24-09-2021

tbtbangla

friday

DHaka: September 24, 2021; ashwin 9, 1428 BS; Safar 16,1443 Hijri

www.thebangladeshtoday.com; www.bangladeshtoday.net

Regd.No.Da~2065, Vol.19; N o. 148; 12 Pages~Tk.8.00

international

Many migrants

staying in US even as

expulsion flights rise

>Page 7

SPortS

Simona Halep

splits with coach

Darren Cahill

>Page 9

Despite having an overbridge, students are crossing the road every day with risk. As a result, the over

bridge next door is not working. The picture is taken from rajshahi city yesterday. Photo : star mail

Covid testing at

Dhaka airport to

begin on Saturday:

Zahid Maleque

AsrAful IslAm AsrAf

From the next Saturday, at Hazrat

Shahjalal International Airport, people

going abroad will be able to get

Covid-19 testing facilities without

any hindrance from the installed RT

PCR labs.

Health and Family Welfare Minister

Zahid Maleque said this while

addressing a media briefing after

inspecting the RT PCR lab set-up at

Hazrat Shahjalal Int’l Airport on

Thursday afternoon.

He added, "I personally came here

the day before yesterday and fixed the

place to set up the RT PCR lab at

Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport

as soon as possible.

I hope it will be possible to complete

the infrastructure construction by

evening (September 23). A few

machines have also arrived and all the

concerned officials of the health sector

are working tirelessly.

Asked about the number of labs and

how many people can test in these labs

daily, the health minister said, "There

will be 12 machines installed in 7 labs.

At least three and a half to four thousand

people will be able to test in these

labs every day.

Both the Rapid PCR Lab for timely

testing and the RT PCR Lab for general

testing will work. "

The Minister was accompanied by

Secretary General of Bangladesh

Private Medical College Association

Anwar Hossain Khan MP, Director

General of the Department of Health

Prof ABM Khurshid Alam, Executive

Director of the Airport Authority and

Zumma

04:34 AM

01:30 PM

04:15 PM

06:00 PM

07:20 PM

5:47 5:54

Highway model filling

stations on card

DHAKA : The government has undertaken

an initiative to introduce international

standard petrol pumps having

modern facility across the country, said

an official familiar with the process.

"For this, the government wants to

implement the concept of 'Highway

Model Filling Station' all over the country

and reduce the number filling stations

having no modern facility as well as reputation,"

the official added. He said the

country's socio-economic development,

business viability and inter-country road

network facilities have encouraged the

govt to set up the model filling stations.

Talking to BSS, state minister for power,

energy and mineral resources Nasrul

Hamid said the government has decided

to implement an integrated initiative during

the birth centenary of Father of the

Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur

Rahman and the golden jubilee of independence.

"Under visionary leader Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina, the size of our economy is

getting bigger since 2009 for tremendous

success in all sectors especially energy,

power, ICT, infrastructure, industrialization,

export, diplomacy and health," he

said, adding highways are being upgraded

from two lanes to four lanes and expressways

and elevated expressways are being

constructed in the country.

The ministry conducted a survey and

found the new concept of setting up model

filling stations on highways, said Joint

Secretary of the Ministry Dr Moh Sher Ali.

He said that the survey was conducted following

various criticisms and allegations

against petrol pumps across the country

and the government took the initiative to

introduce model filling stations on the

basis of the survey.

"The survey reveals serious and mysterious

information, which shows that 62% of

pumps cannot make profit by selling

diesel, octane and petrol and they (petrol

pumps) are facing loss," Dr Sher Ali said.

According to the survey, conventional

petrol pumps are selling adulterated oil and

manipulating weight, while model filing stations

like developed world will be able to

make profit by selling fuel and providing

other vehicles and customers related services.

Some one and a half to two acres of land

will be required for establishing a model

petrol pump beside the highway, which

will have all facilities and services including

office room, rest room for drivers, restaurant,

stationery shop, washing facility,

ATM booth, prayers room, owners' room,

facilities for physically challenged persons,

mobile phone charging point, water body

and self dealing system, it said.

US announces $180m addl

assistance for Rohingyas

DHAKA : The United States (US) has

announced nearly 180 million US dollar in

additional assistance for Rohingyas facing

humanitarian crisis in and outside

Myanmar and affected host communities

in Bangladesh.

"Of this funding, nearly $158 million is

for programs inside Bangladesh," said US

Representative to the United Nations

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on

Tuesday.

According to US embassy on Thursday,

She said Bangladesh and its people have

taken on an enormous responsibility in

hosting Rohingyas.

"We stand with the Government of

Bangladesh and with Rohingya in working

toward the ultimate goal of the safe, voluntary,

dignified, and sustainable return and

reintegration of Rohingya refugees and

internally displaced person," the ambassador

said.

For decades, she said Rohingya in

Myanmar have faced a campaign of cruelty

like torture, rape, arson, killings and massacres.

"While we relentlessly pressure

Burma's military regime to stop its violence

and return to the path to democracy, the

international community must examine

other durable solutions for Rohingya," she

said. Since the coup in Myanmar, she said

the heartbreaking humanitarian situation

has been even more dire.

"Nearly 900,000 Rohingya have been

forced to take refuge in Bangladesh. We

cannot ignore their plight," she added.

The ambassador said this assistance will

provide protection, shelter, food, safe

drinking water, health care, and psychosocial

support.

It will also assist disaster preparedness

and COVID-19 relief for Rohingya while

bolster access to education and skills training

for Rohingya in Bangladesh - key for

those who wish to pursue repatriation once

conditions are suitable, she continued. "If

you've already donated, we urge you to

increase your commitment. And if you have

not made a contribution, now is the time to

join us," she urged other countries.

DGHS driver

Malek's wife sent

to jail in graft case

DHAKA : A court on Thursday

sent

Directorate General of Health Services

(DGHS) driver Abdul Malek's wife Nargir

Begum to jail in a graft case filed by Anti-

Corruption Commission (ACC) against

the couple. Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions

Judge KM Imrul Qayesh passed the order

as Nargir surrendered before the court

and pleaded for bail in the case.

On September 21, ACC approved the

charge-sheet filed against Malek and his wife

Nargis. ACC filed two separate cases against

the couple on February 15, 2021, for amassing

illegal wealth of around Taka 3.5 cr.

In one case Malek was accused of concealing

information about the wealth of Taka

93.53 lakh and amassing illegal wealth of

Taka 1.50 crore. In another case, Nargis was

accused of amassing illegal wealth of Taka

1.10 crore. Malek was already convicted and

sentenced to 15-year imprisonment in an

arms case on Sept 20.

RAB members on September 20, 2020,

detained Malek for his involvement in businesses

of illegal arms, fake notes and other

illegal activities.

HC allows

conditional bail

to Jhumon Das

DHAKA : The High Court (HC) on

Thursday granted conditional bail to

Jhumon Das of Shalla, Sunamganj,

for one year in a case lodged under

Digital Security Act (DSA).

Jhumon Das

"A High Court Division bench of

Justice Mustafa Zaman Islam and

Justice KM Zahid Sarwar allowed the

bail on condition of not to go out of his

home district without permission from

the lower court concerned," Advocate

Nahid Sultana Juthi, who moved the

bail plea for Jhumon, told newsmen.

The court also issued a rule in this

regard. Senior Advocates Subroto

Chowdhury, ZI Khan Panna and

Advocate Nahid Sultana Juthi argued

for Jhumon's bail, while Assistant

Attorney General Mizanur Rahman

stood for the state at the hearing.

art & culture

Toronto Multicultural

Film Fest begins with

'Rupsha Nadir Banke'

>Page 10

SDGs performance

Hasina's leadership

earns huge appreciation

DHAKA : Director of the UN Sustainable

Development Solutions Network Jeffrey

Sachs has highly appreciated Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina for her leadership

in securing "tremendous" gains on

different development and human indicators

set out under SDGs, reports UNB.

"You've been in the leadership position

during this time of tremendous progress.

So, we wanted to give you personal congratulations

as well," said Jeffrey Sachs, a

world renowned economist.

Lessons from Bangladesh's progress in

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

are something that the whole world is interested

to know, Jeffrey mentioned.

A video of his remarks made recently at

a programme was shared on the Facebook

page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Branding Bangladesh as the "top performing"

nation in attainment of SDGs,

Sachs urged Hasina to share her perspectives

for world leaders to help the

world achieve the path of "progress" and

"development".

The Prime Minister was awarded with

the 'SDG Progress Award' by the UN-sponsored

Sustainable Development Solutions

Network (SDSN) for Bangladesh's steady

progress in achieving the SDGs.

"One of the things that makes us so

excited and we want to hear from you is

the fact that when we analyze as the UN

Sustainable Development Solutions

Network does each year, the country's

progress towards sustainable goals

Bangladesh came first in the world in

most progress between 2015 and 2020,"

Sachs told an international seminar at

the UN, according to the video.

Highlighting Bangladesh's progress, the

former adviser to three United Nations

Secretaries-General, said, "I want to point

out for listeners as we welcome you

(Hasina). If you look at the facts of

Bangladesh's progress and development,

they really are wonderful and striking."

"For that achievement as well as wishing

Bangladesh a happy birthday as this is a

celebratory year, even though we're in the

midst of a big crisis globally and everywhere,

we still want to celebrate

Bangladesh's achievement," Sachs added.

Sachs tossed a few statistics to back his

contention. In 1981, he said, the literacy

rate was 29% of the adult population, in

2019 75% and in 1998, the completion at

the lower secondary school was 50%,

now it is 88%.

Electrification was only 14% of households

covered in 1991 while now electricity

access is 92%, he mentioned.

Mentioning a "seven-fold reduction"

under-five child mortality, Sachs said

one that is a particularly clear indicator

of the great strides of wellbeing, the mortality

rate for the children under 5 at

independence was 222 children dying

before their fifth birthdays of every 1000

births.

BB asks Union Bank to explain

Tk 19 crore missing from its

Gulshan branch

DHAKA : Bangladesh Bank has called

for an explanation from Islamic Shariahbased

Union Bank Limited on how an

amount of Tk 19 crore went missing

from the vault of its Gulshan branch.

"The central bank has asked the Union

Bank authorities to give explanation

about the incident within next 7 days",

Sirajul Islam, spokesman of the

Bangladesh Bank told reporters on

Thursday.

An inspection team of Bangladesh

Bank on Monday unearthed a mismatch

between the preserved cash in the

branch's vault and the actual amount

mentioned in the cash register.

It was found by the team that the vault

should have a preserved amount of Tk 31

crore while it had available cash of Tk 12

crore.

Following the incident, the central

bank moved to ask for an explanation

from the bank management.

Sirajul Islam said if the explanation is

not satisfactory, the central bank will

take action as per banking rules and regulation.

Meanwhile, the Union Bank authorities

also formed a 5-member committee

to investigate the incident of money disappearance

from the vault and withdrew

three of its officials responsible for maintaining

the vault-account.

Deputy managing director the Union

Bank Hasan Iqbal informed the media

about the steps taken by the management.

He, however, said there was no disappearance

of cash from the vault. Rather,

this happened because of the cash withdrawal

by a VIP client beyond the banking

hours.

But he refused to disclose the name of

the VIP client.

Police

charged baton

and

dispersed

aggrieved

E-orange

customers

who staged

demonstrations

in the capital

and tried to

block a road

near matsya

Bhaban.

Photo : TBT


FrIDAY, SePtemBer 24, 2021

2

Sadhan for building

society free from child

marriage, drug-addiction

RAJSHAHI : Food Minister

Sadhan Chandra Majumder

has urged the cultural

activists to play their due role

for building the society free

from child marriage and

drug-addiction.

He said the present

government is positive to the

cultural workers as its

cultural-friendly and urged

them to play effective role

against child marriage and

addiction of drugs.

The minister came up with

the observation while

addressing a meeting

marking the distribution of

incentives among

beneficiaries under different

development programmes at

Sapahar Upazila Parishad

Hall Room in Naogaon

district today as the chief

guest.

Food Minister Sadhan

Majumder said decent

cultural practice always plays

a vital role in establishing

discipline in the society. He

stressed the need for

engaging the new generation

towards decent cultural

practice side by side with the

academic curricula to protect

the native culture from the

negative culture.

He said the country doesn't

face any food crisis amid the

pandemic and Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasian

provided incentives to all the

affected sectors.

Minister Sadhan

Majumder urged upon the

public representatives,

marriage registrars and local

administration to become

active against child marriage.

He also called upon the

local administration for

adopting zero tolerance steps

in terms of the child

marriage and drug addiction.

Experts call for steps to

check early marriage

Expressing concerns that over 33 percent girls

in Bangladesh are getting married before 15

and 58 percent before 18, while 60 percent are

becoming mothers by the age of 19, speakers at

a meeting on Wednesday underscored the need

for effective steps for implementation of the law

to check early child marriage.

While the incidence of child marriage has

decreased worldwide, it has increased in

Bangladesh and the country stands the fourth

in child marriage prevalence after three of

backward African countries. Almost 85 percent

of the marriages took place due to the parents'

concern about their daughters' future, while 71

percent occurred due to the school closure.

Incidin Bangladesh in collaboration with

Save the Children organized the meeting with

Executive Director of Incidin Bangladesh A. K.

M. Masud Ali in the chair.

M Aminul Islam, former national convener of

SAIVAC and joint secretary spoke as the chief

guest. Advocate Salma Ali, Chairperson,

BNWCA, Shamsun Nahar, additional director,

DSW, Dr. Md. Mustafizur Rahman, joint

inspector general, DIFE, spoke as special

guests. Another Executive Director of Incidin

Bangladesh A.K.M.Mustaque Ali also

presented in the session.

In a keynote presentation, A. K. M. Masud

Ali said, despite enactment of Child Marriage

Restraint Act 2017, the rate of marriage of

under-aged girls is alarmingly high in

Bangladesh and also suggested for reiterating

the cognizable and non-compoundable nature

of the offense.

Besides, setting up Child Marriage

Prevention Committee, strengthening the

powers of government officials, and increasing

penalties for under aged are very important for

ensuring execution of the law for effectively

checking marriage of under-aged marriage, he

mentioned.

In order to stop early child marriage, he

suggested for regular awareness campaign for

educating and encouraging people on no

marriage before marriage age, initiating

poverty alleviation and social safety net for

alternative livelihood through skills

development.

Low income of the parents or guardians

unable to run their families is responsible for

61 percent of the marriages, while returnees

from abroad during the virus epidemic topped

the list of grooms preferred by 62 percent of the

families marrying their children off, he pointed

out referring to recent study.

"Some of the parents think that the lingering

coronavirus epidemic will increase economic

uncertainty, leaving them unable to feed their

children," he quoted a survey report.

As a move for way forward for effectively

checking child marriage, he suggested for

deepening understanding and expanding data

on urban context of child marriage across

marginalized communities and children.

He also emphasized on acknowledging

children without parental care as a common

reality in urban context of marginalization and

vulnerability by ensuring inclusion of these

children in urban safety-net program.

Besides, expanding Child Welfare Board's

coverage at urban centers and ensuring

portable social safety-net for migrating adults

and children as well as their families can play

effective role, he mentioned.

Govt distributes relief

among all corona

affected people :

Dr Enamur

SAVAR : State Minister for Disaster

Management and Relief Dr Enamur Rahman

yesterday said relief assistance has been

distributed to all people who have been

affected by the pandemic.

The State minister made this comment after

distributing relief among vulnerable people

affected by corona virus at uapzila parishad

yesterday afternoon.

Dr Enamur said : "None will remain hungry

during the regime of the present government.

The government is supporting all the people

who were affected by flood and corona virus."

After distributing relief, the state minister

joined general meeting of Savar upazila

parishad monthly law and order committee.

Savar Upazila Parishad Chairman Manjurul

Alam Rajib, Municipality Mayor Abdul Gani,

Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mazharul Islam and

other local elites awere present.

Incidin Bangladesh in collaboration with Save the Children organized a meeting at YWCA auditorium

on Wednesday.

Photo : Courtesy

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2021

3

EfT becomes boon for retired

govt. employees

Secretary of Defence Ministry Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal ndc on Thursday addressing a seminar which was

organized on the occasion of announcing 'Survey Day' of Survey of Bangladesh.

Photo : ISPR

BSmmU's new specialized

hospital a symbol of close

ties with Korea: Envoy

DHAKA : South Korean Ambassador to

Bangladesh lee Jang-keun on Thursday

visited the construction site of the new

specialized hospital under Bangabandhu

Sheikh mujib medical University (BSmmU)

and said it will serve as a symbol of close

relationship between Bangladesh and Korea,

reports UNB.

"This Hospital will be the first specialized

hospital in Bangladesh for the treatment of

critical patients and serve as a symbol of our

close relationship and ever-strengthening

friendship," he said.

During his visit to the site, Ambassador

lee said it is the largest project in medical

area with Korea's support.

Vice-Chancellor of BSmmU Dr. md.

Sharfuddin Ahmed, Additional Secretary of

the ministry of Health md. Shahadat

Hossain, Chairman and Director of the

Project of BSmmU md. Zulfiqur Rahman

Khan and other staff of Hyundai

Development Corporation, Sunjin

Engineering and Samsung C and T were

present.

The project is funded by South Korea's

concessional loan, Economic Development

Cooperation fund (EDCf), with the total

cost of US$ 130,917,000.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the

construction was held in September 2018

with the presence of Prime minister Sheikh

Hasina.

The work is well in progress despite the

impact of COVID-19 and is expected to be

inaugurated soon, said the Ambassador.

South Korean companies, Hyundai

Development Company (HDC), Sunjin

Engineering and Samsung C and T are

involved in the implementation of the

project.

The hospital is designed to accommodate a

total of 700 beds and 5 specialized centers.

It will also be equipped with cutting-edge

medical devices and health information

system (HIS). The new hospital will feature

the largest medical service system in

Bangladesh.

The project goes beyond a mere

construction of the building.

Doctors and nurses of the BSmmU have

been invited to Korea for medical education

and training.

Hospital managers have also visited Korea

to participate in training in hospital

operation and management.

The health sector has long been one of the

priority areas of South Korea's ODA to

Bangladesh with an aim to help providing

quality healthcare services to Bangladesh

people, said the South Korean Embassy in

Dhaka.

South Korea established Bangladesh-

Korea friendship Hospital in 1998 in Savar

which added an Eye Care Unit to the hospital

recently.

The National Institute of Advanced

Nursing Education and Research (NIANER)

opened in 2016 with the support of KOICA, a

Korea's grant aid agency.

Korea invited so far more than 250

Bangladesh medical professionals to Korea

and provided education and training in

various areas of medical expertise.

