first_imgPrime minister Sheikh Hasina. File PhotoPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday asked the public servants to shun the ‘red tape culture’ and pick the work that will be beneficial for the country and its people.”There’ll be complexities in every work…once there was a red tape culture; now we’re using white tape (in public office files), but it doesn’t imply that the work will be getting quicker for using the white tape as the red tape (culture) still exists,” she said.The prime minister said this while inaugurating National Public Service Day 2018 and distributing Public Administration Award 2018 at Osmani Memorial auditorium in the city.She asked the public servants to eliminate the ‘red tape culture’ and not put government works on hold.”Make it sure that no work remains stuck, no work should be kept aside. It happens sometimes that a public servant doesn’t show much interest in a particular file and it’s kept aside the table, sometimes that the public servant forgets about that file or loses it.”Sheikh Hasina went on to say, “Again, public servants come up with such projects to spend unnecessary public money that will have less impacts or effectiveness; or the people of the country are unlikely to get any benefit from it.”The prime minister directed the public servants to think first about what the results and benefits their works will bring in for the country and its people. “You have to think those first…you’ve to work in that manner and think about the welfare of the grassroots people.”She mentioned further, “There was a time when the public servants always thought that it’s a government job, we’ll get our salaries, no matter we work or not. Such thinking is not acceptable at all.”The prime minister reminded public servants, “The meaning of government job is to receive salaries and wages from the money that all the people, including farmers and labourers, give to the government in taxes. You’re receiving salaries and relax in luxury, and everything that comes that comes from the pockets of the mass people. You’ve to always think about how you could provide service to them.”Hasinaurged the civil servants to work with innovative ideas to resolve the problems of their respective areas and implement development programmes based on local perspectives.She said a separate branch, ‘Governance Innovation Unit’, has been set up aiming to simplify government service through their new innovations.The prime minister said the government has a plan to introduce bullet train or speedy train services from Dhaka to Chittagong, Sylhet, Dinajpur, Barishal-Payra Port and Kolkata, reducing the travel time between the places to one hour. “If we can introduce this speedy train, the communications of the country will be very faster.”Recalling the disparity in public services among the people of the then East Pakistan and West Pakistan, Hasina said so many people of the country are serving in higher posts of the government as Bangabandhu has liberated the country.Highlighting the successes of her government, including raising the per capita income, foreign currency reserve, GDP growth with the help of the public servant, she extended thanks to them for their sincere cooperation.She also mentioned that the salaries of government employees have been hiked by 123 per cent.The programme was addressed, among others, by state minister for public administration Ismat Ara Sadeq and cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam. public administration secretary Faiz Ahmed delivered the welcome address.The prime minister earlier distributed ‘Public Administration Medal 2018’.last_img read more

first_imgNagarik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna. File PhotoThe Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) of Dhaka to return the passport of Nagarik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna for three months as he can go abroad for treatment.A six-member SC bench led by justice Muhammad Imman Ali passed the order after disposing off a petition filed in this regard, reports UNB.The court also asked Manna to surrender his passport after returning home.On 24 August 2017, the Supreme Court asked the lower court to return his passport for going abroad for treatment.On 28 November 2016, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court order that granted bail to the Nagarik Oikya convener in two cases. The SC also asked him to submit his passport to the lower court.The two cases were filed against him with Gulshan police station on 24 February and 5 March 2016 on charges of provoking the army and sedition respectively.last_img read more

first_imgFounder of Ganashasthaya Kendra Zafarullah ChowdhuryDetective Branch (DB) of police has been entrusted with the task of conducting investigation into treason charges against founder of Ganashasthaya Kendra Zafarullah Chowdhury.The case was lodged as a general diary (GD) was filed against him.BSS reports, the GD was filed on Thursday for making ‘false, fabricated, motivated and treasonous’ remarks against the army chief in a television talk-show on 9 October.“The GD was converted into a treason case on Sunday following approval of the home ministry and was transferred to DB police the same day,” additional commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Md Abdul Baten told BSS on Monday.“Assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Fazlur Rahman of DB was appointed today as investigation officer (IO) of the case,” he also said.Major M Raqibul Alam of the Legal Affairs Wing of the army headquarters filed the GD against Zafarullah Chowdhury with Cantonment police station earlier on Thursday, Taposh Kumar Das, assistant commissioner (AC) of Cantonment zone told the national news agency.In the GD it was mentioned, on the night of 9 October, a day prior to delivering the verdict in the case of the 21 August 2004, grenade attack, Zafarullah made sudden and irrelevant remarks about the army chief which were targeted, motivated and plotted to spread stir among the armed forces and tantamount to treason.Investigation is needed to find out why and by whose instigation, a highly educated citizen like Zafarullah made such motivated, false, untrue and treasonous remarks about the army chief in a talk-show at Samoy TV on 9 October, according to GD.The army headquarters sent a protest letter to the Samoy TV which was later broadcasted by the channel.last_img read more

first_imgA Bangladesh border guard looking at Rohingya refugees at the Jalpatoli refugee camp in the no-man’s land area between Myanmar and Bangladesh, near Gumdhum village in Ukhia. Photo: AFPAs thousands of Rohingya Muslims flee persecution in their country, an international peoples tribunal on alleged atrocities and state crimes against the Rohingya, Kachins and other ethnic minority groups in Myanmar began its hearing from Monday in Malaysia.The convener of the opinion tribunal is the Rome-based Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT), an international public opinion tribunal that operates independent of state authorities.The purpose of the tribunal is to “expose” the alleged inhuman treatment to Rohingyas and push to stop the crimes. It will hear victims from the Myanmar ethnic communities, record their testimonies on their experiences in a court-like setting.The process will be similar to a hearing, with the Myanmar ethnic groups testifying before a seven-jury member in Kuala Lumpur from 18-22 September at Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Law.India jurist Bellur Narayanaswamy SriKrishna, a retired Supreme Court judge, was to be part of the jury but he could not come.On 22 September, the tribunal will make a conclusion based on oral testimonies on the atrocities and give findings to the United Nation’s Fact Finding Mission that was tasked to send its official to Yangon.The findings are not legally binding and cannot be enforced by law.On 6 and 7 March this year a similar tribunal was held in London which concluded that the UN and Asean had to take swift action against Myanmar to stop the crimes against minorities groups.Since it was set up in 1979, PPT has held hearings on collective human rights violations around the world.The Rohingya, a stateless mostly Muslim minority in Buddhist-majority Rakhine, have long experienced persecution in Myanmar, which calls them illegal immigrants.Rights groups accused the Myanmar military of burning Rohingya villages, raping women. But the Army said it was responding to attacks by militants and has denied targeting civilians.According to the UN, 391,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since violence broke out in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state on 25 August.The current humanitarian crisis began following an attack by the insurgent Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on police and military posts in the northwestern state of Rakhine that had led to a violent offensive by the Myanmar Army.last_img read more

first_imgDonald TrumpBritain has appealed to US president Donald Trump not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal as a key deadline approaches, saying that while it is not perfect there is no better alternative.The call came in an op-ed piece in The New York Times that was signed by foreign secretary Boris Johnson, ahead of a meeting with officials from the US administration in Washington on Monday.Trump has threatened to withdraw from the agreement when it comes up for renewal on 12 May, demanding his country’s European allies “fix the terrible flaws” in it or he will re-impose sanctions on Iran that were eased under the historic accord.The nuclear deal was struck in 2015 among Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, then led by Barack Obama.Under the pact, sanctions were eased in return for a commitment from Iran not to pursue a nuclear bomb, but Iran says it is not reaping the rewards despite complying with the deal.”At this delicate juncture, it would be a mistake to walk away from the nuclear agreement and remove the restraints that it places on Iran,” Johnson wrote in the Times piece.He argued that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have been granted extra powers to monitor Iran’s nuclear facilities, “increasing the likelihood that they would spot any attempt to build a weapon”.”Now that these handcuffs are in place, I see no possible advantage in casting them aside. Only Iran would gain from abandoning the restrictions on its nuclear program,” Johnson wrote.He added: “I believe that keeping the deal’s constraints on Iran’s nuclear program will also help counter Tehran’s aggressive regional behaviour. I am sure of one thing: every available alternative is worse. The wisest course would be to improve the handcuffs rather than break them.”last_img read more

