Dhaka to raise “shortcomings” of US HR report to Washington

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam today said the US's 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Bangladesh contains some "fundamental shortcomings and mistakes" and Dhaka will raise those to Washington.

"We will raise these shortcomings with the US side so that such things do not exist in the next year's report," he told reporters at the foreign ministry here.

The state minister said there will be high-level bilateral meetings at various levels between Bangladesh and US where Dhaka will discuss the issue.

Alam said the report use open sources like "controversial" rights group Odhikar which operation has been suspended in Bangladesh.

He said such report's credibility gets lost if there are continuous shortcomings. "We will look into it further whether there is any issue that we need to take into consideration at all."

The state minister said Dhaka expects that all countries also will maintain distance from those organisations, which are not registered in Bangladesh

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Probe report in DSA case against ex-SP Babul April 27

A Dhaka court today fixed April 27 for submission of the investigation report in a case filed by Police Bureau of Investigation (PIB) against former SP Babul Akhter, journalist Elias Hossain and two others.

Two other accused are Babul Akhter's brother Md Habibur Rahman Labu, 45, and father Md Andul Wadud Miah, 72.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Ashek Imam fixed April 27 as the new date as the investigation officer of the case failed to submit it today.

On September 27 last year, PIB Chief Bonoj Kumar Majumder filed a case with Dhanmondi Police Station against Babul and three others under Digital Security Act and Special Power Act.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Ekushey Padak winner sculptor Shamim Sikder is no more

Renowned sculptor Shamim Sikder passed away at a city hospital today at the age of around 70.

She breathed her last around 4.30 pm while undergoing treatment at United Hospital, family members said.

Shamim Sikder had long been suffering from various health complications, including heart and kidney diseases.

Born on October 22 in 1952, the sculptor was awarded Ekushey Padak in 2000 by the government of Bangladesh.

In 1974, Shamim built a sculpture in Dhaka Central Jail to commemorate Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Her other notable works are: Shoparjito Shadhinota (1990) and Swadhinata Sangram (1999).

Shamim enrolled at Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts at the age of 15. In 1976, she moved to Sir John Cass School of Art in London.

She served as a faculty member at Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka during 1980-2001.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Mosques urged to follow same procedure of ‘Khatam Taraweeh’ during Ramadan

Mosque authorities across the country have been advised to follow the same procedure of 'Khatam Taraweeh' during the holy Ramadan.

Islamic Foundation (IF) in a press release said Muslims read a specific part of the Holy Quran during Taraweeh prayers in almost all the mosques of the country but some mosques do not follow this.

But Muslims who travel different places cannot maintain continuity in the recitation of the Quran, it said.

IF has requested to recite first nine paras of Quran in the first six days of Ramadan with 1.5 paras every day and 21 paras (one para each day) from the seventh Ramadan to complete Quran recitation by the night of Shab-e-Qadr.

"Mosque committees, imams and others concerned were requested to follow the procedure of reciting the Quran during Ramadan," it said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

BNP expels Shaukat Mahmud from its all posts

BNP has expelled party’s vice chairman Shaukat Mahmud from its all posts.

“BNP has taken this decision to expel him for his involvement in activities against party discipline,” said a press release signed by BNP deputy secretary Taiful Islam Tipu today.

According to the press release, Shawkat Mahmud was expelled from all positions, including vice chairman and primary membership of BNP.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Bangladesh is on right track, Momen tells at Harvard University

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said Bangladesh is on the right track under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in realizing the ‘Sonar Bangla’ as envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”.

He remarked this as the keynote speaker at a roundtable discussion titled ‘Bangladesh: Achievements, Challenges and Way Forward’ organized by The Ash Center of Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University on Monday, a press release said here today.

The roundtable discussion was well-attended, with significant participation of faculty members, researchers and post-graduate students of Kennedy School.

The event provided a unique opportunity for policymakers, academics and experts to engage in discussions on Bangladesh's success in the domestic and international arena, the challenges it is currently facing and promises it holds.

The Foreign Minister emphasized Bangladesh’s phenomenal progress in its economic and developmental landscapes, including poverty alleviation, women empowerment, natural disaster management, digital transformation as well as power and transport infrastructure development.

Momen presented Bangladesh's success stories of evolving into a resilient economy, a connecting hub and an investment destination.