Ambassador lee said, "South Korea

continues to commit to improving

healthcare service in Bangladesh through

various ODA projects so that Bangladesh

people can enjoy quality healthcare service

and health life."

BNP is more united now

than past: Rizvi

SHAfIqUl ISlAm (SHAfIq)

The senior joint secretary general of BNP

advocate Ruhul Kabir Rizvi has strongly

criticized the recent statements of Dr.

Jafrullah Chowdhury, the founding trustee of

Gonoshasthya kendra, about the BNP.

Besides, under the leadership of BNP

chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and the

party's acting chairman Tarique Rahman,

there is a solid unity in the BNP now. Rizvi

remarked that BNP leaders are now more

united. He said this while talking to reporters

at his residence in the capital on Thursday

(September 23) morning.

Regarding Dr. Jafrullah Chowdhury, Rizvi

said, "We knew him as an accomplice of the

dictator Ershad." I knew the accomplice of

dictatorship. Now he is speaking of

democracy. People know what he has done

with Ershad regarding drug policy. Today has

become the conscience of the nation, who will

do or not? Who should do what? Beyond that

level, he is giving motivation for the purpose.

He said Dr. Jafrullah Chowdhury is a veteran.

He has contributed to the liberation war. But

it cannot be that you speak outside of all

norms. He sometimes spoke about the BNP

and the BNP leaders in a way that goes

beyond all civilization and elegance.

Rizvi said, Begum Khaleda Zia is out, or

free? He must know that. Khaleda Zia was

imprisoned, now under house arrest. She has

been kept in the residence with many

conditions. She can't go anywhere freely.

Now that she is free, it is up to her to decide

where and how to go. She has led the BNP for

a long time. The nation will never forget her

boundless courage in restoring democracy in

the country. The torture she is still enduring

is also part of a huge struggle to save

democracy. The whole nation knows that she

has been imprisoned on a false charge.

He also said Jafrullah Chowdhury should

know the condition of Begum Khaleda Zia

now. Even then, he sometimes made remarks

about Begum Khaleda Zia and acting

chairman Tareq Rahman that were not

tasteful. I think he said these things to please

any evil power.

3 held with 40,000

Yaba tablets in city

DHAKA : members of

mugda Police Station in a

drive on Thursday arrested

three people with 40,000

pieces of Yaba tablets and

seized a microbus used for

transporting the drugs from

mugda area in the city.

The arrestees were

identified as md Kamal,

mosammat Rahima Kamal

and md Rajib. Police

Inspector (operation) of the

mugda Police Station Ashish

Kumar Deb, who led the drive,

said acting on a tip off, a team

of police engaged in special

drives raided Uttar manda

area of the police station

around 6:10am on Thursday

and arrested the trio.

During the drive, police

recovered 40,000 Yaba pills

along with the microbus

used for transporting drugs

from their possession, he

said. The arrestees were

produced before the court

after filing a case with the

mugda Police Station in this

connection, Ashish added.

The drive was conducted

at the directive of Deputy

Police Commissioner of

motijheel Division of the

Dhaka metropolitan Police

md Abdul Ahad while ADC-

Sabujbag md Aktarul Islam

supervised it.

man held

with 25 gold

bars at Dhaka

airport

DHAKA : A man was

detained by Customs

officials at Hazrat Shahjalal

International Airport in

Dhaka on Wednesday night

for allegedly attempting to

smuggle in 25 gold bars

worth Tk 2 crore, reports

UNB.

The detainee has been

identified as md Ripon, a

resident of Cumilla district.

Deputy Commissioner of

the Dhaka Customs House

(preventive team) md

Sanoarul Kabir said that

based on a tip-off, officials

intercepted Ripon at the

airport around 11.15pm

upon his arrival from Riyadh

on a Saudi Airlines flight.

"Upon frisking, our

officials found the 25 gold

bars weighing 2.99kg

hidden in the sleeves of his

jacket. The estimated

market value of the seized

gold is Tk 2 crore," he said.

Ripon was later handed

over to the Airport Police

Station. A case will be filed

against him in this

connection, the official said.

LGRD Minister Tajul Islam addressing the concluding workshop of the EU Support to Health and

Nutrition to the Poor in Urban Bangladesh project at a city hotel yesterday. Photo : Courtesy

SHARIATPUR : The government's

Electronic fund Transfer (EfT)

endeavor as part of its 'digital

Bangladesh' campaign has been

godsend for retired public servants in

the district as elsewhere in the country

facilitating those senior citizens in

hassle-free pension withdrawal.

"Once, that was like a nightmare in

every month to withdraw my pension. I

used to need two to three days to get my

own money. But, now it's just a matter

of one time visit to bank to get the

money owing to digitization," said

Alauddin Ahmed, retired headmaster

of Pachukharkandi Government

Primary School of Naria Upazila in the

district.

Ahmed, who got retired from his

teaching profession in 2009, said,

before introducing the EfT system, the

retired employees had to visit the

Upazila accounts office first to submit

their accounts book for authorization

and wait till next day for getting the

authorization. "We could not withdraw

our pension money from the bank

without the authorization and we had

to take a long queue at the accounts

office at least two times every month to

get that," Ahmed said.

In case of sickness or ailment, he said,

the retired persons used to need

authorization to someone else to go

through the process on behalf of them.

"We had to spend a good share of our

pension money for transportation cost

for that manual bureaucratic tangles,"

Ahmed said conveying thanks to the

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina for

launching her one of the ten innovative

initiatives 'Digital Bangladesh'.

"Currently, I get notification in my

mobile through text message that my

pension money has been deposited to

my bank accounts. I can easily

withdraw money from the bank at my

convenient time," he said in a voice

with full of relief and satisfaction.

District Social Services Department

office sources said currently, a total of

3,065 retired officers and employees in

eight Upazilas of the district withdraw

their allowances through EfT system

managed by district and upazila

accounting offices.

Out of these 3065 senior citizens, 996

are residing in Sadar Upazila, 428 in

Jajira Upazila, 766 in Naria Upazila,

685 in Vedarganj Upazila, 350 in

Gosairhat Upazila, 460 in Damudya

Upazila while most of them are in their

70s.

The Bangladesh Electronic funds

Transfer Network (BEfTN) started its

'live Operation' in february 28 , 2011

aiming to lessening paper-based

payment methods and encourage

electronic payment methods for

secured, faster and cost-effective

transactions.

It is operated as a processing and

delivery center, providing service of

distribution and settlement of

electronic credit and debit instruments

among all participating banks.

Before the digitalization, the

beneficiaries used to face extreme

suffering to get their pension money

due to many constraints of the accounts

office mainly shortage of manpower.

Currently, EfT software now saves

both time and money of the elderly

retired persons through a hassle-free

automation service.

President of government employees'

welfare association of Bhedorganj

upazila veteran freedom fighter Hazi

Deen mohammad Sikdar said

government retired officials and staffs

in the district were forced to visit

upazila accounts office several times to

get their monthly allowances.

"Those days of hardship are over as

currently we are able to know that our

money has been deposited at our bank

accounts through our mobile phone,"

he said.

Retired military personnel veteran

freedom fighter Jane Alam munshi

echoed Sikdar, saying before

commencing the digital payment

system, withdrawing the pension

money was a name of extreme suffering

for any retired person like me. District

Accounts Office Auditor firoz Ahmed

said currently, district and upazila

accounts offices are disbursing all

allowances through EfT.

He said the pension and fund

management department update the

list of retired personnel and send it to

the district accounts office after every

five to six months.

"Before introducing the EfT system,

we had to work in three fronts to

disburse the allowance money to the

individuals. Now, the finance ministry

provides the fund to the respective

bank accounts of the beneficiaries

through Bangladesh Bank," Ahmed

said. Earlier, he said, the elderly people

had to visit his office at least twice in a

month for getting their allocated

money but now they don't need to visit

even once. "Digitization is a blessing for

these respected elderly citizens of our

society. Thanks to our Honorable

Prime minister," said the auditor.

After inception, the EfT is gaining

popularity among the corporate and

government bodies as salary of more

than 28 ministries and concerned

offices are now being paid through the

system.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud addressing the biennial general meeting

of Rajshahi Division Journalist Association-Dhaka.

Photo : TBT

Bangladesh reports 1,144 fresh

cases, 24 deaths from COVID-19

DHAKA : Bangladesh on Thursday reported

1,144 COVID-19 cases while the coronavirus

claimed overnight 24 lives.

"The country reported 4.61 percent

COVID-19 positive cases as 24,820 samples

were tested in the past 24 hours," Directorate

General of Health Services (DGHS) said in

its routine daily statement.

In the past 24 hours, combined figure of

coronavirus of Dhaka city and upazilas of

Dhaka district is 620 while seven COVID-19

deaths were reported during the same

period.

The official tally showed the virus killed

27,337 people and infected 15,48,320 so far,

it added.

The recovery count rose to 15,07,789 after

another 1,653 patients were discharged from

the hospitals during the past one day.

The DGHS statistics showed of the people

infected from the beginning 97.38 percent

recovered, while 1.77 percent died.

The DGHS said among the total 27,337

fatalities, 11,910 deaths occurred in Dhaka

division, 5,532 in Chattogram, 2017 in

Rajshahi, 3,542 in Khulna, 930 in Barishal,

1,238 in Sylhet, 1,343 in Rangpur and 825 in

mymensingh division.

Dengue: 254 more hospitalized,

no death reported

DHAKA : Another 254 new dengue patients

were hospitalized across the country in 24

hours till Thursday morning, reports UNB.

