fRiday Dhaka : March 30, 2018; Chaitra 16, 1424 BS; Rajab 12, 1439 hijri www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www. tbtbangla.com Regd.No.Da~2065, Vol.16; No.96; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00 inTeRnaTiOnal Malala says she will continue fight for girls' education DHAKA : Mayor of Washington DC Muriel Bowser has declared Bangladesh's 48th Independence and National Day (March 26) as 'Bangladesh Day', reports UNB. A representative of the Mayor formally handed over the proclamation to Juma 04:40 AM 12:10 PM 04:28 PM 06:16 PM 07:30 PM 5:54 6:13 >Page 7 BNP's return to power means country's destruction: PM THAKURGAON : Seeking vote for Awami League in the next general election, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said BNP's return to power means destruction of the country, reports UNB. "BNP's return to power means destroying the country, burning people to death, indulging in corruption, plundering and terrorism, and creating militancy," she said while addressing a public rally in the district town. Awami League's Thakurgaon district unit arranged the rally at Thakurgaon Government Boys' High School ground in the town. Mentioning that the national election will be held in December 2018, the Prime Minister said, "If you vote for Boat, we'll present you a Sonar Bangla with continued development." The PM further said, "The symbol of boat means your development and peace. It'll provide you improved lifestyle." Criticising BNP leaders, Sheikh Hasina said Khaleda Zia's two sons looted Tk 980.20 crore from banks, but did not pay back a single penny. Earlier, the Prime Minister inaugurated 33 development projects and laid the foundation stones of 33 others. AL district unit president Alhaj Dabirul Islam MP presided over the rally. Sheikh Hasina last visited Thakurgaon on September 18, 2001. AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Brides Minister Obaidul Quader, MP, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, MP, AL presidium member Ramesh Chandra Sen, MP, AL joint general secretaries Mahbubul Alam, MP and Jahangir Kabir Nanak, MP, AL organising secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury MP, among others, addressed the rally. Pre-poll violence: 1 killed in Tangail 'police firing' TANGAIL : A man was killed when police reportedly fired on supporters of Awami League-backed chairman candidate and supporters of independent chairman candidate at Sagordighi union parishad in Ghatail upazila early Thursday, reports UNB. Voting at the Gupta Brindabon Government Primary School centre has been suspended following the violence, said Tajul Islam, district election officer. Sanjit Kumar Roy, Superintendent of Tangail Police, said a group of people numbering 100/150 attacked the centre to loot ballot papers around 3am, hours before the beginning of balloting in the UP election. As per instruction of the presiding officer, police fired bullets on the ballot papers snatchers to bring the situation under control, leaving Abdul Washington Mayor declares Mar 26 as 'Bangladesh Day' Malek, 45, a resident of the village, dead on the spot, the SP added. Locals said they had learnt that supporters of Awami League-back chairman candidate Hekmat Sikder were stuffing ballot papers at Brindabon Government Primary School centre around 3am. Then supporters of independent candidate Habibullah Bahar along with locals rushed to the spot and tried to obstruct them, triggering a clash. People from inside the centre fired bullets to create panic and police then fired back to bring the situation under control, leaving one shot dead on the spot, they added. Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin at the Independence Day reception at the Embassy on Wednesday, said a PID handout on Thursday. The proclamation says the people of Bangladesh on this day remember the leadership of Father of their Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the valor of freedom fighters that led to the independence of their country. The United States Department of State has cited Bangladesh as a 'global example of a democratic, tolerant, pluralistic, and moderate nation' whose friendship matters to the United States, the proclamation also mentioned. The Embassy of Bangladesh has contributed to the cultural diversity of the District of Colombia and has participated in many DC events. aRT & CUlTURe 'Basanta Utsab' celebrated at DU >Page 8 Hajj flights to begin July 14 DHAKA : Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal yesterday said the Hajj flights carrying Bangladeshi pilgrims for performing Hajj this year will begin on July 14, reports BSS. This year, a total of 1,27,198 pilgrims- - 7,198 under government management and 1,20,000 under private management-will perform Hajj from Bangladesh, said the minister while speaking at a press briefing after holding a meeting with officials of Religious Affairs Ministry, Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) at his office at secretariat here. Shahjahan said there are two packages-Taka 3,97,929 for package one and Taka 3,31,359 for package two-for the hajj travelers under the government management and the flight fair has been fixed at Taka 1,38,191 under these two packages. He also mentioned that Hajj pilgrims will have to buy some of the mandatory equipment, including particular size of kitbag labeled with Bangladesh national flag by themselves. The minister said complaints were filed in both Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, against 193 agencies that participated in Hajj related activities in 2017. After getting the complaints, a probe committee was formed to investigate the allegations, he added. FF Database comes into being, JS body told DHAKA : Bangladesh Freedom Fighter Welfare Trust has prepared the 'Freedom Fighter Database' containing names and family details of freedom fighters, reports UNB. Besides, it has made its web portal named www.bffwt,govt.bd. This was disclosed at a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committeeon the Liberation War Affairs Ministry held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban on Thursday. Committee Chairman AB Tajul Islam presided over the meeting. The meeting was informed that the allowances and medical bills of the injured freedom fighters are being paid through online banking which has relieved them of sufferings and expenditure. SPORT Danielle Collins reached the last 16 as a wildcard >Page 9 BNS 'Bangabandhu' returned to her base after participating in the 6th International Maritime Defense and Conference held in Doha, Qatar. Photo: TBT Myanmar agrees to engage UNHCR in repatriation process DHAKA : Myanmar has agreed to engage UNHCR in the Rohingya repatriation and rehabilitation process which Dhaka sees as a progress, reports UNB. Bangladesh already remains engaged with the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, to take support for smooth repatriation of Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar which Myanmar did not want. "It's big progress that Myanmar got engaged with UNHCR. The UN has confirmed it to us. They are in discussion on the issue," State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam told reporters on Thursday. He said the government will send the new set of list consisting names of Rohingyas as Myanmar responded on first list. He was talking to reporters after attending a seminar on the theme- 'Upcoming 45th Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dhaka: Revisiting A Shared Journey' in the city. The government will soon send the second list consisting of upto 10,000 names of Rohingyas to Myanmar as part of the repatriation process. "It is a continuous process. We are preparing the list. We are sending lists of Rohingyas step by step,"Relief and Refugee Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam told UNB on Wednesday night. He, however, did not want to tell the number saying they will continue to work on the issue as over 1 million Rohingyas are living in Bangladesh. Bangladesh already handed over a list of 1,673 Rohingya families (8,032 individuals) to Myanmar to start the first phase of repatriation of the displaced people to their homeland in Rakhine state. Myanmar side, however, verified less than 400 of those and there is no sign of their repatriation yet. Some 700,000 Rohingyas have taken shelter in Bangladesh since last August following an army crackdown that the United Nations has likened to ethnic cleansing. On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on 'Physical Arrangement' which will facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh but there is no significant progress over repatriation. The 'Physical Arrangement' stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferably within two years from the start of repatriation.