Inside Bangladesh

PM to hand over 'Ekushey Padak-2024' today

Publish: 11:35 AM, 20 Feb, 2024


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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hand over the "Ekushey Padak-2024" to 21 eminent individuals today on the occasion of the Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day.

The premier will hand over the Ekushey Padak, the second highest civilian award in Bangladesh, at a programme at Osmani Memorial Auditorium here at 11 am.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday issued separate messages on the occasion of awarding the Ekushey Padak.

In the separate messages, both the President and the Prime Minister wished success of the event.

The nation is set to observe the "Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day" on February 21 to pay glowing tributes to the Language Movement martyrs who made supreme sacrifice for the cause of the mother language on this day in 1952.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin, in his message, said the Great Language Movement is an unforgettable event in the national history and the seed of Bangladesh's independence was sown through the language movement.

He recalled with respect the contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led the All Party Council for Struggle on State Language formed in 1948 to establish the right of mother tongue.

President Shahabuddin said the spirit of Amar Ekushey (1952's Language Movement) is an eternal inspiration for world people of different mother tongues to protect their respective mother languages.

The Head of the State paid profound respect to the memory of the immortal martyrs of the country's long struggle for independence, including the country's Great Language Movement of February 21, 1952.

"The United Nations has declared February 21 as International Mother Language Day and our mother language day is now become a festival of honoring mother languages of all," he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, paid her deep respect to the memory of all the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to protect and uphold the dignity of the mother language 'Bangla' on February 21, 1952.

With utmost respect, the premier remembered all language movement veterans, including the greatest Bengali of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led the fight for the dignity of the Bengali language.

As the martyrs of Ekushey are the illustrious sons of the nation, the recipients of the prestigious Ekushey padak in different categories are also pride of the nation, the prime minister said, adding that award-prize inspires people in their way of life although these personalities do not work for such awards or prizes.

With the spirit of Amar Ekushey, we are awarding the prestigious Ekushey Padak to all those who have made great contributions in various fields in the development of art, literature, science and culture and building an enlightened society in the country, Sheikh Hasina added.

Noting that during the tenure of the Awami League government, the amount of money given to the award recipients has been increased several times, she said in the last 2020, it has been increased to Taka four lakh each.

A total of 565 distinguished individuals and reputed institutions were awarded 'Ekushey Padak' in recognition of their contributions in various fields in national life, the premier mentioned.

The young generation following the path of this year's Ekushey Padak awardees and institutions will play an active role in building the 'Sonar Bangla' (golden Bangladesh) envisioned by the Father of the Nation and enrich our language and literature by practicing Bengali's glorious history, tradition, art, literature and culture in days to come, she hoped.

The premier said a total of 21 individuals will get the country's second-highest civilian award, the Ekushey Padak, this year in recognition of their contributions to various fields.

This year two people got the award in the Language Movement category, one in making documentation on the Liberation War, 11 in Shilpakala (acting, music, recitation, arts and painting), two in social service, one in education and four in language and literature.

Md Ashrafuddin Ahmed and valiant Freedom Fighter Hatem Ali Mia (posthumously) have been named for the award in the Language Movement category.

Jalal Uddin Kha (posthumously), Freedom Fighter Kolyani Ghose, Bidit Lal Das (posthumously), Andru Kishore (posthumously) and Shuvra Deb will receive the award in the category of Shilpakala (music) while Shibli Mohammad in Shilpakala (dance), Doly Zahur and MA Alamgir in Shilpakala (acting), Khan Md Mustafa Walid (Shimul Mustafa), Rupa Chakrabarti in Shilpakala (recitation), Shajahan Ahmed Bikash in Shilpakala (painting), Kawsar Chowdhury in Shilpakala (documentation), Md Ziaul Haque and Rafique Ahmed in social service, Muhammad Samad, Luthfur Rahman Ritan, Minar Mansur and Rudra Muhammad Shahidullah (posthumously) (language and literature) and Professor Dr venerable Jinabodhi (education) have been named for the awards.

The cultural affairs ministry confers the award with a gold medal, a certificate of honour and cash.



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Inside Bangladesh

IU closed until further notice, students asked to vacate halls


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Citing clashes and fatalities at various universities across the country over the quota reform movement, Islamic University (IU) has been closed indefinitely, prioritizing the safety of its students.