The number of fatalities from the

mosquito-borne disease remained static at

59 as no fresh death was reported during the

period, said the Directorate General of

Health Services (DGHS).

.Among the new patients, 197 were

undergoing treatment in Dhaka's hospitals

while the remaining 57 cases were reported

from outside the division.

Some 1,049 patients diagnosed with

dengue are receiving treatment in the

country, it said. Of them, 836 patients are

receiving treatment at different hospitals in

the capital while the remaining 213 were

listed outside Dhaka.

Among the deceased, 54 died in Dhaka city

alone, two each in Chattogram and Khulna

divisions and one in Rajshahi.

Some 16,705 patients have been admitted

to different hospitals with dengue since

January. So far, 15,597 dengue patients have

left hospitals after recovery, said DGHS.

The highest number of dengue patients

hospitalized in a single day so far this year

was 343 patients on September 7.

In August the country recorded the highest

number of 7,698 dengue cases of the current

year.

In July, 2,286 people were diagnosed with

dengue and 12 died while in June 272 cases

were recorded with no deaths.

Auction of broken down

vehicles kept inside Ctg

port recommended

DHAKA : Parliamentary

Standing Committee on the

ministry of Shipping on

Thursday recommended

taking necessary action for

auctioning vehicles left

nonfunctional inside

Chattogram Port area.

The recommendation

came from the 34th meeting

of the committee held at

Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban here

with Committee Chairman

major Rafiqul Islam in the

chair. The committee also

expressed satisfaction on

overall activities of the

Chattogram Port Authority.

During the meeting, the JS

committee discussed

'mongla Port Authority Bill,

2021' as the bill had been

placed in the Jatiya Sangsad.

Committee members -

State minister for Shipping

Khalid

mahmud

Chowdhury, Ranjit Kumar

Roy, mahfuzur Rahman, Dr

Samil Uddin Ahmed

Shimul, m Aslam Hossain

Sawdagar and Sm Shahjada,

among others, attended the

meeting.

The parliamentary

committee elaborately

discussed present activities,

existing problems and

solution of the Chattogram

Port Authority along with

financial expenditure of the

projects undertaken

between the periods of July

2016 and June 2020.


fRIDAy, SEpTEMBER 24, 2021

4

Acting Editor & Publisher : Jobaer Alam

e-mail: editor@thebangladeshtoday.com

Friday, September 24, 2021

No letting down the

guard against Corona

Only two months ago the Corona virus

threat in Bangladesh appeared

dwindled down so low that people

probably started speculating that it would

ultimately be phased out fairly soon. From a

daily death figure from Corona near 100 some

months ago, the figure dipped to less than 10

or 5 or 7 and it continued like this. The rate of

new infection also fell to 200 or 300 when

previously it averaged near about 1,000 or

more.

This state of affairs bred optimism perhaps

in some official circles that Bangladesh

probably had turned a corner fully in

defeating Corona. The signs of relaxation were

much more prominent in social life. Media

reports highlighted howmobility of people

had reached pre pandemic level from people

sensing an ease in the corona situation.

However, later events proved that such

optimisms were premature to say the least.

From the daily death rate falling to 5, 6 or 7, it

gradually shot up well past the double digit

and continued to soar. Alarmingly, the rate of

new infection too, shot up.

Thus, there is still no scope to feel relaxed

that again we are turning the corner as in

recent weeks cases of corona deaths and

infections have dropped significantly again.

We must maintain all our enthusiasms in the

drive against corona shown so far . Specially,

there must not be any easing of regulations

against Covid-19 and taking of preventive

actions. Indeed, there is now every reason for

all in Bangladesh to gird up their loins and go

all out in every way to ensure that corona does

not get a chance to creep back in and finally

create afresh concern about a resurgent

corona threat once more.

The people need to be exhorted, advised and

discouraged not to give up on the new normal

habits they developed during the height of the

pandemic last year. It should be firmly

printed in the mass psyche that people must

continue with the habit of wearing masks,

remaining indoors as much as possible,

washing hands frequently and observing

social distancing even after taking the vaccine.

Government should also go for stricter

enforcement activities to these ends. It

appears that police and others have

beenlackadaisical about enforcement

activities after being seen relatively more

serous during certain times last year.

Our policy makers must become dead

serious 'immediately' to formulate short term,

mid term and longer term policies against the

Corona threat to be applied without a pause

and admitting no exceptions. It is imperative

to rethink opening of the vulnerable sectors

too abruptly or widely. The resorts, hotels and

motels of prime tourism venues of the country

reportedly are overflowing with people these

days after lockdown was withdrawn. Such

crowding can be a fertile source of social

transmission of the disease. We think it is high

time to restrict once again the visiting of

people in such great number to the tourist and

recreation spots. The tourism and recreation

related business need to be ordered not to

admit any more than half of their capacities

and to observe preventive measures

stringently. Law enforcement authorities

should be required to monitor compliance

with this order or not. Such restrictions need

to be imposed and monitored immediately

and unfailingly in all assemblages such as

mosques, religious events, fairs, etc. We

believe that the restriction must also be

imposed on similar places of public gathering.

Maintaining of social distancing and other

preventive activities rigorously must be made

mandatory.

China may have new leverage in wake of Afghan exit debacle

The Globe and Mail reported at the

end of last week that the US

Department of Justice (DOJ) has

resumed talks with Huawei Technologies

Co and Huawei chief financial officer

Meng Wanzhou on a possible deferred

prosecution agreement (DPA) that could

result in her release from house arrest in

Vancouver, where she is fighting

extradition to the US on bank-fraud

charges relating to alleged violations of US

sanctions against Iran.

In Canada, the news raised hopes that

this might open the door for China to

release Canadians Michael Kovrig, a

former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a

businessman, who were arrested in China

only nine days after Meng's arrest in

Canada.

Since China denies that the "two

Michaels," as they are known, were held in

retaliation for Meng's arrest, such a swap

likely would need to be handled in a

manner that could provide all sides with

plausible deniability as to any linkage

between the cases. However, for US

President Joe Biden's administration, the

stakes may be much higher as it seeks

China's help with a range of crises. China,

sensing a potential weakening of the US

hand following the rout of the USsupported

Afghan government by Taliban

forces, has in each case taken a firm

stance, demanding that the US first deescalate

its relentless pressure campaign

against China across multiple fronts.

Near the top of China's list has been

Meng's release and the scrapping of

sanctions against Huawei. While it is not

necessarily the case that the resumption of

talks on a possible DPA for Meng was a

direct result of such diplomatic pushback

by China, the potential deal would fit

within the overall framework of the

broader trends in the bilateral

relationship. According to reports, while

the Afghan exit crisis was still unfolding,

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken

spoke with Chinese Foreign Minister

Wang Yi by phone on August 16 to ask for

help to manage tensions in the region.

Wang indicated that China was willing

to work with the US to help "promote the

soft landing of the Afghan issue and avoid

a new civil war or humanitarian disaster …

and not let it become a breeding ground

and shelter for terrorism once again."

However, Wang added an important

caveat and warning: "The US cannot, on

the one hand, deliberately curb and

suppress China to damage China's

legitimate rights and interests, and on the

other hand, count on China to offer

support and coordination."

When former US secretary of state John

Kerry, now US climate czar, met with

senior Chinese officials this month in

Tianjin to discuss coordination on actions

to address climate change, the same

message was communicated: The US

cannot expect cooperation from China

while also attacking it on all sides.

The Chinese side acknowledged that the

two countries have shared interests when

it comes to climate issues, which presents

a less contentious topic for dialogue in

what has otherwise been a highly

confrontational relationship, but again

underscored that the broader context

cannot be ignored. Foreign Minister

Wang presented the Chinese position in

diplomatic but unmistakable terms. "The

US side wants the climate-change

cooperation to be an 'oasis' of China-US

relations," he told Kerry. "However, if the

oasis is all surrounded by deserts, then

sooner or later, the oasis will be

desertified."

This was followed by a call directly

between Biden and Chinese President Xi

Jinping, in which the two leaders

tentatively agreed that there was scope for

cooperation on climate change and

restraining North Korea's apparently

ROBERT LEWIS

renewed nuclear ambitions, among other

initiatives. But once again, Xi pushed

back against the United States' continuing

broad-based attacks on China's interests,

which he said had created "serious

difficulties" for the bilateral relationship,

although some commentators noted that

Xi stopped short of expressly imposing

preconditions to cooperation. The current

tensions in the bilateral relationship have

been brewing for several years, with a

nadir reached in 2020 in the wake of the

Covid-19 pandemic. Many in China

placed the primary blame on the anti-

China hawks in the administration of

then-president Donald Trump, but while

the new Biden administration has

presented a more diplomatic veneer, it has

still maintained many of the same policies

which China finds objectionable.

US diplomats have privately noted that

the incoming Biden team made it

abundantly clear over the course of the

post-election transition that there would

be no softening in the US stance, which set

the stage for the fiery exchange of insults

in the first meeting of the chief diplomats

from the two sides in Anchorage, Alaska,

in March. The contentious tone was

reconfirmed in meetings held in Tianjin in

late July between US Deputy Secretary of

State Wendy Sherman and her Chinese

counterparts. The State Department

readout of that meeting reads like a

laundry list of complaints from the US

side.

