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London, 26 October, 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 26 October 2016

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with other newly-elected office-bearers of Bangladesh Awami League paid tributes yesterday to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Prime Minister along with other newly-elected office-bearers of the party including General Secretary Obaidul Quader paid homage to Bangabandhu by placing wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in Dhaka yesterday. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council yesterday approved the 3rd revision of the ‘One House One Farm’ project raising its cost by Tk 6,813.27 crore, aiming to lift people out of the poverty trap by 2020. The approval came from the ECNEC meeting held at the Prime Minister's Office with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. It is one of 10 projects - seven new and three revised ones - the meeting approved involving a total cost of Tk 9,443.64 crore to be financed entirely from the national exchequer. Beating projection the annual growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) hit the highest ever record at 7.11 per cent in the last 2015-16 financial year (FY16), according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). For this, countries economy expanded more than 7 percent last fiscal year, after nearly a decade of registering 6 percent growth. According to BBS, the total size of the GDP stood at $17,328,637 million at the end of FY16 on June 30, 2016. Besides, the country's per-capita income (Gross National Income-GNI) also increased to US$1,465 in the financial year (FY) 2015-16 from $1,316 in the previous fiscal, FY2015, the government statistics showed. China is likely to provide Bangladesh up to $25 billion for the projects it has committed, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday. Bangladesh utilizes foreign aid in a very conservative way, so the country's debt burden is still very low, around $24 billion, minister said. The finance minister said, in next three years he expects to get $1.8 billion assistance from the WB a year. The government received US$501 million concessional foreign aid in the first quarter (Q1) of the current financial year (FY) 2016-17, officials said yesterday. In July-September of the last FY2016, the multi-lateral and bilateral donors disbursed $502.24 million foreign assistance, the Economic Relations Division (ERD) data showed. President Md. Abdul Hamid asked the Navy to be more active in protecting the marine resources and maritime boundary of the country. He also asked the navy to make necessary efforts for the use of the vast potential of blue economy. The President was talking to Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed when he made a call on him at Bangabhaban yesterday. The Navy chief informed the President that two submarines would be added to the fleet of Bangladesh Navy this year. A five day long joint exercise titled 'Exercise Co-Operation Afloat Readiness and Training' (CARAT)- 2016 between Bangladesh Navy and US Navy has been formally inaugurated yesterday in the School of Maritime Warfare & Tactics at Chittagong Naval Area. Bangladesh Navy is participating in this exercise for the 6th consecutive year. The exercise is conducted with the aim to assess, strengthen and enhance interoperability between two navies. A coastal shipping service between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be launched soon after signing an agreement in this regard. After a meeting between the two countries at the Secretariat, Shipping Secretary said the final agreement would be signed soon between two countries. Both the sides have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the secretary-level meeting after finalizing the draft agreement. A six-member Sri Lankan delegation participated in the meeting. British High Commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake has said the historic links between the United Kingdom and port city Chittagong will remain strong and vital for both Bangladesh and the UK. The British High Commissioner made the remark after her recent visit to Chittagong. The British High Commissioner held meetings with officials, civil society and business leaders in Chittagong. During meetings, they discussed ways for strengthening the UK-Bangladesh bilateral relationship and the scope for greater cooperation on prosperity and opportunities for British businesses, and issues of economic and social development. Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Border Security force (BSF) of India launched a joint band display at no-man's land area in Benapole-Petrapole border yesterday. A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against 7 people in a case filed in connection with the murder of Italian aid worker Tavella Cesare.

 

Press Wing

London, 25 October 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 25 October 2016

The Cabinet approved a proposal to raise the allowances of gallantry award winners, war-wounded freedom fighters and the families of martyred freedom fighters. The approval came at the Cabinet meeting held at the Secretariat yesterday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. According to the proposal, the 'Bir Shrestha' gallantry award winners will get Tk 30,000 as monthly allowance instead of Tk 12,000 while the 'Bir Uttam' gallantry award winners Tk 25,000 against their existing allowances of Tk 10,000 per month. Besides, the 'Bir Bikram' gallantry award winners will get Tk 20,000 against their existing allowances of Tk 8,000 per month while the 'Bir Protik' gallantry award winners will get Tk 15,000. Those who have been receiving more than one allowance until now will be allowed to avail themselves of the higher allowance after the implementation of the proposal. The new allowances will come into effect from January 01, 2016. The Cabinet adopted an obituary resolution expressing deep shock at the death of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Another resolution was adopted thanking Rezwana Siddiq Tulip and Rupa Haq, two Bangladesh origin British citizens, for becoming ministers in the shadow cabinet of the UK Labour Party. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered suspension of sand lifting and asked ministers to prepare a policy guideline in this regard to protect the bridges, national highways and roads from illegal lifting of sands from rivers. The order came after the Cabinet meeting when she asked the ministers for water resources, land, shipping and state minister for energy and mineral resources to prepare the guideline in this regard holding an inter-ministerial meeting. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked Awami League leaders and activists to get ready for the next general election and make the best use of the remaining time of the AL government's tenure. Prime Minister vowed afresh to free Bangladesh from poverty and urged the AL leaders and activists to prepare a list of ultra-poor homeless people and those living in great distress. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League chief, said this when top party leaders from different levels of the country came to her official residence Ganobhaban to greet her for being reelected as the party president. Prime Minister's ICT adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy observed that the country's people will stand on their own feet through building Sonar Bangla (Golden Bangla) as dreamt by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He said this while inaugurating an IT-cum-training institution in Sirajganj through videoconferencing from the Prime Minister's Office. Such training institutions are being constructed to implement the goal, he added. Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece Dimitrios Paraskevopoulous expressed his country's eagerness to enhance economic collaboration in agriculture, infrastructure and shipping sectors of Bangladesh. The Greek Secretary General (Foreign Secretary) showed the interest during the 2nd Political Consultations between Bangladesh and Greece held in Dhaka, according to the Foreign Ministry press statement. Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque and Ambassador Dimitrios Paraskevopoulous led their respective sides during the consultations held six years after the First Political Consultation held in Athens in April 2010. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFFRI) will establish its permanent office in Bangladesh to gear up work in this field. The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the IFFRI signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect in Dhaka yesterday, said an IFFRI press release. A business delegation of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) attended the D-8 Chambers of Commerce and Industry Izmir (CCII) meeting in Turkey. FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmad led the business delegation at the two-day CCII meeting held at Izmir ended on October 2, said a press release yesterday. Speaking on the occasion, President Matlub emphasized on D-8 plus to increase the volume of trade and investment between the member countries. Kuwaiti businessmen have expressed their interest to invest in Bangladesh after learning about various facilities over the foreign direct investment (FDI) here as provided by the government. Their expression of investment interest was evident during a meeting in Kuwait yesterday with the visiting delegation of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a statement said. Newly appointed Norwegian Ambassador Sidsel Blieken has said she would work to further strengthen the good relations between the two countries through promoting shared goal of creating peaceful and inclusive societies based on equal rights for all. 'The relationship between Norway and Bangladesh has always been one of friendships and strong bonds, and I want to deepen that during my stay in Bangladesh through our engagements in diplomacy, trade and development,' said a media release of Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka yesterday quoting Blieken as saying. The government has appointed Maj Gen Azmal Kabir as the next Bangladesh Ambassador to Indonesia. Kabir was served as the Instructor, Engineer Centre and School of Military Engineering and School of Infantry and Tactics.

