London, 30 September 2017

President Md. Abdul Hamid has urged all to stay alert so that nobody can create confusion among people through misinterpretation of religions. He made the urge while addressing a function during his visit to Gulshan-Banani Puja Mandop in Dhaka on the occasion of Durja Puja.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who underwent a successful gallbladder surgery in the US capital of Washington, is now doing well and cleared seven urgent files online on Thursday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Myanmar's authorities on Thursday to immediately end military operations that have sent over 500,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh, calling the crisis ‘the world's fastest developing refugee emergency and a humanitarian and human rights nightmare’. The UN chief warned that the humanitarian crisis is a breeding ground for radicalization, criminals and traffickers. And he said the broader crisis has generated multiple implications for neighboring states and the larger region, including the risk of inter-communal strife.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley in her speech at the Security Council on Thursday called upon countries to suspend providing weapons to Myanmar over violence against Rohingya Muslims until the military puts sufficient accountability measures in place. It was the first time the United States called for punishment of military leaders behind the repression.

Members of Congress are sharpening their criticism of Myanmar's crackdown that has forced a halfmillion Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. Republicans and Democrats said Thursday they want the Trump administration to consider sanctions against the perpetrators and to re-evaluate U.S. policy toward the Southeast Asian nation. Twenty-one senators said in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Myanmar security forces responded to insurgent attacks with ‘clearance operations’ that have left hundreds dead and thousands of homes burned. The senators said that response has been ‘extraordinarily disproportionate’.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) yesterday reiterated that Rohingya refugees have been fleeing violence in Myanmar at a staggering rate calling for stronger international protection and humanitarian assistance. As new arrivals top half a million in Bangladesh, the agency, in massive efforts, has started distributing plastic sheets and essential relief items to the refugees in Cox's Bazar. International Organisation for Migration, the UN Migration Agency and partner aid agencies are struggling to provide clean water and sanitation for Rohingays in Cox’s Bazar. UNICEF said it is planning to establish over 1,300 new learning centres for Rohingya children who are now staying in Cox’s Bazar. Edouard Beigbeder, Unicef Representative in Bangladesh said this yesterday. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Government has requested international aid agencies to provide cholera vaccine to prevent outbreak of cholera among the half-a-million Rohingyas.

The first span of the Padma Bridge is going to be placed on pillars today. The project's Executive Engineer (Resettlement) Tofazzel Hossain said Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader will witness the work at Zajira end of the bridge in Shariatpur.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj are scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on separate bilateral visits in October. Jaitley is set to arrive on Tuesday on a two-day official visit at the invitation of his Bangladeshi counterpart AMA Muhith. Swaraj will arrive on October 22 for two days at the invitation of her counterpart AH Mahmood Ali. These are high-level visits after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in April this year.

United Arab Emirates has formulated a new labour law stipulating flexible working conditions for domestic workers. The new law has many protective provisions, including regular weekly day off, 30 days of annual leave with pay and the right to retain personal documents. The law was approved by UAE President Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and it was announced on Tuesday.

Bangladeshi expatriates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) would get relief while calling home largely as the Saudi government has lifted ban on calls made through online apps, also known as voice over internet protocol (VoIP). Voice and video calls through online applications including Skype, Whatsapp, Messenger and Viber have been made open from Thursday last week amid rapid growth of internet communications that was banned in KSA since 2013.

London, 29 September 2017

President Md. Abdul Hamid has expressed the hope that the upcoming CPA conference will be held successfully in Dhaka, which will brighten the country's image abroad. The President expressed his hope when Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, also the CPA Chairperson made a call on him at Bangabhaban yesterday. During the meeting, the Speaker apprised the President of the preparation and activities of the upcoming 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference scheduled to be held in Dhaka during the November 1-8 next. The President, in another meeting with the newly appointed DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman yesterday, asked the authorities to uphold Dhaka University's image and dignity.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who underwent a successful gallbladder surgery in the US capital of Washington on Monday, is now recovering. 'She is now recovering well,' PM’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy yesterday said in his Facebook post. Meanwhile, the 71st birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was celebrated yesterday across the country with various programmes, including milad and doa mahfils seeking divine blessings for her good health and long life. Marking the day, special prayers were also offered at different temples, churches and pagodas across the country. However, there were no cultural events to mark the Premier’s birthday due to the Rohingya crisis.

The number of Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh since violence broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine state has exceeded half a million, the UN said yesterday. UN Migration Director General William Lacy Swing has said, they are seriously concerned about increasing reports of vulnerable Rohingyas arriving from Myanmar into Bangladesh of sexual and gender based violence. Bangladesh is tackling the Rohingya crisis very effectively at the diplomatic level, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla said yesterday in Chittagong. A visiting British Minister has said, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is willing to take back all the Rohingyas. “She (Suu Kyi) assured me she wants all refugees to return to Myanmar,” Mark Field, Minister of state for Asia and the Pacific at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said at a press briefing in Dhaka yesterday.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has called on countries to suspend providing weapons to Myanmar over violence against Rohingya Muslims until the military puts sufficient accountability measures in place. Haley made the urge at the UN Security Council meeting yesterday.  Meanwhile, US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat has said, the US has initiated talks with Bangladesh and Myanmar for resolving the crisis over Rohingyas. After visiting Rohingya camp at Kutupalong in Cox's Bazar yesterday, she said to media, the US has full support to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's five-point demand to end the crisis.

At least 10 children and five women were killed when a trawler carrying Rohingyas from Myanmar capsized in the Bay near Inani beach in Cox's Bazar yesterday. The death toll may rise further as more than 50 refugees remain missing.

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu referring to the operations of 25 thousand government portals in the country has requested the countrymen to make full use of those under the Right to Information Act. He made the request as he was speaking at a seminar at the Shilpakala Academy in Dhaka yesterday on the occasion of International Right to Information Day.

