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London, 20 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 20 November 2017

President Md. Abdul Hamid has urged government and non-government organizations, experts, policymakers, development practitioners and activists to come forward in making the people with disabilities human resources and self-reliant adding they need and deserve special care and attention from the family and society as well. He said this while opening the 23rd conference of Asian Federation on Intellectual Disabilities (AFID) at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Novo Theatre in Dhaka yesterday.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Countess of Wessex Princess Sophie Helen of the UK expressed their concern over the continued flow of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar into Bangladesh while Sophie made a courtesy call to the Premier at her Gonobhaban residence yesterday. They laid importance on continuation of the international pressure on Myanmar and mounting diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis.

 

Germany, Sweden and the European Union have extended their strong support to Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue. They also highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her great humanitarian gesture of sheltering tens of thousands of Rohingyas in Bangladesh. The support and appreciation came when German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom and European Union High Representative and Vice President Federica Mogherin separately called on the Prime Minister at her official Ganabhaban residence in Dhaka yesterday.


Japan will provide more 18.6m US Dollars assistance to the priority areas for the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. Japanese Assistant Minister for Press and Public Diplomacy Toshihide Ando said this to the media in Dhaka yesterday.

 

Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has offered his country's help to repatriate the Rohingya people from Bangladesh. He said this to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while he called on the Premier at Ganabhaban yesterday. The Japanese FM said Japan expect an agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar to be signed on repatriation of the Rohingya people. Describing again the Rohingyas as the Myanmar citizens, the PM said Myanmar will have to take them back.

 

Visiting US Senators have dubbed as "war crimes" the atrocities inflicted on Rohingyas by Myanmar security forces as they called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina a day after visiting them in their makeshift refuge in Cox's Bazar's Kutupalang. The high-profile delegation's leader Jeff Merkley as telling the Prime Minister during the call on at her Gonobhaban residence yesterday. The senators appreciated the premier for her generous response to the challenge of bracing the Rohingyas and said the US was ready to provide all assistance to resolve the crisis. US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat was present.

 

Foreign Ministers from Asian and European countries get together in Myanmar today to strengthen partnership for peace, find joint efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with focus on Rohingya issue. Though the Rohingya issue is not mentioned specifically in the draft agenda of the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Foreign Ministers, this biggest humanitarian crisis of the world will come up in a big way to put further pressure on Myanmar for a solution to it.

 

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu has said, compared to other countries, Bangladesh has achieved remarkable success in different socio-economic indicators under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Minister said this while he was speaking at a discussion on "Skills for achieving prosperous Bangladesh and SDGs" at the Institution of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh (IDEB) in Dhaka yesterday.

 

Finance Minister AMA Muhith left Dhaka yesterday for South Korea to take part in the "Fourth Busan Global Partnership Forum" in the city of Busan. The Busan Global Partnership Forum provides a unique opportunity to bring together policymakers and practitioners to share country experiences and explore in detail the enabling factors and contexts that led to successful development outcomes. The Fourth Partnership Forum will be held from November 21 to 22. The FM is scheduled to return home on November 24.

 

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has sought duty free market access of Bangladesh products to Brazil to minimize the trade gap between the two countries urging the Brazilian entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh. He made the call when Brazilian Ambassador to Bangladesh Joao Tabajara De Oliveira junior called on him at his secretariat office yesterday. Bangladesh mainly imports sugar and cotton from Brazil while it exports garments, footwear, medicines and ceramics. The Minister also urged, saying that foreign investments in Economic Zones (EZs) get equity facility.

 

The government has signed agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for US$260 million in loans to help sustain and increase infrastructure investments in Bangladesh. Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Country Director, ADB, signed the loan agreements at a function at the ERD in Dhaka yesterday.

 

President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the memory of poet Begum Sufia Kamal on the occasion of her 18th death anniversary today. They prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul of Begum Sufia Kamal.

         

Press Wing

London, 19 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 19 November 2017

President Md. Abdul Hamid has asked government officials to discharge their duties transparently, honestly and impartially staying far from undue influence and controversy. He made the urge while speaking at the Golden Jubilee Celebration Programme of Officers Club in Dhaka yesterday. The President called for all-out cooperation of public officials in implementing the government policies as they are directly and indirectly involved in formulating and executing those.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said, UNESCO’s acknowledgement of Bangabandhu's 7th March speech as a world heritage proved the history could never be erased. She called upon all to remain vigilant to uphold the nation's pride. The PM made the call as she was addressing a civic rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, where the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered the historic address 46 years ago. The Premier said, the glorified address had appeared as the pathfinder for emergence of Bangladesh as an independent nation. Tens of thousands of people joined the rally to celebrate UNESCO recognition of the speech as a "world documentary heritage".

 

Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has expressed Beijing's eagerness to facilitate a dialogue between Bangladesh and Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya crisis. The Chinese FM expressed the eager as he paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban yesterday. The Chinese FM acknowledged that the Rohingya crisis is a big challenge for Bangladesh and described it as an internal problem. The PM reiterated her call to the international community including China to mount pressure on Myanmar to take back their nationals from Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the Chinese FM held at a bilateral meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart AH Mahmood Ali at the state guest house Meghna in Dhaka yesterday. The Chinese FM stressed on importance of continued humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas in Bangladesh. Mr. Mahmood Ali said, Bangladesh remains engaged bilaterally with Myanmar for the solution to the problem and will look forward to China's support for the early return of the Rohingyas to their homeland in Myanmar with dignity and safety.

