Inu terms BNP, Jamaat enemies of democracy

inuBNP and the Jamaat-e- Islami are enemies of democracy, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) President and Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said on Friday. Bangladesh would be in danger if it could not be protected from them, he said speaking as chief guest at JSD Dhaka divisional council at Shaheed Col Taher auditorium in the city.

Inu said BNP chief Khaleda Zia is the patron of militants, razakars and war criminals.

Begum Zia would not be eligible for taking part in talks on democracy and election until she quits the militants, razakars and war criminals.

Presided over by JSD Joint General Secretary Iqbal Hossain Khan, the meeting was addressed, among others, by Shirin Akhtar, MP, Nazmul Haq Prodhan, MP, Lutfa Taher, MP, Nurul Akhtar and Karim Sikder.

Councillors of Dhaka, Manikganj, Narayanganj, Narsingdi, Gazipur, Munshiganj, Faridpur, Rajbari, Gopalganj, Madaripur and Shariatpur attended the meeting.

The information minister said militancy of Jamaat-e-Islami, corruption, lack of participatory democracy, social disparity, politicization, killings and abductions are the dangers in the politics of Bangladesh.

He stressed the need for facing these dangers and running the country on the basis of four basic principles of the constitution. Special Correspondent

Sheikh Hasina returns home after successful Japan tour

image008Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned home Thursday morning concluding a successful four-day official tour. The special Biman flight landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 6:50am carrying the PM and her entourage.

In Japan she held talks with her Japanese counterpart on May 26 and then Japan pledged an assistance of 600 billion yen (equivalent to US$5.90 billion) to Bangladesh over the next five years. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country proposed formation of Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt in Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina, while meeting with Japanese Emperor Akihito invited the Emperor and Empress Michiko for visiting Bangladesh.

In a seminar on ‘Investment and Business Opportunities in Bangladesh’, she urged the Japanese businesses to invest in Bangladesh.

The PM addressed a luncheon hosted by Japan Bangladesh Committee for Commercial and Economic Cooperation, and invited them to be Bangladesh’s partners in business.

Sheikh Hasina also talked to a nine-member delegation of Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship League and spoke on ‘Education and Empowerment of the Youth’ at Waseda University in Tokyo. –Special Correspondent

Speaker Shirin Sharmin back home from India

shirinBangladesh Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury returned home from New Delhi on Wednesday (May 28) after attending Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.

During her India visit, she held meetings with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed various bilateral issues.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the overall development of the region would be ensured once the potential for development of South Asian countries are fully exploited through SAARC. He said this when Shirin Sharmin met him at Rastrapati Bhaban in New Delhi.

The Speaker also conveyed the note of greetings from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Indian President.

Earlier, the Speaker met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The new Indian Prime Minister assured Bangladesh of looking into two long-pending issues — Teesta water sharing deal and Land Boundary Agreement (LBA).

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said any problem with neighboring countries, including India, could be resolved through bilateral talks. “Policy difference is quite natural and that can be solved through bilateral discussions,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina was exchanging opinion with Japanese media at Japan National Press Club on the last day of her four-day visit on Wednesday. – (Special Correspondent & Our Monitor)

Marcia Bernicat next US ambassador to Dhaka

us envoy

Marcia Bernicat next US envoy to Dhaka President Barack Obama has nominated Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat to be the next US ambassador to Bangladesh, revealed a White House statement. She will replace present US envoy in Dhaka, Dan Mozena, when her appointment is finalised. Mozena’s tenure will end in October. Marcia Bernicat served in the State Department as Office Director for India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan in the Bureau of South Asian Affairs from 2006 to 2008.

She is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources at the State Department of State, since 2012. She was previously US Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau from 2008 to 2011.
From 2004 to 2006, she was the Senior-Level Director and Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources at the State Department.
She also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados from 2001 to 2004, and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Lilongwe, Malawi from 1998 to 2001.

She is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources at the State Department of State, since 2012. She was previously US Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau from 2008 to 2011.