Underlining the roadmap for development, he stressed the role of technology, innovation and research in realizing the vision of ‘Smart Bangladesh’.

He also discussed about Bangladesh’s geopolitical realities of the region and beyond.

Momen shed light on the role and contributions of Bangladesh in the regional context, articulating the importance of cooperation and partnership, particularly with neighboring countries.

The Minister stated that Bangladesh is committed to promoting peace, harmony and stability in the region and beyond in accordance with its foreign policy objective “Friendship to all, malice towards none”.

The discussion also focused on tackling the challenges posed by the Rohingya crisis, climate change adversity, pandemic fallout as well as ramifications of global political, financial, economic and security uncertainties.

Anthony Saich, Daewoo Professor of International Affairs of the Ash Center and Director of the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia at Harvard Kennedy School delivered the welcome remarks while Consul General of Bangladesh in New York Dr. Mohammad Monirul Islam made the closing remark.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

700 students get stipend in Chandpur

A total of 700 students who achieved GPA-5 in SSC and HSC examinations for academic years 2021-2022 got stipend at a function on the occasion of 103rd birthday of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman here today.

Chandpur district administration organized the function in Zila Parishad premises this morning.

Zila Parishad Chairman Osman Goni Patwari presided over the function. It was addressed, among others, by Deputy Commissioner Kamrul Hasan, district unit Awami League President Nasir Uddin Ahmed, Secretary Abu Noim Patwari Dulal, Additional Police Super Sudipta Rai and Zila Parishad Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Mizanur Rahman.

Stipend worth of Taka 14 lakh was distributed at the function

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

AL always comes to power through people’s votes: Asaduzzaman

Home Minister Bir Muktijoddha Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today said Awami League (AL) always comes to the power through the people's votes.

"Awami League never ever came to the power through any gun battle or conspiracy rather AL always comes to the power through the votes of the people," the home minister told a freedom fighters rally at Police Lines Ground here this evening.

Responding to BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's statement on their possible reluctance to participate in any election under the AL government, he said, "BNP always tried to resist elections, they have become unpopular to the people."

The minister categorically said, "We don't care if people are on our side. Whatever they (BNP) conspired is not for us to see. What we need to see that what people or countrymen want."

He said, "I travel all over Bangladesh, there is only one party in Bangladesh, that is only Sheikh Hasina, there is no alternative to Sheikh Hasina. As long as Sheikh Hasina will be alive, Bangladesh will remain bright."

About the ideals of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he said, "Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has always told us that she is only carrying out Bangabandhu's ideals and plans to implement them."

Asaduzzaman said due to pragmatic steps under visionary leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh is going to be one of the most advanced nations in the world.

"In 2041, we will surely be a developed Bangladesh under her leadership,' the home minister hoped.

The Bangladesh police force, he said, has come to the place of people's trust at present as they are serving for the people.

Mentioning the heroic sacrifice of country's freedom fighters, the home minister said, " Due to ensure freedom of the country, the freedom fighters stood up after being idealized by the ideals of Bangabandhu and embraced the martyrdom even snowing that the death was certain and the fighting against a well-equipped the then Pakistani occupation forces was not an easy task."

"They did not care whether they would return home or not. These freedom fighters did not even think that they would burn houses and destroy everything," he added.

The minister said Bangabandhu's daughter has done many things for the freedom fighters through increasing allowances, all kinds of opportunities and honours at all stages.

He also thanked the prime minister for giving 'Joy Bangla' as the status of national slogan.

Lawmakers -- Asaduzzaman Noor, Bir Muktijoddha Aftab Uddin Sarkar and Rabeya Alim, former MP Golam Mostafa, additional DIG of Rangpur range of police Mizanur Rahman, Nilphamari Zilla Parishad Chairman Mamatazul Haque, Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Ghosh, Police Super Mohammad Mostafizur Rahman and Nilphamari Municipality Mayor Dewan Kamal Ahmed, among others, spoke.

Earlier, in the afternoon, the home minister unveiled the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Plaque (mural) on the premises of Nilphamari police super office.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Rangpur region to produce record 2,06,930 tones of Aush rice

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has fixed an all-time record target of producing 2,06,930 tones of clean Aush rice (3,10,395 tones of paddy) for Rangpur agriculture region this season.

The DAE officials said farmers have already prepared Aus rice seedbeds on 762 hectares of land against the target of preparing the same on 3,354 hectares in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari districts of the region.