 

Health Minister of Myanmar Dr Myint Htwe has said, his government has already started taking preparations to take Rohingyas back. Dr Myint Htwe said this as he met Health Minister Mohammed Nasim in Moscow, Russia yesterday. The Bangladesh Health Minister said, as per the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Health Ministry is providing all possible medical services to the refugees, but it is not possible to serve the Rohingyas for long. Mr. Nasim went to Moscow to attend a Global Ministerial Conference organised by WHO.

 

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has said, regional cooperation in information and communication technology would lead the country forward. He said this as Secretary General of the AsiaPacific Network Information Center (APNIC) Paul Wilson met him at his Hare Road residence in Dhaka yesterday. The Minister praised APNIC's work in expanding the information and communication technology in the region. The APNIC team is now visiting Dhaka to attend the 7th conference of the Bangladesh Network Operators' Group which is being held from November 18 to 22.

 

Major General (Retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, the Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, has attended the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial (UNPKDM) Conference in Canada. A sixmember Bangladesh delegation led by Tarique Ahmed Siddique attended the conference held on November 14-15. The UNPKDM is the largest gathering of the Defence Ministers to review contributions of UN member-states, and secure specific pledges to meet the current and future needs of UN peacekeeping operations. At this year's conference, 77 countries met to re-affirm their commitment to United Nations peacekeeping. Bangladesh was one of the 10 co-hosts of the conference.

 

Primary School Certificate (PSC) and Ebtedayee Examinations-2017 begin across the country today with 30,96,075 students appearing. Primary and Mass Education Minister Mostafizur Rahman on the occasion briefed media informing the preparation.

 

Press Wing

London, 16 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 16 November 2017

The Jatiya Sangsad has passed the “Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission Bill, 2017” unanimously aimed at facilitating peaceful use of nuclear power, its advancement and expansion, and carrying out research works in line with the international convention. According to the bill, the commission will work for the peaceful use of atomic power in the areas of food, agriculture, health, medicare, environment and industries.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her firm conviction that her government would be able to resolve the Rohingya crisis peacefully with the help of the international community despite many obstacles. She expressed the determination as she was speaking at the question-answer session in the House yesterday. The PM said, the government would take steps for rehabilitation of the local people of the Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas of the Cox's Bazar district who lost their livelihood due to the influx of huge number of Rohingyas in their localities. The government wants peaceful stay with neighbours and not allowing any quarter to use the land of Bangladesh against any country, she added.

 

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said, he would not yet push for sanctions against Myanmar over the Rohingya refugee crisis, but he called for an independent investigation into the allegations of atrocities that soldiers are committing against the Muslim minority. Washington's top diplomat was speaking after a one-day stop in Naypyidaw yesterday. Rex Tillerson arrived in Myanmar yesterday to press civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country's powerful army chief over violence-torn Rakhine state.

 

State Minister for Women and Children affairs Meher Afroze Chumki has said, the government has been planning to extend the tenure of giving maternity allowance from the existing two years to four years. She said this while addressing a seminar on implementation of social safety strategy organized by Ministry of Women and Children Affairs at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka yesterday. Each of the 8 lakh pregnant women is now getting Taka 500 every month in the country, she added.

 

State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid has sought Singapore's cooperation in developing waste management plant in power sector. He sought the cooperation as the Singapore‘s non-resident High Commissioner in Bangladesh Derek Loh met the state minister at his office in Dhaka yesterday. During the meeting Nasrul Hamid discussed different issues including ongoing projects in the country’s power and energy sector, regional cooperation, investment, Bangladesh’s entry into Singapore’s bond market and training of Bangladeshi manpower in power sector.

 

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has said, the Nabanno (New Harvest) day is a day of enlightenment. The Minister said this at a Nabanno function at the RTV Media Center in Dhaka on the first day of the Bengali month of Agrahayan. He said, the Nabanno festival that is being celebrated in the country, particularly in the rural areas, is the recognition of the contribution of our farmers.

 

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam has urged the Bangladesh and Indian business communities to work pro-actively with respective governments for further expansion of bilateral trade volume. The State Minister made the urge in the inaugural ceremony of North East India-Bangladesh EXIM Conclave in Dhaka yesterday. Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla and CEO of North East Foundation (NEF) Bhanu Pratap Singh also spoke on the occasion. Shahriar said business communities of both the countries need to share ideas and contribute to across-the border flow of investments to take maximum advantage of the geographical contiguity. He suggested Bangladesh business community to organise similar events in North Eastern Indian cities in future for further expansion of business between the two countries.

 

The country’s export earnings from the United States and European countries have registered a significant growth in the July–October quarter of FY 2017/18, marking a growth of around 7 per cent for the shipment of apparel, according to Export Promotion Bureau.

 

Press Wing

London, 15 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 15 November 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said, Bangladesh's existence and history are involved with Bangabandhu's historic March 7 speech.  The PM said this as she was participating in a general discussion on the thanksgiving motion in the House yesterday on the inclusion of the historic 7th March speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the International Memory of the World Register as the World Documentary Heritage by the UNESCO. Lawmakers urged the government to declare the March 7 as the national day to show rich tribute to Bangabandhu. The MPs said, the March 71 Speech was once for only Bengalee nation but now it has become the global asset.

 

The Cantonment Bill, 2017 has been placed in the Jatiya Sangsad incorporating tougher punishment for violating the law including delaying construction of building and breaking traffic rules in cantonment areas. Keeping the provision of three to five years imprisonment along with maximum Taka 5 lakh financial penalty for illegal use of electricity, the Electricity Bill, 2017, was also placed in the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday. Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith informed the House, the remittance earned in the first four months from July to October in the current fiscal is 4,550 million US dollars, which is 6.9 per cent more compared to the remittance of the corresponding period in the last fiscal. The FM said, the government has a plan to open the branches of the Expatriate Welfare Bank at the upazila level. State Minister for Post and Telecommunication Tarana Halim informed the House, the state-run Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) has so far marketed 37,000 mobile phone sets and 800 tabs after manufacturing and assembling. She also said, currently the number of mobile phone subscribers in the country is 13 crore 59 lakh and 82 thousand.