Sherman raised US concerns about

"human rights, including Beijing's antidemocratic

crackdown in Hong Kong; the

ongoing genocide and crimes against

humanity in Xinjiang; abuses in Tibet;

and the curtailing of media access and

freedom of the press. She also spoke about

our concerns about Beijing's conduct in

cyberspace; across the Taiwan Strait; and

in the East and South China Seas."

That's just the short list of US qualms.

Other sources of tension include

questions of the origins of the virus that

causes Covid-19, technology disputes,

intellectual-property rights, market

access, and trade imbalances, to name a

few. Not to be outdone, the Chinese side

presented two lists of grievances: the "List

of US Wrongdoings that Must Stop" and

the "List of Key Individual Cases that

China Has Concerns With." The full lists

were not made available publicly, but

Xinhua provided a summary (emphasis

added): "In the List of US Wrongdoings

Moreover, the mention of acts "suppressing Chinese enterprises" is

unquestionably a reference to the blanket ban on sale of semiconductor

chips to Huawei, which is viewed by the Chinese government (and even

many outside of China) as an anti-competitive tactic designed to kneecap

Huawei in order to give Western competitors a chance to catch up

and overtake the company in the 5G (fifth generation) technology race.

that Must Stop, China urged the United

States to unconditionally revoke the visa

restrictions over Communist Party of

China (CPC) members and their families,

revoke sanctions on Chinese leaders,

officials and government agencies, and

remove visa restrictions on Chinese

students.

"China also urged the United States to

stop suppressing Chinese enterprises,

stop harassing Chinese students, stop

suppressing the Confucius Institutes,

revoke the registration of Chinese media

outlets as 'foreign agents' or 'foreign

missions,' and revoke the extradition

request for Meng Wanzhou."

This specific reference to the Meng case

demonstrates that it ranks at or near the

top of the list of grievances on the part of

the Chinese government.

Moreover, the mention of acts

"suppressing Chinese enterprises" is

unquestionably a reference to the blanket

ban on sale of semiconductor chips to

Huawei, which is viewed by the Chinese

government (and even many outside of

China) as an anti-competitive tactic

designed to knee-cap Huawei in order to

give Western competitors a chance to

catch up and overtake the company in the

5G (fifth generation) technology race.

Consequently, when the US seeks

China's cooperation on Afghanistan,

North Korean nuclear proliferation,

climate change or any other geopolitical

initiative of potential shared interest, and

the Chinese side expressly or tacitly

conditions its support on resolution of

DR. ABDEL AZIZ ALUWAISHEG

other issues plaguing the broader bilateral

relationship, the Meng and Huawei cases

are at the core, not merely on the

periphery. Viewed against the backdrop

of the overall lists of demands and

counter-demands raised by the two sides,

the Meng and Huawei cases occupy a

unique position as being issues of

consequence while still being capable of

resolution in the near term.

Claims of human-rights violations and

concerns about Hong Kong, Taiwan and

the South China Seas on the part of the US

are particularly thorny and sensitive and

thus not susceptible to quick resolution.

Conversely, easing restrictions on

student visas may be relatively easy to

achieve (although the Biden

administration has not yet revoked the

Trump era rule limiting visas for Chinese

students), but may not have the same

symbolic value to China as would a

resolution of the Meng and Huawei cases.

Moreover, based on evidence adduced

by Meng's legal counsel in the extradition

proceedings, the bank fraud charges no

longer appear to be as solid as originally

portrayed by the DOJ, presumably

making this case even more ripe for an

early disposition by US prosecutors.

Another consideration: Unlike Chinese

(and Canadian) media, which have

provided copious wall-to-wall coverage of

the Meng extradition proceedings, US

news outlets have paid only scant

attention to the case.

This also makes it easier to do a deal

with Meng - her release would be an

exchange of something of high value to

the Chinese side, which likely costs the US

side little in terms of domestic political

capital, but with potentially significant

positive implications for the broader

relationship between the two

superpowers.

The question now is whether the

Huawei chip ban would also be up for

negotiation in parallel. The Globe and

Mail report indicated that the discussions

with Meng's legal counsel do not involve

having Huawei, which was also indicted

together with Meng, accept corporate

responsibility for violation of Iran

sanctions.

But if China is seeking to exert its

apparent new-found leverage, it may well

insist that the criminal charges against

Huawei be dropped and, in addition, that

the chip ban be rescinded. This would be

challenging, but it would not be without

precedent. In the context of the broader

dysfunctional US-China relationship, the

Meng and Huawei cases appear to present

the lowest-hanging high-value fruit. The

US now looks to be ready to strike a deal

to release Meng. We will wait to see what

the US side is willing to do in respect of

Huawei. In an environment of

intensifying polarization, this may be the

best hope to ratchet down the tensions.

Source: Asia times

UN efforts stymied by discord among its members

For the second year in a row, the UN

General Assembly's high-level general

debate is being held under a thick

COVID-19 cloud. UN officials admit that the

pandemic has slowed down their work, with

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saying

on Saturday: "We were not able to make any

real progress in relation to effective

coordination of global efforts."

Last year, the organization's plans to

celebrate its 75th birthday were derailed by

the pandemic and the high-level debate was

muted - conducted virtually for the first time

in its history. This year, while restrictions

have been eased, the pandemic has still

forced some changes in the way this annual

event is handled, including limiting the

number of delegates in the UN building and

assembly hall. Proof of vaccination is

required, although some leaders, such as

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, are

flouting such restrictions.

In preparatory meetings preceding this

week's main event, the UN identified dozens

of global issues it wanted its member states

to tackle. Guterres underlined three

particular major issues: COVID-19, climate

change, and the fallout from America's

hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On the pandemic, Guterres said that the

world had failed to take unified action,

calling it "totally unacceptable" that 80

percent of the population in a country like

Portugal has been fully vaccinated, while in

many African countries the figure is less

than 2 percent. "It's completely stupid from

the point of view of defeating the virus, but if

the virus goes on spreading like wildfire in

the Global South, there will be more

mutations," he said.

On climate change, Guterres also

sounded disappointed. He said: "One year

ago, we were seeing a more clear movement

in the right direction, and that movement

has slowed down in the recent past. So we

need to re-accelerate again if we are not

going into disaster."

And on Afghanistan, Guterres dismissed

as "fantasy" any hope that UN involvement

would be "able all of a sudden to produce an

inclusive government, to guarantee that all

human rights are respected, to guarantee

that no terrorists will ever exist in

Afghanistan, that drug trafficking will stop."

If the US and its allies could not do it with

thousands of soldiers and trillions of dollars,

and even made the situation worse, how

could the UN succeed with far fewer

resources, he asked. In theory, the failure of

America's ill-considered adventure in

Afghanistan could strengthen the UN's role

and, with it, the international rules-based

system. Afghanistan and other intractable

problems can now be addressed under

those rules, instead of great powers trying to

solve them by themselves. However, the

prospect of the international community

working together any time soon is dimmed

by increasing discord among some of the

great powers.

In an interview with the Associated Press

this week, Guterres also warned of a

potential new cold war and called on China

and the US to repair their "completely

dysfunctional" relationship and "reestablish

a functional relationship" to

address pressing global issues.

"Unfortunately, today we only have

confrontation," he lamented.

In theory, the failure of America's illconsidered

adventure in Afghanistan could

strengthen the UN's role.

For the past two years, Guterres has been

warning of the risk of a global split, with the

US and China creating rival internets,

currency, trade, financial rules and "their

own zero-sum geopolitical and military

strategies." His new warnings are louder,

fearing that this rivalry threatens to divide

the world.

"We need to avoid at all cost a cold war

that would be different from the past one,

and probably more dangerous and more

difficult to manage," he said.

The US in particular has pushed back

against such warnings and in particular

does not believe in the notion of a new Cold

War but instead sees that its strong

And on Afghanistan, Guterres dismissed as "fantasy" any hope that UN

involvement would be "able all of a sudden to produce an inclusive

government, to guarantee that all human rights are respected, to

guarantee that no terrorists will ever exist in Afghanistan, that drug

trafficking will stop." If the US and its allies could not do it with thousands

of soldiers and trillions of dollars, and even made the situation worse.

competition with China should not turn into

conflict. However, the discord is too obvious

to ignore. The China-US rivalry is now

dividing the Western alliance, as can be seen

in the raging dispute over Australia's

canceling of a military deal with France, a

deal meant to bolster Australia's defenses

against China. Paris has blamed the US for

Canberra's change of heart. French Foreign

Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian angrily said

last Thursday: "President Biden's method

resembles that of President Trump without

the tweets." He also said that the US was

acting according to its own narrow "core

interests" and linked the matter with the

crisis in Afghanistan.

Usually, this high-level week has

hundreds of side events, but because of the

COVID-19 pandemic only a limited number

are being held, mainly virtually or outside

the UN headquarters. These include events

on vaccines, on children as the invisible

victims of the coronavirus and conflict, on

multilateralism and democracy, and on

global hotspots including Yemen, Somalia,

Afghanistan and Iraq.

There are also high-level meetings on

energy and the nuclear test ban treaty, and a

summit on the nexus between producing,

processing, distributing and consuming

food, which is responsible for a third of

greenhouse gas emissions, according to the

UN. On Wednesday, US President Joe

Biden is hosting a virtual summit on the

pandemic. He is expected to ask global

leaders to boost their commitments to

sharing vaccines and addressing oxygen

shortages around the world, among other

issues. This is Biden's first UN participation

as president - an occasion that usually helps

a new president to cultivate new

relationships with counterparts from

around the world and strengthen existing

ones. However, the chaos of last month's

withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan

has raised questions about US leadership

and reliability as a partner.