Earlier in her career, she was Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead, Consular Officer in Marseille, France, and Political/Consular Officer at the US Embassy in Bamako, Mali. – Our Monitor

Peace was there when I was in power: Ershad

ErshadFormer president and Jatiya Party chief Hussain Muhammad Ershad said there were no disappearances and murders in Bangladesh when he was in power. “Bangladesh is now a death pit. All I read in the papers are news of murders and abductions every day,” he said and raised questions: Is this the Bangladesh we wanted? Is there no way to stop this? These didn’t happen during my time. People used to sleep in peace then.

HM Ershad was addressing a meeting of Jatiya Party-leaning transport owners and workers of Dhaka at the party’s Banani offices on Thursday.

In his speech he advised Awami League government not to ‘interfere’ in police investigations.

“The government can stop these killings if they want. Just let the police do their job and stop making political approaches.”

“These didn’t happen during our time because we believe that those who indulge in crimes are criminals, and have no other identities.”

Ershad also said that former opposition party, BNP, and its ‘vengeful politics’ was responsible for the deterioration in law and order.

Jatiya Party replaced BNP as main opposition after the January 5 election, which the party participated despite Ershad’s reluctance. His wife Raushon Ershad now heads the Opposition in the 10th Parliament.

Ershad said Jatiya Party can bring the change that people wanted to see and urged his workers to strengthen the party.

Another source said, Jatiya Party is preparing for agitation to protest against abductions and killings, Opposition Leader in Parliament Raushon Ershad says. She, however, has asked the people to wait for a few days to learn about the nature of the movement.

Asked if the Opposition was happy about the government steps regarding the Narayanganj multiple murders, she said: “How can we be satisfied? The Jatiya Party wants the guarantee of natural death for the people.”  Special Correspondent

Modi (BJP) wins Indian election due to religion; Congress has no luck line

An apolitical analyst

mody nCongress could not allure voters with secularism this time in recent Indian national election. Or it can be said that the conception lost its glamour among the general people. Has it any glamour at all?

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a landslide victory in the election. The cause behind it, experts say, is religion. BJP is transparent in its identity as a religion-based political party.

Narendra Modi, the BJP chief, is clearly a religious minded person. He never plays hide and seek in this regard. Politicians here mark it as the root attraction for the victory of his party.

Most of the Indian people believe in religions. In this field there is no debate. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, others—all are very much devoted to their religions in the country. Some will say that in West Bengal most people are communists and not based on religion. This is not correct. It was seen that most of them are purely religion based persons and use communist identity for political reasons.

Analysts marked religion as the main force which pushed up Modi’s party BJP to such a historic victory.

Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the party is his mother and he will do everything for the mother. Here thinkers find something to be thoughtful. Everywhere in the world there is an agreed conception that country is the ‘motherland’, that means ‘country is my mother’. Patriotic and democratic people of India also respect the country as mother. This is the deep-rooted feeling of patriotism. In this circumstance Mr Modi terms his party as mother. Then what will be the condition of other parties, this is really a question comes out as a result of this Modi speech.

The BJP chief already sounded an order for the Indian home ministry to form a special department to investigate and find out the illegal immigrants coming (or came) from Bangladesh, Pakistan etc.

Bangladesh welcomed winning Modi. Here there is no clear picture about how many Indians are working and residing here legally or illegally and the government is not at all concerned about it. In transports gossiping people think the number between eight to ten lakh. Or it may be more than that, tea table gatherings reveal.

But in Dhaka, politicians and conscious section of people are thinking about the policy of India with its neighbors or world — whether it will be peaceful or not during Modi time.

It was said that most of the Indian people are religious minded and most of them are strong believers. Some of them are spiritually enriched. Few of them are a bit more firm than the real believers. Sometimes they cause clashes between the believers of different religions. A strong democratic system usually contains the situation in such cases.

Above all, a powerful Election Commission enriches India in flourishing democracy and feeling the country a pride of democratic standard.

How Mr Modi will rule this huge country? Will he be able to become a patriotic and popular ruler for all the people of India? India’s global image will depend on this lucky strongman. Global peace will also wait for his contribution. Indian democracy can guide him toward the humanitarian path. And he also can create one in his own way.

