Almost two dozen passengers killed in Bangladesh bus crash

At least 19 people have been killed and up to 25 were injured in Bangladesh after a bus smashed through a highway fence and plunged into a roadside ditch, according to police.

Police said they suspected the driver lost control at 8:00 am (0200 GMT) on Sunday and hit the railing of a recently built major expressway, sending the bus tumbling nine metres into the ditch.

"The death toll has risen to 19. At least 12 people were critically injured. They have been sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in the capital," local police chief Masud Alam told AFP news agency after the crash in the southern district of Shibchar.

Road accidents are frequent in Bangladesh due to old and badly maintained vehicles and roads, as well as poorly trained drivers.

According to the Bangladeshi passengers' welfare association, a record 9,951 people were killed in road accidents in Bangladesh last year.


Dozens arrested as Indian police hunt for Sikh separatist leader

A manhunt for a Sikh separatist leader in India has entered its second day, after authorities shut mobile internet in the whole of Punjab state and arrested 78 of his supporters.

On Sunday, there was a major police presence across Punjab, especially in rural pockets and around Amritpal Singh's village of Jallupur Khera, local media reported.

The police said that its "manhunt" was ongoing and the overall "situation is under control, citizens (are) requested to not believe in rumours".

Singh rose to prominence in recent months demanding the creation of Khalistan, a separate Sikh homeland, and with his hardline interpretation of Sikhism at rallies in rural pockets of the northern state of some 30 million people.

Last month Singh, 30, and his supporters armed with swords, knives and guns raided a police station after one of his aides was arrested for alleged assault and attempted kidnapping.

The brazen daytime raid in the outskirts of Amritsar – home to the holiest Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple – left several police injured and heaped pressure on authorities to act against Singh.

After the operation began on Saturday, Punjab police tweeted late in the day that 78 had been arrested in the "mega crackdown".

But Singh himself was not thought to be among them.

Internet shutdown

Local media reports said that the Punjab government ordered the mobile internet shutdown to be in place until noon (0630 GMT) on Monday.

It was worried that social media could be used to spread rumours and misinformation which could spark street violence.

Indian authorities frequently shut down mobile internet services, particularly in the restive northern region of India-administered Kashmir.

Punjab – with about 58 percent Sikhs and 39 percent Hindus – was rocked by a violent separatist movement for Khalistan in the 1980s and early 1990s when thousands of people died.

The violence peaked in 1984 after a botched raid against a few hundred radical separatists, some of them armed, inside the Golden Temple headed by the hardline Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

This led to the assassination of India's prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh security guards a few months later, which in turn sparked anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and elsewhere that left several thousand more people dead.

The separatist movement later lost a lot of support, with its most vocal advocates today primarily among the Punjabi diaspora in Canada, Australia, Britain and elsewhere.

India has often complained to respective governments over the activities of Sikh separatists who, it says, have been trying to revive the insurgency with a massive financial push.



A speeding bus veered off a major road in central Bangladesh and plunged into a ditch, killing at least 19 people and injured dozens, police said.

The death toll could rise further as some of the injured passengers are in critical condition, said Anowar Hossain, police official of Shibchar, where the crash occurred. The city is 80km from the capital Dhaka.

The bus, carrying more than 40 passengers, fell about nine metres (30 feet) into a roadside ditch after breaking through the railing of the newly-built Padma river bridge road, Hossain said.

The driver, who was killed, appeared to have lost control of the vehicle after a tyre burst, he said, adding that the cause of the accident was under investigation. SCMP

Source: EMM/NNA

P1+none? Swaran Singh, professor of diplomacy and disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University

“The United Nations Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security” – so reads the description of the body on the UN website. But if you take a look at the Council’s attempts to resolve the major conflicts of the past two decades, you’ll find a litany of disagreements and vetoes. Is it time for an overhaul? To discuss this, Oksana is joined by Swaran Singh, Professor of Diplomacy and Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Source: Russia Today

Why Indians face breathing toxic air for years to come

“The United Nations Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security” – so reads the description of the body on the UN website. But if you take a look at the Council’s attempts to resolve the major conflicts of the past two decades, you’ll find a litany of disagreements and vetoes. Is it time for an overhaul? To discuss this, Oksana is joined by Swaran Singh, Professor of Diplomacy and Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Source: Russia Today

Bangladesh look to seal ODI series against Ireland

Bangladesh are looking forward to wrapping up the three-match ODI series without any trouble as they take on visiting Ireland in the second match tomorrow (Monday) at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

The match which starts at 2 PM will be aired live on T Sports Channel.

