ThuRSday Dhaka : February 15, 2018; Falgun 3, 1424 BS; Jamadi-ul-awal 28, 1439 hijri www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www. tbtbangla.com Regd.No.Da~2065, Vol.16; No.58; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00 InTeRnaTIOnal South African police raid business family linked to Zuma >Page 7 aRT & CulTuRe Sneak peek: Akshay Kumar's personal clicks >Page 8 SPORT England all-rounder to join squad in New Zealand >Page 9 EC has nothing to do with Khaleda Zia's election participation: CEC DHAKA : Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Hudaon Wednesdaysaid the Election Commission has nothing to do with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's participation in the next general election as it depends on court decision, reports UNB. The CEC said this when a visiting European Parliamentary (EP) team, led by Chair of the South Asia Delegation of the EU Parliamentary Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs Jean Lambert, met the CEC at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city. "The CEC told them that it's a matter of the court. If the court allows (her to participate in the election), the EC has nothing to do. And if the court doesn't allow, the EC will have no role as well," EC acting secretary Helaluddin Ahmed told reporters after the meeting. As an EP delegation member wanted to know over the matter, the CEC told them that the Commission will do everything as per the Constitution and law, the EC acting secretary said replying to a question from reporters. About the recently held presidential election, the CEC said Members of Parliament (MPs) elect the President. The election has gone uncontested as there was only one candidate, Helaluddin said. However, he said, the present political situation or the matter of election violence did not come up for discussions at the meeting. The EC acting Secretary said they actually wanted to know about the country's electoral process like who bear expenditures for arrangement of election. In reply, the Commission said the government bears the expenditures according to the demand. The EC acting secretary and its joint secretary (in-charge) SM Asaduzzaman were present at the meeting. Legal notice seeks Nahid's removal DHAKA : A legal notice was sent to the President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday seeking removal of Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid for his 'failure to prevent question paper leakage in all public examinations.' Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Eunus Ali Akanda sent the notice in the morning, reports UNB. The notice said, "The Education Minister has no right to hold the position as he is unable to restraint question paper leak. As per section 56(2) of the Constitution a non-parliament member who is a scholar and has great contributions in education sector can be appointed as a fresh Education Minister." The notice also said according to section 102 of the Constitution, a writ petition will the filed with the High Court if the authorities fail to take proper steps within 24-hour in this regard. Zohr 05:19 AM 12:17 PM 04:14 PM 05:55 PM 07:10 PM 6:34 5:52 Corrupt people must face trial: PM ROME (ITALY) : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the trial of those involved in corruption, terrorism and militancy must be held as the government wants to build a peaceful environment in the country, reports UNB. "I want to tell you just one thing that those who will indulge in corruption, terrorism and militancy must face trial," she said. The Prime Minister was speaking at a reception accorded to her by the Italy unit of Awami League at Parco Dei Principi Grand hotel here on Tuesday with its president haji M Idris Farazi in the chair. She said the government wants to develop the country with changing the fate of people. "This will be possible only when we we'll be able to check and eradicate corruption, militancy and nepotism," the PM said adding that the prime goal of her govt is to develop Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina said she and her party is there in power to change the fate of people, not to indulge in corruption. Recalling the illegal capture of power by Ziaur Rahman, she said those who had grabbed power illegally cannot give anything to the nation. "I'm the daughter of the Father of the Nation, and pursue the politics. Why should we indulge in corruption luxury?" she said. About the recent verdict in a Security Council to keep Rohingya situation high on its agenda DHAKA : Bangladesh has said the Security Council should continue to act on behalf of the international community as the custodian for the process of voluntary, safe and dignified return of the forcibly displaced Rohingya to Myanmar's Rakhine State, reports UNB. Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, said this at a Council meeting on Tuesday. The Kuwaiti Presidency of the Council organised the first open meeting of the year on the situation in Myanmar, said the Embassy on Wednesday. The meeting was convened at the behest of a number of Council members led by the United Kingdom. The Security Council invited the Permanent Representatives of Myanmar and Bangladesh to speak at the meeting as countries directly concerned. Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Miroslav Jenca, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Political Affairs (DPA) briefed the meeting on behalf of the UN, including the current state of play with the possible voluntary return BNP withdraws hunger strike halfway through at 'request' DHAKA : BNP on Wednesday concluded its token hunger strike in the city demanding the release of its chairperson Khaleda Zia three hours ahead ofits scheduled time following a request by law enforcers, reports UNB. Before concluding the programme, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir demanded immediate release of their chairperson from jail. Earlier, several hundred BNP leaders and activists began the hunger strike programme at 10:00am in front of the Jatiya Press Club amid the presence of huge law enforcers. "Our programme was scheduled to be held until 4:000pm but we are concluding it now following a case where BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was convicted along with others, Hasina said the case was filed by Khaleda Zia's favourite people Moeen Uddin, Fakhruddin and Iajuddin. "Awami League didn't lodge the case." She said BNP people are questioning the justification of giving the punishment just for only Tk two crore, and there some intellectuals too who are supporting this argument. "That means there'll be a ceiling of amount of money to commit corruption which will be legal. Are they trying to mean that?" she questioned. Hasina suggested BNP to file a writ petition with the higher court saying that they can commit corruption up to this level. "Being a former prime minister, Khaleda Zia whitened black money. Where that money came from, anyway?" she said. The Prime Minister said whenever BNP comes to power it turns the country into a den of corruption. The Prime Minister said the last caretaker government assumed office and declared emergency following the misdeeds of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government. "The BNP unleashed terrorism and militancy, committed corruption and created 'Bangla Bhai' in such a situation, we saw the emergency." of the Rohingya to Myanmar. The Bangladesh PR shared information on the government's ongoing efforts to facilitate the voluntary, safe and