Close allies that had committed blood and

treasure to the mission in Afghanistan have

decried the lack of consultation, the hasty

withdrawal without a comprehensive peace

deal, and the disorganized evacuation.

While the UN secretary-general and

many other observers expressed low

expectations ahead of this year's UNGA, the

South Korean pop group BTS managed to

inject some optimism.

On Monday, they took part in an effort to

promote the UN's Sustainable

Development Goals, held at the renowned

General Assembly Hall, where they

performed an inspiring tune ("Permission

to Dance"), garnering tens of millions of

online views in less than a day,

demonstrating that young people around

the world still believe in the UN promise.

Source: Arab news


FRidAY, SEPtEMbER 24, 2021

5

Thomas Chan onAs the March 2022

presidential election approaches in

South Korea, the candidates of both

ruling and opposing parties are

competing over their platforms on

various hot-button issues and

promoting their prospects as the

country's next president.

One of the biggest questions that the

South Korean public has for these

candidates concerns the shape of their

foreign policy. South Korea's position in

Northeast Asia has experienced

turbulence in the past two years. For

example, North Korea destroyed the

Joint Liaison Office in Panmunjom in

June 2020 and terminated the inter-

Korean communication line. In

addition, South Korea's disputes with

Japan over economic sanctions and

historical narratives on the war crimes

committed during World War II have

complicated cooperation between Seoul

and Tokyo. The COVID-19 pandemic

has also created a stalemate in regional

diplomacy and inter-state economic

exchanges. Thus, the South Korean

public will want the next president to

develop a breakthrough that can resolve

the hardships and uncertainties

currently surrounding the Korean

Peninsula.

However, a recent poll highlighted a

major paradigm shift in the trend of

South Korean public perception toward

surrounding states, which may affect

the presidential candidates' foreign

policy pledges. According to the poll by

Hankook Research and South Korean

online newspaper SisaIn, the South

Korean public was least favorable

toward of China; even North Korea and

Japan were viewed more positively.

The participants were asked to give a

favorability score to four countries -

China, Japan, North Korea, and the

United States - on a scale between 0 and

100. South Koreans gave the most

negative rating to China with an average

of 26.4, lower than North Korea at 28.6

and Japan at 28.8. The United States

had the most favorable rating at 57.3.

Furthermore, to the question of whether

participants thought a particular

country is "good" or "evil," 58.1 percent

labeled China as evil, whereas only 4.5

percent said it was good.

Anti-China sentiment in South

Korea's presidential race

Protesters tear a Chinese national flag during a rally to oppose a planned visit by Chinese Foreign

Minister Wang Yi.

Photo: Ahn Young-joon

The increasing anti-China sentiment

in South Korea is a remarkable trend for

Seoul's foreign policy. Previously, South

Korean public opinion focused on North

Korea and Japan as the country's top

potential threats. The same poll in late

2019 showed that Japan was the least

favorably viewed country among South

Koreans, with 21.0 favorability, while

China rated 35.6. Although there were

issues such as historical disputes

centered on the former Korean

kingdom Goguryeo and illegal Chinese

fishing in South Korean waters, the

hatred for China was relatively weak

compared to concerns over the North

Korean nuclear program and the rise of

the far-right movement in Japan.

In the past, China was mainly

perceived as a trade partner because of

its significant position in South Korea's

economy: China receives about a

quarter of South Korea's total exports.

Thus, the Moon administration

implemented strategic ambiguity as a

major foreign policy amid accelerating

China-U.S. competition. While

maintaining security engagement with

the United States, President Moon Jaein

also attempted to reduce liability risk

by staying ambivalent and siding

neither with Washington nor Beijing

over critical issues that may be sensitive

to the economic and diplomatic

relations with China. These issues

include the democratic movement in

Hong Kong, questions over the Taiwan

Strait, and human rights issues in

Xinjiang. Through these obscure

hedging policies, South Korea was able

to sustain its economic interests, even if

the rise of China provoked security

concerns in the Asia-Pacific region.

But the recent anti-China sentiment

implies that South Korea is standing at a

crossroads in its foreign policy. The next

administration will either follow public

opinion and implement a hardline

policy against China or continue with its

strategic ambiguity, despite the risk of

public disapproval. The ruling

Democratic Party of Korea (DPK),

representing the liberal and

nationalistic camps, follows the Moon

administration's foreign policy, and

appreciates amicable relations with

North Korea and China. On the other

hand, the opposition People Power

Party (PPP), a conservative camp,

emphasizes South Korea's relationship

with the United States and aims to

strengthen security against the

increasing North Korean nuclear threat.

Thus, it is more likely that the

opposition party will promote anti-

China rhetoric as a major foreign policy

idea.

The differences between the two

parties were made obvious in the

statements from their most popular

candidates. Lee Jae-myung, governor of

Gyeonggi province and the leading

presidential candidate for the DPK, is

considered to be a pro-China figure. In

2017, Lee pledged to oust the Terminal

High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

missile defense system during an

interview with CCTV, a Chinese staterun

television channel, claiming that its

deployment damages South Korea's

national interests. Lee also recently

promised to inherit Moon's foreign

policy of strategic ambiguity if he ever

becomes president.

"The United States is our sole ally, and

we also have strategic cooperation with

China. There is no reason why we must

lean on one side to limit the relations

with another," said Lee. "It is wiser

diplomacy to induce the U.S. and China

to compete to cooperate with us."

By contrast, Yoon Seok-youl, former

public prosecutor general and the

leading presidential candidate for the

PPP, has revealed his antipathy toward

China. Although Yoon spent most of his

career as a prosecutor and has less

experience in politics, he criticized the

Moon administration's preventive

measures during the COVID-19

pandemic, arguing that the government

should have restricted arrivals from

China upon the initial outbreak of the

disease. Yoon even referred to COVID-

19 as the "Wuhan virus," a term that is

often seen as a racist dog-whistle.

"Since January last year, the Korea

Medical Association and medical

experts have demanded strong control

over the arrivals from China. It is a

feasible request if we approach the virus

scientifically," said Yoon. "If they did

not follow the science, then there must

have been a political consideration."

The different stance between the two

candidates indicates that the South

Korean public's anti-China sentiment

may become a factor in determining the

next South Korean president. It is

therefore necessary to analyze how the

backlash against China suddenly started

to escalate in South Korea and the

potential scenarios that may emerge

between now and March 2022.

Anti-China sentiment in South Korea

has been reinforced by four major

events: the THAAD deployment in

2017, Beijing's response to the prodemocracy

movement in Hong Kong in

2019, the COVID-19 pandemic in early

2020, and China's attempts at "cultural

imperialism" in late 2020.

The THAAD deployment in South

Korea in February 2017 first sparked

friction between Seoul and Beijing. Due

to North Korea's increasing nuclear

provocations in 2016, including

Pyongyang's fourth and fifth nuclear

test, then-president Park Geun-hye

decided to deploy the U.S. missile

defense system to detect and destroy

any North Korean missile attacks

targeting the South. However, the

deployment aroused a harsh reaction

from Beijing, which sees THAAD as a

threat that undermines China's security

and missile weapons systems. Although

the South Korean government

explained the purpose of the

deployment as self-defense against

North Korean missile threats, China

took assertive action against South

Korea.

Qiu Guohong, then the Chinese

ambassador to South Korea, said the

THAAD deployment could "break up"

South Korea's relationship with China.

There were even statements that evoked

the tributary system of the premodern

era. "Can a small country resist against a

big country?" said Chen Hai, then-vice

minister of foreign affairs, during his

meeting with South Korean companies.

"If your government deploys THAAD,

we will torment you with severed ties."

Under Taliban rule calm

chaos prevails in Kabul

AGNiESzkA PikuliCkA-WilCzEWSkA

A bearded young man stares

at a foreign passport,

searching for a visa to the now

obsolete Islamic Republic of

Afghanistan. A white flag

bearing the shahada, the

Islamic oath, flutters over the

border crossing in Hairatan,

which from August 15 has

marked the northern frontier

of the new Islamic Emirate.

The man puts a stamp on

the first page of the passport,

the one that should remain

blank. He doesn't know how

to scan the traveler's bag so he

opens it and meticulously

goes through its contents. He

makes up for his lack of

experience with a smile and

wishes the travelers a good

trip in broken English.

Calm chaos are the best

words to describe the

situation in Afghanistan one

month after the Taliban

takeover.

The withdrawal of foreign

forces, a hasty evacuation of

foreigners and thousands of

Afghans fleeing to safety after

the fall of Kabul was followed

by procedural chaos and

nationwide confusion. No one

knows how harsh the new

rulers will be. But everyone

knows that the old days of

relatively relaxed social and

political relations are gone.

With the chaos, however

paradoxically, also came

order. For many years it was

impossible to cross the

country by land. Taliban

checkpoints in places outside

of the government's control

were potentially dangerous

and road crime was common.

Now, crossing the country has

become easier than ever.

The distance between

Hairatan and Kabul is 450

kilometers, but passing over

the old, poorly maintained

roads, the journey can take

more than 10 hours. Drivers

now make sure to switch off

the music before they

approach the few Taliban

checkpoints on the way. As

one Taliban commander said,

music does not have to be

officially banned. People

already know it's a sin.

Most checkpoints can be

passed with relative ease.