 

The government has launched a project to establish "Sheikh Hasina Cantonment" at Lebukhali along the Payra River in Barisal involving an estimated cost of Taka 1,699 crore.  The ECNEC yesterday approved the project along with nine other projects in its meeting in Dhaka with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The approved projects include dredging of outer bar of the Mongla Port Channel involving an estimated cost of Taka 712.50 crore. 

 

Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali has observed, the ASEAN, as a successful regional body, could play an important role in addressing the Rohingya crisis. He made the remark while new High Commissioner of Singapore to Bangladesh Derek LohEu-Tse met him at the Foreign Ministry yesterday. During the meeting, the Minister sought Singapore's support in the early repatriation of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals from Bangladesh.

 

The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has emphasised on safe and dignified returns of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas from Bangladesh to their homes. The UN Secretary General made the emphasis as he was addressing the ninth ASEAN‑UN Summit in Manila, the Philippines, on Monday. The UN Chief called for addressing the root causes of the Rohingya crisis by implementing the recommendations of the Annan Commission.

 

A declaration regarding Denmark's support to the local communities in Cox's Bazar was signed in Dhaka yesterday. State Secretary of the Danish Development Cooperation Martin Bille Hermann and Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque signed the declaration. They also discussed the present Rohingya crisis.

 

International Air Transport Association (IATA) is keen to provide all kinds of cooperation in further development of Bangladesh aviation sector especially in the field of airport security, customer care and flight safety. This interest was showed while IATA's Regional Vice-President Conrad Fredrick James Clifford paid a call on Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon at his office in Dhaka yesterday.

 

Press Wing

London, 14 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 14 November 2017

The Cabinet has approved a draft bill which will repeal the existing “Sugar Road Development Cess Ordinance,” aiming to relieve the sugarcane growers from paying taxes for development of roads in sugar mill catchment areas. The decision was taken at the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet took place at Prime Minister’s Office with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair yesterday. At the outset of the cabinet meeting, NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman handed over to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina her Income Tax Card as a regular taxpayer. Notably, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set up a replicable example by paying income tax regularly since 1982-83. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled an analytical publication on Bangabandhu's historic 7th March speech, its e-book edition and mobile application at the cabinet meeting.

 

The Jatiya Sangsad has passed the “Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute Bill, 2017” unanimously aimed at increasing wheat and maize production, and setting up research institute for conducting research and training activities. Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque informed the House, the government has set a target to construct a total of 2,971 households for rehabilitating landless and insolvent freedom fighters, the valiant sons of the soil. The government is implementing the household project at each upazilas of 64 districts across the country under the project. About 8,000 freedom fighters across the country would be benefited under the project.

 

President Md. Abdul Hamid has asked physicians to attach priority to different research activities alongwith providing advanced treatment of the patients. He said this to a delegation of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) that called on him at Bangabhaban in Dhaka yesterday. Noting that the BSMMU is a specialized institution of the country, the President stressed the need for physicians’ sufficient knowledge about the latest medical technologies. The President urged the university authorities to undertake awareness campaign about different diseases and treatment facilities. BSMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Kamrul Hasan Khan led the eight-member delegation.

 

The World Diabetes Day is being observed today in the country as elsewhere in the world in a befitting manner. This year's theme of the Day is "All pregnancies should be planned."On the eve of the World Diabetes Day, President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages urging all concerned to work together for creating awareness among people about diabetes. In his message, President Abdul Hamid said the number of diabetic patients is increasing in Bangladesh like other countries of the world because of changes in lifestyle and food habit and lack of physical labour.

 

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed seeking more Singaporean investments in Bangladesh's Economic Zones (EZ), has said, the government allows hundred percent foreign investments in EZs. Mr. Tofail said this to the High Commissioner of Singapore in Dhaka Derek Loh when he called on him at his secretariat office in Dhaka yesterday. During the meeting, they discussed matters related to development of bilateral trade. The High Commissioner requested the Commerce Minister for renewal of double tax related matters of the Singaporean investors. The Minister said, Bangladesh imports goods worth US$2.5 billion from Singapore against its export of US$325 million. He urged the high commissioner to play a role in bringing down duty/tariff to zero for boosting bilateral trade.

 

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain left Dhaka for Spain last night to join Smart City Expo and World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. The fair will be held from November 14 to 15, which will see presentations on different models of modern, livable, hygienic and sustainable cities. The Minister will return home on November 21.

 

Finance Minister AMA Muhith leaves Dhaka today for India to attend the "7th Bangladesh Book Fair-2017" at Kolkata.  Academic and Creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh is organising the nine-day fair in collaboration with the Export Promotion Bureau under the supervision of Bangladesh deputy high commission in Kolkata. The Finance Minister will attend the inaugural session as the chief guest of the fair on the Nandan Chattar of Kolkata on November 15. Mr. Muhith is scheduled to return home on November 16.

 

 

Press Wing

London, 13 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 13 November 2017

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Health and Family Welfare ministry has submitted its report on the “Transplantation of Human Organs Bill, 2017” before the House after scrutiny. Committee Chairman Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim submitted the report before the House held with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair. Health Minister Mohammad Nasim placed the bill in the Parliament on September 13, 2017 with a provision of three years of rigorous imprisonment or Tk 10 lakh fine or both for violation of the law, aiming to check the illegal trade of human organs. The proposed bill said no hospital can conduct human organ transplantation in the country without government’s approval while the public hospitals having specialised units in this regard can do the job without taking prior approval.

 

Dhaka WASA has already formulated a sewerage master plan to keep water of the rivers surrounding the capital pollution free. State Minister Mashiur Rahman Ranga said this to the House yesterday. In addition to this, he said, the government has also taken a programme titled “Dhaka Sanitation Improvement Project”. Meanwhile, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Engineer Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain has said, a realistic and well-planned project will be taken before the New Year 2018 to resolve the water-logging problem in the country's commercial capital, Chittagong. He said this as he was presiding over a meeting at his Secretariat office to review a project for resolving water-logging.

 

An action plan titled "National Road Safety Strategic Action Plan" has got approval with an aim of cutting down the road accident to 50 percent by 2020. The National Road Safety Council approved the action plan at its 25th meeting in Dhaka yesterday with Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader in the chair. The meeting decided to implement the excel load control policy from December 1 to control the overloaded vehicles playing on the roads and highways.

 

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said, the River Police would be modernized to form a strong unit of the law enforcement agencies. He said this as he was addressing the fourth raising day of the River Police at Police Staff College Convention Centre in Dhaka yesterday. The Home Minister said, law and order situation along the river routes has improved significantly after inception of the River Police unit and they have contributed immensely to increase the overall Hilsha production.

 

In the midst of unprecedented crisis regarding Rohingyas faced by Bangladesh, Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs will arrive in Dhaka on November 19 to join a number of other dignitaries from across the world, who will also visit the country during that period. While in Bangladesh, she will hold talks with Bangladeshi leadership in regards to the protracted Rohingya issue.

 

Brazilian Ambassador to Bangladesh Joao Tabajara de Oliveira Junior has described the persecution on Rohingya people in Myanmar as 'atrocities of the millennium'. He said this to a views-exchange meeting at the Daily Sun office. The Ambassador said, although the Rohingya displaced people are leading safe and better life in camps in Cox's Bazar of Bangladesh, situation may deteriorate for want of relief and other supplies. He also said, Brazil is shocked and concerned over Rohingya crisis and it would like to work with Bangladesh and other countries to resolve the crisis.

 

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu leaves Dhaka for Nigeria today to join in 6th Ministerial Meeting on D-8 Industry Affairs in the Nigerian capital of Abuja. The three-day ministerial meeting will begin on November 14 aimed at increasing the bilateral and multilateral trade among the D-8 member countries. Mr. Amu will lead a four-member delegation in the meeting.

 

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has stressed the need for positive actions for the Dalit community to accept them socially and economically. The Minister said this at a dialogue on “Situation of the Dalit community in Bangladesh in the context of SDGs” in the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka yesterday. The Minister in his address laid emphasis on the role of media in the development of the Dalit community.

 

The government has declared February 5 as National Library Day. Cabinet Division issued a notification in this regard yesterday.

 

The Primary School Certificate (PSC) and Ebtedayee Examinations will start from November 19.

 

Press Wing

London, 12 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 12 November 2017

The 18th session of the Jatiya Sangsad begins at 4 pm today. Duration and proceedings of the 18th session will be finalized at a meeting of the business advisory committee with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair today.

 

Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim has lauded the tremendous successes of Dhaka Medical College in the development of medical science as well as health sector of the country. The Minister made the appreciation as he was speaking at the 72nd founding anniversary celebration programme of DMC in Dhaka yesterday. The Minister urged the physicians to be more devoted in providing services to the patients.

 

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has credited the effective diplomacy of Bangladesh for its successes in the UNESCO. The Minister was highlighting the country's role in the UNESCO as he was talking to media at the VIP lounge of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on his arrival in Dhaka yesterday after attending the UNESCO Conference in Paris. The Minister said, this year’s UNESCO conference was very important and a glaring example of success for Bangladesh as the historic 7th March speech of the Father of the Nation has been included in the Memory of the World International Register of the UNESCO as a world documentary heritage.

 

The New-Delhi-based non-resident Ambassadors to Bangladesh have expressed willingness to visit Cox's Bazar to get a firsthand idea of the Rohingya crisis as Bangladesh High Commissioner to India briefed 76 envoys concurrently accredited to represent their countries in Dhaka. The Delhi-based envoys to Bangladesh said, their countries want quick solution of issue that creates humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh.

 

Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and Business New Zealand (BusinessNZ) have signed a MOU to ease doing business. Under this MOU, BusinessNZ and BUILD will prepare the stage for productive public private dialogue to share and raise voice of the private sector. BusinessNZ will provide inputs to Bangladesh government for automation, trade facilitation and alignment with SDG goals.

 

Bangladesh government has initiated a move for constructing 39.24-km long Dhaka East-West Elevated Expressway involving $ 2 billion to ease traffic congestion in and around the Dhaka. The project work is expected to kick off in January 2018 and end by December 2024. The East West Elevated Expressway Project will develop route between Dhaka-Chittagong Highway with connection to the Padma Bridge.

 

Bangladesh Awami League has nominated Sharfuddin Ahmed as its candidate to contest the upcoming Rangpur City Corporation election to be held on December 21 next. The nomination was given at a meeting of AL Local Government Nomination Board held in the last evening with AL chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her official residence Ganobhaban. On October 31, the Election Commission announced the schedule for holding the second election to Rangpur City Corporation.

