mOnday Dhaka : March 26, 2018; Chaitra 12, 1424 BS; Rajab 8, 1439 hijri www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www. tbtbangla.com Regd.No.Da~2065, Vol.16; No.93; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00 inTeRnaTiOnal Hundreds gather to leave second pocket in Syria's Ghouta >Page 8 law & Public Choice of Court Agreement and Arbitration >Page 5 SPORT Romman reaches final of recurve men's singles >Page 9 48th Independence Day today DHAKA : The nation is set to celebrate the 48th Independence and National Day on Monday with due respect, reports UNB. On March 26, 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Bangladesh's independence following the crackdown on unarmed Banglalees on the midnight of March 25 by the Pakistani occupation forces. After the nine-month War of Liberation with the supreme sacrifices of three million people, Bangladesh achieved its cherished independence on December 16, 1971. This year the nation is celebrating the day amid much enthusiasm as the historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman got the prestigious place in the world's documentary heritage. On October 30 last, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) recognised the Bangabandhu's historic 7th March Speech as a world documentary heritage. The country this year has also achieved a milestone progress in socioeconomic development. The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations on March 15 officially declared the eligibil- ACC's appeal against Khaleda's case motivated : BNP DHAKA : BNP on Sunday alleged that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed an appeal seeking harsher punishment for BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in a graft case only to fulfill the Prime Minister's desire, reports UNB. Zohr 04:42 AM 12:10 PM 04:28 PM 06:15 PM 07:30 PM 5:56 6:12 ity of Bangladesh for graduating from the Least Development Countries (LDCs). The day is a public holiday. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the occasion. Both the President and the Prime Minister greeted the countrymen living at home and abroad on the occasion. "Bangladesh is elevated from least developed country (LDC) to the developing nation in context of three index of being a developing country. As a nation, it is a great achievement for us. Bangladesh is now being branded as a role model of development in the outside world," said Abdul Hamid. "Our achievement in international arena is also commendable. Our expatriate Bangladeshis have also been making significant contributions to our national economy through sending their hard-earned remittances. Nevertheless, we have to go a long way for achieving the desired goals of independence. We must ensure good governance, social justice, transparency and accountability to make the development people oriented and sustainable," he said. Sheikh Hasina said," Being imbued with the spirit of the freedom struggle, the Awami League government has been working relentlessly to develop the country. During the last 8 years, we have implemented expected development programmes in all sectors. As a result, Bangladesh has emerged as a 'Role Model' of socio-economic development." "The ACC has appealed for increasing our chairperson's punishment as it's working to fulfill the Prime Minister's desires," said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi. Speaking at a press conference at BNP's Nayapaltan central office, he also alleged that the current ACC chairman Iqbal Mahmud is working like an obedient son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to satisfy her wishes. Earlier in the day, the ACC filed an appeal with the High Court seeking harsher punishment for BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case in which she was earlier sentenced to five years' imprisonment. On February 8 last, the Dhaka Special Court-5 convicted the BNP chief and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the case. She was then sent to old central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the city. Though Khaleda has been kept in jail through a 'farcical' trial, Rizvi said she is innocent in people's court and the court of morality. He claimed their chairperson has been convicted in a 'false' case as per the Prime Minister's directives. "That's why she (PM) expressed her pleasure after the announcement of the verdict." The BNP leader alleged that the government's opponents and civil society members are being subjected to extreme political vengeance by the government as its misrule turned very dangerous. He alleged that Dhaka city's Sabujbagh thana Chhatra Dal leader Sohrab Hossain remained missing since he was reportedly picked up by law enforcers on March 18. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over the 'Swadhinata Puroskar-2018' Independence Award- 2018) at a function at Osmani Memorial Auditorium. Photo : Star Mail Take country forward with Liberation War spirit: PM DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinaon Sundayurged all to work together in a planned way so that the country's march forward based on the Liberation War spirit never stops, reports UNB. "I want Bangladesh to move forward with the Liberation War spirt and this journey must not be stopped as we want to make the country a middleincome one by 2021 and developed one by 2041," she said. The Prime Minister was speaking at the distribution ceremony of the 'Swadhinata Puroskar-2018' (Independence Award- 2018),the highest civilian honour of the country. She handed over the awards to the recipients at a function organised by the Cabinet Division at Osmani Memorial Auditorium. This year, 18 distinguished personalities received the award in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their respective fields. Sheikh Hasina said it was a dream of the Father of the Nation to fulfill the basic rights of people. "To me remaining in power means discharging my responsibilities to people, build the country with the great Liberation War spirit and make it a poverty- and hunger-free one as dreamt by the Father of the Nation," she said. She mentioned that Bangladesh has fulfilled all the criteria to step into the developing country group. "We'll now move in the world arena with our heads high, never bow down our heads." Congratulating the award recipients, the Prime Minister said the Independence Award will inspire the new generation about patriotism and taking the country forward with new enthusiasm. She mentioned that the government feels honoured by rewarding heroes contributing to the nation and development of the country from their own places. The government will find out more such personalities for recognition. Highlighting various development indices, including per capita income, poverty rate, GDP growth, foreign currency reserve, inflation and other parameters, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh is now in a strong position in all respects compared to 2005-2006. Referring to Bangladesh's eligibility criteria to graduate to a developing nation, Hasina said the country got the recognition after meeting all the three conditions with a large margin. Cabinet SecretaryMohammad ShafiulAlam read out the citations at the Holiday Notice The office of The Bangladesh Today will remain closed today (Monday) on the occasion of Independent Day. Therefore the newspaper will not be published tomorrow (Tuesday). programme. Dr Mohammad Abdul Mazid also spoke on the occasion expressing feelings on behalf of this year's Independence Award recipients. Sheikh Rehana, the youngest daughter of the Father of Nation, cabinet members, the Deputy Speaker of Jatiya Sangsad, Prime Minister's Advisers, Chairmen of various commissions, parliament members, educationists, diplomats and High Civil and Military officials were present. HC order on BGMEA building demolition March 27 DHAKA :The High Court on Sunday set March 27 to deliver its order on the time petition filed by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters' Association (BGMEA) over relocating its office from the city's Hatirjheel area, reports UNB. A four-member HC bench, led by Chief Justice Syed MahmudHossain, set the date after the hearing of the time petition in the morning. Advocate Kamrul Islam Siddiqui stood for the petitioner while Advocate Manzill Murshid for the environmentalists. Earlier on March 5, BGMEA authorities filed the time petition with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court as the seven months time given in September in 2017 by the SC for relocating its office building expired in March. On March 5, the BGMEA lost its last legal battle to keep its structure intact on the scenic waterbody as the Appellate Division rejected its plea seeking review of its judgment that upheld an earlier High Court verdict, ordering demolition of the structure. In 2011, the High Court ordered demolition of the 16-storey building as it was constructed in defiance of relevant laws, calling it a 'cancer' in the lake. The BGMEA later filed a leave-toappeal petition with the Appellate Division against the High Court judgment, but the apex court on June 2, 2016, dismissed the plea as well as asked the RMG producers to demolish its headquarters at once and at its own cost.