Bangladesh won the first match with quite ease as it was widely expected.

They put up their ODI highest 338-8 and then shot the visitors out for only 155 runs in 30.5 overs to claim a 183-run victory, comfortably their largest margin ever victory in this format.

At any stage, barring the first 10 overs when there was some swing for the pacers on offer, Ireland were no match for Bangladesh who have been invincible at own backyard for the last eight years. In this period they lost just two series-both against England.

It was the third bilateral series between Bangladesh and Ireland. While Bangladesh won the first bilateral series at home in 2008 by sweeping a three-match series, they drew the three-match series in Ireland by 1-1 in 2010. One match of that series was abandoned.

Overall the two sides so far played 11 matches, with Bangladeshi leading the contest comfortably with eight wins. Ireland won just two matches.

If the recent form and strength is anything to go by, Bangladesh are on course for another comprehensive victory to seal the series with a match to spare.

But Bangladesh's main target is to rotate the players in this series to create enough options for the upcoming World Cup. They got exactly what they wanted with Towhid Hridoy paying the faith, hitting 92 runs knock, highest by any Bangladeshi player on debut.

Now it's time for Yasir Ali to show his mettle. Well reputed as one of the most talented players, Yasir is yet to showcase his talent.

The Tigers opted to have rest today. Senior player Shakib Al Hasan who scored 93 and took one wicket in the first match, utilized the day off to return to Dhaka to join the convocation of his university (American International University of Bangladesh-AIUB) where he was conferred his BBA degree.

After being mauled by Bangladesh, Ireland were serious to put a good show in the second game, which turned out to be a 'do or die' game for them.

"At the halfway stage, we weren't too disappointed. The wicket was the best to bat on when we started but those 4-5 wickets cost us. We don't want to use lack of experience as an excuse but they did look in rhythm and played very well," Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie said after the first match.

"But the beauty of it is we will get another chance on Monday. We want to compete but do better than we did today, especially with the bat."

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (Captain), Liton Das, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Towhid Hridoy, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Rony Talukdar.

Ireland: Andrew Balbirnie (C), Harry Tector, Gareth Delany, Paul Stirling, Curtis Campher, Matthew Humphreys, Lorcan Tucker, Stephen Doheny, Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Benjamin White, Andy McBrine, Joshua Little.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Outgoing Sri Lankan envoy calls on President

Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Dhaka Prof Sudharshan DS Seneviratne paid a farewell call on President M Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban here this evening.

During the meeting, the outgoing envoy expressed his gratitude to the President for his cooperation in fulfilling his (envoy) assignment here, President's press secretary Md Joynal Abedin briefed newsmen later.

Referring to Bangladesh's long-standing bilateral ties with Sri Lanka, the President said there is an ample opportunity to strengthen the existing relations between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in various fields, including tourism, blue economy potentials trade and investment.

The Head of the State put emphasis on visit-exchange at both the public and private levels to utilize the potentials of the two countries.

President Hamid thanked the Sri Lankan government and its people for their heartfelt cooperation in the Rohingya issue.

The President also thanked the outgoing Sri Lankan envoy for successfully fulfilling his duties in Dhaka.

The high commissioner said Bangladesh has a huge potential in blue economy sector in the Bay of Bengal.

Moreover, there are huge opportunities to work jointly for the win-win development of blue economy sector, he added.

The high commissioner also invited Bangladeshi investors to invest in tourism, agriculture, shipping and logistic sector in Sri Lanka.

President's Office Secretary Sampad Barua, Military Secretary Major General SM Salahuddin Islam, and Secretary (attached) Md Wahidul Islam Khan were also present.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Revolution takes place in ICT sector in Bangladesh: Speaker

Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury today said a revolution has taken place in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector creating ample opportunities for educated youths in Bangladesh.

"Currently, the country is earning 1.50 billion US dollars annually and the architect of Digital Bangladesh, who is a brilliant son of this soil, Sajeeb Wazed Joy is planning to raise the income to five billion US dollars by 2025 next," she said.

The Speaker said this while addressing the 'Smart Employment Fair' organized for educated male and female youths who are interested in building a career in the ICT sector at Pirganj upazila parishad auditorium here as the chief guest.

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, spoke as the special guest.

Dr. Shirin said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the able daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, started the program of Digital Bangladesh in 2009.

Development in the ICT sector has effectively played a major role in Bangladesh's journey from a low-income country to a developing country.

"Under the guidance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy is working relentlessly and he has set a target to make the country developed and smart and the people as IT skilled human resources by 2041," she said.

State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak said Sajeeb Wazed Joy is the architect of Digital Bangladesh.

Following digitisation in the country, 12 crore people are now able to transact through digital channels and Sajeeb Wazed Joy wants to transform Bangladesh into a country of cashless transactions.

"Meanwhile, Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury has invented the concept of smart employment fair. The Awami League government is determined to end unemployment in the country by promoting freelancing and e-commerce,' Palak said.

On the occasion, a video 'Digital Bangladesh Amar, Smart Bangladesh' on the achievements and future plans of the government was screened and laptops were given to 10 people for achieving skills in freelancing and 20 smart women were given a cheque of Taka 50,000 each.

In addition, triumphant freelance entrepreneurs Noor Tajkia, Mehedi Hasan, Md. Sultana Begum and Md. Arifuzzaman Moon narrated their stories of success in freelancing at the event.

Chaired by Deputy Commissioner Dr. Chitralekha Nazneen, Kazi Tarana and Harunur Rashid moderated the whole function.

Pirganj Upazila Parishad Chairman Nur Mohammad Mondal, Acting President of Pirganj Upazila Awami League Professor Nurul Amin Raja, Superintendent of Police Md. Ferdous Ali Chowdhury, Upazila Awami League General Secretary and Pirganj Municipal Mayor Tajimul Islam Shamim, Humayun Kabir, Project Director of the Learning and Earning Project and Deputy Secretary Md. Humayun Kobir also spoke.

Pirganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer Biroda Rani Roy, leaders of local Awami League and its associate bodies, dignitaries and media workers were present in the ceremony.

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Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

RAB becomes people’s trust force: Home Minister

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today said the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has become a force of mass people's trust.

"The RAB has become a symbol of trust and confidence for people in the country due to its unparallel success in curbing militancy, extortion, piracy, robbery and also crime," he said.

The minister addressed as the special guest a programme marking the 19th founding anniversary of elite anti-crime force at its headquarters in the city's Kurmitola area.

Maintaining law and order is a precondition for development of a country, he said, adding that the RAB has been ensuring social security by stopping terrorism, extortion, robberies and frauds properly.

"The RAB has become a force of people's trust in ensuring public security," the home minister said.

He said the world heritage site Sundarbans is now free from piracy due to the praiseworthy work of the RAB.

Besides, the elite force brought 405 pirates in Chattogram and Cox's Bazar under the rehabilitation programme initiated by government, Kamal added.

He said the RAB arrested accused of rape cases, murder cases and kidnapping (abduction) cases and, therefore, the victims finally got justice.

On the human ground, the RAB has been standing beside the distressed, the poor and the disabled people.

The home minister said that RAB brought relief to the public by conducting successful operations against militants in the past.

Three thousand members of various militant organizations have been arrested since its inception, he said, adding the RAB is ensuring round-the-clock surveillance in the cyber world along with field level surveillance to suppress militancy.

Kamal said the RAB is following zero tolerance policy to fight militancy. The role of RAB is paramount in the successful operation along with other law and order personnel, he added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

One stop sales and service centre inaugurated at BSEC office

The One Stop Sales and Service Centre was

inaugurated today at the main office of Bangladesh Steel and Engineering

Corporation (BSEC) at Kawranbazar in the capital marking the 103rd birth

anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

BSEC Chairman Md Shahidul Haque Bhuiyan inaugurated the centre. The hot

number of the centre is 02-55012574.

BSEC directors and managing directors, officials and employees of other

subordinate bodies were present on the occasion.

After the formal inauguration, a special doa and munajat was offered, said a

press release here.

Speaking on the occasion, BSEC Chairman said the consumers would be able to

buy any product of bodies under BSEC as well as collect information and take

various services through this 'One Stop Sales and Service Centre'.

All products of various institutions under BSEC now came under the same

umbrella. Later, he visited the stalls of the service centre.

A discussion meeting was also held at the conference room of BSEC marking the

birth anniversary of Bangabandhu. BSEC directors Md Monirul Islam, Haider

Jahan Farash and Badrun Nahar were present, among others, on the occasion.