As the political analysts offer the credit to religion for the wide win of Narendra Modi’s BJP, they also blame the weakening secularism conception for the worst type of defeat for Congress candidates in this recently concluded Indian election.

congress symbolBut an astrologer, wishing not to be named, pointed out something other than that as the cause of Congress defeat. He said that Congress has no luck line. As the flag bearer of secularism Congress can bypass the faith on luck line and can firmly try to make it anyhow but this astrologer was firm on his point. He showed that Palm, the symbol of Indian Congress party, contains no Luck Line. He suggested the high-ups of the Congress to take a decision in the party meeting to draw a luck line in its symbol. Possibly they will need approval of the Election Commission for this. A lot of the fate of Indian people depends on it, he emphasized.

The whole world is waiting to see how the new prime minister of India runs the country—democratically or on Modism (Modi-ism).

Education top priority, says Sheikh Hasina

Sk Hasina pictureSheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, on Saturday said her government has given top priority to education to build an educated nation. No country can achieve desired development without education, she added.
She was speaking after receiving the results of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent examinations from Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid at her official residence Ganobhaban.
Sheikh Hasina greeted the students for their success in the examinations and said the main goal of her government is to uplift the country’s socioeconomic condition through ensuring the basic rights of people.
Slating the destructive activities of the BNP-led alliance for a couple of months at the end of 2013, she said it was not so easy to reach textbooks and educational materials to the students as well as taking their examinations at that time.
Talking about the importance of the vocational education, Sheikh Hasina said her government wants to see the students to get self-employed. She mentioned that the students who passed from vocational institutes would be able to get jobs both at home and abroad on their own.
She also talked to public representatives, students and teachers at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Manikganj through a video conferencing from her official residence Ganobhaban in the capital city. Four students — Asif Iftekhar Ifti, Pritu Parna Sarker, M Zaman and M Alamgir Hossain — talked to the Prime Minister.
Sheikh Hasina also congratulated all concerned, including the officials of the Ministry of Education, education boards and teachers of the educational institutions for their all-out cooperation in completing and publishing the results of the examinations in time.
This year, the results were published ahead of the stipulated time. As per the academic calendar, the results are supposed to be published within 60 days, but the Boards published the results in 58 days.
According to the results, the percentage of this year’s passed students is 91.34. A total of 13,03,331 students, out of 14,26,923, came out successful in this year’s SSC and equivalent examinations. A total of 1,42,276 students achieved the highest grade point average  (GPA) 5.
The individual pass rates of all eight general education boards are: Dhaka Education Board 93.94 per cent, Chittagong Board 91.94 per cent, Comilla Board 89.92 per cent, Jessore Board 92.19 per cent, Sylhet Board 89.23 per cent, Rajshahi Board 96.34 per cent, Barisal Board 90.66 per cent and Dinajpur Board 93.26 per cent.
The Madrasah Education Board saw 89.25 per cent pass rate while the Technical Education Board 81.97 per cent. Some 5,092 schools obtained 100 per cent pass rate.
–Special Correspondent

Jatiya Party to replace BNP soon: Ershad

BNP has lost its political prospect and Jatiya Party (JP) will soon replace BNP, said JP chairman HM Ershad on Monday. He said: Our future is very bright. We’ll soon outshine BNP and replace it. BNP is now out of politics. This party has no political prospect. HM Ershad was talking to reporters at a programme at his Banani office marking the joining of some leaders of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Rob) to Jatiya Party. “Why president of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury reacted to his remarks over BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s killer although he did not mention any body’s name?”. B Chowdhury recently branded Ershad as a ‘compulsive and pathological’ liar claiming that the Jatiya Party chief hinted that he had a hand in the killing of Ziaur Rahman. While speaking at the general meeting of Jatiya Jubo Sanghati at the Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh on Saturday, Ershad said, “I know who was there in his next room when Zia was assassinated. Khaleda Zia did politics with them for nearly 20 years.” He claimed that he was made accused in the Manzur murder case only to malign and disgrace him.—Staff Reporter

PM suggests legal action against Narayanganj killers Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered the state minister for home not to spare anyone involved in Narayanganj mayhem. Authorities have already removed and sacked three officials of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for their alleged link to the abduction of murders of seven people. One of them is the son-in-law of a senior Awami League leader and Cabinet member. The High Court has also ordered the Inspector General of Police to take immediate steps to arrest the former RAB officers. “I have been instructed to do whatever is legal,” State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told newsmen Sunday night after meeting the prime minister. He added that Hasina, who oversees the home ministry herself, told him not to be lenient with anyone. Kamal said that the army chief General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan also met the prime minister in the evening. Asked whether he received the HC order to arrest the former RAB officers, he said, “It didn’t reach until 5pm. “But I have heard it is on the way. By now, around 10:15pm it might have reached.

“We (the home ministry) are ready. Whatever the directives are there will be executed.”

The minister told reporters that they will act in line with the High Court’s order. The bench of justices Mirza Hussain Haider and Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar issued the order while hearing a petition for a judicial commission to investigate the crime.

The officers are former Lt Col Tarek Sayeed Mohammad, Major Arif Hossain of the army and naval officer Lt Commander MM Rana. Of them, Mohammad, who was the commanding officer of RAB-11, is the son-in-law of Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya. The trio were removed from RAB and sent back to their forces two days after seven including Narayanganj City Councillor Nazrul 10358034_307108339440903_1035276584_nHossain and senior lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar were abducted. They have been already sent to forced retirement. The High Court, in a suo-moto rule issued two days after the allegations against former RAB officers had surfaced, ordered institution of an administrative enquiry committee.The committee was formed two days after the rule as the receipt of the order was delayed. Relatives of the slain city councillor blamed RAB officers and demanded their arrest when the bodies floated over two days – on April 30 and May 1 – on the Shitalakhyya River in Narayanganj. Dr Bijay Kumar Pal, son-in-law of the murdered lawyer Chandan Sarkar, Narayanganj Lawyers Forum Chairman Shakawat Hossain and Mahbubur Rahman, executive president of local organisation ‘Amra Narayanganjbashi’ filed the plea Sunday. The petition also sought court directive to arrest the trio. –Staff Reporter

Healthcare services will reach doorsteps of people, says Sheikh Hasina

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Special Correspondent Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said that her government would continue its tireless efforts in reaching the healthcare services to the doorsteps of the people. She termed healthcare as a fundamental right. Healthcare service for the people is a constitutional obligation and her government would do whatever necessary to fulfill this obligation, she said while inaugurating the World Health Day programme from the Cabinet Division meeting room at the Bangladesh Secretariat. The Prime Minister talked through Video Conferencing with Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim and State Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Bir Bahadur– both of them were in Bandarban. The World Health Day is being observed in the country in a befitting manner as elsewhere in the globe. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has already made commendable achievement in controlling and eradicating vector borne diseases including Malaria, Kala-Azar, Filaria and Dengue, as her government implemented various effective measures. She mentioned the assistance of concerned development partners and the World Health Organization to make the government’s efforts a success. The Prime Minister said huge number of people – most of them children – die of vector borne diseases across the world. As a tropical country, Bangladesh is affected by various vector borne diseases, she said, adding that such diseases could sometimes be infected to many people causing death to huge number of them. She expressed with satisfaction that these diseases are under control following the effective measures of the government through identification of the diseases and ensuring of proper treatment. The government has been able to make 15 of the affected 19 districts free from Filaria while dengue fever is now under control in the country, she added.

Country must have counter-attack capability: Sheikh Hasina

Special Correspondent: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Bangladesh must have the capability of carrying out counter-attacks to protect its independence and sovereignty if it is attacked by any enemy. At the same time she termed Bangladesh a peaceful country in South Asia and it never wants to attack any country. She made the remarks while delivering her introductory speech at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Defence at Sher-e-Banglanagar I n the capital city Dhaka. Sheikh Hasina said the main responsibility of the Defence Ministry is to protect the country’s independence and sovereignty, and her government has been working to strengthen and modernize the defence system to this end. The Prime Minister, who also holds the Defence Ministry portfolio, said initiatives have been taken to reform and modernise three services under Forces Goal 2030 in light of the Defennce Policy formulated in 1974 as per directives of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mijibur Rahman. Laying emphasis on upholding the country’s dignity and imagetry, Sheikh Hasina said various organisations under the Ministry of Defence will have to work in a coordinated manner. She said a political party comes to power for a particular period of time, but the officials of the republic remain in their positions. Referring to the country’s huge sea boundary and water resources, the PM said Bangladesh won the case against Myanmar in an international court opening up the door of huge potential for water resources. Citing the country’s success in disaster management, she said the world community now considers Bangladesh as a role model in facing the natural and other disasters. She expressed her firm optimism that Bangladesh would certainly be a prosperous country by materialising the dreams of Bangabandhu of Sonar Bangla by the year 2021. Prime Minister’s Defense Affairs Adviser Major General (Retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, the chiefs of ten three services, Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder, Defense Secretary Kazi Habibul Awal and high officials of the Ministry were present on the occasion. The meeting with officials of the Defence Ministry was special one as the furniture used by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were used in the meeting. Those were used by Bangabandhu when he was the Prime Minister and the President of the country. The Defence Ministry which was the office of the then the head of the government is just beside Ganobhaban. The table and chairs used for the meeting were also used for cabinet meetings during Bangabandhu’s tenure after January 12, 1972.

