- February 15, 2018
No one could have known that the sound of stray dogs howling a little before 5 o’clock yesterday morning portended the strongest earthquake to be felt in Dhaka in a year, reportedly more intensely felt than the catastrophic earthquake that hit Nepal in April last year.
Jolted out of their beds just before dawn, Dhaka’s panicked inhabitants raced down the stairs of their multi-storey residences and jumped from balconies and rooftops in search of safety.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police yesterday granted conditional permissions to the Awami League and BNP for holding their rallies in separate venues in the capital city.
On Saturday, both sought permission to hold rallies of their own for today at the same venue – the historic Suhrawardy Udyan – to mark the second anniversary of the January 5, 2014 national elections, which the BNP had boycotted.
Relief and Disaster Management Ministry has identified 72,000 buildings in Dhaka at risk to earthquakes.
Relief and Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya made the statement at a press briefing in Dhaka yesterday afternoon.
He said: “We had put black and red marks on the 72,000 buildings in Dhaka which were identified to be at risk during earthquake.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali is going to Saudi Arabia today on a three-day visit, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said.
The migration issue will dominate the talks, he said.
Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Khandkar Iftikhar Haider Chowdhury said an informal embargo on male workers is expected to be withdrawn.
He said the countries signed an agreement on Domestic Service Workers under which male and female workers could be sent.
Bangladesh is going to organize the ninth meeting of Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Dhaka next December.
Migration is a sensitive, political, development and social issue and Bangladesh wants to push for its new governance structure in the GFMD, which is a global platform on discussion, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said at a press conference yesterday.
He said attitude and perception towards migration need to be changed, otherwise the problems related to it would never be solved.
The construction of a 130km Indo-Bangla fuel oil pipeline has reportedly suffered a setback after Indian authorities sought an exorbitant premium for exporting diesel to Bangladesh.
During latest negotiations with Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), Indian state-owned Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) sought a premium of $21.19 per barrel against $4.5 per barrel.
Seeking anonymity, a BPC official disclosed this to the Dhaka Tribune, adding: “If the NRL does not reduce the premium, the project will not be feasible for the BPC.”
Two groups of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of the ruling party Awami League, clashed while marking its founding anniversary in Chittagong city’s Shaheed Minar area, leaving six people injured.
Witnesses said to mark the 68th anniversary of the BCL, the leaders and activists thronged Central Shaheed Minar premises around 11am. City unit Awami League (AL)’s president ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury was present at the programme as the chief guest.
Rape incidents increased by over 35% in 2015 in the country compared to 2014 as violence against women surged, Bangladesh National Women Lawyer Association said yesterday.
BNWLA Executive Director Salma Ali, disclosing the information at the National Press Club, said 70% of last year’s 1,069 rape victims were children.
Acid throwing, trafficking and violence against domestic helps declined in 2015 but rape, violence for dowry, and stalking had increased. Such incidents resulted in the killing of 1,847 women and girls while 301 others had committed suicide.
The ninth session of 10th Jatiya Sangsad will commence on January 20.
President Abdul Hamid convened the session of parliament yesterday.
In line with parliamentary tradition, the Business Advisory Committee, which is the highest body of parliament and determines the length of every session of the House, will likely sit on the same day to fix the tenure of the ninth session.
Former Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday gave testimony in the two cases filed over the deadly grenade attack on an Awami League (AL) rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital on August 21, 2004.
Judge Shahed Nuruddin, of Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1, recorded the statement of Mohiuddin Khan, also a senior leader of AL.
Describing the incident, the former minister told the court that at least 12 grenades were hurled on the AL rally with an intention of killing Sheikh Hasina and all other top AL leaders.
Bangladesh strongly opposes signing a readmission agreement with the European Union, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said.
At a press conference yesterday, he said the EU was yet to formally propose it, but if they do, further discussions will be required.
European nations want to send back irregular Bangladeshis residing in their countries.
They are pursuing Dhaka to sign an agreement under which the destination country can send migrants back to their countries of origin without home country authorisation.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said the BNP had sunk in political quicksand after it had destroyed democracy in the country.
“The election held on January 5 in 2014 was the continuity of democratic process in the county but BNP boycotted it,” he said
The minister came up with this comment while speaking at the 68th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Chhatra league, the student front of the ruling Awami League, held at the base of the Oparajeyea Bangla on the Dhaka University campus.
The High Court yesterday stayed a fine of Tk30 lakh imposed on Arambagh Krira Sangha by the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) for three months.
The BFF and the government authorities concerned has also been asked to explain in two weeks as to why the fine imposed for alleged vandalism should not be declared illegal. The defendants have to come up with explanations in two weeks.
A new gold medal titled Prof Dr Fazlul Halim Chowdhury Gold Medal has been introduced at the Department of Chemistry of Dhaka University (DU), said a Dhaka University press release.
Mrs Shamsun Nahar Chowdhury, wife of former vice-chancellor of Fazlul Halim Chowdhury, on the occasion handed over a cheque for Tk6,00000 to DU Pro-Vice Chancellor (Administration) Prof Dr Shahid Akhtar Hossain yesterday at the vice-chancellor’s office.
“The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories and the Bangladesh War of 1971,” a book on the construction of public perception regarding Biranganas, victims of rape during the Liberation War, was launched in Bangladesh in the capital’s Kamal Ataturk Avenue yesterday.
The book has been authored by Nayanika Mookherjee, a reader in social anthropologist at Durham University in the UK, who has been involved in a research for years on the memories of wartime rape during the Liberation War.
A Dhaka court yesterday deferred hearing for a second time on framing of charges against Bakhtiar Alam Rony, son of Awami League MP Pinu Khan, over shooting two people dead at Eskaton.
Judge Shamsun Nahar of Second Additional Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court set February 2 as the next hearing date after the defence counsel pleaded for time extension.
Rony’s lawyer Abdul Khalek also sought time for filing a discharge petition for the MP’s son in the case.
Since it opened in 2000, the Oresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark has been a towering symbol of European integration and hassle-free travel across borders that people didn’t even notice were there.
Speakers at a programme yesterday pitched for identifying drug importers to curb its usage.
Transport leaders and the BRTA chief asked the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) not to blame the spread of drugs on the addicts alone.
Last year, the DNC had announced launching a month-long drive against drugs and an awareness campaign in January 2016.
Citing DNC data, speakers at the programme said over 5 million people in Bangladesh were drug addicts. However, ‘Manos’ an NGO, put the number at over 7 million.
Saudi Arabia’s execution of four prominent Shias and dozens of al-Qaeda figures appears to have been based on a calculation that the kingdom could crush support for Sunni jihadists without alienating more moderate Sunnis.
Riyadh knew its execution of Nimr al-Nimr and three other Shias for involvement in police deaths would prompt protests abroad, but seemed to calculate that, within the kingdom at least, the consequences would be controllable.
Prof Dr Mahabub Hossain, adviser to the Brac executive director, and chairperson of Economics and Social Science department of Brac University, died yesterday. He was 71.
Prof Mahabub breathed his last at 2:45am (BST) on the operation table at Cleveland Hospital, USA.
He is survived by wife, two daughters and one son.
Prof Mahabub went to USA on December 15 for medical treatment as he had been suffering from heart disease for last two years.
Brac deeply mourned the sad demise of Prof Hossain, said a press release.