 

Press Wing

London, 19 October 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 19 October 2016

The World Bank (WB) committed to providing Bangladesh with $2 billion over the next three years in fresh funding to help the nation tackle and adapt the negative impacts of climate change. 'Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change and we must do all we can to support the government in its efforts to adapt to this growing threat,' said WB Group President Jim Yong Kim making the announcement yesterday at a press conference. Sajeeb Wazed Joy, ICT adviser to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said Banladesh is the only country which digitized quickly defying many debacles and the people of Bangladesh getting the result of the country's ICT development. Now the country is the example to the world as it got digitized within a short period of time utilizing the capacity, he added. ICT adviser made the remarks while addressing a reception programme accorded to him for getting an award on ICT in Dhaka yesterday. Tech companies can register their internet domain on dot Bangla (.bangla) from December 16, Bangladesh's Victory Day. 'Through this process, Bangla will secure its position as a language in cyber space,' State Minister for Telecom Tarana Halim said at a press briefing at the Secretariat in Dhaka yesterday.  Visiting World Bank President Dr Jim Yong Kim said he fully supports what Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is doing for the development of Bangladesh. World Bank President made the remark when he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganobhaban yesterday. During the Meeting, President Kim offered assistance to share experiences about easing doing business in Bangladesh. Dr Kim mentioned that the World Bank is fully committed to providing support to Bangladesh in implementing its climate change adaptation and mitigation programs. Highlighting her government's various steps for the development of the country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her main aim is to ensure basic needs, including food and shelter, for the people. She said Bangladesh has become self-sufficient in food due to various steps of her government. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh would be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals only if Awami League remains in power. She came up with this remark while giving her introductory speech at a meeting of its Council Preparation Committee at Ganobhaban yesterday. Expressing her hope to organize the party in a better way through the upcoming council, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said all have to remember that the socioeconomic status of the country will develop as long as Awami League remains in power. Prime Minister thanked people for keeping their trust and confidence in Awami League. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the children of the country to prepare themselves as worthy citizens to have their own dignified place in this competitive world. The premier made these remarks at a function marking her younger brother Sheikh Russell's birthday, also the youngest son of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Sheikh Russell Jatiya Shishu Kishore Parishad organised the programme at Krishibid Institution in Dhaka yesterday. Expressing her government's firm commitment to stop brutalities in future, Prime Minister said her government has enacted laws to protect the rights of children and stop their abuses. The PM distributed prizes among the winners of different sports and cultural competitions on the occasion. The country's largest digital exposition is set to kick off today in Dhaka to showcase technology-based innovations and achievements aiming to unlock the economic potential of the IT sector. Analysts and government officials from different countries will take part in discussions at the three-day Digital World 2016 at International Convention City Bashundhara, organisers said. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the event; her ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy will also be present.

 

Press Wing

London, 17 October 2016.

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 17 October 2016.

Country's biggest ICT expo, Digital World 2016, will be held at the International Convention City of Bashundhara, from October 19-21. Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu disclosed the dates during a press briefing at the conference room of PID yesterday. There will be 12 seminars alongside ICT exhibition in the country's Digital World, organised by the ICT Division in collaboration with Bangladesh Computer Council, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) and Access to Information (a2i) program, said Information Minister. As a testament to its commitment to the Bangladeshi consumers and as part of an ambitious plan to tap into the highly potent market, Microsoft will be participating in Digital World 2016 as a key sponsor. 'Digital World' is the largest IT Expo of Bangladesh which covers the breadth of knowledge in the IT program, and highlights the optimum use of the economic potentials of ICT. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has proposed three specific ways for engagement between economic and technological cooperation groups BRICS and BIMSTEC. The ways she has proposed are to develop quality and resilient infrastructure in BIMSTEC member states, to focus on development of science, technology and innovation capabilities, and to hold talks between BRICS and BIMSTEC for sustainable economic development. She came up with the proposals at the BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit in Indian state of Goa yesterday. Extending thanks to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his wonderful initiative to bring the leaders of BRICS and BIMSTEC to a single table, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina focused on how the leaders of both the groupings could identify mutual scope as well as synergies for cooperation. She urged the leaders of both the forums to join hands to deal with terrorism and violent extremism to achieve sustainable development through security and stability. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged BIMSTEC leaders to find out the mentors, masterminds, abettors, financiers, arms suppliers and trainers of terrorists and extremists to defeat terrorism. She was delivering her statement at the BIMSTEC Leaders' Retreat held at Goa of India yesterday. In Bangladesh, Prime Minister said, her government has taken a zero-tolerance approach to terrorism and violent extremism. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said as she stood there as one of the four founding leaders who had inspired the launching of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) way back in 1997, during the past 20 years, BIMSTEC has made progress in connecting two regions - South Asia and South East Asia. She emphasized implementation of the Free Trade Area (FTA) initiative among BIMSTEC member countries in order to boost intra-regional trade. The PM urged the leaders to finally adopt the four FTA-related agreements during the 20th anniversary of BIMSTEC next year. Terrorism and Teesta river water-sharing issues came up for discussion as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Goa yesterday. The Teesta issue came up at the meeting between the two Prime Ministers and it was agreed that more discussions were needed to arrive at an acceptable solution, said Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also met Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay on the sidelines of the BRICSBIMSTEC outreach summit at Cavelossim in Goa. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet in Bangla, welcomed his Bangladesh counterpart to the BRICS Summit in Goa and thanked her for strengthening ties between New Delhi and Dhaka. The World Bank is going to observe End Poverty Day in Bangladesh this year in acknowledgment of the country's remarkable success in reducing poverty. Its President Jim Yong Kim arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a two-day visit to see firsthand the progress Bangladesh has made in transitioning successfully to a lower-middle income country. He will participate in an event to mark the 'International Day for the Eradication of Poverty' today. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the program. Chief economist of the WB Paul Romer and Vice President for the South Asia Region Annette Dixon will also participate in the discussion. Chinese investments in Bangladesh's power and energy sector would be over US$5.32 billion, as the country has inked four agreements and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with different local power sector entities during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. A senior energy ministry official said of the total investments, a 1,320-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant at Paira, to be implemented by the state-run North West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL), would fetch $1.984 billion. A total of 27 agreements and MoUs were inked between China and Bangladesh on Friday in presence of the Chinese President and Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.Bangladesh and Nepal are agreed to set up two hydro-electricity plants capable to produce 1,500 megawatts. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and Nepalese Romi Gauchan Thakali yesterday made the disclosure after a meeting at secretariat in Dhaka. Commerce Minister said both the countries agreed to establish the plants along with Indian cooperation. It is also expected that after setting up the KhulnaMongla rail line within 2018, trade will be enhanced through the railway service between Bangladesh and Nepal. According to the Global Hunger Index of the International Food Policy Research Institute's, Bangladesh is ranked 90 among 118 countries. It is ahead of India (97), Pakistan (107) and Afghanistan (111). In 2008, Bangladesh's score was 32.4 but now it has improved to 27.1. Expressing concern over the loss of innocent lives in clashes in Myanmar, Bangladesh underscored the need for arresting perpetrators and bringing them to justice. Taking note of attacks on the Border Guard Police posts in Rakhine on October 10 and clashes that followed, Bangladesh yesterday said it finds these developments in Rakhine disturbing and unequivocally condemns the attacks. In a press statement, the Foreign Ministry said Bangladesh as a responsible neighbour on its own had sealed off the borders with Myanmar in the early hours of October 10 to deny the perpetrators escape. Bangladesh apprehended two Rakhine Muslims and handed them over to the Myanmarese authorities within a day. State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam has said Bangladeshis are not allowed to go to Libya as the law and order situation in the North African country is not safe for them. He came up with this warning while addressing a seminar at the CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka yesterday on Irregular Labour Migration in Bangladesh Crises and Ways forward. The state minister has said that the government is always aware about the safety and security of the expatriate workers and the people going abroad.

 

Press Wing

 

London, 10 OCTOBER 2016

BANGLADESH HIGH COMMSSION

Press Wing

LONDON

                                                                                       

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

London, 10 OCTOBER 2016

 

Bangladesh High Commission, London, dedicates cultural programme to 1971 freedom fighters, martyrs

 

The Bangladesh High Commission in London hosted the "Summit Bangladesh Evening” on 09 October 2016 at the Brady Arts Centre in the heart of where the Bengali diaspora lives. It was dedicated to the freedom fighters and martyrs of the 1971 Bangladesh war.

 

The programme, which started with the song "JOY BANGLA, BANGLAR JOY" was originally named "Summit Evening of Young Bangladeshi performers," but changed as the four young men could not come due to visa complexities.

 

Nadeem Qadir, Minister (Press), organised and anchored the programme, while British-Bangladeshi artists Shammem Azad, Srity Azad, Gouri Chowdhury, Hashi Rani and Sobira Sultana Sonia presented their numbers which was cheered by the crowd.

 

Khandaker M. Talha, the acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh, could not attend due to unaviodal circumstances.

 

Qadir, in his introductory remarks said, he was happy to be able to organise the programme, the first ever by the high commission in the Brady Arts Centre.

 

He said he missed the four young talents who could not come as their visas were refused.

 

He said the programme has three dimensions -- too present Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Golden Bengla, give the young talents a platform to the British audience and bridge Bangladeshis and British-Bangladeshis.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in particular wants that Bangladesh and its youths are projected properly, Qadir added.

 

He thanked the sponsors Summit Communications Ltd from Dhaka and London's Tower Hamlets, London Tradition, Hillside Travels, Sonali Business Centre, Faith Printers, Qunatum securities, JMG Cargo, BBCCI, Bangla TV and Hamlets Training Cenrtre.