 

The government has launched a project to set up 520 'Rural Bazaars'(markets) in 491 upazilas across the country with a view to facilitate marketing of farm and non-farm products of marginal farmers. The project focuses on ensuring proper business environment at the rural level alongside creating short-term and longterm employment opportunities. Planning Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal, talking about the project approved by the ECNEC said, construction of the rural markets is essential to bring dynamism in the rural economy through the production of farm produces and their marketing.

 

Surendra Kumar Sinha has sent a letter of resignation to the President from abroad, stepping down from the post of Chief Justice, a day after his month-long leave on health grounds ended.

 

Press Wing

London, 9 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 9 November 2017

President Md Abdul Hamid has asked navy personnel to keep themselves ready to ensure security of marine resources and maritime boundary of the country. He gave the instruction as he was speaking at a commissioning function of four warships at Titumir Naval Base Jetty of Khalishpur, Khulna yesterday. The President also asked the members of naval force to continue their all-out efforts to uphold country's image allover the globe. During the ceremony, the President handed over the four warships -- Nishan, Durgam, Halda and Pashur - to Bangladesh Navy.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to jointly launch today with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi the Khulna-Kolkata train service and open two bridges on railway routes connecting Dhaka with Sylhet and Chittagong. The two Premiers would inaugurate the projects through a videoconference from Dhaka and New Delhi.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has approved the design of the master plan (third phase) of the 'Swadhinata Stambha' (Independence Monument) being constructed at Suhrawardi Udyan. The Premier gave the approval after reviewing the proposed design of the project at a meeting at her Gonobhaban yesterday. The ministers concerned were present at the meeting.

 

Bangladesh has sought support of the countries having borders with Myanmar for a sustainable solution to Rohingya refugee crisis. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali sought the cooperation during a meeting with the envoys of the countries at the State Guest House Padma in Dhaka yesterday. High Commissioner of India, the Ambassadors of China and Thailand in Dhaka and the New Delhi based Ambassador of Lao PDR to Bangladesh joined the meeting. The FM informed the envoys that he cannot visit Nay Pyi Taw on November 16-17 as desired by Myanmar ahead of the ASEM Foreign Ministers' meeting since the Foreign Ministers of China, Japan, Germany and Sweden are coming to Bangladesh at that time. Mr Mahmood Ali said, he is willing to stay back in Nay Pyi Taw on November 22-23 after attending the ASEM Foreign Ministers' meeting for negotiation and finalisation of a bilateral arrangement on repatriation of Rohingyas.     

         

The Myanmar government appears committed to starting a repatriation programme but it is still in its early stage, the US State Department said. The US Acting Assistant Secretary Simon Henshaw spoke to the media on the matter on Tuesday following a visit of a US delegation to Bangladesh and Myanmar. The US urges Myanmar to investigate alleged human rights abuses and violations and to hold those responsible accountable, he said.

 

The newly appointed UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo has pledged to work closely with the present government in all of its development efforts particularly to fulfill the SDGs targets and turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country. The commitment came as she presented her credentials to the Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali at State Guest House 'Padma' in Dhaka yesterday. The Foreign Minister welcomed Seppo to Bangladesh and expressed deep appreciation for long-standing cooperation between Bangladesh and UN in diverse fields. Referring to the ongoing Rohingya crisis, Mahmood Ali thanked UN bodies for standing beside Bangladesh with humanitarian assistance and also appreciated the recent statement of the UN Security Council on the issue.

 

The Cabinet Purchase Committee has approved a proposal to award a Tk. 12,566 crore contract to a Chinese company to construct the 24-km Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway on a turnkey basis. As per the schedule, China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation will complete the project by June 2022. The Cabinet body gave the approval to the proposal placed yesterday by the Bridge Division at a meeting held with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair.

 

Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited and MITSUI and Co. Limited of Japan have signed a MoU to construct a 500-600 megawatt LNG-based combined cycle power plant at Matarbari of Cox's Bazar. The project will start generating power by December, 2021.

         

Press Wing

London, 8 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 8 November 2017

President Md Abdul Hamid has renewed his call to the global leaders to continue their political and humanitarian support to the forcibly displaced Myanmar citizens to end the Rohingya crisis. He made the call as he was addressing a dinner hosted in honour of delegates attending the 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference being held in Dhaka. The President said, Bangladesh is directly affected by this problem as one million Rohingyas have been forced to take shelter in Bangladesh. Mentioning the five-point proposal of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed before the UN General Assembly for a permanent solution to Rohingya crisis, he said Bangladesh wants their sustainable return to their homeland. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury joined the dinner in Bangabhaban yesterday.

 

The 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has called for urgent action from the international community to resolve the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing the Rohingya community. In a statement adopted by the CPC said, the CPA affirms the collective will to call for urgent action from the international community to resolve the ongoing Rohingya crisis. The CPA urged the Myanmar government to stop the violence and ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine state immediately.

 

A delegation of the CPA paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban in Dhaka yesterday. The Prime Minister exchanged pleasantries with the guests at the lawn of Ganabhaban and extended her sincere thanks for attending the CPA Conference. She also talked to newly elected CPA Chairperson and Deputy Speaker of Cameroon National Parliament Emilia Monjowa Lifaka. Congratulating the newly elected CPA Chairperson, Sheikh Hasina wished her every success in performing her responsibility. Outgoing CPA Chairperson Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury was present on the occasion.

 

The tenure of 'Tannery Estate, Dhaka,' project has been extended for two more years (third times) to shift tannery industries from the capital's Hazaribagh area to Savar. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved the extension of the tenure of the project at a meeting held at the NEC conference room with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The ECNEC also approved 'Smaller water resources development (2nd phase)' project involving an estimated cost of Tk 1,285.96 crore to boost agricultural production and increase the income of farmers through enhancing nonfarm activities. A total of eight projects with an estimated cost of Tk 4,979.35 crore were approved in the meeting.