Farmers are expected to start transplanting Aush rice seedlings in their croplands from next month.

“Transplantation of Aush rice seedling will get momentum from May and continue till the first week of June next,” additional director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Md. Aftab Hossain said.

He said Aush rice cultivation continues to expand to increase rice production amid changing climate for the last ten years following various pragmatic steps taken by the government.

The steps include distribution of special intensives among small and marginal farmers, conducting motivational campaigns and providing technical support to farmers.

“Cultivation of the less irrigation water consuming and short duration Aus rice is expanding persistently as an additional crop during the off-season between Boro rice harvest and Aman rice seedling transplantation,” Hossain said.

Last year, farmers produced 1,78,777 tones of clean Aush rice (2,68,165 tones of paddy) from 63,680 hectares of land in Rangpur agriculture region.

Earlier, farmers produced over 1.94-lakh tones of clean Aush rice from 62,090 hectares of land in 2021 and 1.83-lakh tones of clean Aush rice from 59,092 hectares of land in 2020 in the region.

Farmers produced 1.48-lakh tones of clean Aush rice from 47,552 hectares of land in 2019, 1.23-lakh tones of clean Aush rice from 40, 618 hectares of land in 2018, 73,543 tones of clean Aush rice from 24,717 hectares in 2017 in the region.

“Besides, farmers produced 65,505 tonnes of Aush rice from 21,751 hectares of land in 2016, 61,676 tonnes from 21,063 hectares of land in 2015, 59,685 tonnes from 19,205 hectares in 2014 and 51,722 tonnes from 17,523 hectares of land in 2013,” he added.

Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur Agriculturist Md. Obaidur Rahman Mandal said Aush rice cultivation has already become popular among farmers following various effective steps taken by the government.

Apart from carrying out motivational campaigns for Aush rice cultivation, the DAE continues distributing special incentives in terms of quality seeds and fertilisers among farmers free of cost and reaching the latest technologies to their doorsteps.

"After harvesting Aush rice by mid-August, farmers can easily cultivate Aman rice on the same land to enhance rice production for attaining sustainable national food security,” he added.

The Independent Medal 2018 (food security) winner Agriculturist Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid hailed the government for providing incentives to farmers for expanding cultivation of the less irrigation water consuming Aush rice as an additional crop.

Dr. Mazid suggested farmers expand cultivation of Aush rice, mostly using unused rainwater during May, June and July, adopting the latest technologies to increase rice output for ensuring national food security amid adverse impacts of climate change.

Talking to BSS, farmers Manik Mian, Ariful Haque Batul, Ayub Ali and Mofizar Rahman of different villages in Rangpur said they are preparing their lands for transplantation of Aush rice seedlings from next month.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Ambassadors of Turkey, Philippines present credentials to President

President M Abdul Hamid received credentials from the ambassadors of Turkey and Philippines to Bangladesh in two subsequent ceremonies and they were ceremonially welcomed at Bangabhaban here this evening.

The envoys are Ramis Sen of the Republic of Turkey and Leo Tito L. Ausan Jr. of the Republic of the Philippines.

Receiving their credentials, the President appreciated Bangladesh ties with the two countries and urged them to play an important role as envoys particularly to enhance trade and economic relations for the mutual benefits, President's press secretary Md Joynal Abedin told BSS.

The bilateral relations with the countries will further be expanded during their respective assignments here, the head of the state expressed hope.

Immediately after submitting his Letter of Credence, Turkish ambassador held a brief meeting with the President, where he mentioned the longstanding bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Turkey.

Referring to the losses in the recent earthquakes in Turkey, the President again conveyed his sympathy to the bereaved family members and said Bangladesh would stay beside the government and people of Turkey at all regional and international platforms as very faithful and old friends in days to come.

On Rohingya issue, the head of the state expressed his gratefulness to the Turkish government and its people for their support in this connection.

Later, during the meeting with the Philippines ambassador, the President mentioned that the Philippines government and its people provided heartfelt support to the 1971 Liberation War and subsequently it is one of the countries which recognised Bangladesh after Liberation War at the beginning stage.

Terming the bilateral relations between the two countries as excellent, Hamid urged the Philippines government to explore the untapped potential areas in bilateral trade and investment, including pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, light engineering and jute products etc.