 

Media partners were Bangla TV, Weekly Jonomot and Betar Bangla.

Speaking on the occassion, Mr. Nahas Pasha, Chief Editor of weekly Jonomot said that such programmes should be held regularly.

 

Channel I Europe Managing Director Mr. R. A. Faisol Chowdhury (Shoaib)  praised Nadeem Qadir, saying the press (minister) was very active and have been doing things that none had done before in that post.

 

Hillside Travel Managing Director, Mr. Helal Uddin Khan, said he would continue to support High Commission programmes.

 

Mr. Unmesh Desai of the Greater London Council said the programme was perfect to uphold Bangladesh.

 

A similar programme was staged at the London's prestigious Nehru Centre on Oct 6, 2016.

 

Nadeem Qadir

Minister (Press)

 

 

London, 10 October 2016.

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 10 October 2016.

Bangladesh fought back in the second ODI with a strong bowling display which led Tigers an easy win against England. Tigers have spectacularly won the second match by 34 runs against England. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina extended her heartiest congratulation to Bangladesh cricket team for defeating touring England side in the second oneday international (ODI) match. The government looks to tap Chinese investment into Bangladesh by awarding them a special economic zone as well as availing loans at cheap rates from Beijing, said Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday. He made the comment at a discussion on 'Bangladesh-China Relation: Achievement and Expectation' organized by the Economic Reporters' Forum at the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka. The discussion came days ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Dhaka. The government has signed an agreement with a Chinese company to develop the country's Dhaka-Sylhet corridor into four lanes with its proposed investment of US$ 2.2 billion. Roads and Highways Department (RHD) inked the framework agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company Limited at a ceremony yesterday. Bangladesh and India are set to kick off the much-awaited cross border power trade through BBIN, an initiative of South Asian member states to formulate, implement and review quadrilateral agreement on connectivity of power. State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid told this to the media yesterday at his secretariat office while speaking about the outcome of his recent visit to India. The State Minister said, the bilateral discussion with Indian state minister for power, coal and renewable energy Piyush Goyal was successful. He added, the Indian private sector firm Adani also informed us to install grid connectivity for supplying their 1,600 MW of electricity to Bangladesh. They are also interested to install our national transmission line for supplying the electricity. Twenty percent of Bangladeshi social enterprises are led by women, significantly higher than in mainstream business, a survey findings revealed. It also said women in social enterprises make up 41 percent of the full time equivalent workforce; more than double of their participation rate in the general workforce. The British Council, United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, launched survey reports “The State of Social Enterprise in Bangladesh” and “Social Enterprise Policy Landscape in Bangladesh” yesterday in Dhaka.

 

Press Wing

London, 07 OCTOBER 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

Press Release

 

London, 07 OCTOBER 2016

Bangladesh High Commission, London, hosts first ever cultural programme in Nehru Centre

 

The Bangladesh High Commission in London hosted the "Summit Bangladesh Evening” on 06 October 2016 at the prestigious Nehru Centre in the heart of the city. It was dedicated to the freedom fighters and martyrs of the 1971 Bangladesh war.

 

The programme was originally named "Summit Evening of Young Bangladeshi performers," but changed as the four young men could not come due to visa complexities.

 

Nadeem Qadir, Minister (Press), organised and anchored the programme, while British-Bangladeshi artists Shammem Azad, Srity Azad, Gouri Chowdhury, Hashi Rani and Sobira Sultana Sonia presented their numbers which was cheered by the crowd.

 

Khandaker M. Talha, the acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh, in his speech said that the high commission would like to host more such programmes in collaboration with the Nehru Centre.

 

"This programme will showcase Bangladesh and its talents," he added. Talha also thanked Minister (Press) Nadeem Qadir for organising the event.

 

Nehru Centre assistant Director Ms. Vibhaji said she was delighted to give the venue for the event and looked forward to more such programmes, even on a joint-venture

 

Qadir, in his introductory remarks said, he was happy to be able to organise the programme, the first ever by the high commission in the Nehru Centre.

 

He said he missed the four young talents who could not come as their visas were refused despite submitting all papers from the high commission.

"We will bring them soon," he asserted.

 

He said the programme has three dimensions -- too present Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Golden Bengal, give the young talents a platform to the British audience and bridge Bangladeshis and British-Bangladeshis.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in particular wants that Bangladesh and its youths are projected properly, Qadir added.

 

He thanked the sponsors Summit Communications Ltd from Dhaka and London's Tower Hamlets, London Tradition, Hillside Travels, Sonali Business Centre, Faith Printers, Qunatum securities, JMG Cargo, BBCCI, Bangla TV and Hamlets Training Centre.

 

Media partners were Bangla TV, Weekly Jonomot and Betar Bangla.

A seven-minute documentary sent by the four absent Bangladeshi performers was also screened.

 

A second show is set for 09 October in East London's Brady Arts Centre.

 

Nadeem Qadir

Minister (Press)

 

London, 06 October 2016.

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

 

London, 06 October 2016.

 

The Jatiya Sangsad passed the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Bill, 2016’ in an amendment form with a provision for non-government organisations to take prior approval from the NGO Affairs Bureau to undertake any project and implement it with foreign donations.

 

Bangladesh has finally got the right to dot bangla (.bangla) domain to express its identity internationally. Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) yesterday made the announcement of allocating the .bangla domain in favour of Bangladesh, State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim told media over phone from Turkey.

 

Bangladesh has been elected chairman of Asia-Pacific Information Super-highway Working Group for the next one year. United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific countries at a high-level forum meeting, held in Bangkok on Tuesday, supported Bangladesh to lead the Information Highway, a press release said.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina warned that stern action would be taken against persons concerned if any irregularity was found in the preparation of the list of extreme poor for the distribution of rice at Tk 10 per kilogram. She issued the warning while replying to a supplementary question in Parliament. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government was the first to appoint a female secretary to the highest position of the civil service in the country. The government has appointed women to every department for ensure their participation in running affairs of the country and as a result women empowerment is increasing. She said this while replying to a question in the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the House that the work on infrastructural development of Payra Port would be completed by 2023. In reply to a question Prime Minister said construction of three jetties of the port would be completed by 2018. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that country's current literacy rate will be over 70 percent. She said this while replying to a question in the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought Norwegian support to further develop and expand Bangladesh's aquaculture and shipbuilding sectors for mutual benefits. Country wants Norway's cooperation in developing fisheries sector with its technologies, projects and ventures in breeding fingerling, fishery management, and taking up joint ventures in marine aquaculture projects in Bangladesh's coastal regions, she said. The premier came up with the request when Norwegian ambassador in Dhaka Merete Lundemo paid a farewell call on her at her office in Dhaka yesterday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the authorities concerned, including ministries, to work with efficiency and appropriate strategies and action plans so that the country can survive in this highly competitive world. The present world is the most competitive one and her government wants to build the country with all possible capacities to survive competing in the international arena, she said. The Prime Minister made the call yesterday while presiding over the 4th meeting of the National Skill Development Council held at the Prime Minister's Office. President Md. Abdul Hamid described communal harmony as a great tradition of Bangladesh and urged all irrespective of caste and creed to continue to make efforts so that none can tarnish this tradition. The President said this when an 8-member delegation, including the trustees of Buddhist Religious Welfare Trust, made a courtesy call on him at Bangabhaban in Dhaka yesterday. Bangladesh's economy will grow by 6.9 percent this fiscal year despite the subdued global growth, said the International Monetary Fund which was released in Washington on Tuesday. The number of Bangladesh's extreme poor people, according to a World Bank (WB) report, has dropped from 18 per cent in 2009-10 to 12.9 per cent at the end of the last fiscal year (FY). Bangladesh sought India's assistance in setting up of a network for supplying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to high-rise buildings and apartments, cooperation in the field of bio-fuels and training of its personnel in hydrocarbon sector. India has agreed to work with Bangladesh in these sectors and share its experiences. Dhaka's request for India's help and the latter's response came when Bangladesh State Minister State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid met India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi yesterday.

 

Press Wing

London, 05 October 2016.

