Sluggish growth of renewables threatens Bangladesh’s clean-energy goals

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Bangladesh, a country of some 180 million people, has one of the smallest carbon footprints in the world. Its emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement are similarly modest: 5% by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario, or 10% with assistance from the international community. But even these goals, known as its nationally determined contribution (NDC), may be out of reach as the development of renewable energy in the country lags. Most of the country’s emissions come from the energy sector, so to reduce emissions, the country plans to boost the share of renewable energy in the gri… Continue reading “Sluggish growth of renewables threatens Bangladesh’s clean-energy goals”

Signing of FTA among priority issues in FM’s meeting with Singapore president

President of Singapore Halimah Yacob has said they are impressed by the ongoing development and progress made by Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The President of Singapore and Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen had a meeting at the Istana on Tuesday and discussed issues of mutual interest.

Dr Momen is now on an official visit to Singapore, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“We had a good discussion on bilateral cooperation including the opportunities for enhancing trade and investment between our countries,” President Yacob said in a post shared on her verified Facebook page.

She said they also discussed regional and global developments.

The President of Singapore highly praised the Government of Bangladesh for providing shelter to more than one million displaced Rohingyas.

Momen stressed the need for continued international pressure on the Myanmar government to repatriate the displaced Rohingya to their homeland Myanmar and sought cooperation of the Singapore government, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He also requested the Government of Singapore to consider the proposal for Bangladesh’s inclusion as a Sectoral Dialogue Partner at the ASEAN.

President Halimah Yacob assured the Foreign Minister of all possible cooperation from the Government of Singapore in both cases.

The President of Singapore hoped that the cooperation and communication between the two friendly countries would be further strengthened on the golden jubilee of Bangladesh-Singapore diplomatic relations.

Finalization and signing of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement, expanding Bangladesh’s labor market in Singapore, protection of expatriate workers, training opportunities in various sectors including agriculture, industry, education, medicine, energy and ICT were discussed.

Momen greeted the President of Singapore on behalf of the President and Prime Minister of Bangladesh and invited her to visit Bangladesh at a convenient time.

“I wish Dr Momen a pleasant stay in Singapore and a safe trip back home,” said the President.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Bangladesh, Singapore keen to intensify bilateral cooperation

Bangladesh has sought support from Singapore to keep up pressure on Myanmar in an effort to resolve the Rohingya crisis through their sustainable repatriation.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and Bhasan Char island and it says repatriation of the Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State is the only solution.

Bangladesh and Singapore also laid emphasis on signing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as soon as possible by concluding the ongoing negotiations in an effort to expand trade and investment.

The issues came up for discussion during a meeting between Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan held in Singapore on Monday.

During the meeting, Singapore’s support was sought to accelerate Bangladesh’s inclusion to the ASEAN Forum as a Sectoral Dialogue Partner.

In this regard, the foreign minister of Singapore expressed his government’s unwavering support in both the issues, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.

Foreign Minister Momen is now in Singapore as part of his three-day official visit at the invitation of the Singapore government.

He expressed his gratitude to the government and people of Singapore over the recent decision to launch a special award in the name of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by the National University of Singapore.

They discussed a wide range of bilateral issues, including providing technical assistance, increasing Bangladesh’s exports of agricultural products to Singapore, continuing to co-operate in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by tackling the effects of climate change, creating new jobs for Bangladeshi workers in Singapore, and ensuring minimum wages.

The two foreign ministers reiterated their commitment to further intensify and accelerate bilateral cooperation on the golden jubilee of Bangladesh-Singapore diplomatic relations.

During the hour-long meeting, they discussed important bilateral, regional and global issues.

.The meeting was also attended by Bangladesh High Commissioner to Singapore Md Tauhedul Islam and Director General of the Ministry of External Affairs (Southeast Asia) Md. Najmul Huda.

This was the first ministerial meeting between the two friendly countries since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.

Foreign Minister Momen invited his Singaporean counterpart to visit Bangladesh at a convenient time this year.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Violent clashes erupt again between Dhaka College students, traders; Over 30 hurt

Over 30 people including journalists and students were injured on Tuesday as students of Dhaka College locked into a series of clashes again with traders of New Market at Nilkhet intersection in the city.

The whole area turned into a battleground after a fresh clash erupted between them around 10 am as a sequel to a clash Monday midnight, said witnesses.

Of the injured, some 24 people were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said a DMCH source.

The clashes disrupted vehicular movement from Science Lab to Azimpur and created a long tailback on Mirpur Road and adjacent areas.