Although the Taliban are not

present on all the roads in the

country, traveling has become

much safer. People know that

despite the absence of clear

new rules, the punishment for

any wrongdoing will be

harsh.t

But as Alamamed Amiri, 26,

a traffic policeman in central

Kabul, tells me, the police are

no longer allowed to give

fines, which, he argues, the

Taliban deem haram,

forbidden by Islam. Unlike

many other policemen in the

country, he decided to

continue working under the

new government. The Taliban

promised not to take revenge

against the traffic police for

serving Kabul's former

government.

While the new government

has promised a national

renewal in the spirit of Islam,

it needs the institutional

memory, procedures, and

staff of the former republic to

run the country. Many

administrative employees

have decided to stay in their

positions and continue

serving under the new rulers.

Without them, the whole

state system would fall into

disarray. Watching city life

from the streets can provide

important insights into the

changes within Afghan

society. "The streets are less

crowded and nothing is

functioning properly," Amiri

says. "The elites are gone but

average people have stayed.

The streets are safer. People

are afraid of the Taliban.

There are much less women

outside too."

While official rules on

female garments are still

unclear, women know what

the return of the Taliban

A poster of now former President Ashraf Ghani, ripped.

Photo: Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

means for them. Despite the

resistance by social media

activists who have been

posting pictures in traditional

Afghan dresses bearing the

hashtag

#donttouchmyclothes, street

fashion reflects fear rather

than rebellion. Faced with the

unknown, many women

choose to stay at home.

Others are hastily updating

their closets. Hamida Karimi,

a 28-year old dentist, walks

around one of the shopping

malls in central Kabul, her

beautiful, self-assured face

contrasted with the black,

shapeless abaya and

burgundy hijab she is

wearing. She looks for

conservative outfits that

would fit the new unwritten

rules, though she shops

without much enthusiasm.

"I've always worn shorter

clothes, not longer than above

the knee. It was comfortable

and I could walk in the streets

on my own, even in the

evening. Now I only travel by

taxi. I've heard that I could be

attacked or insulted so I have

to buy new clothes. It's never

happened to me but I've heard

such stories," Karimi says.

"I used to study German but

I have recently quit the course

because co-education is no

longer allowed. I could attend

a group with women only but

we're all scared. I now study

online."

Karimi decided to continue

working, however, as she did

not want to abandon her

patients. But work has

changed, too. She can no

longer run the clinic together

with her male business

partner and only accepts

female patients. She was not

forced to make this move - she

did that, she says, for her own

security.

"There have been no good

changes in the past month.

The banks are closed, local

administration and

ministries too. We don't

know who are the people in

the interim government.

Children are afraid to go to

school and are scared of the

men with weapons. I cannot

sleep at night because of

nightmares."

VAlERiE NiquEt1

Two weeks ago, France and

Australia inaugurated their

first 2+2 ministerial

dialogue. This strategic

partnership was based on a

common analysis of the

dangers weighing on the

Indo-Pacific with an

increasingly aggressive

China in the maritime

domain. This shared vision,

which reflects France's

commitment in Asia, had

been developed since 2016

around the supply of 12

French conventional

submarines to Australia - at

the time, the Australians

rejected any idea of nuclear

propulsion - but went far

beyond that sole industrial

interest.

In 2018, it was in Australia

that French President

Emmanuel Macron gave a

decisive impetus to the

French Indo-Pacific strategy

in a famous Garden Island

speech where he defined an

"Indo-Pacific axis" formed

by France, India, and

Australia to counterbalance

Chinese hegemonic

ambitions. This Indo-Pacific

vision was inclusive and

cooperative, seeking to bring

together middle powers

worried by the unilateralism

of the Trump administration

then in power in the United

States. At that time,

Canberra itself was reluctant

to get too deeply involved in

the Quad, the Quadrilateral

Security Dialogue, bringing

together Australia, India,

Japan, and the U.S.

As soon as it was signed,

the Franco-Australian

submarine contract came

under attack. Yet, for all

those parties - notably the

United States and Quad

members, but also

Southeast Asian countries -

who want to see the

European Union and France

assume

greater

responsibilities in the

regional security of an area

vital to all, this contract was

an assurance of French

Indo-Pacific commitment.

Defense Ministers Jean-

Yves Le Drian and Florence

Parly, who participated in all

Shangri-la strategic

dialogues since 2012, have

been at the forefront of those

who defend freedom of

navigation, respect for the

rule of law, and

multilateralism, values

constantly put forward by

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Australia's Prime

Minister Scott Morrison greet during a joint press conference.

Photo: Rafael Yaghobzadeh

AUKUS and submarines:

the fallout for France

Washington and its allies,

including Japan. France was

the driving force behind the

definition of a European

Union strategy for the Indo-

Pacific - the publication of

which, by an unfortunate

coincidence, came the day

after Australia announced

that it was abandoning the

French submarine contract.

Some see Canberra's

decision as a welcome reemergence

of an alliance

between the traditional

maritime powers of the

United States, Australia, and

the United Kingdom, in a

nostalgic return to the past.

Things have changed,

however. The Afghan fiasco

has shown the limits of U.S.

commitment and its

effectiveness, despite

considerable resources.

London, for its part, is

desperately trying to find a

new place on the

international stage after

Brexit by relying on the

concept of "Global Britain."

One may wonder, however,

about the reality of British

capacities to project forces

and capacities in the Indo-

Pacific while the country is

facing post-Brexit economic

cost and tensions in its own

territory. And contrary to

what Joe Biden may think,

today the U.K. is no longer

Europe.

By comparison, France

has permanent political and

military assets in the Indian

Ocean and the South Pacific.

In recent years, the level of

activity of its navy has been

important, supplemented by

regular naval deployments,

including the Charles de

Gaulle, and the organization

of exercises with the Quad

navies. These maritime

capabilities are far from

negligible in a region

marked by tensions over

maritime borders, piracy,

illegal fishing, and frequent

natural disasters.

As far as Australia is

concerned, it is

understandable that

Canberra wants to acquire

more powerful capacities to

confront China, but within

what timeframe and at what

cost? It is not certain that the

question of nuclear fuel for

the submarines promised by

the Americans can be easily

resolved, since Australia

itself does not produce it.

Moreover, this nuclear

dimension does not seem to

be appreciated by its close

neighbors, New Zealand,

Indonesia and the Pacific

island states, which are very

sensitive to these issues. The

U.S. Senate itself could

oppose the transfer of

technology.

What is more, the

announcement was

surprising in its brutality

and its apparent lack of

consultation. One wonders

about the meaning of the

message heedlessly sent to

France. Is it a warning to a

country that constantly

emphasizes the need for

Europe to think about its

own interests and defense?

Are Washington and its new

"favorite" allies aware of the

message sent to China,

which may be worried about

this coalition but will be

quick to point out and

exploit tensions and

differences between

Washington and its

partners? Without doubt, it

will become more difficult

for those who defend an

alliance of democracies

against China to collaborate

with a U.S. administration

whose methods are abrupt,

including with regard to its

own camp. These

maneuvers could also

nourish the debate about the

assurance of all U.S.

engagements.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2021

6

'Burn survivor disabled women

seek special assistance'

A bi-monthly meeting of Kaunia Upazila Nutrition Coordination Committee has been held in Rangpur.

The meeting was held at the Upazila Parishad meeting room on Wednesday with the technical assistance

of CARE and Plan International Bangladesh in collaboration with the European Union and Austrian

Development Co-operation. Upazila Nirbahi Officer Tahmina Tarin presided over the discussion while

Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Dr Mir Hossain, Primary Education Officer Md Abdul Hamid

Sarkar and Upazila Family Planning Officer Sahidul Islam spoke.

Photo : TBT

700 urban migrant households

get improvement support

RAJSHAHI : Around 700 urban migrant

households were given requisite support aimed

at improving their level of confidence after the

best uses of local resources in Rajshahi city,

reports BSS.

Besides, they got scopes of eradicating their

poverty caused by the adverse impact of

climate change as the climate-induced poverty

has been escalating gradually in the urban

areas.

The views were revealed in the inception

workshop of a project titled "Community Social

Labs: An initiative to improve the living

conditions of vulnerable slum residents" held

at the City Bhaban conference hall yesterday

afternoon.

The 15-month project is being implemented

in some parts of the city under the Urban

Management of International Migration due to

Climate Change (UMIMCC) and Urban

Management of Migration and Livelihoods

Projects.

Deutsche Gesellshaft fur International

Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has been

implementing the project in association with

Caritas Bangladesh being funded by the

German Federal Ministry for Economic

Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and cofunded

by the European Union (EU).

City Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton

addressed the inception meeting as chief guest

expecting that the slum people will be aware

about identifying their problems through this

project.

As per priority, the community people, who

are migrated by the adverse impact of climate

change to the city, will find out ways of

solutions and ultimately they will be benefited.

When the second wave of corona epidemic started in the country, Jagarani

Chakra Foundation, a non-governmental development organization, stood by

the victims of Human Welfare and Covid-19. They are cooperating in different

parts of the country as much as they can. On behalf of the organization, emergency

medical equipment was provided to the 250-bed General Hospitals in

Jashore, Satkhira, Khulna, Chuadanga, Kushtia and Rajshahi district hospitals.

Photo : TBT

86,602 Covid-19

patients recover

in Chattogram

CHATTOGRAM : The

number of recovered Covid-

19 patients reached 86,602

with the healing of 58 more

people on Wednesday

raising the average recovery

rate to 85.23 percent in the

district.

Health officials said that

the recovery rate continues

to rise amid declining

number of casualties and

positivity rate during the last

few weeks in the district.

