulk power and energy prices. Read more: Raising retail power tariff: 3 more distribution companies submit proposals “After the proposed amendment, the BERC should not move into any conflicting situation”, Bazlur Rahman said. The Cabinet on November 28 approved an amendment to the BERC Ordinance 2022 to empower the government to set fuel tariff on its own under special circumstances without waiting for the commission’s public hearing and decision. The approval came at the Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at the PMO, said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam while briefing the media at the Secretariat. He said the BERC can wait for up to 90 days to review and take a decision on fixing tariff rates and this is a long time. The amendment is being done so that the government can set the fuel price on an urgent basis in a situation like what prevails now. The possibility of importing fuel and energy under private arrangement was discussed at the meeting and the relevant authorities were given direction in this regard, he said. However, BERC Chairman Abdul Jalil, a former secretary of the government, was reluctant to make any comment before going through the gazette notification on the proposed amendment. "Let me see the gazette notification first… Then the commission will decide on any issue relating to public hearing or tariff fixation”, he told UNB. Meanwhile, all the six state-owned power distribution bodies submitted their respective proposals on raising retail power tariff in subsequent of the bulk power tariff hike. Read more: BPDB submits retail power tariff adjustment proposal seeking a 19.44 percent hike Sources said the six entities—BPDB, Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB), Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC), Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (Desco), Northern Electricity Supply Company PLS (Nesco), West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (WZPDCL)—have placed almost an identical proposal to raise retail power tariff aby about 20 percent. They moved to submit their proposals following the BERC’s decision to hike the bulk power tariff by 19.92 percent with effect from December 1. As per the latest statistics, the financial loss of the state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), the principal organisation in power sector and also the single buyer of electricity from private sector power plants, is likely to increase by Tk 18,094 crore in one year. According to BPDB’s own latest estimates, the financial loss will cross Tk 48,000 crore in the 2022-23 fiscal from Tk 29,915 crore in the fiscal year 2021-22, an increase of almost 67%. Sources said the BPDB’s revenue deficit has further increased due to its purchase of electricity at higher price and sale at lower price, the hike in petroleum fuel prices and also the price escalation of US dollars. Officials said the recent 19.92 percent hike in the bulk tariff may help the BPDB to reduce its loss by only Tk 5,000 crore while a huge revenue deficit will remain a big burden. Read more: Bulk power tariff hike won’t affect retail consumers right now: Nasrul Hamid On the other hand, the bulk power tariff hike puts pressure on power distribution companies to submit their retail tariff hike proposal to the BERC to cover their own revenue gaps. The retail power tariff was last raised in March, 2020 by BERC after holding a public hearing. Through an announcement, the BERC had raised the power tariff on a weighted average by 5.3 percent at retail level with effect from March 1, 2020. As per that decision, the retail power tariff was increased from Tk 6.77 to Tk 7.13 per unit (each kilowatt-hour). Officials said the Power Division is under tremendous pressure from the Finance Ministry to raise power tariff in bulk and retail to cover its huge financial losses. The recent commitment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide a $4.5 billion loan has increased the pressure as the donor agency has tagged a condition to decrease subsidy in the power sector and raise power tariff to cover the loss, said a Power Division official.
Bashundhara Kings smarty reached the final of the season's curtain raiser soccer meet, the Bashundhara Group Independent Cup Football' 2022 eliminating Bangladesh Police FC by 3-1 goal in the 2nd semifinal at the Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni Stadium in Gopalganj on Thursday. They will play Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra in the final on Monday (December 5) at 1 pm at the Shaheed Dhirendranath Dutta Stadium in Cumilla Two losing semifinalists-- Defending champions Dhaka Abahani Limited will play Bangladesh Police FC in the 3rd place deciding match on Sunday (December 4), also at 1pm at the Bir Shrestha Fl Lt Matiur Rahman Stadium in Munshiganj. In the day's 2nd semifinal, Brazilian striker cum team captain Robson Robinho put the star-studded Kings ahead in the 13th minute from a penalty (1-0).. Rakib Hossain doubled the Kings margin in the 65th minute (2-0). Brazilian striker Dorielton scored the 3rd goal for the Kings in the 73rd minute (3-0). Forward Edward scored the consolation goal for Police FC in the stoppage time (90+1 minute) of the match (3-1). Later, Kings local forward Rakib Hossain was adjudged the man of the match. . Iranian defender of Police FC Habibi got marching order in the match after receiving direct red card. In the first semis on Wednesday, Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra forced out holders Dhaka Abahani Limited beating them by 3-2 goal. Earlier, Dhaka Abahani Limited qualified for the semi-final eliminating Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club by 2-1 goal while Sheikh Russell KC booked a seat for the last four stage eliminating Chittagong Abahani Limited by 1-0 goal in the quarterfinals. Bangladesh Police FC qualified for the semis defeating Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad KC by 5-4 goal while big budgeted Bashundhara Kings made a semifinal berth beating Dhaka Mohammedan SC by 2-0 goal in their respective quarterfinals.
Bangladesh reported 12 more Covid cases in 24 hours till Thursday morning. With the new numbers, the caseload rose to 2,036,597, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). The total fatalities remained unchanged at 29,433 as no death was reported during this period. The daily case test positivity rose to 0.45 per cent from Wednesdaday’s 0.81 per cent as 2,688 samples were tested during the period. Read more: Bangladesh logs 18 Covid cases in 24 hrs The mortality and the recovery rates remained unchanged at 1.45 percent and 97.51 per cent, respectively. In November, the country reported 10 Covid-linked deaths and 1345 cases. Bangladesh registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and daily fatalities of 264 on August 10 the same year. Read more: 7-day Covid-19 vaccination campaign kicks off Thursday