Vehicular movement returned to normalcy around 6 pm as police dispersed the Dhaka College students after lobbing tear gas shells.

Shop owners in the areas kept their shutters down since morning.

The fresh clash erupted as the students went to the intersection around 10am to form a human chain in protest against last night’s alleged attack on them by members of the New market Traders’ Association.

Some traders of New Market “teased and provoked” the protesters, triggering this morning’s clash, according to witnesses.

Brick chips, crude bombs were thrown during the chase and counter-chase between the two groups while police lobbed tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.

“Around 12 pm fire broke out in some shops at Chandrima Super Market and Nurjahan Super Market after crude bombs were thrown at those allegedly by students. It was later doused but a vehicle of Fire Service sent there could not reach the spot as the traders did not allow it to move,” said Khaleda Yasmin, Deputy Officer (media), Fire Service and Civil Defence.

“At least 30 students of Dhaka College were injured in the clash that started from last night”, said Dr Md Abdul Kuddus Shikder, Secretary of Dhaka College Teachers Council.

Sharif, Assistant Commissioner (New Market zone) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said,” I am currently undergoing treatment at a hospital after suffering injuries while controlling the situation last night.”

“The students took to the streets again in the morning to protest the last night’s attack and some of them said they would not let the traders open their shops until the perpetrators of last night’s alleged attack are brought to justice,” he added.

According to the students, two of their peers are being treated at Square Hospital as they “sustained injuries in their eyes when police fired rubber bullets last night”.

UNB photojournalists Abu Sufiyan Jewel and Rakibul Hasan, Deepto TV’s journalist Asif Sumit, and its cameraperson, SA TV’s reporter Tuhin and cameraperson Kabir Hossain, MY TV’s reporter Danny Drong and RTV’s camera person Sumon Dey were among the injured.

Photographer of the Daily Star Prabir Das and reporter of Ajker Patrika Al Amin Raju were allegedly beaten up by the traders during the clash.

Around midnight on Monday, a clash ensued between the traders and college students, with the latter alleging that few of their peers were thrashed and stabbed by a couple of shopkeepers when they had gone to the market for shopping.

Police lobbed teargas shells and fired rubber bullets to bring the situation under control after nearly four hours.

Traffic on Mirpur Road came to a halt for a few hours due to the clash, in which some cops also sustained injuries.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Info Minister for raising awareness among young Bangladeshi expatriates about Mujibnagar Govt

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has called for creating greater awareness and documentation on the role of the Mujibnagar Government during our glorious War of Liberation, amongst the new generation of Bangladeshi expatriates.

He made the call while speaking as the chief guest at the Bangladesh High Commission, London’s commemorative event on the 51st Anniversary of historic Mujibnagar Day.

To ensure that history is not distorted to the younger generations, especially on the undisputed leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the protracted freedom struggle and the independence of Bangladesh, as well as the historical role played by the four national leaders, and the Mujibnagar government in liberating Bangladesh, the Information Minister said that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will produce documentaries in English on our liberation war based on national and international empirical evidences.

He suggested publishing booklets in English by the London High Commission on the War of Liberation, including the significance of the historic Mujibnagar Day for distribution to the new generation of British-Bangladeshis, said the Bangladesh High Commission in London on Wednesday.

“To honour the sacrifices made by the heroes of our liberation war and realise the Golden Bengal vision of Bangabandhu, his daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is making relentless stride to transform Bangladesh into a prosperous, self-reliant and self-respecting nation,” the minister said.

Speaking on the occasion as the guest of honour, valiant freedom fighter and a veteran of the Mujibnagar Government Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Bir Bikrom, reminded the nation that the Mujibnagar Government was neither a temporary nor an interim government, but the first constitutional government of the independent and sovereign People’s Republic of Bangladesh as declared in the ‘Proclamation of Independence’ adopted on 10 April 1971.

Dr Chowdhury, also the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister, encouraged the young generation to better study the ‘Proclamation of Independence’ of Bangladesh, which was the mini-constitution and the guide for conducting the 1971 liberation war and the wartime government.

High Commissioner for Bangladesh to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem paid deep homage to Bangabandhu and the four national leaders who sworn in the first government of independent Bangladesh on behalf of Bangabandhu, making him the president, naming the place after the Father of the Nation as Mujibnagar, campaigning internationally for the release of Bangabandhu from imprisonment and skillfully conducting the War of Liberation to ultimate victory.