The release said that efforts are on to sign a Memorandum of Understanding

(MoU) between Okinawa Auto Tech Int (Pvt) Ltd of India and Atlas Bangladesh

Limited to manufacture and marketing energy-efficient and environment-

friendly electric bikes.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Seminar on Right to Information held at JNU

A seminar titled 'Right to Information Act and

Our Responsibility' was held at Jagannath University (JNU) campus here today.

JNU Public Relations, Information and Publication office and APA committee on

Right to Information jointly organised the seminar at the meeting room of the

Vice-Chancellor (VC) in the morning.

Information Commissioner (IC) Dr Abdul Malek addressed the seminar as the

chief guest with JNU VC Professor Dr Md Imdadul Hoque in the chair.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Malek said the right of access to information

will enhance the transparency in the society to ensure the free flow of

information and its publicity.

"Information should not be restricted and simultaneously, we have to put

priority to thoughts, conscience and freedom of speech," he added.

Acting Secretary of the Information Commission Md Abdul Hakim presented

keynote paper in the seminar.

JNU Treasurer Prof Dr Kamaluddin Ahmed and Registrar Engineer Md Ohiduzzaman

were present as special guests while Director of Public Relations and

Information and Publication officer Prof Dr Chanchal Kumar Bose conducted the


Deans of all faculties, Chairmen of various Departments and Chiefs of

different offices as well as provosts and proctor participated, among others.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Establishing pro-people newspaper is a big challenge: Hasan

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said it is a big challenge to present proper news items and establish a newspaper for the masses in the current era of competition in publishing news in the quickest possible time.

"In the last 14 years, the country witnessed an exponential growth of mass media side by side addition of many challenges. A competition of presenting the latest news quicker than other media has begun," he said.

"To do this, it is seen many times that some news items are published which are not correct and misleading. It occurs in online media to a great extent. So, responsibility is required side by side independence," added Hasan.

He was addressing, as the chief guest, the fresh publication ceremony of Dainik Desh Bartaman at the Jatiya Press Club here.

The minister said newspapers or any media are not for only presenting news or entertainment programmes rather a newspaper can open the third eye of the people or unearth many hidden issues.

Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary, said media can draw the attention of responsible officials about which society, state and government has no attention and it can give suggestions about what to do.

"We live in a multidimensional, democratic, debate-oriented society. Press freedom is very essential to build the democratic social system on a strong base," he said.

He said the extent of freedom the media enjoys in Bangladesh, the way it can freely write everything, is not possible in many developing countries of the world.

In many developed countries, media enjoys freedom as well as it also has to be responsible about their actions and publications, he mentioned.

Media has to pay fine or face punishment for making mistakes or presenting false news in those countries, he said.

The minister said there is no such instance so far in Bangladesh. Sometimes, Press Council rebuked some media as the council has no more power apart from rebuking.

"So, we need to ensure our concerted responsibility side by side press freedom," he said.

The information minister said a newspaper can also play a massive role in creating the thoughts of children, juveniles and youths.

"In our childhood, there were special pages for children in many dailies. I also wrote there and it was very enjoyable. But now there is no page for children. It has been lost. Newspapers have pages for cooking and fashion and make-up but children's page has been lost in many cases," he said.

He requested Dainik Desh Bartaman to publish a page for children at least fortnightly in the newspaper.

"It will play an important role for creating thoughts and flourishing the talent of our juvenile and youth," he said.

Appreciating investigative reporting on hidden issues in newspapers, Hasan urged the media to unearth the secret and hidden issues of society.

The AL joint general secretary said Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken many tremendous measures for the expansion of mass media in Bangladesh.

That is why, the number of daily newspapers was only 450 in 2009 and now it is more than 1250 while the number of television channels was only 10 in 2009 and now 36 TV channels are in transmission and more channels will start broadcasting soon.

Licenses have been given to 24 private radio channels and of them, 14-15 are in transmission while around three dozens of community radio channels have license and most of them are in transmission, he mentioned.

The minister said there has been a massive expansion of online media in the last 14 years as thousands of online media remain functional.

More than 5000 online media have applied for registration and several hundred online media have already got registration, he said.

Dainik Desh Bartaman Chief Editor Nasiruddin Chowdhury chaired the meeting while Daily Observer Editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) President Omar Faruque, Desh Bartaman Editor and Publisher SM Jamir Uddin, Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) Vice-President Manik Lal Ghosh and senior journalist Shahin-ul Islam Chowdhury addressed it, among others.

Later, the fresh launching of the newspaper was inaugurated with cutting a cake on the occasion.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha