Inside Bangladesh

Plant trees to maintain environmental balance: Chief Justice

Publish: 03:00 PM, 17 Mar, 2022


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Chief Justice Hasan Fayez Siddiqui has requested 180 million people to plant at least one tree to maintain the environmental balance. He made the request while inaugurating a tree planting program at the Supreme Court on Thursday (March 17) to mark the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and National Children's Day.

Justice Md Nuruzzaman of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Justice Obaidul Hasan, Justice Borhan Uddin, Justice M Enayetur Rahim, Justice Krishna Debnath and Justices of the High Court Division participated in the tree planting program.

At this time each judge planted a tree. Hundreds of fruit trees were planted in the tree planting program.

Earlier, at 7:10 am, on the 102nd birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the great architect of independence, Chief Justice Hasan Fayez Siddiqui paid homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Dhanmondi 32 by laying a wreath.


Chief Justice   Tree planting program   Bangladesh  


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Inside Bangladesh

Empowerment of the Third Gender: The Silent Revolution of the LDDP Project

Publish: 04:05 PM, 05 Apr, 2024


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Khairun is a member of the third gender community. However, unlike many others, she doesn't wander the streets or engage in indecent behavior, nor does she beg for money. Instead, she spends her time cutting grass when needed and giving time to children. She prioritizes taking care of her family members, which consumes most of her time amidst her busy schedule. Her dreams revolve around her entire family, and she's steadily advancing towards fulfilling those dreams. And the Livestock and Dairy Development Project (LDDP) of the Department of Livestock has been a companion in fulfilling that dream.

I am talking about Khairun Hijra from Kandapara village in the Kalia Haripur Union of Sirajganj Sadar, who is identified as a member of the third gender community. However, Khairun's notable identity now lies in being a full-time farmer and an active member of the livestock and dairy development project's PG Group. Her identification number is 68878-SC-03-11. Initially, Khairun embarked on her journey with 20 high-quality breed chickens, but presently, her farm accommodates 5 cows, 8 goats, and several chickens. Additionally, one of her goats gave birth two months adairy

Khairun Hijra started with 20 chickens but faced difficulties due to an unknown disease that killed a few chickens. She contacted the Upazila Livestock Office for advice. They suggested selling the remaining chickens and investing in goats or other livestock. Following their advice, she sold the chickens for nearly 10,000 taka and bought two goats at 5,000 taka each. However, her luck turned as now she has 8 goats in her farm. Similarly, starting with a cow, she now has 5 cows, allowing her to sell 7 to 9 liters of cow milk daily.

Khairun Hijra told Bangla Insider that, "I have received training at the Upazila Livestock Office. Then they gave me 20 chickens. However, I couldn't benefit much from them. So, I sold the chickens and bought goats instead. Later, I bought a cow. Now I have 5 cows, 8 goats, and quite a few chickens on my farm.

When asked about her plan regarding this farm, she said, "Everyone dreams of being successful. I also dream that one day I will become a successful farmer. For that, I need investment here, which is difficult and extremely challenging for me. Because of being a transgender, no one wants to lend us money. Especially, getting institutional loans is difficult for us. So if the government arranges interest-free loans for us, then I and  thousands of other transgenders like me can progress further. They can be self reliant. They won't have to beg. Besides, my request to the government is to consider providing goats or cows instead of chickens, which would be more beneficial.

It is to known that the Department of Livestock has formed Producer Groups (PGs) nationwide for small-scale farmers. The purpose is to organize these farmers through these PGs and provide various forms of assistance, especially training, technology, etc., and to achieve the desired development in the livestock sector through enhancing their capabilities. Throughout the country, there are a total of 6,500 PGs. Each group consists of approximately 20 to 40 members. Among the total 6,500 PGs, this one in Sirajganj is one and the only third-gender PG.

In the PG group, there is not only Khairun Hijra, but also 14 other members, making a total of 15 members in the PG group. Among them are Sohagi Hijra (68878-SC-03-12), Md Sabuj alias Shankhini (68878-SC-03-13), Shetu Hijra (68878-SC-03-15) and some others. All of them are active members of the PG Group.