She also paid propound gratitude to valiant freedom fighters, martyrs and victims of the 1971 War of Liberation and the foreign governments who supported the Mujibnagar Government and visited Bengali refugee camps in India during the War of Liberation, including former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi and leading British politicians such as Michael Barnes, MP, Bruce Douglas-Mann, MP, Toby Jessel, MP, Arthur Bottomley, MP, Reginal Prentice, MP, James Ramsden, MP and Peter Shore, MP.

The High Commissioner on behalf of London High Commission reaffirmed her oath on the historic Mujibnagar Day as a public servant of the republic created on 10 April 1971 in supporting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision and aspiration for a democratic, progressive, secular and prosperous Bangladesh.

Valiant freedom fighter Lt. Col. (Retd) Kazi Sajjad Ali Zaheer, Bir Pratik and Padama Sri, eminent cultural and theater personality Ramendu Majumder, veteran freedom fighter and war correspondent of ‘Joy Bangla’ weekly and the ‘Swadhin Bangla Beter Kendra’ Haroon Habib former Professor of Law at the University of Dhaka Dr Salim Mahmud also spoke.

Member of the Student Action Committee of the Overseas Freedom Movement of Bangladesh War of Liberation in the UK and overseas Freedom Fighter Sultan Mahmud Sharif and expatriate British-Bangladeshi community personality Syed Sajidur Rahman Faruk also spoke on the occasion.

A short documentary on the oath-taking of the Mujibnagar Government was shown at the virtual event, participated by a large number of expatriate Bangladeshis living in the UK and Ireland.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Heatwave to continue in northern Bangladesh districts

Warmer days are ahead for the residents of Rajshahi and Pabna, as the weatherman has predicted the heat wave to continue in the northern districts for the next few days.

However, rain or thundershowers with intense lightning flashes accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at a few places over Rangpur, Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions in the next 24 hours, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) said on its bulletin on Tuesday.

“The showers may also occur at one or two places over the regions of Dhaka and Tangail and the districts of Kishoreganj and Brahmanbaria,” said the bulletin.

According to the bulletin, the weather might remain mainly dry with partly cloudy sky elsewhere over the country.

Day and night temperatures may remain nearly unchanged over the country.

The maximum temperature in the country was recorded in Rajshahi at 37 degrees Celsius while the maximum rainfall was recorded at 39 mm in Rajarhat upazila of Rangpur.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Mobile internet services suspended in New Market area

Telecom operators have suspended internet services in New Market area after a series of clashes between Dhaka College students and traders there Tuesday afternoon.

The mobile internet services in the area were suspended around 3:15 pm after getting directives from the government, said sources in telecom operators.

The mobile internet services will remain snapped until further notice.

Over 30 people including journalists and students were injured on Tuesday as students of Dhaka College locked into a series of renewed clashes with traders of New Market at Nilkhet intersection in the city.

The whole area turned into a battleground after a fresh clash erupted between them around 10 am as a sequel to a clash Monday midnight.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

World Bank loan to bolster Bangladesh’s economic growth

Bangladesh and the World Bank have signed a $250 million financing agreement to support the country’s reform efforts to sustain growth following the pandemic and to enhance resilience to future shocks, including climate change.

The Bangladesh First Recovery and Resilience Development Policy Credit — the first in a series of two credits — will help Bangladesh build a stronger fiscal and financial sector to sustain growth, the World Bank said in a release.

The credit is from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which provides concessional financing, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period.

It will help streamline the bank recovery framework with all scheduled banks to update recovery plans annually.

The programme supports the legislative framework on payments, which will contribute to a more efficient financial system.

The programme supports adjustments to the interest rates of public savings instruments such as the National Savings Certificate.

Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, said that Bangladesh has made a robust economic recovery from the pandemic.

“This programme will further support the government’s policies to make the economy more resilient and competitive as Bangladesh strives to become an upper-middle income country by 2031.”

The cancellation of 8,451 MW of investments in coal-fired electricity generation projects will accelerate the country’s transition to decarbonisation and a green economy.

The revised National Building Code will help the country reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency in buildings.

The programme will support the National Tariff Policy to modernise taxes and foster a globally competitive export industry. It will help to better leverage digital technologies and enable non-resident firms to submit VAT returns, according to the World Bank.

The increased coverage of the electronic government (e-GP) system will improve efficiency of public procurement.

It will also support the coverage, speed, and efficiency of social protection programmes to help the government rapidly respond to extreme climate events such as floods and cyclones.