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has said, effective plans should be taken to promote technical education to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. “We have attached top priority to expansion of technical and vocational education to ensure better access of students to job markets,” he told a workshop on “Technical and vocational educational and training for Sustainable Development Goals in Dhaka yesterday.

London, 28 September 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, now in the United States in connection with the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, underwent a gall bladder operation in Washington on September 25 night (Washington time). She is now completely well after the successful operation. She sought ‘doa’ from the countrymen. As per doctors advice she is now taking rest. She will return home on October 5. Earlier the Prime Minister was scheduled to return home on October 2. Meanwhile, the 71st birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, will be celebrated in the country today.

The International Right to Information Day-2017 will be observed today in the country as elsewhere across the world with the theme ‘Powering Sustainable Development with Access to Information’. President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day.

The government has sought support from the member countries of the UN Security Council for taking substantive measures for ending violence in Rakhine and return of forcibly displaced ethnic minority Rohingya people of Myanmar from Bangladesh. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali conveyed the request to the ambassadors and mission chiefs of the UN Security Council member countries in Dhaka yesterday, a day before the scheduled Security Council discussion on Rohingya issues. Nine ambassadors and mission chiefs of the United State, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Sweden, Japan, Italy and Egypt joined the diplomatic briefing. The rest six Security Council member countries do not have embassies in Dhaka.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek visited Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar yesterday. He said to the media that Turkey would work with Bangladesh government on easing sufferings of Rohingya refugees. Meanwhile, Japan has assured Bangladesh of its support to address the issue of Rohingya. State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam made the disclosure in a Tweet message after a meeting with the visiting Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Iwao Horii in Dhaka yesterday. The first consignment of China's relief for the Rohingya refugees arrived here yesterday. An additional deputy commissioner received the relief items from Chinese Embassy official Jong Giagu. The next consignment of Indian humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees is set to reach the Chittagong Port today. Indian Naval Ship INS Gharial carrying nearly 700 tonnes of relief material is scheduled to anchor at the Chittagong Port. Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla is expected to hand over the consignment.

Bangladesh has protested against Myanmar force’s attack on a fishing boat and killing of a fisherman near Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar. Foreign ministry sent a diplomatic note to Myanmar embassy in Dhaka Tuesday protesting the attack and killing. Myanmar border police on Monday opened fire at a Bangladeshi fishing boat on the River Naf near Shah Parir Dwip. A fisherman died on the spot and several got injured.

Health Minister Mohammad Nasim has congratulated International Centre for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh for achieving this year’s Conrad N Hilton Humanitarian Prize. He said, the country is proud of this international health research organization. ICDDR’B received $2 million along with the Conrad N Hilton Humanitarian Prize in recognition of its contribution.

A three-member delegation led by Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu yesterday left Dhaka for Canada. During the tour in Canada, the team will visit the Canadian quality control organisation 'Intertek Canada' and exchange views with the high officials of the organisation.

Bangladesh's global competiveness has improved, according to the annual report released by the World Economic Forum. It has moved up seven places to rank 99 among 137 nations in the 2017-18 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). Last year’s index ranked Bangladesh 106 out of 138 countries.

London, 27 September 2017

President Md. Abdul Hamid has urged Brazil to import more Bangladeshi goods including readymade garment (RMG), pharmaceuticals, jute-materials and ceramics. The President made the call when ambassador-designate of Brazil to Bangladesh Joao Tabajara de Oliveira Junior presented his credential to him at Bangabhaban yesterday. Referring to the opening of Bangladesh mission in Brazil, the President observed that it has opened a new door of trade and investment between the two countries. He also called for sharing experiences in agriculture, sports and culture and exchanging high-level visits between the two countries. In another ceremony at Bangabhaban yesterday, Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh Rene Holenstein presented his credential to the President. Welcoming the Envoy the President sought cooperation of the Swiss government for putting continued international pressure on the Myanmar government to resolve Rohingya crisis by ensuring their safe repatriation to the Rakhine state.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, now in the United States in connection with the 72nd UN General Assembly, is keeping round-the-clock contact with her office in Dhaka and digitally clearing urgent files. She gives necessary directives to the officials concerned on different matters, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told the media yesterday.

The UN Security Council will meet on Thursday to discuss the violence in Myanmar and hear a briefing from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the crisis. Britain, France, the United States and four other countries requested for arranging the meeting. The United Nations said yesterday about 480,000 Rohingya Muslims had fled to Bangladesh since violence broke out in Myanmar on August 25. Meanwhile, the government of Bangladesh will issue 6,000 smart cards to Rohingya orphans. The Ministry of Social Welfare will take all responsibilities of the orphans, including their food and lodging. This was disclosed by the State Minister for Social Welfare Nuruzzaman Ahmed at a press meet in Dhaka yesterday.

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Abdullah MH Almutairi has assured that the Saudi government will continue to provide support to ensure return of the Myanmar nationals who have fled to Bangladesh amid persecution in Rakhine state. The envoy came up with the assurance during a meeting with State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam in Dhaka yesterday. The State Minister expressed deep gratitude to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz for extending humanitarian support to the distressed Myanmar nationals.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim has sought assistance from Japan government to establish a National Shishu (Children) Hospital and Institute in Dhaka. The Minister made the appeal when visiting professor of University of Kochi Graduate School of Nursing in Japan Dr Hiroko Minami called on him at the Secretariat yesterday. Mentioning Japan as a real friend of Bangladesh, the Minister said, the people of Bangladesh would always remember continuous support of Japan government in health, infrastructural and socio-economical sector." Praising the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a humanitarian leader, Dr Hiroko said, "She is being praised by world leaders for giving shelter to Rohingya people." The Professor assured the support for establishing the pediatric hospital.