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 05 October 2016.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said Bangladesh would stay beside India if the neighboring country came under attack as a result of ongoing tension with Pakistan. The Home Minister was addressing a views-exchange programme at the Secretariat organised by Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters Forum yesterday. The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved eight projects, including one for the procurement of 200 MG passenger coaches for Bangladesh Railway, involving a total of Tk 3,488.20 crore. The approval was given in the ECNEC meeting held at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar yesterday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The Jatiya Sangsad yesterday unanimously adopted a thanks giving motion on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for receiving the 'Planet 50-50 Champion' and 'Agent of Change Award'. The UN-Women recognised the PM as 'Planet 50-50 Champion', while Global Partnership Forum handed over the 'Agent of Change Award' to her at a high-level reception at the UN Headquarters. Meanwhile, the Parliament yesterday also passed the 'President's Pension, Gratuity, and other Privileges Bill, 2016', with the provision that presidents whose tenures are declared illegal or unconstitutional by the higher court would be declared ineligible to receive the benefits. The government has approved proposals for taking foreign loans of $3.5 billion for two mega power projects-coal-fired Rampal and Payra power plants. Of these, Rampal will get $1.6 billion from Indian Exim Bank while Payra will receive $1.9 billion from China Exim Bank, Power Division sources told the media. The UN has accepted Bangladesh's proposal of creating 'Global Compact on Migration' to improve the migration governance and protect them during the emergencies, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said yesterday. 'The UN member states decided to finalize and adapt the framework after two years of negotiation,' he told reporters after a discussion organised by Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies in association with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Organization for Migration. A ground-breaking project based in Bangladesh that allows villagers to earn income by selling excess solar energy was recently announced as one of 13 winners of a United Nations climate change award, a press statement said. ME SOLshare’s innovative technical solution, allows marginalized households without the means to finance their own solar PV home systems to purchase solar power from their neighbours at low cost. Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu told the parliament that more than 2800 newspapers are being published in the country at present. The Minister revealed the information while replying to a question in the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday. Bangladesh will be able to take part in 2019 World Cup directly and the results for the next one year will have no impact on this, said the BCB chief Nazmul Hasan Papon. Two Bangladeshis have bagged the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The announcement was made on Monday in Abu Dhabi. Marina Tabassum and Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury have won the award for the design of Dhaka's Bait Ur Rouf Mosque and Gaibandha's Friendship Centre, respectively.

 

Press Wing

London, 03 October 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 03 October 2016

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh's diplomatic relations with Pakistan will continue alongside disputes although Pakistan has been making various adverse statements on the ongoing war crimes trial. Prime Minister made the comment while replying to a query during her scheduled press conference on her recent visits to Canada and the USA at Gono Bhaban yesterday. About her Canada visit, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh’s relations with Canada further consolidated and deepened through her recent visit to the North American country. She said she requested her Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau to extradite Noor Chowdhury, the self-confessed killer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, from Canada, saying his trial would be held as per the existing law of the country. Prime Minister and President of ruling Awami League Sheikh Hasina also said after 35 years of leading the country's largest party she would be happy to see new leadership at the helm of the organisation. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the Election Commission to ensure the security of the data being used for preparing smart national identity (NID) cards, saying there should be a firewall in such a digital project to check forgery. She was inaugurating the distribution of smart NID cards at a function in the capital's Osmani Memorial Hall yesterday. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed handed over the smart NID card of President Md. Abdul Hamid to him at Bangabhaban yesterday. Bangladesh and the United States pledged to work together for further enhancing the security cooperation between the two countries in the coming years. Both the countries made the pledge at the fifth round of Bangladesh-United States Security Dialogue that ended in Dhaka yesterday. The US side appreciated Bangladesh’s policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and violent extremism, and not allowing its territory to be used for terrorist activities against other countries. They also applauded Bangladesh government’s efforts to control terrorist activities in the aftermath of the Holey Artisan attack by involving all relevant agencies, and the launch of a specialised counterterrorism and transnational crime unit under Dhaka Metropolitan Police, according to a joint statement. The Exim Bank of China is set to provide Bangladesh with US$ 1.16 billion in loan for implementing three major projects according to Economic Relations Division. The government would modernize 8,500 post offices as e-centre's across the country by June, 2017 to disseminate information and communication technology services to the rural people. State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak told this at the parliament yesterday. Replying to another question in the parliament, State Minister said the government has earned Tk 15.07 billion from mobile companies in the financial year 2015-16. The Press Councils of India and Bangladesh have decided to work towards ensuring that accredited journalists from both countries should be allowed visa-free entry into each other's territory, reports PTI on Sunday. Officials said that Press Council of India (PCI) chairperson Justice (retd) C K Prasad recently led a delegation to Bangladesh where it was decided that the Press Councils of the two countries would enter into a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of journalism. A six-member media delegation from Myanmar arrived in Dhaka on Saturday on a weeklong visit to have better understanding about Bangladesh and promote people-to-people contacts between the two countries. Myanmar Press Council Secretary Thiha Saw, who is also the Executive Director of Myanmar Journalism Institute, is leading the delegation.

Press Wing

London, 29 September 2016.

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 29 September 2016.

Global competitiveness of Bangladesh has improved, according to the annual index published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The country has advanced one notch to 106 among 138 nations in the 2016-17 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) released yesterday.

 

The nation observed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's 70th birthday though the Awami League officially cancelled its programs. At the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Awami League and Chhatra League postponed their programs to mourn the death of versatile writer Syed Shamsul Haq.

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her 70th birthday. In the message, the Indian premier highly praised the leadership of Sheikh Hasina saying, "Your resolute leadership has provided the people of Bangladesh a beacon of hope during a difficult period". He said that under the 'able stewardship' of Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh made rapid strides in its progress towards peace and prosperity for all citizens covering development to security. He said these in a message released by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka yesterday. Celebrated writer and poet Syed Shamsul Haq was laid to eternal rest at Kurigram yesterday after his third namaz-e-janaza held on the college ground in Kurigram. Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, local writers and poets and well-wishers were present during the moment. Earlier, several thousand people, fans, colleagues turned out to have a last glimpse and pay their last respects to the poet, lyricist, writer, screenwriter, playwright and filmmaker at the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka. President Md. Abdul Hamid was first to pay last respect to the versatile writer by placing a wreath at the coffin around 11:30am at Central Shaheed Minar. Floral wreath was placed on behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as mark of her last tribute to the celebrated litterateur. The 19th SAARC Summit due in Islamabad in November has been postponed, sources in the Nepal foreign ministry said yesterday. This became inevitable after Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan joined India in boycotting the forthcoming SAARC Summit. All three of India's neighbors conveyed their inability to attend the summit to Nepal. About Bangladesh's decision, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said, "It (the decision to boycott) has no relation with other countries' decisions. It's our own decision." Bangladesh is now compliant with international standards in anti‐money laundering and counter-terror financing efforts, a development that will reduce the cost of doing business and help attract foreign direct investment. 'Bangladesh's rating is better than countries like Norway, Sri Lanka and Fiji. To some extent, our position is better than developed countries like Australia,' Abu Hena Mohammad Razee Hassan, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, told reporters at a press conference yesterday. The Asian Development Bank announced a $1.5 billion fund to build a key train line from Dohazari in Chittagong to Cox's Bazar, in its largest investment in railways in the continent. In a statement released yesterday, the ADB said the new railroad, which is part of the Trans-Asia Railway network, will also improve Bangladesh's access to Myanmar and beyond. India has temporarily relaxed the visa rules for Bangladeshi women giving them the opportunity to skip prior appointment or e-token procedures. The opportunity, only for those with confirmed air tickets, is available from October 3 to 13 on a trial basis, said an Indian high commission press release.

Press Wing

London, 27 September 2016.

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 27 September 2016.

Three phases security have been taken ahead of the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community for its smooth and peaceful celebration, said Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque at a meeting with the Hindu community on law and order situation and security measures ahead of the Puja at Police Headquarters yesterday.  Police at a meeting yesterday finalised the plan over giving security of the England cricket team.

 

The government is going to start distributing smart NID cards among the voters next month. The government in January 2015 took up a Tk 796-crore project to produce and distribute nine crore machine readable cards to voters across the country by June 2016.

 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has commended icddr,b for its works over five decades to solve public health challenges and save lives. The centre has helped to significantly reduce infant, child and maternal mortality in Bangladesh and beyond, he said in a press release yesterday.

 

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the government is determined to establish the rule of law and uphold the fundamental rights of the people in the country. The law minister made the assertion yesterday in the Jatiya Sangsad while replying to a question from treasury bench member Begum Hazera Khatun.

 

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sent a letter to the ministry concerned to take necessary measures to construct a bridge on the Payra river in the southern Patuakhali district. The PMO has sent a letter to the ministry to construct a bridge on the Payra river following a letter of Shirshendu Biswas, said Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader while inaugurating Gabtali-Sinnirtek road in Dhaka on Monday.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, now in the USA, is clearing urgent files from there through email so that official activities do not get stalled for her absence in the country.