This decision was made at the 264th emergency syndicate meeting held on Wednesday (July 17th) at 10:30 AM, presided over by the Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Shaikh Abdus Salam.

A notice was issued, signed by IU acting registrar HM Ali Hasan in this regard.

Registrar’s Office Sources informed that considering the unforeseen circumstances arising at various educational institutions across the country, all academic activities of Islamic University will remain suspended until further notice, prioritizing the overall safety of the students. Male students have been instructed to vacate their hall by 1:00 PM on July 17 and female students by Thursday (18th July) 10:00 AM.


IU   Student Protest  


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Inside Bangladesh

9 killed as microbus, auto rickshaw plunge into Barguna river

Publish: 02:18 AM, 23 Jun, 2024


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At least nine people were killed and several others injured as a microbus, carrying a bridal party, plunged into a river after a bridge collapse in Amtali upazila of the district today.

The deceased were identified as Rubia ,45, wife of Rakibul Howladar, Raiti Khan,22, wife of Sohail Khan, Fatema,35, wife of Babul Matbar, Shahnaz Akhtar, 37, wife of Abul Kalam, and her  two daughters Tahiyat Mejbin, 7, and Tasfia Mubassera, 12, Farida Begum,48,  wife of Fazlur Rahman Khan, residents of  Kokararchar village of  Shibchar upazila in  Madaripur district,  Zakia, 35 ,   wife of Zahirul Islam and her  daughter Rukaid Islam, 5, resident of Taktabunia village of Amtali Upazila Haldia Union in Barguna district.

The accident occurred when they were going to attend a wedding ceremony in Amtali Municipal Town on a microbus while crossing the connecting bridge of Chawra Union and Haldia Union of the upazila around 2:30 pm this afternoon as the bridge collapsed into the Subandhi river, leaving at least 20 people injured, officer-in-charge (OC) of Amtali Police Station Kazi Tofazzal Hossain Tapu said.

Later, fire service and police personnel rescued the injured and took them to Amtali Upazila Health Complex where on-duty doctor declared nine of them dead, he said.

Golam Sarwar Tuku, MP of Barguna-1 constituency and Deputy Commissioner Rafiqul Islam visited the spot.

The bodies will be handed over to theirs family members after legal process, The OC added.


(Source: BSS)



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Inside Bangladesh

Farewell darbar held for outgoing army chief

Publish: 02:12 AM, 23 Jun, 2024


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The outgoing Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed received farewell ‘darbar’ here today.

He also exchanged views with the military officers, junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and other army personnel of different ranks, according to an ISPR press release.

Army personnel from all cantonments participated in the darbar through Video teleconferencing (VTC), the release added.

In his farewell address, the Army Chief expressed his special gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, saying that the Bangladesh Army has stood with its head high before the world today as a modern and smart force due to the sincere efforts of the premier.

He also expressed his sincere gratitude to all concerned for their full cooperation during discharging duties.


(Source: BSS)



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Inside Bangladesh

Over 17 lakh people marooned in Sylhet, Sunamganj floods

Publish: 02:07 AM, 23 Jun, 2024


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A devastating floods in Sylhet and Sunamganj inundated much of two northeastern districts leaving over 17 lakh people stranded and damaging standing crops and infrastructures.

 
Residents and officials of local administrations told BSS that 17,57,222 people have been marooned in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts as this year's second spell of flood submerged vast swaths of the two district creating huge suffering of the people.
 
Among the total people, who are marooned by flood water, 7.92 lakh people are in Sunamganj and 9.64 lakh people are in Sylhet, they added.
 
Officials of Sylhet district administration said the first spell of flood affected thousands of people in 13 upazilas and municipalities of Sytlhet district in late May and the flash flood prolonged first week of the current months leaving a large number of people marooned.
 
The authorities have set up 6,392 shelter centres after the second round of flood hit Sylhet and Sunamganj districts. As flood water started receding, people are going to home from shelter centres.
 
The Sunamganj district administration sources said flood water submerged 11 upazilas and Sunamgaj municipality.