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has said, the media outlet Voice of America (VOA) is the bridge between the people of the United States of America and Bangladesh. He was inaugurating a photo exhibition "Many Years, Many Stories" in Dhaka to celebrate 75 years of VOA and 60 years of its Bengali service. The Minister further said It had provided great service to Bangladesh by providing reliable information during the Liberation War and the democratic struggles against military rule, he added.

Bangladesh and Cambodia are seeking to strengthen cooperation on trade and enhance and expand trade and business partnerships via a deal which will be signed in October. Cambodia Chamber of Commerce Director General Ngoun Meng Tech said yesterday that the relevant parties of the two countries have discussed and prepared documents related to the trade deal which will pave the way to explore opportunities for investment.

The government has decided to appoint Kazi Imtiaz Hossain as the next ambassador of Bangladesh to France.

London, 26 September 2017

President Md. Abdul Hamid has urged the country’s university authorities to give more emphasis on research works for ensuring their global standard. He made the urge when a delegation of Rajshahi University met him at Bangabhaban yesterday. During the meeting, the President underscored the need for arranging extracurricular activities, including sports and culture for the students apart from their regular academic activities.

Bangladesh has signed a long-term “LNG Sales and Purchase Agreement with Qatar’s RasGas” to import up to 2.5 million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) annually to meet the country’s growing energy demand. After the agreement signing ceremony in Doha yesterday, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said, Bangladesh is planning to invest more for ensuring uninterrupted energy supply. The construction works for two FSRU (Floating Storage Re-gasification Unit) having 7.5 million tonnes LNG per year is going on along with land based LNG terminals aimed at reducing demand and supply gap, he said adding the government has also undertaken initiative to construct LNG based power plant alongside importing small scale LNG.

Bangladesh has sought support from the World Bank to provide health services to Rohingyas. State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Malik said, 'The government has sought an amount of US$250 million from the lending agency and a letter has already been issued in this regard. Bangladesh will succeed in helping the Rohingya people as it had overcome other crisis moments in the past.' The State Minister said this as he was briefing the reporters after a meeting on Bangladesh's preparedness and World Bank's assistance in disaster and epidemic management at the secretariat yesterday.

China yesterday said it wanted to play a constructive role in resolving the Rohingya crisis as soon as possible. Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Ma Mingqiang said this while addressing a reception at the Chinese embassy marking the 68th founding anniversary of China. The diplomat said, some 150 tonnes of relief materials from China for the Rohingyas would reach Chittagong within a couple of days.

Solution to the Rohingya crisis lies in the refugees returning voluntarily to Myanmar from Bangladesh in a safe and dignified manner, said United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. He was addressing a press conference in Dhaka yesterday. The United Nations wants the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to intensify actions to solve the Rohingya refugee crisis, in which it is ready to cooperate with the 10-member regional body. “The time to act is now,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a meeting with the Foreign Ministers of the association members on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York over the weekend.

Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community, begins today with enthusiasm and much religious fervour across the country. President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday felicitated the Hindu community in separate messages on the occasion of  Durga Puja. Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Asaduzzamman Mia told journalists yesterday that there is no specific security threat but security has been reinforced considering the present national and international situation.

With the view to reaching e-service to the doorsteps of people, online Educational Institution Identification Number (EIIN) programme and the education directory application have been launched. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid inaugurated the services at a function at Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (BANBEIS) in Dhaka yesterday.

A 15-member National Committee for Monitoring and Implementation of Doing Business Reforms has been formed to improve the country's overall business environment. Cabinet Secretary is the Chair of the committee and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) will act as its secretariat.

London, 25 September 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said, no contact has yet been made with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi over the atrocities on Rohingyas and their shelter in Bangladesh. The PM said this during an interview with Voice of America Bangla Service in New York. In the interview, the Premier said about the humanitarian role of her government and the unreserved support of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and world leaders on the Rohingya issue.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, now in the United States, has cleared a number of important official files digitally. She reached Washington from New York on Friday after attending the 72nd session of the UNGA. After staying in Washington for a week, the Prime Minister will leave for home on September 29 and reach October 2 via London.

President Md. Abdul Hamid has urged the authorities of Asiatic Society of Bangladesh to project the real history of the country’s Liberation War. The President made the urge when a five-member delegation of Asiatic Society of Bangladesh called on him at Bangabhaban yesterday. The President expressed satisfaction over the activities of the society and assured that it would be provided with all-out support in conducting its activities.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu has said, the government does not have any plan to give any refugee status to Rohingays. The Minister came up with the announcement while talking to reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Law and Order at the secretariat yesterday. Steps will be taken so that Rohingyas cannot leave the camps and mix with Bangladeshi citizens, he said.

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu has said, talks between Bangladesh and Myanmar could be held as proposed by Myanmar's State Councilor Aung Sang Su Kyi. But the repatriation process had to be supervised by Bangladesh, Myanmar and the United Nations. The Minister said this as he was talking to journalists at the Kutupalang Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar after returning from a relief distribution programme yesterday.

The International Crimes Strategy Forum says that the actions and subsequent consequences in Myanmar's Rakhine State have clearly passed the threshold of genocide, crimes against humanity, and other international crimes. "We believe, ignoring a genocide and crimes against humanity actively invites further such crimes to be committed", the independent global network of experts, justice advocates and organisations said in a statement, calling upon the international community and the neighbouring countries to take actions. They applauded the exemplary humanitarian response of the Bangladesh government in providing temporary refuge to them.

Three Bangladeshi peacekeepers have been killed and four others injured in an explosion during a clash with terrorists in Mali. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock at the deaths of Bangladeshi peacekeepers. She also wished early recovery of the injured Bangladeshi peacekeepers.

The government will soon finalise a deal with Ras Gas, a company of the Qatar government, with the aim to import 500 MMCF of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar next April. The deal will be signed between Petrobangla and Ras Gas. A team headed by the Chairman of Petrobsangla has already left Dhaka for Qatar to finalise the deal.