By using the government-to-person payment platform for cash transfers, the government can identify new and existing beneficiaries for emergency assistance while also capturing gender-disaggregated payment data.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

ICC Test Championship 2023: Mominul Haque among the best all-around performances

The second edition (2021–2023) of the Test Championship started on August 4, 2021, and the final match is likely to be held on March 31, 2023. According to the schedule, 138 matches will be played between the nine participating teams in the ICC Test Championship 2023. Half of the tournament is already over, with 68 matches completed and 70 more to go. On this occasion, the ICC revealed the best all-round performances so far in this two-year-long tournament. Let’s take a look at who made the cut in the top five all-rounders list.

Top five all-round performances in the ICC Test Championship 2023

The jury board had to go through a detailed analysis to identify the best performances in the all-round category. Because there were a number of brilliant performances and picking the best five is always a challenging task. Here are the best all-round performances picked by the ICC.

Ravindra Jadeja vs Sri Lanka (First Test, 4-6 March 2022)

In the opening match of the two-match series in Mohali in March of this year, India’s all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was ruthless against Sri Lanka. His all-round display helped India dominate the Lankan side all through the match. Jadeja made 175 runs after coming into bat at No. 7 and carried the first innings total to 574.

In reply, Sri Lanka were bowled out for only 174, in which Jadeja bagged a fifer. This time, India forced Sri Lanka to follow on, and this time they made 178. Once again, Jadeja was the main strike bowler for the Indian side and picked up 4 wickets. Overall, Ravindra Jadeja finished the match with 175 runs and a 9/87 bowling figure. India went on to win the contest by an innings and 222 runs.

Matt Henry vs South Africa (First Test, 17-19 February 2022)

New Zealand’s pace-bowling all-rounder Matt Henry produced a magical performance against South Africa in the first Test of their 2-match series in Christchurch. His 7-wicket haul in the first innings bowled South Africa out for only 95 runs. In reply, New Zealand made 482, in which Matt Henry played an important 58*-run knock.

The defeat was imminent for the Proteas side after a horrible first innings performance. They were bowled out for 111 in the second innings and lost the contest by an innings score of 276 runs. The sensational Matt Henry picked up 9 wickets apart from scoring a half-century in the match.

Shardul Thakur vs England (Fourth Test, 2-6 September 2021)

Shardul Thakur played an important role in India’s 157-run win over England in the fourth Test at the Oval, London. Shardul played a blazing 57-ball knock in the first innings and helped India get past the 150-run barrier. He also made an important 60 runs in the second innings, which helped India set a big target. Apart from scoring runs with the bat, Thakur also bagged 1 wicket in the first innings and 2 wickets in the second innings.

Keshav Maharaj vs Bangladesh (2-match series, 2022)

Spin bowling all-rounder Keshav Maharaj was outstanding against Bangladesh in the recently concluded 2-match Test series. He bagged 16 wickets at an average of 12.12 and made 108 runs with the bat. Maharaj’s best bowling figure in the series was 7/32, and he played an important 84-run knock in the first innings of the second Test. He was the most vital player in South Africa’s 2-0 clean sweep over Bangladesh.

Mominul Haque vs New Zealand (First Test, 1-5 January 2022)

Captain Mominul Haque played an important role in Bangladesh’s historic Test match win over New Zealand at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui in January this year. Mominul made 88 runs in Bangladesh’s 458 runs first innings total. He also picked up two crucial wickets in the contest. Mominul removed two of the top scorers from New Zealand’s first innings. Bangladesh eventually clinched the match by 8 wickets, where Mominul’s contribution was very much noticeable.

Bottom Line

The ICC recognized that the above-mentioned individual all-round performances were truly special. Most importantly, in all cases, the performances helped their respective sides to snatch a victory. As the tournament is heading towards an important stage, there is an expectation that more brilliant all-round displays will be witnessed in the remaining fixtures of the ICC Test Championship 2023.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

RMG industry’s development means betterment of Bangladesh’s people: BGMEA

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has said the apparel industry belongs to the people of the country.

The development of the industry means the development of Bangladesh and the betterment of its people, it added.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said the ready-made garment (RMG) industry has attained today’s glorious position with the collective contribution of all stakeholders.

He sought the support and cooperation of all for the development of the industry in the coming days.

Faruque was addressing an iftar party organised for BGMEA members and other dignitaries at a Chattogram hotel Sunday.

Former BGMEA president SM Fazlul Hoque, incumbent First Vice-President Syed Nazrul Islam; vice-presidents Shahidullah Azim, Khandoker Rafiqul Islam, Md Nasir Uddin, Rakibul Alam Chowdhury; directors, former vice-presidents and directors were present at the iftar party.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

National Hockey team for Men’s Asia Cup, Asian Games Qualifiers announced

Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) on Tuesday announced a 20-member National Hockey team to compete in the Men’s Asia Cup and Asian Games Qualifiers.

The BHF announced the same squad for both the tournaments, but named two separate captains for two tournaments.

Rezaul Karim Babu will lead the Bangladesh team in the Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers scheduled for May 6-15 in Thai capital Bangkok.

Khorshedur Rahman will lead the Bangladesh team in the eight- nation Asia Cup Hockey to be held in Indonesian capital Jakarta from May 23 to June 1.

Iman Gobinathan Krishnamurthy of Malaysia named as the head coach, Zahirul Islam Mitul as assistant coach and Mohammad Rafiul Haque as team leader of Bangladesh for both the tournaments.

Meanwhile, the cheque handover and team jersey unveiling ceremony of the team will be held on Wednesday (Apr 20) at 11 am at the Falcon Hall of Bangladesh Air Force.

Earlier, Bangladesh qualified for the Men’s Asia Cup as they clinched the fourth consecutive title of the Men’s AHF Cup last month.

Oman, who finished as runners-up in the meet, also qualified to play in the eight-nation Asia Cup with auto-qualifiers – India, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Korea, hosts Indonesia.

Bangladesh squad:

Goalkeepers: Biplob Kujur, Abu Sayeed Nippon,

Defenders: Khorshedur Rahman, Farhd Ahmed Shitul, Ashraful Islam, Mehedi Hasan, Rezaul Karim Babu, Shohanur Rahman Sabuj

Midfielders: Sarwar Hossain, Roman Sarkar, Naim Uddin, Fazle Hossain Rabbi, Prince Lal Samanta, Al Nahian Shubho,

Forwards: Rasel Mahmud Jimmy, Milon Hossain, Pushkor Khisha Mimo, Arshad Hossain, Deen Islam Emon, Rakibul Hasan Rocky (Jr).

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Hriday Mandal returns to classes after 28 days, honoured in harmony rally

Teachers and students welcomed science teacher Hriday Mandal with flowers and a rally of harmony on Tuesday as he returned to his school nine days after he was freed on bail in a case over “hurting religious sentiment.”

“I am very happy today. I’m back to my school and can take classes again,” said Hriday about his feelings on returning to Binodpur Ramkumar High School in Munshiganj after spending 19 days in prison.

“I’ve no issue with my beloved students,” he said adding, “But I think those who provoked them should be taken to task.”

On Tuesday he also took science and math classes as per routine.

The students are also happy as the teacher has returned.

Earlier on April 13, he came to the school to meet the probe committee.

Alamgir Hossain, president of the school’s Managing Committee, said those who wanted to harass Hriday did not succeed. “The way the students of this school have welcomed him today is proof of their failure.”

“This incident happened in my absence as I was out of the country. And I’m very sorry for this.”

Meanwhile, Headmaster Alauddin Ahmed said, “The reputation of my school was also tarnished for some students. They realized their mistake.

“We will soon put an end to the incident ensuring that such incident can never happen.”

Munshiganj Municipality Mayor Mohammad Faisal Biplob said the gathering of all teachers and students will definitely help in curbing the evil power in the area and the school. “We have also come together in ‘Harmony rally’ to end the inertia of students and teachers.”

He also instructed the managing committee to install CCTV cameras at Hriday’s residential quarter and the surrounding area.

Meanwhile, a one-member probe committee formed by the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education has not submitted its report even after five working days. The report was due to be submitted on Tuesday.

However, the only one member of the committee Principal of Government Harganga College Prof Abdul Hai Talukder said the report will be submitted to the director general of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education on Wednesday.

On April 10, Hriday was released from Munshiganj jail after securing bail.

He was arrested on March 22 after Asad Mia, an electrician of the school, lodged a complaint with Sadar Police on charge of hurting religious sentiment.

The rights groups denounced his arrest as an attempt to curtail freedom of expression and science education in the country.

Earlier on March 20, some tenth-grade students of Binodpur Ramkumar High School (science section), recorded a class conversation of Hriday on science and religion on a mobile phone.

On March 22, some students staged demonstrations outside the school calling for punishment for Hriday for alleged demeaning of religion.

He was subsequently arrested triggering protests at home and abroad.

Source: United News of Bangladesh