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.

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.

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.

London, 15 August 2016

London, 15 August 2016 (Bangla)

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.

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.