International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh called on Australia to set up an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Bangladesh and take the advantage of the facilities extended by the government. In a meeting with officials of Australia in Sydney, ICCB President Mahbubur Rahman made the call saying South Korea has already set up an EPZ in Bangladesh, while exclusive EPZs are also going to be set up by China, India and Japan. The meeting was held as a 14-member ICC Bangladesh went to Sydney on September 18 to attend the 10th World Chambers Congress held September 19-21.

Youths from Bangladesh and China showcased their respective rich culture through music, traditional dances and other activities at the Yunnan University campus on Saturday with a view to forging deep cultural ties between the two countries. They impressed the audience through their performances at the closing session of the two-week Bangladesh-China Youth Camp 2017 there.

London, 24 September 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reached the US capital of Washington on Friday afternoon US time (early yesterday, Bangladesh time). After staying in Washington for a week, the Premier will leave for home on September 29. She will return home on October 2 via London.

France, Britain, the United States and four other countries have asked the UN Security Council to meet next week to discuss the ongoing violence in Myanmar. The seven countries including Egypt, Kazakhstan, Senegal and Sweden want UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to brief the council on Myanmar's military campaign against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state. Saudi Arabia also condemned Myanmar’s policy of repression against Rohingya Muslims. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir expressed the condemnation in his speech at the UNGA yesterday.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi yesterday arrived Bangladesh to get a firsthand grasp of the scale of the Rohingya crisis. After his arrival Filippo Grandi visited Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar. When asked about his activities in the refugee camp, Filippo Grandi told media that as the chief of UN refugee agency, he is to put pressure on international community for their assistance to the Rohingyas. He thanked Bangladesh government for humanitarian support to the Rohingyas. Meanwhile, to bring discipline in aid operation for Rohingyas, members of Bangladesh Army yesterday joined the relief activities. Bangladesh Army has begun building 14,000 new shelters to house 84,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar.

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has urged the industrialists and business personnel to patronize skill-based innovations of the students of technical education for the overall development of the country. “We have attached a priority to technical education aiming to transform Bangladesh into an economically developed country,” he told the inaugural function of Skills Competition 2017 at Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission in Dhaka yesterday.

Bangladesh is set to start manpower export to Slovenia under a government-to-government initiative. Around 25 migrant aspirants will fly to Slovenia in the first phase of manpower export to a new destination. Dr Namita Halder, Secretary of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment said, as Bangladesh does not have any diplomatic mission in Slovenia, the Ambassador to Austria was assigned to explore new opportunities in Slovenia. “The ambassador to Austria has negotiated a deal with the Slovenian government for manpower export. This is the first time we will be sending workers to Slovenia,” she added. BMET officials said Bangladesh’s manpower export has expanded to 162 countries from previous 75 countries in last eight years.

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) of Philippines has sought investment from Bangladesh entrepreneurs to Cebu city, saying the province remains an attractive investment destination for foreign capitalists. The investment from Bangladesh was sought when Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines Asad Alam Siam interacted with the leaders of CCCI last week. The Ambassador held an intense meeting with CCCI President Melanie Ng and discussed opportunities to boost trade and investment between the two countries.

Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque left Dhaka for China on Friday to join the 86th Interpol General Assembly. He has been leading a 5-member Bangladesh delegation in the 4-day conference which will formally begin at the China National Convention Centre in Beijing of China, on September 26.

Bangladesh will host the annual award programme of Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) in December with a view to increasing the ICT awareness in the country. Around 200 contestants will compete in 17 different categories of the competition. Almost 600 delegates of 16 Asia Pacific countries are expected to attend the event on December 7-10 in Dhaka.

London, 23 September 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, the international community has agreed with Bangladesh's stance over helping Rohingyas fleeing a fierce army crackdown in Myanmar. She said this as she was briefing media after attending the 72nd UNGA in New York on Friday. Referring to visits by Dhaka-based foreign diplomats to the refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, she said, "When they saw the Rohingyas in Bangladesh, they showed sympathy. India, China, all have come forward and sent relief. They are providing all sorts of assistance." Earlier on Thursday the PM addressed the UN General Assembly in New York. In her speech, the PM sought expeditious UN and global interventions to protect all civilians in Myanmar's Rakhine state and take effective steps for a permanent solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis. The Prime Minister placed a five point proposal to the UN in this regard.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the fifth day of her visit to New York passed a busy day on Thursday with a series of meetings with the world leaders and other important programs on the sidelines of the UNGA schedule. The Prime Minister held a bilateral meeting with her Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba at UN Headquarters when the two leaders discussed mutual interests including the issues of regional connectivity.  The Prime Minister held a meeting with President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci when they discussed the issue of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries on the areas of trade business and culture. The Prime Minister joined the 4th meeting of the high-level panel on water at UNHQs. Executive Director of the World Food programme David Beasley made a call on Bangladesh PM at UN headquarters.

The United States wants Myanmar to take urgent action to end violence in Rakhine state, where a military offensive has created a crisis that could jeopardise its economic and political transition, a US official said on Friday. "We think, actions need to be taken urgently to stop this violence and facilitate humanitarian assistance, ... start doing the hard work to solve the longer-standing problems," US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy told reporters. Meanwhile, the United Nations estimates that $200 million will be needed over the next six months to help Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh.

Myanmar has proposed to sit with Bangladesh over Rohingaya issue in the face of international pressure. The national security adviser of Myanmar U Theung Tun made the proposal at a meeting with Foreign Minister AH Mahmmood Ali on Thursday.

Maynmar has committed genocide against Rohingyas and its other Muslim minorities, according to the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal. The panel of the international opinion tribunal delivered its verdict yesterday after five days hearing at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said, Bangladesh can expand its contribution to the world trade as it has achieved the capacity of paperless trade. ‘As the first country, Bangladesh signed the Framework agreement on Facilitation of cross border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific under a decision of the World Trade Organization,’ he said. The Minister’s comments came at the plenary session titled ‘Strengthening Economic Connectivity’ of the Seventh Economic Ministers Meeting in the Seoul of South Korea.