Poll result not to change India’s Bangladesh policy: Pankaj Saran

Special Correspondent DHAKA: India’s policy towards Bangladesh will not change even if there is a change of regime in New Delhi after the elections, which started Monday, its High Cmmissioner in Dhaka, Pankaj Saran, said here on Monday. “Interest doesn’t really change with the government,” the high commissioner said He was presenting a lecture on India and its relations with Bangladesh at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) in the capital city.

Mr Saran was replying to a question on whether the relation with Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League-led government would remain same if BJP comes to power in his country.

He replied: Bangladesh-India ties witnessed a wide range of engagements in the last five-years when Awami League and Indian Congress Party ruled their respective countries.

Two fined at airport for stalking

Our Reporter: Two passengers of a flight of Emirates Airlines were fined at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Saturday on charge of stalking two female passengers. The two passengers were identified as Imon, 38, and Minto Shikder, 43. Airport sources said Imon and Minto landed at the airport by an aircraft of Emirates Airlines from Dubai at about 7:30 pm on Friday. They allegedly stalked two female passengers inside the flight. The two male passengers, who seemed to be drunk, followed the two female passengers when the plane landed at the airport and at one stage they gave them an indecent proposal, said an officer of Airport Armed Police (AAP). Members of airport armed police detained them following a complaint by the victims. Later, on Saturday a mobile court at the airport fined them Tk 5000 each. Meanwhile, the executive magistrate also fined two employees of Biman Bangladesh Airlines -Md Touhid Miah, 33 and Nazrul Islam Farazi, 30, of Tk 10,000 and Tk 5,000 respectively on charge of harassing one Shahidul Islam, a passenger who came here from Dubai.

Lightning kills 2 in Gazipur

Our Correspondent: Two people were killed by lightning in Kapasia upazila of the district Saturday night. The deceased were identified as Hiron Miah, 25, son of late Alim Uddin, a resident of Charnilaxmi village and Shahnaj Akhtar, 25, wife of Kajal Miah, a resident of Lohadi village of the upazila. Ahsan Ullah, officer-in-charge of Kapasia Police Station, said a thunderbolt hit Hiron at about 8:00pm while he was returning to his home, leaving him dead on the spot. In another incident, lightning struck Shahnaj when she was sitting at the courtyard of her house at night, leaving her dead on the spot.

Pallabi 6-murder case: 3 get death penalty

Our Reporter: The High Court on Sunday confirmed the death penalty of three of the four condemned convicts in the sensational Pallabi six-murder case over seven years ago. Another convict was acquitted. The HC confirmed the conviction of condemned convicts Masum Matabbar, Zakir Hossain Bahar and Kamruzzaman Kamrul. The HC acquitted Mohammad Azim of the murder charge. An HC division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Asaduzzaman and Justice Mohammad Shahidul Karim delivered the judgment after hearing the death references and appeals. Six people were hacked to death by the convicts at a house in the city’s Pallabi area on October 13, 2006. The deceased were identified as Khadiza, 15, Anna, 14, Manir, 12, Bakshi, Rizia, 42, and her son Tofel, 17. Later, Sirajul Haque, owner of the house, filed a case in this connection the following day. The Speedy Trial Tribunal Court-2 of Dhaka awarded death penalty to four people —Masum Matabbar, Zakir Hossain, Kamruzzaman Kamrul and Mohammad Azim — in the case in October, 2008. Advocate Shafiqul Islam stood for the convicts while Deputy Attorney General Bashir Ahmed and Farhad Ahmed represented the state.