Mayor of Sylhet City Corporation Anwaruzzaman Choudhury said, "Volunteer teams of city corporation are working to extend assistances for flood-hit people. We have arranged adequate amount of food at shelter centres."

A devastating flood, triggered by heavy rainfall and onrush water from hilly regions, have affected 20 lakh people in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts, according to a statement of UNICEF issued today.

 The statement, signed by Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh, read among 20 lakh flood affected people in two northeastern regions - Sylhet and Sunamganj - 7.72 lakh are children.
 
The UNICEF called for emergency assistances for flood-hit children as they (children) are the venerable segment of the population in case of any natural disaster.

Sheldon Yett said, "When flood waters are in rising trend, unsecured condition has created for children. They face different problems including drowning, malnutrition and various water-borne diseases."

The UNICEF in cooperation with of Bangladesh government and other organization working at field level have distributed safe drinking water among one lakh flood-hit people in Sylhet and Sunamganj to reduce their suffering.

Alongside distribution of drinking water, the UNICEF also distributed over 10 litre capacity 3000 water pots for the people in food-hit regions.

According to the UNICEF statement, 810 primary schools in Sylhet Division have been submerged by flood water while 500 primary schools are used as shelter centre for flood-affected people. As many as 140 community clinics have been damaged by flood waters in the Sylhet region, it added.
 
 Water levels at 59 river stations monitored by Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) have marked rise while 48 stations recorded fall.

Among the 110 monitored river stations, two have been registered steady and water levels at seven river stations are flowing above the danger level, a bulletin issued by the FFWC said here today.

The Teesta River is flowing at 15cm above danger level at Kaunia station while the Surma at Kanaighat, the Kushiyara at Amalsad, at Sherpur-Sylhet and at Markuli, the Old Surma at Derai and the Someshwari at Kalmakanda are flowing 35cm, 15cm, 18cm, 39cm, 23cm and 34cm are flowing respectively.

The Ganges-Padma rivers are in rising trend, which may continue in the next 72 hours, the bulletin said, adding that the major rivers in the North-eastern region of the country are in falling trend which may continue in the next 72 hours.

Overall improvement of the flood situation in various low-lying areas under districts of the North-eastern part of the country may continue in the next 72 hours.

According to the information from meteorological organisations, low to medium rainfall in next 24 hours and medium to heavy rainfall in the next 48 to 72 hours is expected in the Northern and adjoining upstream parts of the country.

As a result, the water level of Dudhkumar, Teesta and Dharla rivers in those regions may fall in the next 24 hours which may rise in particular time in the next 48 to 72 hours.



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Inside Bangladesh

Indian technical team to visit Dhaka soon to talk conservation of Teesta river: Modi

Publish: 01:59 AM, 23 Jun, 2024


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Sending a technical team by India to Bangladesh soon for a mega project to conserve and manage Teesta river, moving ahead to start negotiations on a comprehensive trade pact and boosting defence ties were among major outcomes of talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Saturday.

 The decision to send an Indian technical team to hold talks on the conservation of the Teesta river within Bangladesh assumes significance as China was keenly eyeing the estimated USD one billion project notwithstanding reservations by New Delhi.

Sheikh Hasina is expected to travel to China next month.

 In reflection of growing intensity in their ties, India and Bangladesh also firmed up a "futuristic vision" to further facilitate transformative cooperation in their engagement.

 Separately, the two sides signed 10 agreements providing for bolstering ties in a range of critical areas such as digital domain, maritime sphere, blue economy, railways, space, green technology, health and medicine.

 A major focus of the talks between the two prime ministers was to explore ways to shore up India-Bangladesh cooperation in digital and energy connectivity even as both sides resolved to work towards peaceful management of borders between the two countries.
 
Sheikh Hasina arrived here on Friday, becoming the first foreign leader to make a bilateral incoming visit to India after Modi became prime minister for the third straight term.
 
 In his remarks to the media after the talks, Modi said both sides agreed to start negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA).

 "To take our economic relations to new heights, both sides have agreed to start negotiations on CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement)," he said.

 Modi said an Indian technical team will soon visit Dhaka for talks on the conservation and management of Teesta river.

"Fifty-four shared rivers connect India and Bangladesh. We have been cooperating on flood management, early warning, drinking water projects. We have decided to start negotiations at the technical level for the renewal of the 1996 Ganga Water Treaty," he said.