Ambassador of Thailand to Bangladesh Panpimon Suwannapongse has expressed her country's keen interest to set up a 5 MW power plant in Chittagong. Ideas of setting up such power plant was placed during her meeting with Chittagong City Corporation Mayor in Chittagong on Thursday.

London, 22 September 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged Director General of the International Organization for Migration William Lacy Swing to create pressure on Myanmar government to take back Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh. She made the call when the IOM DG met her at her hotel suite in New York on Wednesday. The IOM DG thanked the Bangladesh Prime Minister for giving shelter to the Rohingya refugees.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the leaders of the US business, commerce and industry to partner with Bangladesh in investment, share of profits and prosperity. She was speaking at the luncheon roundtable meeting organized by the Business Council for International Understanding at Hotel Grand Hyatt in New York on Wednesday. The Prime Minister invited investment in potential areas such as power and energy, especially in renewable energy, ICT, marine resources extraction, medical equipment etc. The Prime Minister also spoke at a high-level side event titled ‘SDG implementation, financing and monitoring: Sharing innovations through south-south and triangular cooperation’ held at UN Headquarters on the day. The PM in her address underscored the need for promoting a deeper understanding and broader exchange within the South aiming to go far and fast.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reiterated her call to create a global fund to support research work on water and innovation as well as technology transfer for achieving sustainable development goals in the area of water resources and management. The Prime Minister made the call in the 4th meeting of the High-Level Panel on Water on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly yesterday. The Prime Minister said, to create renewed values on water; we need to invest heavily in innovative water infrastructures.

Bangladesh and Estonia yesterday discussed strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the ICT sector. The discussion was held during a bilateral meeting between Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at UN Headquarters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina highlighted Bangladesh's recent success in the ICT sector. The Prime Minister also held a meeting with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. The Netherlands Queen highly praised Bangladesh for its role in dealing with the Rohingya issues.

President Md. Abdul Hamid yesterday sought continued support of international community, different agencies and states including the United Kingdom, to put pressure on Myanmar government to repatriate the Rohingyas to their Rakhine state homeland with proper dignity. The President made the urge while a nine-member delegation of Conservative Friends of Bangladesh (CFoB) called on him at Bangabhaban in Dhaka. The President also expressed deep gratitude to the British government for raising strong voice against the oppression on the Muslim minority at Myanmar's Rakhine state.

President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called for using public transports to avert traffic jam and air and noise pollution in cities. In separate messages on the eve of the World Car Free Day-2017, they said city dwellers should travel by different modes of communications including public transports and waterways instead of private cars for ensuring smooth traffic movement.

President Md. Abdul Hamid yesterday gave assent to two bills passed in the 17th session of the 10th Jatiya Sangsad. The bills are: "The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2017" and "The Immovable Property Acquisition and Requisition Bill, 2017".

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu urged Malaysian traders to invest in the economic zones and explore the trade and investment opportunities for the Malaysian entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. He made the request while speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the "5th Showcase Malaysia 2017", a single country three-day trade fair at Bashundhara in the city yesterday.

Relief and Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said the government has taken all possible measures to ensure food for the Rohingya refugees who have fled violence in Myanmar. The Minister said not a single refugee will die from hunger. He said, government will provide all kinds of assistance to Rohingyas in Bangladesh until their return to Myanmar.

State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak has said the government's 'Digital Bangladesh' vision will help the country achieve the SDGs. The State Minister said this while addressing a program titled 'e-Governance: Partnerships for Achieving the SDGs' at the UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday.

London, 21 September 2017

News Brief Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will address 72nd UNGA in New York this afternoon local time. The PM is expected to highlight Rohingya issues in her address. While addressing a meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar in New York on Tuesday the Bangladesh PM presented a six-point proposal in solving Rohingya crisis. Her proposals included return of the refugees to Myanmar, immediate end to atrocities against Rohingyas, creation of 'safe zones' in Myanmar for the protection of civilians, implementation of the recommendations made by the Kofi Annan Commission, and urgent humanitarian assistance from OIC countries. The OIC contact group urged Myanmar to accept UNHRC fact-finding mission for providing an independent observation about the situation on the ground.

US President Donald Trump has urged the UN Security Council to take strong and swift action to bring Myanmar's Rohingya crisis to an end, US Vice President Mike Pence said yesterday. Speaking at a Security Council meeting on peacekeeping reform, US Vice President also called the violence there a threat to the region and beyond. British Prime Minister Theresa May, while speaking at the UNGA in New York on Tuesday, said that Suu Kyi and the Burmese government needed to make it very clear that the military action against civilians must stop. She also mentioned that the British government would stop defence engagement with the Burmese military. Meanwhile, the USA, Saudi Arabia and South Korea have pledged $48.5 million in humanitarian assistance to Rohingya Muslims displaced by violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said, Bangladesh believes in action in combating climate change and it is the first among developing countries to establish a National Climate Change Fund. The PM said this while addressing a summit on a global pact for the environment hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron at the UNHQs on Tuesday. On the day, the Bangladesh Prime Minister while speaking at the roundtable of UN Secretary General’s ‘High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment stressed the need for recognising the women's unaccounted works, building more support facilities for female workers and eliminating social stereotypes against them.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon Bangladeshi expatriates in the USA and elsewhere to widely disseminate the country’s success stories. The PM made the urge as she was addressing a reception hosted in her honour by Awami League’s US chapter in New York on Tuesday. A huge number of expatriate Bangladeshis joined the reception. The PM said, the huge public support is the main strength of her government and people are the main inspiration of Awami League.