first_imgGraphic on the `golden triangle` drug network. AFP”Golden Triangle” countries must address corruption and collaborate more closely to tackle record meth production and the gangs who traffick the drug across Southeast Asia and beyond, the UN said Monday.From Bangkok to Brisbane, authorities are raking in huge hauls of methamphetamine stimulant pills — better known as “yaba” — and the purer, more potent crystallised version known as “ice”.They hail from the “Golden Triangle”, a lawless wedge of land that intersects China, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar and is the world’s second-largest drug-producing region.Its drug labs — mainly in Myanmar’s conflict-ridden Shan State — are working overtime, aiding organised crime gangs in their quest for new markets as far away as Australia and Japan.Worth an estimated $40 billion a year, huge volumes of meth pass through the Golden Triangle, waved through by corrupt law enforcement and border controls.”Ensuring governance and the rule of law will be crucial to any long-term reduction in drug production and trafficking,” said Jeremy Douglas, regional representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.”To be candid, it also means addressing the corruption, conditions and vulnerabilities that allow organised crime to keep expanding operations.”He was speaking in the Myanmar capital Naypyidaw at a rare regional meeting of police and officials who are aiming to forge a new strategy to fight the drug scourge.In recent months several Myanmar soldiers have been arrested with massive caches of yaba, destined for Bangladesh.Myanmar authorities say they are ready to cooperate with their neighbours to stem the flow of drugs and precursor chemicals used by the cook houses in Shan State.”A top priority for us, is a regional precursor strategy that will slow the supply of chemicals… into the drug-producing areas of the Golden Triangle,” Myanmar’s Deputy Home Minister Major General Aung Soe said in a statement.A surge in supply has seen prices for a single yaba pill plummet to around $2 at its cheapest in Thailand and around $7 in Singapore, according to UNODC figures, raising fears over addiction rates.The UN agency also urged regional governments to address money laundering, share more intelligence on the drug gangs and offer community-based rehabilitation for addicts and petty dealers rather than jail.last_img

first_imgCricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), gives a speech as he declares victory in the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, in this still image from a 26 July, 2018 handout video by PTI. Photo: ReutersPakistani lawmakers elected former cricket legend Imran Khan prime minister on Friday, paving the way for him to form a coalition government whose first major task will be to avert a brewing economic crisis.Khan, 65, saw his party sweep to victory in a 25 July general election promising to fight corruption and lift millions of people out of poverty.Pakistan has been plagued by boom-and-bust cycles and military coups since independence in 1947, as well as by militant violence in more recent years.Khan, a firebrand nationalist, has promised to create millions of jobs and build world-class hospital and school systems in the mainly-Muslim country of 208 million people.Among his first challenges will be to decide whether to request an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout to ease currency pressures, or seek support from China and risk deepening Pakistan’s economic dependence on its neighbour.“Imran Khan got 176 votes,” Asad Qaiser, the parliament speaker, said in confirming Khan’s victory over rival candidate, Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), who garnered 96 votes.In a sign of the bitter political divisions roiling Pakistan, opposition lawmakers surrounded Khan and shouted “thief, thief Imran Khan” after he was elected premier.Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party holds 151 seats in the 342-seat lower chamber of parliament, short of a majority, but is expected to form a coalition government with smaller parties.Khan, who will be sworn-in on Saturday, has yet to announce his cabinet.MILITARY SUPPORT?His success in the election ended decades of political dominance by two dynastic powerhouses, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of three-time premier Nawaz Sharif, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), founded and led by the Bhutto family.But Khan will face a battle to push through his ambitious reforms and legislative agenda due to the thin majority in the National Assembly. The Senate, parliament’s upper chamber, is controlled by the opposition.“Legislative business will be difficult for him,” said Raza Ahmad Rumi, editor of the Daily Times newspaper.Opposition parties allege Khan’s path to power was made easier by tacit support of Pakistan’s powerful military, which has ruled the country for nearly half its history.The army and Khan’s PTI deny any collusion.Murtaza Abbasi, a PML-N lawmaker, said in parliament Khan was “brought here by aliens”, a euphemism for the military. Other opposition lawmakers shouted “puppet prime minister”.How Khan addresses historic civil-military tensions that have dogged successive governments could define his term, analysts say.No Pakistani premier has ever completed a five-year term in office, including three-time premier Sharif, whose most recent stint in power was ended by the Supreme Court last year.Sharif, who was jailed over corruption accusations weeks before the election, saw his second stint in power ended by a military coup in 1999.last_img read more