"On the conservation and management of the Teesta river in Bangladesh, a technical team will soon visit Bangladesh for talks," he said.

 At a media briefing, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said the management of shared water resources is a crucial and sensitive matter. "Naturally, given our close and friendly ties with Bangladesh, cross-boundary river issues -- and Teesta is one of them -- become important," he said.

"It's less about water-sharing per se, it's more about the management of the water flows within Teesta river," he added.

 In his remarks, Modi described people-to-people contacts as the foundation of ties between the two nations and said India will launch an e-medical visa facility for people from Bangladesh coming to India for medical treatment.

 India has also decided to open a new assistant high commission in Rangpur.

 "Today, we have prepared a futuristic vision for cooperation in new areas. The youth of both countries will benefit from the consensus reached on cooperation in many areas such as green partnership, digital partnership, blue economy and space," Modi said.

 "We have kept in our focus -- connectivity, commerce and collaboration. In the last ten years, we have restored the connectivity that existed before 1965. Now we will emphasise more on digital and energy connectivity," he said.

 Both sides also firmed up a joint document titled the "India-Bangladesh shared vision for the future: Enhanced connectivity, commerce and collaboration for shared prosperity" to expand ties and to align India's "Viksit Bharat 2047' goal with "Smart Bangladesh 2041" vision.

 In the talks, Modi and Hasina also resolved to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation including in areas of defence production and modernisation of Bangladeshi armed forces and agreed to enhance engagement on countering terrorism and radicalisation.

 "We had extensive discussions on further strengthening defence cooperation, from defence production to modernisation of armed forces," Modi said.

 "We have decided to strengthen our engagement on counter-terrorism, de-radicalisation and peaceful management of borders." "We share a common vision for the Indian Ocean region. We welcome Bangladesh's decision to join the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative," he said.

 The issue of Rohingya as well as the situation in Myanmar and boosting regional cooperation under the framework of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) grouping also figured in the talks.

 In his remarks, Modi said Bangladesh is India's largest development partner and New Delhi attaches highest priority to its relations with that country. "Bangladesh is situated at the confluence of our Neighbourhood First policy, Act East policy, Vision SAGAR and Indo-Pacific vision." India has been cooperating with the countries of the Indian Ocean region under the broader policy framework of SAGAR or Security and Growth for all in the Region.

 Following the Modi-Hasina talks, the two sides announced a slew of new measures to boost connectivity and trade.

 It was announced that a passenger train between Kolkata and Rajshahi will commence service soon. A goods train on Bangladesh Railways from Gede-Darshana to Haldibari-Chilahati cross-border interchange point will also begin a trial run next month.

A new bus service between Kolkata and Chittagong will also be rolled out. India will provide a grant for building an inland container depot at Sirajganj in Bangladesh.

 In his media statement, Modi also listed various initiatives rolled out in the last one year to expand ties.

"In the last one year, together we have completed many important projects for public welfare. The sixth cross-border rail link between India and Bangladesh between Akhaura-Agartala has become operational," he said.

 "The cargo facility for the north-eastern states of India has been started through Khulna-Mongla Port. Mongla Port has been connected by rail for the first time. Both units of the 1320 MW Maitree thermal power plant have started generating electricity," he noted.

 Modi said trade in Indian Rupees has commenced between the two countries. "The world's longest river cruise on the Ganga River between India and Bangladesh has been successfully completed. The first cross-border friendship pipeline between India and Bangladesh has been completed," he said.

 "Export of electricity from Nepal to Bangladesh, through the Indian grid, has become the first example of sub-regional cooperation in the energy sector," he said.

 The Indian prime minister said the implementation of such major initiatives in so many areas, in a single year, reflects the "speed and scale of our relations."

In the media briefing, Kwatra said the Rohingya issue was discussed.

 "This is an issue that India and Bangladesh have discussed periodically at different levels of interaction... Humanitarian assistance to Rohingyas is something which we have offered in the past. We continue to work with Bangladesh closely on it," he said.

 "There are several aspects of the Rohingyas' challenge that Bangladesh faces. Some of it also impinges on us. So those challenges also get discussed," he said.


(Source: BSS)



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