Sirajganj District Hijra (Third Gender) Association President Md. Omar Farooq Rabbi told Bangla Insider that we are working with a 15-member PG team consisting of transgenders and hijras formed by upazila livestock. Upazila Livestock Department is giving us a lot of support. We receive different types of training, learned about the relationship between cattle and gender diversity, what are the duties and responsibilities of a PG team, duties and responsibilities of a team president, cashier and PG team policies.

He further stated, "We each save 100 taka per member every month. We have an account for our PG team at Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank. Initially, we received 20 chickens from the upazila. We take care of them and try to advance. We request the Livestock Department from our PG team to provide us with cows and goats so that we can become more self-reliant. So that, we won't have to rely on others anymore. We want to earn our living through our own work. We don't want to depend on anyone's charity. We have formed a team to show that the hijras want to work and earn their living like the mainstream society. If we receive cooperation from society, we too can lead a normal life.

Sirajganj Upazila Livestock Officer Dr. Md. Alamgir Hossain said, when we go to the railway stations or markets, we often see transgendes begging from others and the LDDP project had an opportunity to bring the backward communities into the mainstream. Dr. Nazrul Islam Jhantu Sir, the then regional director of Rajshahi first had this idea that if we can form a team with them, then they will be self reliant and they will no longer have to beg for money. They can be an equal part of the mainstream society. Based on this idea, we proposed it to the Department of Livestock. The authority accepted it. Then we provided them with training and initially gave them 20 chickens. Alongside, we provided chicken feed and utensils. From there, they are now in a good position.

Mentioning this hijra PG group of Sirajganj as an example, the upazila livestock officer said, We are proceeding with how to work with hijra on a larger scale. There are 2 thousand five hijras in Sirajganj district. We have plans to expand this group further. Now we give them only chicken in the beginning. But we have plans to give them cows or goats in the near future. If we can work with them on a larger scale, there will be a revolution in society.


Third Gender   LDDP Project   Department of Livestock  


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Inside Bangladesh

Govt transforming Coast Guard into three-dimensional force: PM

Publish: 04:49 PM, 10 Mar, 2024


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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government has been turning Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG) into a modern and three-dimensional force adding ultra-modern smart technologies, ships and helicopters to face the 21st century's challenges.

"None will lag behind. The coast guard will be made capable to face the 21st century's challenges with inclusion of modern technology based ships, helicopters and the force's communication system development," she said.

The premier said this while addressing a function marking 29th founding anniversary of the BCG and the BCG Day-2024 at the Coast Guard Headquarters in capital's Agargaon area.

She said her government is going to add high quality modern ship, maritime surveillance system-incorporated hovercraft and high speed boats to the coast guard fleet to make the force more modern and stronger.

At the same function, the premier also inaugurated Bangladesh Coast Guard Vsatnet Communication System and newly constructed six physical infrastructures at the BCG stations at Kutubdia, Maheshkhali, Mirsarai, Sandwip, Nidraskina and Shahpari Outpost.

The inclusion of the V-Satnet Communication System that will connect the coast guard with the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will enhance the force's communication and operational abilities, Sheikh Hasina said.

She said, "We have already given approval to purchase two helicopters and formed an aviation wing for the coast guard to make it a three-dimensional force."

The premier said her government has also consented to buy 4 more OPVs, 2 maritime version helicopters for patrolling and ensuring safety and security at the deep sea area.

She stressed securing the vast maritime boarders saying nowadays 90 percent business are being done by the marine ways.

She said her government has also nodded to construct nine replacement ships for the force.

The head of the government said already 16 ships and 138 boats were inducted to the force's fleet to strengthen its capacity.

The prime minister said they will increase the existing manpower of the force to 15000 in phases with its modernisation to enhance capability to ensure security in the vast sea areas and protect its resources.

Sheikh Hasina said a dockyard is being built at Gazaria in Munshiganj aimed at constructing, repairing and maintaining the vessels and ships.

The prime minister said her government is working to enrich the tourism sector alongside taking initiative to turn Bangladesh into an attraction hub of both the east and west.

She highly praised the coast guard personnel for standing beside the innocent and helpless people in the coastal belts by warding off many criminal acts.

She asked the BCG personnel to perform duties and responsibilities as the friend of the people.

Sheikh Hasina reiterated her government's commitment to transform the country into developed, prosperous and smart Sonar Bangladesh by 2041.

"The coast guard will play a special role in building the smart Bangladesh," she hoped.

She said the coast guard had emerged as a force in 1994 in line with a bill brought in the Jatiya Sangsad by the then opposition party Awami League.

The prime minister said the AL government has always attached priorities to the development of the Bangladesh Coast Guard.

Coming to power for the first time in 1996, she said her government took massive initiative for the force's development providing required logistic supports including giving lands for building its zones, adding different types of vessels and making infrastructure development.

Then, after coming to power for the second time, she said various infrastructures including coastal crisis management centre, accommodation of the officers and sailors of bases, officers' mess, sailors' quarters and administrative buildings have been built at the coast guard stations and outposts in coastal and remote areas.

The prime minister said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman enacted "The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act" in 1974 to establish the legal rights of the countrymen over the sea and marine resources.

She said the United Nations (UN) formulated such a law in 1982.

She also said her government has established rights on a vast maritime area after winning legal battles with neighbouring India and Myanmar maintaining friendly relations following the path of Bangabandhu.

The prime minister conferred Bangladesh Coast Guard Medals, Bangladesh Coast Guard (Service) Medals, President Coast Guard Medals and President Coast Guard (Service) Medals on its former and current personnel for their contribution and bravery.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Public Security Division Secretary of the ministry Md Mustafizur Rahman and BCG Director General Rear Admiral Mir Ershad Ali were present at the function.

At the outset of the programme, a smartly turned out contingent of the Bangladesh Coast Guard also gave a state-salute and guard of honour to the prime minister. A short video documentary on Coast Guard Vsatnet System was screened. Later, the prime minister enjoyed a cultural programme.


Coast Guard Bangladesh   Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina   Bangladesh  


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Inside Bangladesh

BGB being equipped with smart technology to protect frontiers: PM

Publish: 05:51 PM, 04 Mar, 2024


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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the government has been equipping BGB with state-of-the-art technology to ensure foolproof security at the frontiers and tackle transnational crimes.
 
"Smart digital surveillance and technical response system have been installed at borders aimed at ensuring foolproof security and facing inter-country terrorism," she said.

The premier was addressing as the chief guest a function marking the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Day-2024 at Bir Uttam Anwar Hossain Parade Ground at BGB headquarters in the city.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has set up a rudder at Shahparir Dweep in Teknaf of Cox's Bazar to enhance surveillance across the Bangladesh border with Myanmar.

"With installation of state-of-the-art, modern and time-befitting technologies, the operational capacities of the BGB to be enhanced while their eagerness for work and skill will be increased manifolds," she said.

Sheikh Hasina continued that they adopted the 'Border Guard Bangladesh Vision-2041' to turn it into a world standard and modern force.

"One day, the BGB will be built as world-class border protection force. And the BGB will always work at the frontiers being a symbol of trust of the people," she said.

The Prime Minister said her government has been pursuing the Vision 2041 to build Bangladesh as a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh by 2041 as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.

"We will build BGB as a smart force," she assured.

Sheikh Hasina said her government had enacted Border Guard Bangladesh Act, 2010 to make the force more stronger.

"We have built the BGB as the three-dimensional force. The force now can conduct operation in air, road and water ways. We purchased two helicopters for the BGB," she said.

Apart from these, the BGB has divided into five regions and five additional director generals have been entrusted with those, the premier said.

She continued that new units, sectors and regions have been set up in the paramilitary force aimed at bringing balance to its organisational capacity.

The premier said her government has appointed 35,517 personnel in the BGB in the last 15 years and planned to recruit 15,000 more by 2041.

She said they have first recruited women in the BGB in 2015 while 996 women are now working in the force.

The Prime Minister said training is a must for any disciplined force to enhance their professional capacities.

So, she said that the government has already set up a Border Guard Training Centre and College at Satkania in Chattogram while a complete training centre is being set up at Chuadanga district.

Bangladesh has so far built 1036 kilometers of frontier roads with India while 317-km with Myanmar, Sheikh Hasina said.
 
The Premier went on saying that they have built 62 BOPs which have brought 402-km out of 539 unprotected frontiers under surveillance while 242 more BOPs will also be installed.

She said that four battalions with India and Myanmar borders were installed while two in Sundarbans.

"The BGB personnel have now been able to smoothly protect the frontiers, check crimes and ensure safety and security of the lives and properties of the frontier people due to the measures taken by the government," Sheikh Hasina said.

She said BGB have always been standing by the people to protect their lives and properties and tackle anarchies like arson violence alongside protecting the frontiers.

"BGB has achieved confidence and trust of the people by standing beside them in their need," Sheikh Hasina said.

The premier appreciated BGB performance in discharging their duties with dedication and professionalism in ensuring security on the borders.

She also praised the BGB personnel for their role in checking smuggling in contraband goods and drugs, women and children, cross-border crimes and ensuring security of life and property of the frontier people.

Sheikh Hasina noted as well BGB role in maintaining security and safety at Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar alongside with the armed forces, police and RAB.

The Prime Minister said they have given shelter over 10 lakh Rohingyas in Bangladesh on humanitarian grounds and are now holding discussion with Myanmar to settle the problem by sending back their nationals.

"We're not going to engage in any altercation with them rather to hold talks to settle down the problem," she said.

To this end, the premier said they have set an example for the rest of the world to solve the land boundary problem with India by exchanging enclaves with each other in a peaceful manner following the Land Boundary Agreement enacted by the Father of the Nation.

She also said they also solved the marine boundary problems with neighboring India and Myanmar following the law enacted by the Father of the Nation in 1974 to pave the way of establishing rights on the marine resources.

The Prime Minister has asked the BGB personnel again to maintain discipline and chain of command of the force.

"Maintaining chain of command is crucial for any disciplined force. Keep it in mind, never breach the discipline and maintain the chain of command," she said.

Against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war and attack in Gaza, the premier reiterated her call to bring every inch of fallow lands under cultivation to grow more food as Bangladesh doesn't need to seek help from anyone.

"Use every inch of your land at home and office premises for cultivation. Everyone has to contribute to this end," she said.

Sheikh Hasina described the 25-26 February, 2009 incident in the paramilitary force as very unfortunate in which 74 people including 57 personnel of the force were killed.

"They who committed the incident have already brought to the justice. So, no such incident will take place (in the force in the days to come)," she said.

The premier recalled those who were killed at that gruesome incident and prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and conveyed deep sympathy to their bereaved families.

The premier also unveiled a sculpture of Bangabandhu titled "Prerona" at the BGB headquarters in Pilkhana.

On her arrival at the BGB headquarters, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Senior Secretary of the Public Security Division Md. Mustafizur Rahman and Director General of the BGB Major General Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman Siddiqui received the premier.

At the outset of the programme, the Prime Minister reviewed the parade riding on an open jeep accompanied by the BGB DG and escorted by the parade commander.

She, later, witnessed the spectacular parade of the four contingents along with the national flag bearing party of the paramilitary force and took a state salute from the welcome dais.

The prime minister later distributed the BGB Medal, President BGB Medal, BGB Medal-Service, and President BGB Medal-Service among 72 selected BGB personnel for their operational and non-operational outstanding contribution.

She later joined a traditional interactive "darbar" of the BGB.


BGB   Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina   Bangladesh  


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Inside Bangladesh

PM asks police to serve people, control terrorism

Publish: 01:55 PM, 27 Feb, 2024


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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked the police force to serve the people and play an active role in containing militancy, terrorism and corruption.

"I ask the police force to serve the countrymen. The main motto of the police is to prevent bad people and to protect good ones. We always want the police to earn confidence and trust of the people through their works," she said.

The premier made the remarks while inaugurating the Police Week-2024 in the capital's Rajarbagh Police Lines this morning.

She reminded the police force that people first look for shelter to the police if they fall into any danger.

"So, we expect police to work with profound patriotism and they will have more affection for the people," she said.

The prime minister reiterated her commitment to continue drive against the militancy, terrorism, drug abuse and corruption.

"Police force will have to play active role in pursuing the government policy," she said.

She also said it is mandatory to maintain peace and stability for development and prosperity of the country.

The prime minister said the people of Bangladesh will not live by begging to any country rather to move around the globe keeping their heads high with due dignity.

"So, we have to increase our food production and make our economy more developed," she said, reiterating her call to the countrymen to grow more food by cultivating every inch of land.

The premier said they are committed to transforming Bangladesh into a developed, prosperous and smart one by 2041.

"The police force will have to play a special role in the journey of Bangladesh towards prosperity," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has been working to make police a smart, time befitting force equipped with modern technologies due to the new dimension of crimes.

Prior to opening the police week, the prime minister reviewed the parade of the Bangladesh Police riding on an open jeep and took the salute.

Different police contingents staged a spectacular parade to mark the police week.

The theme of this year's Police Week is 'Smart police, smart country, Bangladesh is of peace and progress'.

The premier awarded thirty-five policemen Bangladesh Police Medal (BPM-bravery) and 60 others President Police Medal (PPM-bravery) in recognition of their courageous work.

In addition, 95 policemen got BPM service medal while 210 PPM service medal as well.

Earlier on her arrival at the venue, the prime minister was received by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Public Security Division Senior Secretary Md. Mustafizur Rahman and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun. 

Cabinet members, parliament members and senior government officials were present. 

At the outset of the programme, the national anthem was played.


(BSS)



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Inside Bangladesh

PM attributes country's development to independent judiciary, strong parliament

Publish: 09:18 AM, 25 Feb, 2024


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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government has taken various initiatives to ensure justice for people, attributing any country's development to independent judiciary, strong parliament and administration.

"After assuming power, we've made the judiciary totally independent separating it from the administration, which was the vision of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," she said.

The premier said this while addressing the closing session of the two-day International Conference on "South Asian Constitutional Courts in the Twenty-First Century: Lessons from Bangladesh and India" as the chief guest at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) here.

She said once judiciary was dependent on the government for financial ground. But, her government has separated the judiciary by allocating separate budget for it, she said.

The Awami League government, as well, has enacted a law for the formulation of Election Commission (EC) as it was earlier attached to the Prime Minister's Office, Sheikh Hasina said.

"We've also made the EC completely independent and allocated separate fund for it," she said, adding, "That means, we believe it, and for that purpose, the Awami League government could make it."

Apart from ensuring the independence of the judiciary, the government has made EC independent for the sake of election system so that it could ensure the rights of the people properly.

The prime minister said she wants the people of her country to get justice.

"Like us, they, as if, aren't to be subjected to injustice. So, the rights of getting justice and democratic, economic, social and cultural rights of the countrymen will have to be ensured," she said.

Highlighting initiatives taken by the Awami League government, she said since her government assumed office; they have started implementing different programs so that people get justice.

Referring to the government's announcement to transform Bangladesh into Smart Country by 2041, Sheikh Hasina said, "I want the judiciary to be Smart as well."

She said the government has included an article in the Constitution as per the High Court verdict declaring illegal grabbing of state power a punishable offence.

"By this inclusion, I can say that the basic democratic rights of the people are protected," she added.

She extended her gratitude to the Chief Justice of Bangladesh as she described his various initiatives to make the Judiciary smart.

Sheikh Hasina also thanked the Higher Court for delivering verdict that declared illegal the 5th and 7th amendments of the Constitution done by the military rulers to grab state power through proclaiming martial law.

"It has contributed to the country's socioeconomic advancement ensuring democratic consistency of the country since 2009. It also helped keep continuing stable situation in the country since then," she observed.

She added that this historic verdict of the higher court gave breathing space of the people of the country.

Sheikh Hasina said it is a proven truth that getting justice in people's life and socioeconomic development can only be done when the basic rights of the people are ensured and thus a country can move towards prosperity.

She continued: "By the 15th amendment of the Constitution we have strengthened the democracy."

The head of the government said that Bangladesh has achieved the recognition of developing country which will come to effect from 2026.

"Inshaallah by 2041, we will be able to make country as developed and prosperous Golden Bangladesh to materialise the ideals of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," she added.

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq spoke at the function as special guest while Indian Chief Justice Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud spoke as guest of honour.

With Bangladesh Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan in the chair, Appellate Division Justice M. Enayetur Rahim delivered the welcome address.


(BSS)



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