President Md. Abdul Hamid has asked the university authorities to carry out research works in different fields maintaining similarity with the developed world. The President came up with the call when two delegations of Islamic University and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology separately met him at Bangabhaban yesterday. The President, in another meeting with a delegation of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad yesterday, expressed hoped that the Durga Puja will be celebrated across the country peacefully with the participation of all.

The government has approved import of 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice amid ongoing price spiral of the staple food. A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Procurement with Finance Minister A M A Muhith in the chair gave the approval.

Bangladesh will remain the apparel sourcing hotspot for international retailers and brands over the next five years, says a global survey. McKinsey & Company, the world's most prestigious management consultancy firm, prepared the biennial survey. The survey said, “Bangladesh retains the top spot, selected by nearly half of all respondents, similar to its rating in 2015.”

Bangladesh maintained their winning streak in the five-nation SAFF U-18 Championship beating the Maldives by 2-0 in their 2nd match in Thimphu of Bhutan yesterday.

London, 20 September 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina now in New York to attend the UNGA had talks with US President Donald Trump on Monday and the US President assured her that he is with Bangladesh over the Rohingya issue. “On Myanmar issue, we're with you,” Trump told the PM on the sidelines of a high-level meeting titled “Reforming the United Nations: Management, Security, and Development” held at UNHQs. The PM at a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at hotel Grand Hyatt also discussed the Rohingya crisis. During a meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, the Prime Minister said all the UN organisations would help Bangladesh. Filippo Grandi assured to help Bangladesh address the Rohingya refugee problem. The PM also held a bilateral meeting with her Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged Myanmar to halt its military campaign against Rohingya Muslims. Addressing the opening of the UN General Assembly, Guterres said he took note of Suu Kyi's pledge to abide by the recommendations of a report by former UN chief Kofi Annan that has advocated citizenship for the Rohingyas. French President Emmanuel Macron, in his address to the UN, has called for an end to Myanmar's military campaign, describing the plight of the Rohingya as ethnic cleansing. British Prime Minister Theresa May told a news agency in New York, 'the action the Burmese military is taking against the Rohingya people needs to stop'. Britain also said it had deep concern about human rights abuses and would not be resuming the military courses unless there was an acceptable resolution to the ongoing Rohingya crisis. Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari urged fellow leaders at the UNGA to condemn Myanmar's ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people. India's permanent representative to the UN in Geneva Rajiv K Chander yesterday said, New Delhi is deeply concerned about the recent spate of violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Bangladesh reiterating its position on Rohingya issue has said, the affected areas in Myanmar's Rakhine State should be declared as safe zones so that they could go back. Bangladesh also said implementation of Kofi Annan report should be the next step. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali conveyed this to his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono as they met in New York on Monday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reiterated Bangladesh's firm commitment to the UN Secretary General's noble initiative to eradicate sexual violence and abuse by peacekeepers, declaring a pledge of  $100,000 token contribution to the victim support fund. The Premier made the assertion in a statement at a high-level meeting on "Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse" at Trusteeship Council Chamber at the UNHQs on Monday. "In this context, our approach is 'zero tolerance' to the allegations of sexual violence by the peacekeepers," she said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government has taken the issue of labour rights as an integral part of the economy and society. The government has started implementing the “Better Work Campaign” under which a massive training programme is going on under the Social Dialogue and Harmonious Industrial Relations Project. The PM said this while addressing at a high-level follow up meeting of Global Deal for Decent Work and Inclusive Growth in New York on Monday. Pointing out the programmes for promoting the Global Deal for Decent Work, she said Bangladesh believes that if the overall socio-economic development is ensured, it would eventually enhance decent jobs and labour rights.

The government yesterday signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank on $200 million loan for strengthening urban infrastructure and management in municipalities.

The government yesterday signed an initial agreement with Gunvor Singapore to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the country seeks to ride out widening energy shortages.

London, 19 September 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has joined a high-level meeting on UN reforms hosted by Donald Trump when the US president urged the United Nations to improve the way it operates. Heads of states and governments of 193 countries, who are in New York to attend the 72nd UN General Assembly session, joined the meeting held at the UN Headquarters yesterday. Later in the day, the Prime Minister is scheduled to attend another meeting on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and hold a bilateral meeting with her Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay. The PM would also hold a meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and attend a follow-up meeting of Global Deal for Decent Work and Inclusive Growth.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu has asked the officials of Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation to ensure the highest transparency in the process of sugar import. “The government has decided to import one lakh metric ton sugar to overcome the loss of recent flood and ensure uninterrupted supply of sugar,” he said while addressing at a programme in Dhaka yesterday.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim has sought support of the government of South Korea in mobilizing world opinion for exerting pressure on Myanmar to stop barbaric killings in its Rakhine state. "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given shelter to Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds. We (the government) are providing them with food, accommodation and medical care. But, it would not be possible to continue the support for a long time," he said. Health Minister was talking to South Korean ambassador to Bangladesh Ahn Seong-doo who called on him at his secretariat office yesterday. The South Korean envoy said his country would support Bangladesh in resolving the crisis.

Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu has said Bangladesh will seek diplomatic solutions with Myanmar regarding the influx of Rohingya refugees from that country. Addressing a press conference at Press Information Department in Dhaka the minister also said, "The Rohingya crisis is an ethnic problem. It isn't a religious issue.” And the only solution to the crisis lies in the peaceful deportation and rehabilitation of the refugees in their own land.

The Myanmar army should be held accountable for 'the ethnic cleansing' of Rohingya minority in Rakhine state, said Rushanara Ali, MP and UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy for Bangladesh. During her talks with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed at his secretariat office in Dhaka yesterday Rushanara also said the UK wanted the international community to take tougher actions against the Myanmar military. After the meeting, the British MP told journalists that the country has made laudable progress in safety and security services at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for lifting the ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka to the UK. She has already raised the issue of ban to her Prime Minister, she added.

Human Rights Watch has said the UN Security Council and concerned countries should impose targeted sanctions and arms embargo on the Burmese military for their ethnic cleansing campaign against minority Rohingya in Rakhine state of the country. „The Security Council should urgently place a travel ban and asset freeze on those responsible for grave abuses and impose a comprehensive arms embargo against Burma, including prohibiting military cooperation and financial transactions with key military-owned enterprises,? New York-based HRW said in a statement on Sunday evening (NY time).

London, 18 September 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reached New York yesterday to attend the United Nations General Assembly in which she is expected to plead for global support to solve the ongoing Rohingya crisis. Her priority at the 72nd UNGA is to make a formal proposal to find a long-lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis, which includes repatriation of over 800,000 Myanmar nationals through a peaceful manner. The Prime Minister who is set to address the general debate on September 21, would highlight the root causes behind the Rohingya crisis and place specific proposals for an early solution to the longstanding humanitarian crisis. Apart from addressing the UNGA, the PM would also take part in a variety of events on the sidelines and hold bilateral meetings with global leaders to mount pressure on Myanmar for halting the ethnic cleansing in Rakhine and taking back the Rohingyas.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has commended the government of Bangladesh for receiving hundreds of thousands repressed Rohingyas from neighbouring Myanmar. Patricia said, this is a major humanitarian crisis, and reports indicate that the majority fleeing are women and children.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi has a last chance to halt an army offensive that has forced tens of thousands of Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh."The tragedy will be absolutely horrible" unless she acted now, Guterres told BBC's HARDtalk ahead of UN General Assembly.

British Prime Minister's Trade Envoy Rushanara Ali MP has said, Bangladesh is gaining moral high ground by giving shelter to the Rohingya minorities. She said this during a meeting with the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam at his office in Dhaka yesterday.

Switzerland has committed to contribute over Tk 1.02 billion (1.2 million Swiss Francs) in emergency humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya people and the flood-affected people in Bangladesh through the SDC Humanitarian Aid.

Dutch traders have shown their strong interest to invest in potato farming in Bangladesh aiming to increase the production of the tuberous crop. The traders have disclosed their interest to Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal as the envoy was visiting a two-day long potato fair titled "Potato Europe" held at Emerald, Holland on September 13-14. The Nederlandse Aardappel Organisatie, a platform of 200 potato-related Dutch business entities, expressed their hope to take intensive plan to boost up potato farming in Bangladesh.

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid left Dhaka on Saturday for Slovenia to attend the 2nd World Congress on Open Educational Resources (OER) Conference. With the title "OER for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education," the conference is being held between September 18 and 20 in Ljubljana of Slovenia.

London, 17 September 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reached Abu Dhabi yesterday en route to New York to attend the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The PM would address the UNGA on the afternoon of September 21 local time. On the same day, she would hold a bilateral meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. On September 18, the PM will attend a high-level meeting on UN Reforms to be hosted by US President Donald Trump and a high-level meeting on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse at UN Headquarters. In the afternoon, the PM is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with her Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay before attending a high-level follow-up meeting on Global Deal for Decent Work and Inclusive Growth. On September 19, the PM along with other heads of state and government will join the official lunch to be hosted by the UN Secretary General. The lunch will be followed by a high-level roundtable of the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment. In the afternoon, the PM will join the OIC Contact Group meeting on Rohingya Minorities at UNHQs.

 Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu has stressed the need for boosting mutual cooperation, trade-commerce and investments among the BIMSTEC members to exploit the huge economic potential for sustainable development of the region. The Minister made the assertion while speaking at the opening session of 'BIMSTEC EXPO-2017' in Kolkata of India yesterday.

Bangladesh Railway has signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank to construct rail lines connecting Dohazari and Cox's Bazar via Ramu. Railways Minister M Mujibul Haque was present at the agreement signing ceremony at Rail Bhaban in Dhaka yesterday. Speaking on the occasion, the minister said, with the construction of Dohazari-Ramu-Cox's Bazar dual gauge project, the number of domestic and foreign tourists would increase more in Cox's Bazar, as this rail line would connect Bangladesh to the Trans-Asian railway.

Bangladesh has set an example for the world with its response to the Rohingya crisis, British High Commissioner Alison Blake has said. The UK is active in finding a lasting solution to the crisis in Myanmar's Rakhine State, Blake told a group of journalists at her residence in Dhaka yesterday. Meanwhile, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag has thanked Bangladesh government for hosting a large number of the Rohingyas. He reassured the Turkish support both political and material for the government of Bangladesh on the issue. The support was conveyed as the Bangladesh ambassador to Turkey M Allama Siddiki had a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister at the latter’s office on Friday.  

The Police Headquarters has instructed the law enforcers to form a committee in every district to maintain communal harmony across the country, especially in the Buddhist-populated areas. The order came in the wake of recent massive influx of Rohingya into Bangladesh from the Buddhists dominated Myanmar. Besides, the headquarters asked the law enforcers to ensure that the movement of Rohingyas is kept limited inside the camps in Cox's Bazar.  

The Saudi Arabian authorities have extended the deadline of general amnesty by 30 days for the Bangladeshi expatriates. The new extended deadline is now October 15, 2017.   Bangladesh has expressed grave concern over the successive launching of 2nd ballistic missile over Japan by North Korea and urged it to refrain from missile tests that deviate from the cardinal principle of UN of collective peace and security.  

UNDP acting Country Director Koyko Yoksosui has appreciated Bangladesh's success in protecting the ozone layer through proper implementation of the Montreal Protocol. She praised Bangladesh's efforts while addressing a discussion in Dhaka yesterday.

