- Foreign Affairs
- November 18, 2017
The country slipped two spots from its previous ranking of 144 Bangladesh ranked in the lowest fourth of all countries in the world with respect to freedom of the press in 2015, performing even worse than war-torn Afghanistan, insurgency-ridden Myanmar and occupied Palestine.
The country ranked 146th among 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index with a score of 42.95, far lower than its highest ever ranking of 118 in 2002, the first year the global index was published.
The country slipped two spots from its previous ranking of 144 which it maintained in 2014 and 2013.
Yesterday, the grandest book fair in the country had a unique set of young book lovers for its visitors – from uniform-clad school-goers to yellow-donning young adults celebrating Pohela Falgun.
Spring was welcomed with much ardour around Dhaka, but the ground of Amar Ekushey Boi Mela seemed to be a major attraction for the spring lovers.
But even more interesting was the huge number of children who went to the fair – straight from school.
Spring has arrived in all its glory. Bangladeshis throughout the nation have welcomed the new season with great joy and love. Red and yellow are the symbolic colours of Pohela Falgun. Many girls were dressed in yellow or orange-coloured saris and wore floral ornaments. The boys were seen in panjabis of many shades.
In the capital, young men and women dressed up in bright colours to join a procession at 7am at the Faculty of Fine Arts (Charukola’s) Bokultola at Dhaka University (DU).
Many arrested and freed on bail in 2013 are being arrested againDuring the pre-election political violence towards the end of 2013, around 13,000 people were arrested in as many as 1,500 cases across the country.
Because none of those violence-related cases ever went to trial because police did not file charge sheets and most of those people – if not all – secured bail from various courts as the situation cooled down after the election on January 5, 2014.
Senior civic leaders yesterday stressed the need to bring to an end the political deadlock that led to a month of violence leaving more than 70 people dead.
Nagorik Samaj, a civil society group led by a former chief election commissioner, said both a halt to street-power violence and the start of peace-talks, which they urged government to initiate, were needed.
Persons responsible for the deaths of children by taking the adulterated paracetamol syrup of BCI (Bangladesh) Ltd are yet to be punished since the case sees slow progress.
The prosecution of the Dhaka Drug Court blames witnesses for sluggish trial procedure. On the other hand, court officials allege that the prosecution lawyers are not sincere in quickly disposing of the case.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday made a phone call to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the occasion of ICC World Cup Cricket.
Both the prime ministers wished their teams a success in the tournament that begins today simultaneously in Australia and New Zealand.
Modi said his newly appointed Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar would soon visit Dhaka to bolster bilateral relation between the two countries.
Sheikh Hasina’s Press Secretary AKM Shameem Chowdhury confirmed the phone call.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the sport’s flagship event, is set to introduce a series of innovative digital activations that will allow fans unique opportunities to engage with the event, the legends of the game, and the players.
At the core of all these activations is the re-branded official website www.icc-cricket.com, which is fully responsive in design and adaptive to all devices.
Sources at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office say everyone there was living on dry food, and the supplies were running out fastFor the third day running, the police allegedly stopped a van that was carrying food for the BNP chief’s staff and party leaders who had been accompanying Khaleda Zia since January 3, from entering the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
However, the food that was brought for Khaleda by her relatives – was allowed inside.
Shamsuddin Didar, an official of Khaleda’s press wing, said when the food-carrying van arrived in front of the Gulshan office at 1pm yesterday, the police did not allow it to enter the office.
A man has been arrested and sent to jail in Natore in a case filed by a neighbour, who allegedly attempted to rape the detainee’s mother.
Rashedul Islam, son of Rasheda Begum in Bagatipara upazila, is now behind bars after he was sued by Rafiqul Islam, the neighbour who allegedly tried to rape Rasheda, on February 7. He was arrested hours after the case was lodged.
On February 5, Rasheda was collecting logs from Rafiqul’s date orchard when he attempted to rape her, claimed her husband Moksed Ali.
At least 19 people were killed on Friday in the Pakistani city of Peshawar in a gun and bomb attack on a Shi’ite mosque, the latest sectarian violence to hit the South Asian nation.
Radical Sunni Islamist groups often target mosques frequented by minority Shi’ites, whom they see as infidels.
Police said armed men broke into the mosque, where people were attending Friday prayers, and opened fire, following which three explosions were heard inside the building.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesher Samajtanrik Dal (BSD) yesterday urged all political parties to hold a national dialogue to break the current political stalemate.
The two left parties came up with the call from a joint rally held in front of the Jatiya Press Club.
Addressing the rally, CPB president Mujahidul Islam Selim observed that all pro-liberation and non-communal political parties should sit in an immediate dialogue.
‘Trucks came to Sylhet to carry the stones out to their destinations, but now they are stuck here fearing ambush’Despite the peak season, stone traders in Sylhet are facing massive loss in business due to the transportation crisis, thanks to the non-stop blockade imposed by the BNP-led 20-party alliance.
Stones extracted from the quarries in the district are distributed around the country, but due to the political violence the trucks cannot deliver the stones, sources at different quarries told the Dhaka Tribune.
Fernández Taranco in touch with government, opposition leadersThe United Nations has said it wants a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis and Oscar Fernández Taranco, head of its Peacebuilding Office, to liaise with the government and opposition leaders on the matter.
“We continue to deplore the loss of life [in Bangladesh]. And I think the key message is for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis,” said UN secretary-general’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric at a regular briefing yesterday.
Joy asks civil society members to visit burn units and ask Khaleda to stop burning peopleAwami League advisory committee member Suranjit Sengupta yesterday slated civil society members for their initiative to arrange a dialogue between the government and the BNP, terming the effort a great mistake.
“They made a great mistake…The civil society members failed to prove their neutrality as they had only requested President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to initiate the dialogue. But they had not urged the BNP chairperson to stop violence,” he said.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the importance of Bangladesh Coast Guard’s role in protecting the national maritime boundary and coastal belt.
In separate messages issued on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Bangladesh Coast Guard and Coast Guard Day 2015 today, the president and the prime minister hoped for sincerity and patriotism from the coast guard in maintaining maritime defence.
Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif yesterday said BNP will eventually turn into a militant outfit like Jamaat if it keeps on unleashing subversive activities in the same vein it is carrying out now.
He made the remark while replying to questions from local journalists during a views-exchange meeting with party leaders at his Kushtia residence.
Noting that the subversive activities BNP is carrying out in the name of politics is not part of politics, Hanif said general people are worried and upset over their activities.
Three crude bombs were blasted near the venue of a protest rally of State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam at Mirganj in Bagha upazila yesterday evening, around 6pm.
However, no one was injured in the incident. There was neither any arrest in this regard.
Authorities of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) has designed a plan for proper utilisation of surface natural water excavating about 53 abandoned water bodies across the city with a view reducing water crisis.
The plan has been taken specially to retain surface water resources in order to reduce the ongoing water crisis using the natural water bodies as well as to mitigate climate change impact, said Ashraful Haque, chief engineer of the RCC.
Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Sylhet observed its 24th founding anniversary yesterday with various programmes.
Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the university Professor Md Aminul Haque Bhuiyan inaugurated the celebrations by hoisting the national and university flags. Professor Narayan Saha, president of the University Day Celebration Committee at 10am was also present at the time.
This was followed by a colourful rally led by the VC with participation of students, teachers and employees at the campus.