The two sides can also explore cooperation in disaster management, healthcare sectors, the President added.

President Hamid also requested the Philippines government to support Bangladesh's application for ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partnership.

President Hamid assured the envoys of his all-out cooperation in discharging their duties in Bangladesh in cementing further Bangladesh relations with the countries.

Praising the socio-economic development of Bangladesh, the ambassadors told the President that they would provide their possible all-out cooperation to Bangladesh government during their respective assignments here.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, secretaries concerned and high officials to the President, among others, were present.

Earlier on their arrival at Bangabhaban, a contingent of the horse-mounted President Guard Regiment (PGR) offered the ambassadors guards of honour as part of ceremony.

The national anthems of the respective countries were also played by the army band and the Ambassadors made a round of inspection of the guards of honour

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

PM determined to build Smart Bangladesh by 2041: Speaker

Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad Dr Shirin Sharmim

Chaudhury has said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is marching forward for building a smart Bangladesh by 2041.

"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is progressing amid expressing strong

commitment for building smart Bangladesh through Information Technology,

practice of knowledge and science and inclusive economic development by 2041", she said.

Dr Shirin Sharmin said as the chief guest while attending a programme titled

'Nordic Day-2023' jointly organized by embassies of Denmark, Norway, Finland

and Sweden in Bangladesh at Radisson Blue Water Garden hotel here on Monday.

Royal Norwegian Ambassador to Bangladesh Espen Rikter-Svendsen, Swedish

Ambassador Alexandra Berg von Linde, Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh, HE Ms.

Winnie Estrup Petersen and Ambassador of Finland to Bangladesh Ritva Koukku-

Ronde, among others, attended the function.

Seeking cooperation from the Nordic countries, the Speaker said, "We need

assistance from the Nordic countries for safely repatriation of the Rohingyas

from Bangladesh as excellent relations and necessary development aid are

already being exists between Bangladesh and the Nordic countries".

Even the peoples of Bangladesh are always remember the Nordic countries

cooperation which had been extended on the way to fulfill the target of the

Independence achieved under the leadership of Father of the Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Noting the diplomatic relations with Nordic countries, the Jatiya Sangsad

Speaker said Bangladesh is celebrating the 50 years of diplomatic relations

with the Nordic countries, saying that the relations need to be more

strengthen and sustainable as develop partner of the Nordic countries.

Noted diplomats, elite personalities, invited guests and representatives from

Mass media were also attended at the function.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

HandM contributes books, mannequins to BGMEA Innovation Centre, BUFT

HandM Group, a globally renowned multinational retail-clothing company, has contributed books and dressmaker mannequins to the Centre of Innovation, Efficiency and Occupational Safety and Health (CIEOSH) and BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) to support the education and skill development of the next generation of RMG professionals in Bangladesh.

The books and mannequins will be important tools for the students of BUFT as well as trainees of CIEOSH, as they gather knowledge and learn the necessary skills and techniques needed to create high-quality garments.

Ziaur Rahman, Country Manager of HandM Group, presented the books and mannequins to Faruque Hassan, President of BGMEA at BGMEA Complex at Uttara in the capital today.

The ceremony was also attended by Miran Ali, Vice President of BGMEA, said a press release.

"Education is key to further increasing diversification and enabling a sustainable transition for the RMG sector. From HandM Group we believe in the strength of cooperation and collaboration with our industry partners, and we are glad that we could make this contribution to BUFT and its students," said Ziaur Rahman, Country Manager, HandM Group.

"Bangladesh's RMG industry is pursuing a vision of sustainable growth where our key focus is on transition from volume to value and quantity to quality. In alignment with our vision, the key priorities for the industry are innovation, technological upgradation, environmental sustainability, productivity and efficiency enhancement and skill development," said Faruque Hassan, President of BGMEA.

"The initiative of HandM Group to contribute books and dressmaker mannequins to CIEOSH and BUFT is highly appreciated. It demonstrates their commitment to supporting the education and skill development of the next generation RMG professionals. We would like to thank HandM for their support to the industry's pursuit of sustainable development." he added.

The Centre of Innovation, Efficiency and Occupation Safety and Health (CIEOSH) established by BGMEA at its headquarters in Uttara, Dhaka aims to support Bangladesh's RMG industry with knowledge, skills and technical know-how to meet future challenges and enhance its competitiveness.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha