- Foreign Affairs
- November 18, 2017
Not a single one of the 32 recommendations made to safeguard the national power grid has been implemented, a year after the November 1 blackout pulled the plug on the country.
The blackout shut the country down for over 12 hours, following two back-to-back breakdowns of the national grid.
The eight-member high-powered government body formed to probe the nationwide blackout did not lay the blame for the grid failure on a specific official or functionary, but said systemic problems in the grid system were responsible.
Non-MPO teachers continued their fast-unto-death for the second day in front of the National Press Club yesterday demanding inclusion of their educational institutions in the Monthly Pay Order (MPO) facilities.
If their institutions get the MPO, they would enjoy 100% basic salary from the exchequer.
BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman yesterday alleged that the country is now under the grip of an ‘indirect one-party rule’.
“There is no democracy in the country and no existence of opposition in the parliament. The country is now under the grasp of an indirect one-party rule,” he said.
The BNP leader seemed to be implying that with an absolute majority in the parliament, the opposition was ineffectual.
It seems that extremist Islamists have now turned to the aides of secular activists, their first target. Yesterday, two publishers of slain secular writer-blogger Avijit Roy’s books were attacked at their workplaces in the capital. One of them died on the spot.
None of the attackers could be arrested until filing of this report at 10:30pm. No case was filed.
A meeting of the Awami League parliamentary board will be held at Ganabhaban, the official residence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Party sources said the meeting will be held for choosing party candidate in the upcoming by-election of Moulvibazar 3, the constituency that fell vacant after the death of Awami League lawmaker and social welfare minister Syed Mohsin Ali.
With Awami League President Sheikh Hasina in the chair, the meeting will start at 6pm.
The country needs to protect democracy first to protect independence of the judiciary and rule of law, former caretaker government adviser barrister Moinul Hossain said.
“Thinking about protecting independence of the judiciary by killing democracy is like watering a tree after uprooting it,” he told a discussion organised to mark the eighth anniversary of separation of the judiciary from the executive.
Rights group Humanity Foundation organised the event at the National Press Club.
Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said a psychological war was going on between BNP leaders for negative and destructive politics indulged by BNP Chief Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman.
After his return from the United Kingdom yesterday the ruling party spokesperson briefed journalists at Sylhet MAG Osmani Airport.
He reached Sylhet MAG Osmani Airport en route to Shahjalal International Airport in the capital on a flight from London about 10:20am.
A total of 60,000 domestic prepaid gas meters are going to be installed in Chittagong’s residential areas, with a view to checking gas pilferage and reducing waste.
Although a number of residential areas have been primarily selected for the new service, Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited authorities have plans to install prepaid meters in the entire city.
The initially selected areas include Sholoshahar, Nasirabad, Khulshi, Lalkhan Bazar, Halishahar, Anderkilla, Kazir Dewri, Chandgaon, Chawk Bazar and Panchlaish.
Speakers in a meeting yesterday said right to information was the key to all rights. They also stressed the free flow of information to ensure transparency, accountability and democracy in the country.
They said this government has broken the culture of hiding information by passing the RTI Act in 2009 and has established the rights of all people to get information.
An informed person is a conscious person, so people should be aware of the Act, they added.
Police arrested two members of Islami Chhatra Shibir alongwith cocktails and pipe guns in Fenchuganj upazila yesterday.
The arrested were Mozammel Hossain, 20, son of Kamrul Islam and Rumman Miah, 21, son of Sirazul Islam.
Police sources said, on secret information, they conducted drives at Hatuganj and Hashubari area and arrested the duo with 101 cocktails and two pipe guns.
Fenchuganj police station Officer-in-Charge Nandan Kanti Dhar said the arrested men would be sent to jail soon after filing the case.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda, who is now in London, has claimed that slain secular publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan was a follower of her husband and party founder Ziaur Rahman.
Party spokesperson Asaduzzaman Ripon quoted Khaleda as making the remark in a press release issued last evening under the official letterhead of the BNP.
In her statement, the BNP chief condemned the attacks on Jagriti publisher Dipan and Shuddhashar publisher Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury Tutul.
Entrance exam to the honours courses at Chittagong University for 2015-16 academic session starts today.
A total of 25,776 admission seekers have applied for 546 seats under Faculty of Science (A-unit) and 4514 have applied for 85 seats existing at the Institute of Forestry and Environmental Science (J-unit).
Police arrested a man in the district yesterday for vandalising six Hindu idols of a temple in Gurudashpur upazila headquaters.
The arrested was Bikash Chandra Sheel, brother of temple committee president Madhob Chandra Sheel.
Additional Superintendent of Police Munshi Shahab Uddin said police arrested Bikash around 12pm.
On October 23, a group of masked miscreants swooped on Chanchkoir Kacharibari Kali Mandir (temple) and damaged six idols.
The fatal attack at Hussaini Dalan with handmade grenades on October 24 that to date has killed two people who joined the traditional Tazia procession of the Shia Muslims was the first such mass targeted terrorist operation by militants since 2005.
Upon preliminary investigation, the law enforcers said that Jamaat-e-Islami’s radical student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir was behind the attack, that was meant to destabilise the country’s law and order ahead of the execution of top Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid.
An effort to crack down on runaway fare demands by CNG-run autorickshaw drivers will come into effect today, with the roads and bridges minister kicking off a metered-fare enforcement initiative and a new fare structure.
Revised fares for CNG-run autorickshaws will come into effect in the capital from today and in Chittagong city from next January.
But commuters are still concerned that autorickshaw drivers will take advantage of the lack of monitoring and return to overcharging passengers.
Around one-third of the 6,168 government primary schools are operating without head teachersA total of 1,977 positions for headmasters in government-run primary schools in six districts of Barisal have remained unfilled for long, which has greatly hampered education.
Barisal primary education office sources said around one-third of the 6,168 government primary schools in the division are operating without head teachers.
The government has worked to develop school infrastructures every year but failed to fill the posts timely, said Masud Ahmed, president of Babuganj Upazila Government Primary School Teachers Association.
Teachers, students of several institutions and locals formed a human chain in Bandarban town yesterday protesting the murder of a female schoolteacher on Friday night.
Teacher Promod Chandra Barua, Nurunnahar Absar, Zahed Sarwar, Nazimuddin, Kachingya Marma, Mira Das, Abdul Doayn and Parbatya Chhattagram Zila Parishad member Jahirul Islam spoke on the occasion. They demanded exemplary punishment of the killer.
Local administration imposed 144 in Ramnewaz Bazar and Fishery Ghat in Manpura upazila of Bhola district yesterday as two groups of the local unit of Awami League called separate programmes at the same place and time.
Ershad Hossain Khan, upazila nirbahi officer of Manpura upazila, said the restriction would remain in force from 6am urther notice.
Police said Mohammad Alauddin, organising secretary of Manpura upazila unit Awami League and local union parishad chairmam, and Jubo League leader Alamgir had been at loggerheads over sharing business money.
A Russian airliner carrying 224 passengers crashed into a mountainous area of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula yesterday shortly after losing radar contact near cruising altitude, killing all aboard.
The Airbus A321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia under the brand name Metrojet, was flying from the Sinai Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg in Russia when it went down in central Sinai soon after daybreak, the aviation ministry said.