first_imgPalestinians protest against the US president`s cuts to aid, outside an office belonging to the American Consulate in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on 4 September. Photo: AFPIsrael’s top court on Wednesday upheld an order to raze a Palestinian Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank, after debating petitions challenging the decision.There has been strong international pressure on Israel to reverse its plans to raze Khan al-Ahmar, which the Israeli authorities say was built illegally.“We reject the petitions” against the directive to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, the supreme court panel said in its ruling, adding that a temporary order preventing the razing of the village during court hearings “will be cancelled within seven days from today.”It will now be down to the authorities to decide when to carry out the demolition after the restriction order ends.The present village consists mainly of makeshift structures of tin and wood, as is generally the case with Bedouin sites.In May, the Supreme Court rejected a final appeal against its demolition after nine years of hearings before various tribunals.The court said Khan al-Ahmar residents had rejected proposals by the state regarding the site of their relocation, and expressed hope “the dialogue” would continue.Activists say the villagers had little alternative but to build without Israeli construction permits that are almost never issued to Palestinians in the large parts of the West Bank where Israel has full control over civil affairs.Tawfiq Jabareen, one of the lawyers representing Khan al-Ahmar residents in the petitions, said the court “was following Israel’s rightwing government” in its ruling, which he said was “legally wrong”.“It is not based on legal arguments and contradicts past supreme court rulings,” he told AFP. “This is unfortunately what the government wants, and the court doesn’t want to intervene.”Jabareen said there were currently no understandings between the state and residents on a voluntary relocation.“I’ve never seen someone who’s being expelled and whose house is being destroyed sitting idly by,” he said.Defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, who oversees the occupation of the West Bank, praised the judges for their decision in the face of “the coordinated attack of hypocrisy by (Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas), the left and European states.”“Nobody is above the law, nobody will keep us from acting on our sovereignty and responsibility as a state,” he said.last_img
first_imgQatar`s deputy prime minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani listens to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (not pictured) speak while attending a Gulf Cooperation Council summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, US on 28 September 2018. Photo: ReutersUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar together Friday for the first time since their diplomatic feud erupted but there was no sign of a let-up in tensions between the Gulf powerhouses.At the start of a meeting with counterparts from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) along with allies Egypt and Jordan, Pompeo said that those present had “a shared interest in a wide range of security issues.”But speaking to reporters later, Qatar’s foreign minister said there had been “no progress” in resolving the more than year-long dispute with Saudi Arabia.He insisted that the gas-rich state remained “open to dialogue” with the Saudis and its allies.”We are grateful for the efforts president Donald Trump makes to try solving this crisis but the responses from the blockade countries are not positive,” said Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.The United States said that all the countries found common cause against Iran, Saudi Arabia’s archrival which the Trump administration has been seeking to isolate.”All participants agreed on the need to confront threats from Iran directed at the region and the United States,” the State Department said in a statement.In apparent reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the statement called for forging greater cooperation in the Middle East “anchored by a united GCC” which could “advance prosperity, security and stability in the region.”Saudi Arabia — along with its Gulf allies, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran.Qatar denies the charges, accusing its neighbours of seeking regime change.The rift has proved a strategic headache for Washington as Qatar provides the main headquarters in the region for the US Central Command, while Bahrain is home to the US Fifth Fleet and Saudi Arabia has long been one of its key allies in the region.Kuwait has led mediation efforts in the crisis, which so far have made little tangible progress.last_img

first_imgBUET students are seen during a protest they started on 15 June. UNB file photoAgitating students of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) returned to their classes on Saturday, a week after their protests rocked the campus.BUET students started demonstration on 15 June to press home 16-point demands, including cancelling recruitment of students’ welfare director and increasing research allocation.They met education minister Dipu Moni on Thursday who assured them to fulfill their demands.On Friday, the university authorities pledged to the students that their 16-point demands would be met soon.last_img