 

President Md Abdul Hamid is set to commission four navy warships built by Khulna Shipyard Ltd (KSY) today. The President would travel to Khulna and hand over the warships -- Nishan, Durgam, Halda and Pashur -- to Bangladesh Navy at a ceremony.

 

The newly appointed Japanese Ambassador in Dhaka Hiroyasu Izumi called on the Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali at his office yesterday. They discussed various bilateral issues, including the upcoming visit of Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono to Bangladesh.

 

Bangladesh has expressed deep concern over a reported ballistic missile attack by Houthi rebels targeting the King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, which was successfully intercepted by Saudi airdefence forces. Bangladesh reiterated its commitment to stand by the government and the people of the Kingdom, which is the land of two holy mosques.

 

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has said, the mass media could play a significant role in alleviating poverty and achieving prosperity for peace. The Minister said this as he was speaking at a weeklong photo exhibition and film festival organized by China Radio International and Bangladesh National Museum in Dhaka yesterday. Mr Inu said, the mass media is the best vehicle for building better relations and exchanging experience among the nations.

 

Press Wing

London, 7 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 7 November 2017

The Cabinet has approved the draft of a joint venture agreement between the state-owned Rural Power Company Ltd and Norinco International China to build up two power plants producing 1320 megawatt electricity. The approval was given in the regular meeting of the Cabinet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at the PMO yesterday. The Cabinet also gave the final approval to the draft of the Wage Earners Board Act, 2017 which would replace the existing Wage Earners Welfare Rules, 2002 for conducting the activities of the Wage Earners Welfare Board.

 

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has said, member states of the commonwealth should develop a framework to face the potential challenges of adverse impact of climate change. Many island nations, developing countries and small branches of CPA are at risk for future climate change impacts, lawmakers of the CPA said this to a workshop on 'The Climate Change Debate: Challenges for the Commonwealth' at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka yesterday.

 

Visiting Asia-Pacific Regional Director of UNFPA Bjorn Anderson called on Jatiya Sangsad Speaker and CPA Executive Committee Chairperson Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury at her office in Dhaka yesterday.

During the meeting, the Speaker said, Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad is working jointly with the UNFPA to reduce child marriage, maternal and child mortality. The UNFPA Regional Director informed the Speaker that the UNFPA has taken some projects to provide Rohingya's health education. Later, the Deputy President of the Australian Senate called on Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury.

 

The UN Security Council yesterday dropped plans to adopt a resolution demanding an end to the violence in Myanmar in the face of strong opposition from China and instead opted for a statement. The statement calls for an end to the violence, full access for humanitarian aid workers to Myanmar's Rakhine State and for the return of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh. The council statement was agreed as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is to travel to Manila this week to join leaders of the Southeast Asian (ASEAN) bloc for a summit. On Friday, Human Rights Watch urged the council to ask the International Criminal Court to open war crimes investigations in Myanmar, describing the torching of villages, killing, rape and looting as crimes against humanity.

 

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has expressed its readiness to provide Bangladesh the support on the Rohingya issue. Finance Minister AMA Muhith said this to the media after a meeting with ADB team at the Finance Ministry in Dhaka yesterday. ADB South Asia Director General Hun Kim led the team.

 

Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim has urged the United Nations (UN) to create pressure on Myanmar government to take Rohingyas back to their motherland Rakhine state. Mr Nasim said this as he was talking to UN Under-Secretary-General Pramilla Patten during a meeting at secretariat in Dhaka yesterday. The government has mobilised 78 medical teams to provide healthcare services to Rohingyas and a total of 231 teams are administering vaccines among seven lakh Rohingya children, Mr Nasim added.

 

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has lauded the role of outgoing UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova in inscribing the historic 7th March Speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the Register of the Memory of the World (MoW). The Minister came up with the admiration as he met Irina Bokova at her office at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris yesterday. Mr Nahid is leading the Bangladesh delegation to the ongoing 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference.

 

The government has signed a tripartite MoU to enhance the capacity of Technical Training Centres (TTCs) of BMET with a view to improving the training capacity in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector. The MoU was signed among Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP) at the SEIP conference room in Dhaka yesterday.

 

Press Wing

London, 6 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 6 November 2017

President Md Abdul Hamid has called upon judges and others concerned to perform their assigned tasks with integrity and sincerity to ensure justice to the justice-seekers. The President's call came when a five-member delegation of the Supreme Court's Appellate Division led by Acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah called on him at Bangabhaban yesterday. During the meeting, the President was apprised of overall activities of the Supreme Court by the acting chief justice.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the Commonwealth countries to exert pressure on the Myanmar government to stop persecution on its Rohingya citizens and take them back from Bangladesh at the earliest. The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference at a function at South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban in Dhaka yesterday. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has given temporary shelter to a huge number of Rohingyas on humanitarian ground. Sheikh Hasina said, inhuman persecution meted out on the Rohingya population in the Rakhaine state of Myanmar and their forceful expulsion from their homeland have created instability in the region and beyond. Meanwhile, Parliamentarians of different member states have called for adopting a resolution at its general assembly to mount pressure on Myanmar to end the Rohingyas crisis immediately. Condemning persecution by Myanmar security forces, they said, the world community must act immediately through taking a resolution and other measures to force Myanmar to take back their citizens. They made the proposal after Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali briefed the conference about Rohingya situation in the afternoon session yesterday.

 

US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A Shannon has reassured continued US support to Bangladesh in handling the Rohingyas crisis. The assurance came as the US Under Secretary of State called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban in Dhaka yesterday. The Prime Minister appreciated the US stance on Rohingya issue saying continued pressure and engagement with Myanmar is required for peaceful resolution of the crisis. Earlier, the 6th Bangladesh-US Partnership Dialogue was held at the state guesthouse Padma in Dhaka yesterday. Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque and the US Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon led their respective sides to the dialogue. After the dialogue, the US Under Secretary of State responding to a query from a journalist at the press briefing informed, his country wants diplomatic efforts to resolve the Rohingyas crisis rather than punishing Myanmar.

 

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has sought cooperation of Australia for putting international pressure on the Myanmar government to repatriate the Rohingyas to their homeland. The Minister sought the cooperation while meeting with the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop at the Perth City of Australia.

 

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said, initiatives are going on to send back the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to their motherland Rakhine state. The Minister said this while he was distributing 101 trucks relief items on behalf of the Awami League among Rohingya people at Kutupalang and Balukhali makeshift camps in Cox's Bazar yesterday.

 

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon has urged the private sector to build resorts and motels across the country under public private partnership for further flourishment of the country's tourism sector. He said this while he was speaking at a views-exchange meeting on tourism development in Narail. Later, the Minister laid foundation stone of a Eco Park in Narail.

 

Germany based Siemens AG has signed a MoU for setting up a 3,600 megawatt combined cycle power plant based on Liquefied Natural Gas by 2021 at Dhankhali in Patuakhali district. The state-run North-West Power Generation Company Limited and Siemens AG signed the MoU at Bidyut Bhaban in Dhaka yesterday

 

Press Wing

London, 5 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 5 November 2017

President Md Abdul Hamid has urged well-off people and corporate organizations to concentrate on charitable activities which would supplement the government efforts to remove poverty. The President made the urge as he was addressing the inaugural ceremony of an international two-day workshop titled 'Revival of Waqf for Socioeconomic Development' in Dhaka yesterday. He also called upon scholars to put their full endeavours to discover the essence of different Islamic financial instruments, including Zakat and Waqf to support the disadvantaged community.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the Vice-Patron of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), will officially open the 63rd CPA Conference at the South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad today. The 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), one of the largest annual gatherings of the CPA, already began on November 1. The main theme of this year's conference is 'Continuing to enhance the high standards of performance of Parliamentarians'. The CPA will hold a special session on the Rohingyas crisis after the official opening. Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali will explain the Rohingya situation at the session.

 

Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) has issued Design and Construction License to Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) for constructing Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna. Science and Technology Affairs Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman speaking at a function on the occasion yesterday in Dhaka said, Bangladesh entered the club of countries which generate power from atomic energy. As per the guidelines of International Atomic Energy Agency, it was obligatory to get the license before beginning the main construction work of the power plant.

 

US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration Simon Henshaw has categorically said, Myanmar has to take back the Rohingya people and has to create a safe and stable environment by ensuring human rights so that the Rohingyas could return to their homes in Rakhine state. A US delegation led by Henshaw visited Myanmar and then visited Cox's Bazar camps for two days from Nov 2.

 

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has urged the international communities to put pressure on Myanmar to take back the Rohingya nationals who took shelter in Bangladesh due to the ongoing violence and atrocities there. Mr Nahid made the appeal while addressing in the 39th session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris yesterday.

 

Glasgow City Council in Scotland has unanimously voted to withdraw their offer to award Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi freedom of the city. The decision comes following criticism of her response to the Rohingya refugee crisis amid human rights violations in Myanmar. Suu Kyi was offered the award in 2009 when she was under house arrest as Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader.

 

Bangladesh is now an attractive place for investments and Australian entrepreneurs can invest in Bangladesh for mutual benefits of the two countries, said Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed during a meeting with Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. The Commerce Minister is in Perth, Australia to attend the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference. Mr Tofail said Bangladesh is thankful to Australia for giving Bangladesh duty and quota free market access.

 

The government is signing two separate loan agreements with the World Bank (WB) today for implementing two projects designed to promote trade, business and investment. A $100 million agreement will be inked for the 'Export Competitiveness for Jobs Project' while another contract for $357 million will be finalised for 'Investment Promotion and Financing Facility II (IPFF-II) Project'. Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and WB Country Director Qimiao Fan will sign the two agreements on behalf of their respective sides at the ERD in Dhaka.

 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said, Bangladesh is the champion against climate vulnerabilities. The appreciation came as the Bangladesh delegation headed by Suraiya Begum, Senior Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office met Dutch Prime Minister in Amsterdam on the side lines of International Water Week. During the discussion, Bangladesh delegation has urged its international partners to strengthen global cooperation on water issues.

 

For the third time in a row, Bangladesh held its top most position among the countries of South Asia in ensuring gender equality, achieving 47th rank among 144 countries in the world. World Economic Forum in a report said this. Bangladesh, belonging to the lower-middle income group, scored 0.79 in terms of global gender gap this year, the report added.

 

Press Wing

London, 2 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 2 November 2017

President Md Abdul Hamid has urged the authorities concerned to build up the country’s youths through providing modern education and training. The President came up with the call while addressing a function at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka on the occasion of the National Youth Day 2017. The young generation must uphold the spirit of the country’s independence and liberation war, the President added.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has extended her thanks to UNSECO for recognizing the historic March 7 speech of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a world documentary heritage. In a statement to UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova and all other concerned the PM said, Bangabandhu in his historic address had upheld Bengali nation's emotion, dream and aspiration with his extraordinary oratory and political sagacity.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ranked 30th on the Forbes list of 100 most powerful women in the world this year climbing six notches up from the last year’s position. US-based global business magazine Forbes published the list yesterday.