dignified return of the Rohingya to Myanmar. In this context, he quoted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's statement at the General Assembly last year, "The crisis has its root in Myanmar and its solution has to be found in Myanmar". He acknowledged the international community's support in providing humanitarian assistance to the distressed Rohingya. He expressed hope that the Secretary General's Special Envoy on the situation in Myanmar would be appointed soon who would act as a conduit for international community's engagement with the Myanmar authorities. He invited the Council members to visit Bangladesh to witness the situation of the Rohingya. All the 15 members of the Council spoke at the meeting and once again commended the generosity of the government and people of Bangladesh for providing emergency shelter to nearly 700,000 forcibly displaced people from Myanmar. request by the authorities concerned," Fakhrul told the gathering. He further said, "From this programme, we demand that our leader (Khaleda) be released immediately." Fakhrul also urged the government to stop its 'repression and suppression' on BNP leaders and activists. Later, the BNP men broke their hunger strike by drinking water provided by ex-Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University Prof Emajuddin Ahmed. Earlier speaking at the programme, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the government is conspiring to hold the next general election keeping Khaleda out of the race. "We would like to say people won't A meeting held between State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and the South Asia Delegation of the EU Parliament at the State Guest House Padma on Wednesday. Photo: Star Mail Petition seeks order to show Khaleda arrested in defamation case DHAKA : A petition was filed on Wednesday seeking BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who is in jail, to be shown arrested in a defamation case filed for undermining Bangladesh's national flag and map. AB Siddique, president of Bangladesh Jananetri Parishad, a pro-Awami League organisation, filed the petition with the court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Ahsan Habib, reports UNB. The court said it will deliver its order in this regard after hearing the petition. AB Siddique, filed the case on November 3, 2016 with a Dhaka court accusing Khaleda Zia and her late husband ex-president Ziaur Rahman of undermining Bangladesh's map and flag. According to the complaint, Khaleda appointed ministers from Jamaat-e- Islami and handed over the map and the national flag of Bangladesh to them who had fought against the country during the Liberation War in 1971. Later, on October 12 last year the court issued arrest warrant against the BNP chief in the case. Meanwhile, Khaleda was sentenced to five years jail in a Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8. allow anyone to hold any election without the participation of our leader (Khaleda). Another party standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said the country's 'most popular' leader was convicted unfairly. "We don't accept the verdict as it was given with a political motive." As part of its countrywide programme, party leaders and activists, including Fakhrul, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Mirza Abbas Nazrul Islam Khan and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, observed the hunger strike programme for three hours in front of the Jatiya Press Club. The party leaders and followers chanted various slogans demanding Khaleda's release. Dhaka urges EU countries to put pressure on Myanmar European Parliament team lauds BD for receiving Rohingyas DHAKA : Bangladesh has urged the European Parliament delegation to encourage its member states to put pressure on Myanmar to ensure the peaceful and sustainable return of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals from Bangladesh to their homes in Rakhine state, reports UNB. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam made the request when Chair of the South Asia Delegation of the EU Parliamentary Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs Jean Lambert met him at the State Guest House Padma on Wednesday. During the meeting, the State Minister expressed deep gratitude to the European Union and its parliament and the people of European Union member states for raising strong voice against the oppression on Rohingya people by Myanmar military and for adopting Resolution in the European Parliament. He also thanked the EU for assistance to manage the forcefully displaced Rohingya people who have taken shelter in Bangladesh. The eleven-member European Parliament delegation praised Bangladesh highly for receiving this large number of Rohingya people. They assured that the EU and its parliament will continue to extend full support to Bangladesh to solve the problem. Besides, MEPs assured that the EU will remain beside Bangladesh in its way of transition from LDC to middle-income country status in the coming years. They also discussed issues of bilateral cooperation, trade and investment and socioeconomic development in Bangladesh, said the Foreign Ministry here. EC's neutrality, capacity still not above question: Experts DHAKA : Evaluating its first year's performance, election experts have said the current Election Commission needs to gain public confidence by making its neutral role more visible ahead of the next general election as its neutrality and capacity are still not above question, reports UNB. The KM Nurul Huda-led commission, which is going to fulfill the first year of its five-year tenure on Thursday (Feb 15), held two major local body elections-one to Comilla City Corporation and another to Rangpur City Corporation. The Commission also 'successfully' completed its dialogues with different stakeholders, including political parties, civil society members, media persons, election experts and women leaders from July 31 to October 24 in 2017. All the 40 registered political parties joined the EC's talks and placed their respective proposals before the Commission. In July 2017, the EC unveiled its roadmap for the 11th national election incorporating the seven agenda, including electoral law reform, making the electoral process a time-befitting one and delimitation of constituencies. It also held several parliamentary by-elections and some local government elections in the last one year. About the EC's performance, former Election Commissioner Sohul Hussain told UNB that this commission has so far been on the right track but it needs to show its sincerity to gain more public confidence. Sohul Hussain said the EC will have to make its activities visible as people have little trust in it. With a view to making the next parliamentary polls inclusive ones, the commission can take an initiative to pursue all the political parties to join next election. "They may fail but people will see their sincerity," he said. Hailing the CEC's recent remark that election will not be participatory one without the participation of BNP, the former commissioner said the EC should follow its words in action. Noting that they successfully completed the dialogues with different stakeholders in the last year, Sohul said they now should publish a report of the dialogues stating which proposals they are actually accepting. Election expert Dr Tofail Ahmed said evaluation is not a matter of one year. "The real evaluation will be whether they can arrange the national election in fair and credible manner."