London, 13 September 2017

Prime  Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked Myanmar to take back their Rohingya  nationals from Bangladesh as early as possible. She also called upon Myanmar  to  stop killing Rohingyas. The PM made the call while visiting Rohingya camp and distributing relief materials among them at Kutupalong Bazar in Ukhiya of Cox's Bazar. The PM also talked to them. A heart-rending scene was created when the Rohingyas narrated their ordeals before the Prime Minister. The Premier said, "We must stay beside the Myanmar Rohingyas and extend all kinds of help to them and as long as they do not return to their country we will  remain beside  them."  "We  sheltered them on humanitarian  ground but we will not allow them to conduct any terrorist acts using Bangladesh territory," she warned. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister  directed the  officials of the civil administration, Army, Navy, Coast Guard and other government organisations to work in a coordinated manner while dealing with the Myanmar people staying in Bangladesh. She asked the Cabinet Secretary to work on it in consultation with the Prime Minister's Office so that the entire relief operation and Rohingya management could be handled in a planned  manner.  She  gave  the directives while  exchanging  views  with  civil  and  military  officials, public representatives and local leaders of Cox's Bazar at the district circuit house yesterday.

The United Nations Security Council will hold an urgent meeting today to  discuss violence churning through the western Myanmar. Violence in Myanmar has prompted 370,000 people belonging to the Muslim Rohingya minority to  flee to Bangladesh since Aug 25, the UN International Organisation for  Migration said yesterday. Meanwhile, two major UNHCR aircraft with  emergency relief supplies for Rohingya refugees arrived in Dhaka yesterday.

French Ambassador to Bangladesh Sophie Aubert has highly appreciated  Bangladesh's role in handling the Rohingya crisis. The appreciation was made when she made a farewell call on the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam at the Parliament yesterday. State Minister sought full support of the French government to raise voice at the international level against the  oppression on Rohingya community by Myanmar military.

The Jatiya Sangsad yesterday passed the "Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2017" with a provision for empowering the court  concerned for alternative dispute resolution. Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq moved the bill in the House.

Health Minister Mohammad Nasim has said all the necessary arrangements have been made to recruit 10,000 physicians for providing equitable and inclusive health services in the country's rural and urban areas. The minister came up with the disclosure while addressing the inaugural ceremony of 'Shashtha Suroksha Karmashuchi' (Health Protection Activity) in two upazilas of Tangail yesterday.

The foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka have assured of working together with Bangladesh to face the challenges emerging from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that encompasses the idea of ICT-led advancements leading to the revolutionary changes in the modern civilization. They gave the assurance  as  State  Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam and  State Minister  for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak at a function sought cooperation from the foreign countries in facing the challenges posed by the emergence of 4IR that involves Artificial Intelligence, robotic transformation and Internet of Things. ICT Division organized he function in Dhaka  on Monday to  mark  the  forthcoming Digital World-2017 scheduled to be held on December 6-9, 2017.

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry with an aim to expand  trade  and economic relations between the two  countries.  The MoU was signed yesterday in Dhaka. Under the MoU, both chambers will exchange information and expand technical relations. The two chambers will also exchange expertise and statistics on trade and organise training.

London, 14 September 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina calling for upholding democracy in the country has said the Supreme Court verdict regarding the 16th constitutional amendment didn't get acceptability to anyone. The Prime Minister said, this parliament is sovereign, it frames constitution and protects the rights of the people. She said these while participating in a discussion yesterday on a resolution on the apex court verdict that scrapped the 16th constitutional amendment. Replying to a question at the Sangsad, the PM said her government has undertaken initiatives to set up Hi-Tech Park, Software Technology Park and IT Village in the country aimed at creating employment for 2,36,500 people.

The government has approved ten development projects involving a total cost of Tk 51.81 billion. The projects include rural infrastructure development, social development, roads and highways development, rehabilitation and sanitation. The approval was given at the ECNEC meeting held in Dhaka yesterday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Out of the cost, Tk 44.62 billion will be provided by the government from its own exchequer, while Tk 6.99 billion from the external resources.

The government has endorsed import of 50,000 tons of sugar through international tender at a cost of Tk 2.11 billion. The Cabinet committee on government purchase cleared the proposal to buy the sugar at a meeting chaired by Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday. The Cabinet committee also approved a proposal to raise the cost of a package of Muhuri Irrigation Project under Water Development Board with fund from Asian Development Board.

The UN Security Council yesterday expressed concern about excessive force used by the Myanmar authorities in the Rakhine State and called for immediate steps to end the violence. The Security Council condemned the violence and called for providing humanitarian assistance to the devastated Rakhine state. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are facing a 'catastrophic' humanitarian situation. He said, attacks by the security forces on Rohingya villagers are completely unacceptable. Report from Brussels says, the European Union (EU) has called for implementing the recommendations of Annan Advisory Commission to resolve the ongoing Rhoingya crisis. The EU announced €3 million additional humanitarian aid to address the most pressing needs of Rohingyas who have fled into Bangladesh.

Heads of 40 Dhaka-based foreign embassies, missions and agencies visited the Kutupalong Camp at Ukhiya in Cox's Bazar for displaced Rohingyas yesterday. The diplomats have urged Myanmar to stop persecution and bring back peace in Rakhine State and lauded Bangladesh's efforts in giving shelter to this many people at once and providing them with necessary aids. Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam were with the diplomats.

Bangladesh and Georgia have agreed to enhance mutual cooperation in the areas of education, cultural exchange and agriculture and explore opportunities of exports to Georgia. The agreement was made at the first foreign office consultations (FoC) in Dhaka on Tuesday. Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque led the Bangladesh side while Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia David Jalagani led his country's delegation in the meeting.

Removing trade disputes and irregularities for improving the trading environment between the two neighbouring countries figured high as a joint working group on Bangladesh-India trade began talks in Dhaka yesterday. Additional Secretary of WTO Cell Shafiqul Islam is leading a 13-member host side while Joint Secretary of the Department of Trade of India Bhupender S Bhalla a 12- member delegation at the annual consultation.