 

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has urged all to utilise the power of information and communication technology for development of the Asia-Pacific region. He said this while inaugurating a two-day meeting of the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway (APIS) steering committee in Dhaka yesterday. Bangladesh, being elected President of the APIS working group in 2016, is hosting the conference this year.

 

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has expressed the hope that the European Union will continue their persuasion with Myanmar until the Rohingyas return to their homeland. The FM expressed the hope when Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, met him at the state guesthouse Padma in Dhaka yesterday. The FM sought support of the EU so that a solution to the Rohingya problem could be achieved in light of the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission.

 

The USA has assured its support to Bangladesh for the repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. Visiting US Acting Assistant Secretary Simon Hens-haw reiterated the support during a meeting with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam at the Foreign Ministry in Dhaka yesterday.

 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with Turkey and Egypt yesterday tabled at the United Nations a draft resolution seeking measures to end violence in Rakhine State of Myanmar and creating an enabling environment for ensuring return of forcibly displaced Rohingyas. The draft resolution, placed on behalf of OIC, was sent to the UN Third Committee for holding a debate and adopting by the global body. 

 

State-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX) has started gas production on experimental basis from the new gas field in Bhola. BAPEX discovered this major gas field at Shahbazpur in Bhola on October 23, 2017.

 

The weeklong Income Tax Fair-2017 has kicked off in the capital and other parts of the country with a revenue collection target of more than Tk 3,000 crore. State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan inaugurated the fair at NBR’s Headquarters in Dhaka yesterday.

 

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has said the country’s politics must be made free from militants, zealots and bigots. The Minister made the call as he was speaking at a seminar on 'Current Politics' organised by the Bangladesh Nationalist Front at the National Press Club in Dhaka yesterday. The Minister said, many people were skeptical when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina began the war crimes’ trial, but she has done it despite the doubts.

 

Press Wing                          

London, 1 November 2017

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

London, 1 November 2017

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has recognised the historic 7th March Speech of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as part of world's documentary heritage. UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova announced the decision on Monday at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu has been included in the Memory of the World International Register, a list of world's important documentary heritage maintained by the UNESCO. Meanwhile, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has been re-elected Vice President of the ongoing 39th session of the UNESCO General Conference for the tenure of 2017-2019 terms.

 

The government has cleared a project involving 1,730 crore Tk to improve infrastructure of 520 rural haat-bazars across the country to facilitate marketing of farm and non-farm products from remote areas. The approval for 'development of infrastructures of countrywide rural bazaars' project came at the meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council held at the NEC conference room in Dhaka with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair yesterday. Approval also came for first revision proposal for construction of 15,036 flats for the low and mid-income people at Uttara Sector-18 project.

 

President Md Abdul Hamid has urged the United Nations (UN) and other international agencies to continue mounting pressure on the Myanmar government to take back its forcefully displaced people (Rohingyas) from Bangladesh. The President said this when he was talking to the outgoing UN resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative to Bangladesh Robert D. Watkins. Mr Watkins paid a farewell call on the President at Bangabhaban yesterday.

 

The 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference begins in Dhaka today, though Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally open the conference on November 5. The Rohingya crisis is expected to largely feature the conference. A special session on Rohingya issue will be held on November 5 when the Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali will explain the situation.

 

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management of European Commission Christos Stylianides yesterday reached Dhaka on a two-day visit to witness the Rohingya crisis. After arrival, Stylianides visited Kutupalong camp in the Cox's Bazar area, where an EU funded project is helping over 100,000 people, mostly vulnerable children and women.

 

The Australian government has announced a further AUD 10 million to support the humanitarian needs of almost 600,000 Rohingya people. This brings Australia's total assistance since the onset of the Rohingya crisis to AUD 30 million.

 

The government of Bangladesh has conveyed its strong protest against the misleading video-footage posted on the webpage maintained by the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka. The High Commissioner of Pakistan to Bangladesh Rafiuzzaman Siddiqui was called yesterday in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the protest note was conveyed by Secretary Bilateral (Europe, Africa & Americas) Kamrul Ahsan. The government demanded apology from the Pakistan government for trying to distort the history of Bangladesh’s War of Independence.

 

The prosecution at the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 yesterday filed charge sheet against Captain (Retd) Mohammad Shahidullah, a former member of Pakistani occupation army, for committing crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation in 1971.

 

A high level Bangladesh delegation has urged Japanese enterprises to make more investment in Bangladesh. The urge was made at the third Japan-Bangladesh Public Private Joint Economic Dialogue held in Tokyo. Principal Coordinator of the Prime Minister Office on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Abul Kalam Azad led the Bangladesh side at the dialogue.

 

Weeklong 'Income Tax Fair-2017' beings today in the city and other areas of the country in a bid to help taxpayers file returns and complete other related tasks. President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages on the eve of the income tax fair.

 

Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) examinations-2017 begin today across the country with the participation of 24, 68,820 examinees.

 

National Youth Day will be observed across the country today in a befitting manner. This year's theme of the day is 'Juboder Jagaran, Bangladesher Unnyayan' (Awakening of Youths, Development of Bangladesh). President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages on the eve of the day.

 

Nine so called ‘energy drinks’ currently available in the country contain caffeine at a level higher than generally recognised as safe by public health experts. Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) has collected random samples of the nine brands—Speed, Tiger, Royal Tiger, Power, Oscar, Braver, Red Bull, Bull Dozer, and Black Horse—and got those examined at three laboratories. Of the laboratories, two belong to government agencies and the rest belongs to a renowned public engineering university. As per the test results, all the samples carried caffeine at a level detrimental to public health.

 

Press Wing                          

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