 

Planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal remarked that Bangladesh gained 8th position on women empowerment in the world. The country has also become first to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) on gender category. The minister came up with this assertion while replying to a query of Dilara Begum MP at National Parliament yesterday.

 

Dr Mozammel H Khan, a Bangladeshi born professor of mechanical and quality engineering has been elected Speaker of the Senate, the highest academic policy making body of Sheridan Institute of Technology in Canada, said a press release.

 

The Asian Development Bank is set to approve $1 billion at the end of this week for a project to lay a 102km rail track from Dohazari in Chittagong to Cox's Bazar, the lender's highest allocation for a single project in Bangladesh.

A factory owner of the country’s ready-made garment sector will get up to Tk 35 crore in loans from a Tk 276-crore JICA fund to retrofit, rebuild and relocate his or her industry. Bangladesh Bank issued a circular to managing directors and chief executive officers of all banks saying that the factory owners of the RMG sector would get the loan at up to six percent rate of interest from the JICA fund.

 

The World Tourism Day 2016 will be celebrated across the world today with the theme 'Tourism for All - Promoting Universal Accessibility'. President Md. Abdul Hamid   and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages on the occasion of World Tourism Day. A three-day tourism fair of Asian countries titled, "5th Asian Tourism fair 2016" will begin in Dhaka on Thursday.

 

Companies in Bangladesh are weighing private sector investment potentials in Haiti, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said yesterday, disclosing that a private group has already decided to invest in clothing sector. Haiti enjoys duty-free access to USA for textile exports. It is assumed that private investments in textiles by Bangladesh companies there would be beneficial, the Minister said while exchanging views with a visiting Haiti delegation at his office in Dhaka.

 

Press Wing

London, 26 September 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 26 September 2016

The construction of the Padma bridge will be visible from December, Minister for Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader told parliament yesterday. The minister said 38 percent of its construction had already been completed. After around two months, the offices of the British Council will resume today, the authorities announced yesterday. After the temporary closure to carry out necessary renovation works, The British Council is now ready to welcome everyone back to their premises in Chittagong, Sylhet and Dhaka, said a press release from the council. The Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, said that there was enough political space in Bangladesh and the opposition political parties were using it holding rallies and processions, in an interview with the Bangla service of the Voice of America. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is now on her last leg of the US visit in connection with the 71st UN General Assembly (UNGA), cleared nine urgent files from Virginia, USA on Saturday. China may commit to a five-year comprehensive cooperation plan, including assistance in several billion-dollar projects, during the Chinese president's Bangladesh visit in the middle of next month. Already, the Chinese government has expressed initial interest in giving around $23 billion in soft loan for 20 projects to be implemented between 2016 and 2020. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is likely to be signed in this regard when Xi Jinping comes to Dhaka on October 13 or 14, Finance Ministry officials said. Bangladesh presidency has been highly praised by the representatives of the least developed countries (LDCs) and the friends of LDCs at the annual ministerial meeting of the LDCs, held Saturday at the UN Headquarters in New York. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali chaired the meeting, held on the sideline of the 71st session of the United Nations' General Assembly (UNGA). The US and Bangladesh officials are going to discuss enhancing collaboration in countering extremism and terrorism and cooperation in defence in Dhaka on October 2. This will be the fifth dialogue on security issues between Dhaka and Washington. The 12th session of the 10th Jatiya Sangsad (JS) that began on Sunday will continue until October 10, 2016. Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday said Bangladesh was holding talks with Canada as there was a way to bring back Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's self-confessed killer Noor Chowdhury. The government would respond to UNESCO's concern over the Rampal power plant near the Sundarbans within a week, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu said on Sunday at Bidyut Bhaban, Dhaka. All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan became the leading wicket-taker of Bangladesh and thereby inscribed his name as only man in the world cricket to be his country’s most successful bowler in all three formats of the game.

Press Wing

London, 22 September 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 22 September 2016

The Federal Court of Canada has rejected a political asylum plea of Bangabandhu's self-confessed killer Noor Chowdhury asking the country to extradite him from the country, reports Anandabazar Patrika on Wednesday. The Canadian Federal Court made it clear that Noor Chowdhury has been living in Canada illegally and the Canadian government, if it wants, can extradite him any time, the report says. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ICT Adviser Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed Joy said the government has developed its own methods, own innovations for implementing 'Digital Bangladesh' initiative for simplifying and digitising services. Joy said this while taking part in the panel discussion of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation in scaling-up innovation in public service delivery organised by Bangladesh and UN office for South-South cooperation at the conference room of UN Headquarters on Tuesday. The United Nations has named Bangladeshi young leader Shougat Nazbin Khan as one of the 17 youth leaders who will support efforts to engage young people in the realization of SDGs. The young leaders are scheduled to take part in a series of high-level meetings and events during the session, where they will have opportunities to engage in UN and partner-led projects, according to a message received from the UN Headquarters. Bangladesh ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement depositing the instruments of ratification at a function at the United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday. At least 31 countries, including Bangladesh deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession of the Paris agreement at a function hosted by UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon, according to a UN announcement. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh looks forward to working with the new Myanmar leadership to find a lasting solution to the refugee issue. She said this to the Leaders' Summit on Refugees, organised by US President Barack Obama, at the UN headquarters on Tuesday. The PM called upon other international partners to remain engaged in the refugee issue. For nearly three decades, Bangladesh has been hosting a large number of refugees and displaced people from Myanmar, she told the Summit. With limited resources, to continue to bear responsibilities for these people, poses country in many social, economic, environmental and political challenges, she added. Highly appreciating Bangladesh's stunning development in various socio-economic sectors, World Bank President Dr Jong Yong Kim has said he is very much impressed with poverty reduction and women's empowerment in the country. His appreciation comes when he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her hotel in New York on Tuesday. The WB President said his organisation would continue to work with Bangladesh, and he would visit Bangladesh next month. The Prime Minister underscored the need for consultation with the government, when any country or development agency undertakes any plan or project. Expressing her firm belief that there will be no room for violent extremism in those societies that create space for women's participation and empowerment, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon global leaders to continue to enlarge that space for building a sustainable better future. The Prime Minister said this while attending a side-event on Women's Leadership and Gender Perspective on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism hosted by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the conference room of the UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been conferred upon 'Planet 50-50 Champion' and 'Agent of Change Award' yesterday for her outstanding contributions to women empowerment. The UNWomen recognized the Prime Minister as 'Planet 50-50 Champion', while Global Partnership Forum handed over the 'Agent of Change Award' to her at a high-level reception at the UN Plaza at the UN headquarters. The 9th South Asia Economic Summit will be held in Dhaka on October 15-16 with the theme ‘Reimagining South Asia in 2030’. Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) will organise the event in order to formulate recommendations to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A four member CPD delegation informed this to President Md. Abdul Hamid when they made a call on him at Bangabhaban yesterday. The government has signed a Tk120crore deal with a Japanese firm to conduct feasibility studies, selecting the site and making a master plan for the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib International Airport. Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal Ehsanul Gani Choudhury and Deputy Director General of Nippon Koei of Japan Toshikazu Kambara signed the deal yesterday. CAAB will pay for the studies from its own funds. Country's foreign exchange reserves crossed US$31 billion mark again Tuesday, officials said. The forex reserves rose to $31.09 billion on the day from $30.97 billion of the previous working day.

Press Wing

London, 20 September 2016.

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 20 September 2016.

Country's largest digital expo 'Digital World-2016' will be held in Dhaka on October 19-21 showcasing the technology-based innovations and achievements and a single platform for sharing ICT knowledge and idea. In this regard an advisory committee meeting led by Finance Minister AMA Muhith was held yesterday at Finance Ministry in the city, said a press release.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed the need for protection and promotion of the rights of migrants and refugees. The PM was addressing the high-level plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants at the UN headquarters yesterday. She observed that mutual trust and respect, shared responsibility and inclusiveness are critical to comprehensively address the migration issue. Speaking at the plenary meeting, the PM said Bangladesh has proposed a Global Compact on Migration addressing some of the longstanding gaps in migration governance. Describing climate change and the resultant displacement of millions of people as a reality, the premier said the Compact will have to take into account the protection need of millions of climate-displaced people. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the Asian Leaders' Forum on Countering Terrorism hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Hotel Marriot Eastside on Monday. The Prime Minister also attended a side-event on South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Scaling up Innovation in Public Service Delivery. The Prime Minister yesterday held meeting with State Counselor and Foreign Minister of Myanmar Aung Saan Suu Kyi in a warm and cordial atmosphere, official sources said. Amidst growing tension at the border on smuggling and delay in repatriation of Rohingya refugees, the talks described by diplomats as crucial and significant to improve bilateral relations. Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland also met the PM yesterday. Bangladesh premier attended a luncheon meeting hosted by the Business Council of International Understanding (BCIU) at Hotel Waldorf Astoria in New York yesterday. The meeting was also attended by a business delegation of 100 members led by Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI). Official's privy to the Prime Minister program said she highlighted Bangladesh's business prospects before the leading American business conglomerates at the BCIU meeting. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has written to her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi expressing her support to New Delhi in this difficult hour following the attack in a Kashmir military base in which 17 Indian soldiers have been killed. In her letter to Modi she said Bangladesh strongly condemns terrorism and violent extremism. The PM also extended her deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims. Bangladesh has called upon Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states to remain active in setting the agenda for global peace and addressing the existing or emerging security threats to win the battle against terrorists and violent extremists. Bangladesh has also called upon NAM to strengthen the global governance of migration for ensuring adequate, safe, regular and orderly migration, place climate change in its priority list, expand South-South cooperation to help realise its potentials as complementary to North-South and Triangular Cooperation. On behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam represented Bangladesh and made the call at the 17th Summit of the NAM held in Venezuela on September 17- 18, the Foreign Ministry in Dhaka said yesterday. The Malaysian government had lifted the ban on hiring workers from Bangladesh, Labour counsellor at Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia Md Sayedul Islam told the media yesterday. On February 19, Malaysia froze hiring workers from abroad. Bangladesh has achieved remarkable successes and appreciations in countering terrorism and curbing terror financing at the national and international levels under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Additionally, Bangladesh continues to be the top troops contributing country to various peacekeeping missions of the United Nations in the conflict-ridden parts of the world. These revelations were made in a publication, prepared by the Center for Research and Information, compiling the successes of the present government, targeting the high profile visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In 2016 antiterrorism financing index, Bangladesh has fared much better than many of South Asian countries. With a score of 6.4, the country stood second to lead the league table in South Asia. Another recent report by the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) set Bangladesh a risk-free country for money laundering and terror financing in international standards. A Philippines court yesterday ordered the country's central bank to return nearly $15 million, a part of the Bangladesh Bank's stolen fund that has been recovered, to the BB. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, will now have to comply with the court order, according to BB officials.

Press Wing

London, 19 September 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 19 September 2016

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon the Bangladeshi expatriates in Canada and the USA to mobilize public opinion for the extradition of convicted killers of Bangabandhu from the two countries. The PM was addressing a reception accorded to her at Centre Mont-Royal in Montreal by Bangladeshi expatriates on Saturday. The PM said Bangladesh government has already asked the US and Canada why they are nurturing and giving shelter to the killers. She said the killers of Bangabandhu are the citizens of Bangladesh and their punishment will be ensured as per the law of the country. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at New York City yesterday to attend the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly. She was welcomed by Ambassador of Bangladesh in USA Muhammad Ziauddin, Bangladesh Mission Chief in United Nations in New York Masud Bin Momen, senior officials of United Nations. The United Nations has appreciated Bangladesh's commitment so far shown to implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), mentioning that still there are more to be done. 'I am noticing that the government of Bangladesh has made some strong efforts through establishing inter-ministerial committee on SDGs monitoring and evaluation,' said Dr David Nabarro, UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while responding to a query of the news agency. There is no Bangladesh national among those injured or affected by the explosion occurred at Chelsea in Manhattan, said a Bangladesh diplomat in New York quoting preliminary information on Sunday. NGOs in Bangladesh do receive an average Taka 5,000 crore from donors every year, an executive of a leading NGO revealed on Sunday, suggesting such organizations for innovation and bringing higher efficiency in their operations in order to accelerate SDG implementations. Finance Minister A M A Muhith said the probe report on Bangladesh Bank reserve heist will be made public on September 22. The Minister said this to the media after a meeting with an ICMAB delegation at his office yesterday. The investigation report will be uploaded on the website of the Bank and Financial Institutions Division of the Ministry of Finance. The government has sought concessional loan from China for the Padma Rail Link Project, combining the two phases into a single project. When combined, it will be a bigger project than the one on the Padma Multipurpose Bridge. In a letter to the Chinese Embassy recently, the authorities concerned in Bangladesh suggested that the Padma Rail Link Phase-I and Phase-II projects be made into a single one named the Padma Rail Link Project. Two frigates of Bangladesh Navy with 511 officers and sailors left yesterday Chittagong Naval base for onward training tour to India and Sri Lanka on 22 days journey, BN sources said. The training tour is expected to boost up the image of Bangladesh before the world and further strengthen relationships of Bangladesh with India and Sri Lanka.

Press Wing

London, 08 September 2016.

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 08 September 2016.

Expressing her firm optimism that not a single person would remain hungry and poor in Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her party does politics for changing the lot of the countrymen, not changing its own fortune. The Prime Minister made her pledge while addressing a civic rally, marking the inauguration of firstever nationwide 'Food-Friendly Programme for the Ultra Poor' at Chilmari in Kurigram. Through distributing fair price food ration cards among the heads of 15 families at the function, she launched rice distribution programme among the local people at Tk 10 a killogram. She again called upon all to always stay alert so that no one could slip into the wrong path of terrorism and militancy, and mobilize public opinion against these two menaces. The government is urging Facebook to establish an office in Bangladesh in order to keep a better eye on the activities on the social networking site that has upwards of 2.2 crore users from the country. Every second 12 new Facebook accounts are created in Bangladesh, said Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT, at a seminar on ICT, new media and revolution of the mass media, held at Dhaka Reporters' Unity yesterday. The Cabinet Committee on Purchase yesterday approved the proposal to award the Tk 291 crore project of supervising the construction work of Karnaphuli tunnel to a multinational joint venture. The company led by SMEC International Private Ltd of Australia would review and supervise the design and construction work of the tunnel, according to the proposal of the Bridges Division. The government is going to build 'National Single Window' to simplify cross-border trade procedures under a World Bank-sponsored agenda for facilitating quick processing of import, export and transit transactions. Officials said yesterday the virtual port formalities would bring all workers under an automated system to ease doing business. They said the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has drafted a Tk 5.74 billion (US$72 million) project to set up the NSW for brining all export-import procedures onto one virtual platform. The Philippines' Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has assured Bangladesh of his government's hundred percent supports behind ongoing efforts to recover $81 million that cyber thieves had stolen from its central bank last February. But Dominguez pointed out to Bangladesh ambassador John Gomes that the recovery efforts would have to go through the proper legal procedures for Bangladesh's own protection so that no other party could contest its rightful claim to this stolen money in the future. Dominguez said during a meeting with the Bangladesh ambassador at the Land Bank of the Philippines office in Makati City. Bangladesh has got the prestigious recognition from the World Health Organization (WHO) for successfully eliminating Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT). 'MNT elimination is a big success for us,' State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque told BSS after receiving the WHO certificate for the achievement. The WHO handed over the certificate to the Bangladesh's State Minister at a program held on Tuesday at the WHO's South Asia regional office in Colombo. State Minister is visiting Colombo for attending the 69th session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia began on September 5. The government has proposed Myanmar to export its surplus gas to Bangladesh and import electricity from here in order to meet the country’s growing gas demand and tap the emerging opportunities in Myanmar’s power and energy market. Energy and Mineral Resources Division Secretary told the media yesterday that they had already requested the Foreign Ministry to take necessary steps in this regard. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry held an inter-ministerial meeting on Sunday over gearing up the bilateral relations with Myanmar.

 

Press Wing

London, 06 September 2016.

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 06 September 2016.

Country's exports bounced back in August with a 19.76 per cent growth to $3.30 billion, compared to August 2015, after July slump. Industry-insiders said the turnaround was driven by increased apparel shipments in August. The August figure was 16.53 per cent above the government's monthly target set for the month, according to provisional data with Export Promotion Bureau.

 

The 12th session of the 10th Jatiya Sangsad (JS) will begin on September 25. President Md. Abdul Hamid summoned the session yesterday.

 

Public servants of the country will enjoy an extended vacation during Eid-ul-Azha as the government has declared September 11 a public holiday. However, the government employees will have to work on September 24 (Saturday) in exchange for September 11. The decision came from the weekly cabinet meeting at the secretariat yesterday. At the outset of the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched 'instant messaging app' named 'Alapon' for some 1.4 million (14 lakh) government officials which is expected to bring about a revolutionary change in intercommunication of government officials. The app is like Viber and no fee would be charged for using it. Meanwhile, the Cabinet adopted an obituary reference at the death of former lawmaker from Dinajpur and a key member of the country's constitution formulation committee and Bangabandhu's close political aide M Abdur Rahim. Norway has lauded Bangladesh government's actions against terrorism and violent extremism, saying it 'has done a lot' in two months in line with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's 'zero tolerance policy' against terrorism. Two countries vowed to fight together the global menace of terrorism and violent extremism. The commitment comes when Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali met Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende on Saturday in Oslo, Foreign Ministry said on Sunday. The Foreign Minister also held a meeting with the delegation of Telenor Group, a mobile phone operator having majority share owned by the Norwegian government. Group President briefed the minister about their proposed US$ 800 million investment plan to generate around 500 MW power from solar installations in different parts of Bangladesh. Bangladesh and Denmark have agreed to continue working together in the areas of green growth, climate change, development, and trade and investments for mutual benefits. The two countries have also decided to cooperate with each other to counter terrorism and violent extremism. The decision was taken in a meeting between Foreign Minister of Bangladesh A H Mahmood Ali and Kristian Jensen of Denmark held on Monday in Copenhagen, said a press release. The freedom fighters decorated for valour and the injured freedom fighters would get more than double their monthly allowance from January 1. A total 669 awarded freedom fighters as well as the families of seven Bir Shreshthas and around 12,500 injured freedom fighters would get the benefits. A cabinet committee on freedom fighters' allowance and benefits made the decision yesterday at a meeting at the Finance Ministry with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair. In July 2015, the government increased the allowance of freedom fighters to Tk 8,000 from Tk 5,000. It was increased to Tk 10,000 from Tk 8,000 in January this year. The government yesterday signed an agreement with a Chinese firm to procure 16 bulk carrier ships that will be used in transportation of coal-based power plants in the country. To bring six mother bulk carriers and 10 light bulk carriers from China, Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), a handout said. The government plans special security measures for all foreign-aided projects following requests from development and bilateral partners. After a meeting with a number of ministers yesterday, Finance Minister A M A Muhith said the home ministry told the meeting that it was mulling special security for all donor-supported projects following requests from development and bilateral partners, particularly Japan. The minister said the government was hiring an international consultant in an effort to improve security at all key point installations (KPIs). Bangladesh has been elected president of the Working Group of Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (APIS) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Banamali Bhowmick, Director General of Information and Communication Technology Directorate, will represent Bangladesh and perform as the president of the Working Group of APIS.

 

Press Wing

London, 05 September 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 05 September 2016

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged everyone to shield the youths against vices like militancy, terrorism and drugs through fostering sports and cultural activities. The prime minister said this while distributing the National Sports Awards for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 at a function at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka yesterday. Bangladesh from now will celebrate April 6 every year as the National Sports Day being associated with the International Day for Sports of the United Nations, she said. Prime Minister handed over the National Sports Awards to 32 sportsmen and organizers in recognition to their contributions from their respective fields to the development of sports. Bangladesh strongly protested yesterday Pakistan's undue reaction to the execution of war criminal Mir Quasem Ali terming it a 'brazen interference' in Bangladesh's domestic affairs. The Foreign Ministry summoned acting Pakistan High Commissioner in Dhaka yesterday and lodged the strong protest. The flow of inward remittances increased by nearly 18 per cent in August, BB data showed. The remittances from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad were estimated at $1.18 billion in August 2016, up by $178.10 million from the level of the previous month. In July the remittances stood at more than $1.0 billion, according to the central bank statistics released yesterday. With increased shipments of garment, overall exports to the US rose 1.12 percent to $3.6 billion in the first seven months of this year, according to data from the US Department of Commerce. Between January and July, manufacturers exported $3.36 billion of garment products to the US, Bangladesh's single largest export destination. The government has decided to appoint Asad Alam Siam as the new ambassador to the Philippines. He will replace Major General John Gomes. A Bangladeshi computer scientist has been awarded in the United States for developing software and theoretical underpinning needed to help convert algae into biofuel. Dr Md Tamjidul Hoque, an assistant professor of the Department of Computer Science of the University of New Orleans in USA, has been awarded by the Louisiana Board of Regents Industrial Ties Research Subprogram.

 

Press Wing

London, 01 September 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 01 September 2016

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought Norwegian support to further develop and expand Bangladesh's aquaculture and shipbuilding sectors for mutual benefits. The PM came up with the request when Norwegian Ambassador in Bangladesh Merete Lundemo paid a farewell call on her at her office in the city. Highlighting Bangladesh's progress in the shipbuilding and ship recycling sector, the PM said that her government would set up a new shipyard in southern part of the country. In this connection, the Norwegian envoy lauded the progress of Bangladesh's shipbuilding industry saying that two of their ships are being built in Chittagong while negotiation is on to build four more ships.

Bangladesh Army Col Dr Nazma Begum has been given a special UN award for her outstanding leadership in the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI). The UN has thanked Bangladesh Army for this, says an ISPR press release. Nazma, who served the UNOCI from February 27 to August 31, 2016 as the first female contingent commander in UNOCI's history, has also been selected for the 'Military Gender Advocate of the Year-2016 Award'.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reaffirmed her determination to continue the trial of war criminals and said she is ready to make any sacrifice for the sake of the country and its people. The PM was addressing a discussion in the city yesterday. She urged all to remain always ready for any sacrifice for the country. Australia has expressed its interest to further strengthen bilateral cooperation with Bangladesh in different sectors, particularly in energy and education. Newly-appointed Australian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Julia Niblett said this when she called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office yesterday. Praising Bangladesh's economic growth under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Australian envoy described Bangladesh as the champion of economic development and women empowerment. The government will install the single-point mooring (SPM) with a double pipeline linking the state-run Eastern Refinery Ltd storage facilities, officials said. The cabinet committee on economic affairs gave its nod yesterday for appointing a Chinese firm for installing the SPM at Sonadia Island in the deep sea where large oil tankers will anchor. The cost of the project now stands at Tk 5,426 crore, with China's Exim Bank giving $550.4 million in low-cost loans. It is expected to be completed by 2018. China has come forward to discuss on how both Bangladesh and China can strengthen cooperation in fight against terrorism. To that end, Chinese officials, including Cao Xiaolin, Deputy Director General of the Department of External Security Affairs of Chinese Foreign Ministry, had meetings with Bangladesh government officials on August 28-31 and discussed various ways of cooperation, diplomatic sources said to the media. Dhaka and Washington are set to hold a bilateral meeting in Dhaka in early November to boost bilateral trade and investment under the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) the two countries inked nearly three years back. DG of WTO cell of Ministry of Commerce said this to the media on Tuesday. Duty-free and quota-free access of Bangladeshi products to the US market and restoration of Generalized System of Preferences will be the major priorities from Bangladesh side at the meeting, he added. Bangladesh girls have ridden on their rich vein of form with a 10-0 thumping of Kyrgyzstan for a third straight victory in the AFC Under-16 Women's Champions qualifiers.

Press Wing

London, 31 August 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 31 August 2016

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda Zia should be tried in public for inducting convicted war criminals into their cabinets. She said this while addressing a meeting at Krishibid Institution in the capital yesterday. Talking about militancy and terrorism, she said Bangladesh will surely be free from this social menace. She also observed that those who patronized and awarded the Bangabandhu killers and those who can make the war criminals ministers are involved in terrorism and militancy.

UK‟s international development minister Rory Stewart has described Bangladesh as one of the great development success stories in Asia. 'I am very proud of the support the UK has given this country,‟ he said shortly before his departure yesterday. He said Bangladesh is not alone in having to face the scourge of extremist violence. „We must work together to combat extremism, promoting tolerance and inclusion, and stability,‟ Stewart was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the British high commissioner in Dhaka.

The government approved three projects under the Indian US$2.0 billion line of credit (LoC) for setting up a medical college and procuring buses and trucks. Presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council at its meeting in Dhaka approved the projects along with two others at a combined cost of Tk 2,805 crore. Bringing a six-year legal battle to a close, the Supreme Court yesterday dismissed war criminal Mir Quasem Ali's petition for reviewing its judgment that upheld his death penalty for committing crimes against humanity in 1971. Quasem, widely considered as a top financer of anti-liberation party Jamaat-e-Islami, led ruthless militia AlBadr in Chittagong to commit crimes against humanity during the Liberation War. People across the country have hailed the confirmation of the death sentence of Jamaat leader Mir Quasem Ali by the Apex court yesterday. Activists of different political parties and organizations brought out jubilant processions over upholding the death sentence of Mir Quasem Ali. US President Barack Obama has been urged by six senators to push the issue of cyber-crime at this weekend's G20 summit in China following the theft of $81m (£62m) from Bangladesh's central bank, according to a magazine published by the Institute of Engineering and Technology. Sherrod Brown, a senior Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, and five other Democratic senators have submitted a letter addressed to the White House calling for Obama to press the world's leaders to commit to a 'coordinated strategy to combat cyber-crime at critical financial institutions'. Meanwhile, a senator in the Philippines has said Chinese hackers were likely to have pulled off the Bangladesh Bank heist, citing a network of Chinese people involved in the routing of the stolen funds through Manila although Beijing has dismissed the allegation. The number of active mobile internet connections crossed the six crore mark in Bangladesh at the end of July, according to data released by the regulator yesterday. The number of mobile internet connections reached 6.04 crore or 94.45 percent of the total internet connections of 6.39 crore in July, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said.

Press Wing

London, 22 August 2016

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 22 August 2016

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the people to get united and be vocal against the terrorism and militancy for development and prosperity. The PM was speaking at a rally yesterday after placing wreaths at a makeshift memorial for martyrs of the gruesome grenade attack. The memorial was set up by Awami League in front of its Bangabandhu Avenue central office where militants had lobbed 13 grenades on a AL peaceful rally. The Premier said her government does not want to see the recurrence of August 21 grenade attack in the country and added that the incidents of terrorism and militancy are taking place across the globe with newer dimensions. She extended her heartfelt thanks to the people of all spheres as they have stood united against terrorism and militancy. A Chinese economic and industrial zone in Chittagong and two garment industrial parks will be the focus of the discussions at the Bangladesh-China Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting to be held today, officials said. According to them, China is keen to invest roughly $ 4.5 billion in two industrial parks to meet the growing domestic and global demand for Bangladeshi products. Earlier, the Chinese ambassador in Dhaka, Ma Mingqiang, had said that many Chinese investors were quite keen to get a place in the special economic zone. Bangladesh still ranks among the most competitive in the world in terms of labour costs, and investors want their share of the growing market. The High Commissioner of the United Kingdom (UK) Alison Blake said the strong, friendly, multi-faceted and historic relationship between Bangladesh and the UK helps both the countries work together against global terrorism and extremism. The British HC made the remarks while speaking at the closing ceremony of a photography exhibition titled 'Project London 1971: Unsung Heroes of Bangladesh's Liberation War', in the city on Saturday. The construction work at Karnaphuli Tunnel will begin next October, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told in a discussion program held in Chittagong yesterday. Reserve money grew by over 30 percent to Tk 1.93 trillion in a year to June 30. Reserve money had a target to grow at 14.3 per cent as of June 30 last, according to the BB monetary policy statement.

 

Press Wing

 London, 17 August 2016.

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News brief

London, 17 August 2016.

 

The net inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) touched $2.0 billion (200 crore) in the last fiscal year (FY2015-16), according to the Bangladesh Bank data. The amount was 9.34 per cent more than $1.83 billion received in the FY 2014-15. It was for the first time that the country's FDI inflow reached $2.0 billion in any fiscal year. Bangladesh has advanced 12 spots, from 129th in last year, to 117th in the Global Innovation Index (GII). Cornell University, INSEAD and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) jointly released the rankings on Monday. Twenty days after the brutal killing of Bangabandhu, his two surviving daughters came to know from former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that none of their parents and other family members in Dhaka were alive. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said this while addressing a program marking the 41st anniversary of Bangabandhu's assassination at Krishibid Institution in Dhaka. An air of gloom grasped the audience as the PM describing the memories of the days before and after August 15, 1975 mayhem and her struggle to put the country on the track of Bangabandhu's ideology. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said BNP chief Khaleda Zia would celebrate her birthday on the National Mourning Day just to undermine Bangabandhu. She called upon people not to be misguided by the decision of Khaleda Zia to refrain from celebrating her birthday on the Mourning Day. The government approved construction of the Akhaura-Agartala dual gauge railway link project aiming to improve connectivity and boost trade between Bangladesh and India. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) yesterday approved the part of the project that falls on the Bangladesh side, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. ECNEC yesterday approved six new projects involving Tk 1,095 crore. Of the cost, Bangladesh will provide Tk 674.71 crore, while Tk 420.76 will come as project finance. Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu arrived yesterday on a five-day visit to India. During his visit, the minister is expected to call on Indian minister for information and broadcasting and state minister for external affairs. He is scheduled to speak at Vivekananda Foundation, Observer Research Foundation and India Foundation.

 

Press Wing

 

London, 15 August 2016
London, 15 August 2016 (Bangla)
 

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

 

London, 08 August 2016

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit to Canada, the UK and the US officially next month. The PM is expected to pay a 5-day bilateral visit to Canada starting September 14.

 

President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the memories of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, spouse of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, marking her 86th birth anniversary today. In separate messages they prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and recalled her largely behind the scene contribution to the Bengali nationalist campaign and struggle for Independence.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that a great awareness has been created among the people of Bangladesh against terrorism as they are strongly saying ‘no’ to this deadly menace. She said this when Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Nguyen Quang Thue paid a farewell call on her at her office yesterday. Terming Vietnam as a great country, the PM said both countries have a common history as they fought for independence. She also placed emphasis on strengthening connectivity in the greater interest of the two countries. Terming Bangladesh a ‘successful’ and an ‘important’ country in South Asia, the outgoing Vietnamese ambassador highly praised the continued economic progress of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit Dhaka in October, Foreign Ministry said. An inter-ministerial meeting was held at the Foreign Ministry yesterday with Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque in the chair that discussed the Jinping's upcoming visit.

 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) would continue its support for the development efforts of Bangladesh, said the UNDP outgoing Country Director Pauline Tamesis yesterday. The UNDP Country Director made the remarks as she paid a farewell call on Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury at the latter's office yesterday.

 

The government is determined to continue diplomatic efforts with countries concerned for the repatriation of the six fugitive convicted killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam told journalists at the ministry yesterday. About the recent terrorist attack in the country, Alam said that the government is actively considering slightly amending laws to further strengthen security for foreigners, including diplomats, against the backdrop of specific proposals made by a number of countries. Replying to a question, he said rumours that foreigners were leaving following the attack were totally wrong. Sharing immigration department data, he said on an average some 1,000 people go abroad and 1,500-2,000 arrive every day.

 

The government has asked a North Korean diplomat to leave the country for his illegal activities violating diplomatic norms. The foreign ministry asked the diplomat, Han Son Ik, first secretary of the North Korean mission in Dhaka, to comply with the order by today; a senior official of the ministry confirmed it to the media yesterday.

 

Press Wing

 

Bangladesh High Commission

London

 

News Brief

 

London, 07 June 2016

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been ranked 36th among the world’s 100 most powerful women in 2016 by influential business magazine Forbes. In the list of 100 most powerful women published yesterday, she jumped 23 spots from last year’s 59th. The International Crimes Tribunal yesterday issued death warrant against war crimes convict and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali soon after it received the full copy of the Supreme Court verdict awarding the death penalty to him for wartime offences. British High Commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake yesterday highly appreciated the real investment in the workers' safety and improving physical structure of buildings in the readymade garment industry making those efficient and as green as possible. She also expressed satisfaction over the role of young women in the sector who are being trained saying she believes in 'power of women'. The British High Commissioner said this to the media at the office of Echotex Limited after visiting two very different factories, including Dallas Fashions Limited in Gazipur. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has suggested an Israeli link to the recent killings of secular bloggers and minorities. He said an opposition leader had met an Israeli intelligence agent and there was evidence of an ‘international conspiracy’ against Bangladesh. The historic 6-point Day marking the demand for autonomy for the then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, will be observed today across the country in a befitting manner. On this day in 1966, Awami League under the charismatic leadership of indomitable leader Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called for a day long hartal throughout East Pakistan pressing the demand for autonomy to end exploitation, deprivation, subjugation and tyranny that let loose by the central government of Pakistan on the people of the province.

Press Wing

   
High Commission for the People's Republic of Bangladesh, 28 Queen's Gate, London SW7 5JA