"Meanwhile, the number

of Covid-19 cases reached

101,490 with the diagnosis

of 54 fresh cases on

Wednesday in the district,"

Civil Surgeon Dr Sheikh

Fazle Rabbi said.

Fifty four fresh Covid-19

cases were diagnosed after

testing 1,650 samples. The

positivity rate was 3.27

percent in the district on

Wednesday.

"The number of casualties

rose to 1,286 as two new

deaths were reported in the

district during the last 24

hours ending at 8 am of

Thursday," he said.

"Common people should

sincerely abide by the health

directives to prevent further

spread of the deadly virus

despite an improving trend

of Covid-19 situation in the

district," he added.

A total of 2,545 infected

patients are now undergoing

treatment at designated

hospitals here.

Rangpur records no Covid-19 related

death in 24 hours

RANGPUR : No Covid-19 related death

was recorded during the last 24 hours

ending at 8 am on Thursday in

Rangpur division where the pandemic

situation continues improving during

the last more than one and a half

months.

"Earlier, the division witnessed

Covid-19 casualty-free day on May 16

last and again no deaths on September

12, 13, 14 and 20 last," Focal Person of

the Covid-19 and Assistant Director

(Health) for Rangpur division Dr ZA

Siddiqui said.

The number of Covid-19 casualties

remained steady at 1,226 in the division

where the positivity, recovery and

fatality rates are currently declining

consistently.

The district-wise break up of the

1,226 fatalities stands at 291 in

Rangpur, 80 in Panchagarh, 87 in

Nilphamari, 66 in Lalmonirhat, 67 in

Kurigram, 248 in Thakurgaon, 324 in

Dinajpur and 63 in Gaibandha of the

division.

"The average casualty rate currently

stands at 2.24 percent in the division,"

Dr Siddiqui said.

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19

cases reached 54,755 as 59 new

patients were diagnosed after testing

925 samples of Rangpur division at the

daily positivity rate of 3.89 percent on

Wednesday.

Earlier, the daily positivity rates were

5.84 percent on Tuesday, 5.95 percent

on Monday, 7.06 percent on Sunday,

5.14 percent on Saturday, 7.39 percent

on Friday and 3.36 percent on

Thursday last in the division.

"The district-wise break up of total

54,755 patients include 12,358 of

Rangpur, 3,731 of Panchagarh, 4,395 of

Nilphamari, 2,726 of Lalmonirhat,

4,622 of Kurigram, 7,488 of

Thakurgaon, 14,596 of Dinajpur and

4,839 of Gaibandha in the division," he

added.

Talking to BSS, Divisional Director

(Health) Dr Md Motaharul Islam said a

total of 2,76,289 collected samples

were tested till Wednesday, and of

them, 54,755 were found Covid-19

positive with an average positivity rate

of 19.82 percent in the division.

Since the beginning of the pandemic,

the number of healed Covid-19 patients

reached 51,411 with recovery of 59

more infected patients on Wednesday

in the division where the average

recovery rate currently stands at 93.89

percent.

The 51,411 recovered patients include

10,677 of Rangpur, 3,437 Panchagarh,

4,289 Nilphamari, 2,595 Lalmonirhat,

4,481 Kurigram, 6,932 Thakurgaon,

14,235 in Dinajpur and 4,765

Gaibandha districts in the division.

Among the 54,411 patients, 131 are

undergoing treatments at isolation

units, including 13 critical patients at

ICU beds and seven at High

Dependency Unit beds, after recovery

of 51,411 patients and 1,226 deaths

while 1,987 are remaining in home

isolation.

"Meanwhile, the number of citizens

who got the first dose of the Covid-19

vaccine rose to 26,74,744, and among

them, 15,71,717 got the second dose of

the jab till Wednesday in the division,"

Dr Islam added.

Chief of Divisional Coronavirus

Service and Prevention Task Force and

Principal of Rangpur Medical College

Professor Dr AKM Nurunnobi Lyzu

called upon everyone to abide by the

health directives to prevent further

spread of the deadly virus.

RANGPUR : Burn survivor women

with disabilities have sought special

assistance and need-based care for

their treatments and development to

bring an end to their indescribable

miseries through mainstreaming in the

society.

They viewed this at the concluding

function of a two-day 'Gender

Awareness Training Course' arranged

with the theme of building leadership

involving disabled women during the

Covid-19 pandemic at community

levels on Wednesday.

Jagorn Protibondhi Nari O Shishu

Unnayan Sangstha (JPNSUS), a local

NGO working for welfare of disabled

women and children, organised the

event at its office in village Deuti under

Pirgachha upazila of the district.

Voice and Views, a national NGO

working for promoting human rights of

disabled women, especially burn

survivors, extended assistance in

arranging the event with the funding of

Women Fund Asia. Since the outbreak

of the Covid-19 pandemic, Voice and

Views also continues providing food

assistance and health safety materials

to burn survivor women with

disabilities in Rangpur, Narsingdi and

Kushtia districts.

Local people have rallied demanding the trial of Abdur Rauf, who was arrested on charges of indecent

assault on a schoolgirl from the Garo community, a small ethnic group in Madhupur. Photo : TBT

4000 farmers

getting

incentives in

Manikganj

MANIKGANJ : The

Department of Agriculture

Extension (D A E) is

distributing Mashkolai seeds

and fertilizers as special

incentives among 4,000

flood-affected marginal

farmers in the district, DAE

officials said. The distribution

of seeds and fertilizers has

already been started among

4000 farmers to cultivate

their lands in the district.

The DAE officials said each

of the famers getting seeds for

one bigha of land as incentive.

The marginal farmers are also

getting necessary fertilizers,

including Di-ammonium

Phosphate (DAP) and

Muriate of Potash (MoP).

Md. Shahjahan Ali Biswas,

Deputy Director of DAE, said

the list of small and marginal

farmers of the district was

prepared from union parishad

level by a committee

comprising with sub-assistant

agriculture officer and the

chairmen and members of the

respective unions, adding that

the distribution seeds and

fertilizers are being

distributed according to those

lists. He said that the char

areas of the two big rivers the

Padma and Jamuna are

popular for Mashkolai

cultivation.

Deputy Director also said

the present pro-farmer

government is distributing

special agriculture incentives

free of costs among small and

marginal farmers.

Adviser of JPNSUS Nur Alam

presided over the concluding function

participated by 22 burn survivor

women with disabilities of Parul union

in Pirgachha upazila.

President of JPNSUS Khadija

Parveen and Senior Reporter of

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha Md

Mamun Islam conducted different

sessions of the training course as

resource persons.

After participating in group

discussions and different sessions of

the event for the first time in their life,

the burn survivor disabled women

discussed their sufferings saying that

they even forgot their legitimate rights

and meaning of life.

While expressing her painful life

story, Abeda Khatun, 32, of village

Aviram in Parul union said her body

was burnt and became physically

disabled long ago and could not avail

medical services due to poverty.

"I can not walk as bleeding continues

all the time from both of my infected

legs --- I have no ability to avail

treatments- I am suffering from other

diseases too," said a homeless Abeda,

who lives in her mother-in-law's tiny

house.

Like many others, Peyari Begum, 38,

KM Khalid inaugurates

construction work of 3

roads in Mymensingh

MYMENSINGH : State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM

Khalid formally inaugurated the construction work of three

rural roads in Muktagachha upazila of the district yesterday.

The roads are being constructed at a cost of Taka over 3.53

crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Project.

The project includes construction of one kilometer long

Shampur to Khalifa Bazar rural road under Kumergata

union, construction of two kilometer long Raghunathpur to

Mankon union parishad road and one kilometer long

Jamalpur R&H to Binudbari Mankon road.

The state minister said during the tenure of Awami League

led government massive rural infrastructure developments

have been achieved throughout the country as it has become

possible for the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Abdullah Al Mansur,

upazila chairman (in-charge) Arab Ali, upazila engineer

Oshit Baron Deb and vice-president of Mymensingh Press

Club AZM Imam Uddin Mukta, among others, were present

during the time.

of village Arazi Chalunia said she was a

minor girl when she was suddenly

burnt and her legs became the worst

affected.

She was later married at a premature

age. She has a son and her day-labourer

husband can not work due to illness for

many years.

An eighth grade student Khadija

Akhter Lucky, 14, of village Sharif

Sundor said most parts of her body

were burnt six years ago.

"Despite acute poverty in my family, I

am hardly continuing studies. I need

special assistance for my treatment and

education and reamaining safe from

child marriage," Lucky said.

Talking to BSS , Founder and

Executive Director of Voice and Views

Jannatul Ferdaus, a 60 percent burn

survivor, said the meaning of Voice and

Views is 'To raise our voice for creating

positive views of the society' on the way

to attain the SDGs by 2030.

"We are working since 2014 to raise

human rights issues of burn survivor

women and other women with

disabilities for their development and

empowerment to contribute to the

government's efforts of building a

developed Bangladesh by 2041," she

added.

Sewing

machines

distributed

in Joypurhat

JOYPURHAT : Sewing

machines were distributed

among the poor, helpless and

unemployed women living at

Panchbibi upazila on Thursday,

reports BSS

Zila Parishad Chairman and

District Awami League

President Arifur Rahman

Rocket distributed 17 sewing

machines at Zila Parishad

auditorium yesterday

afternoon with Chief Executive

Officer of Zila Parishad Abul

Hayat Rafique in the chair.

Zila Parishad members

Sumon Kumar Saha,

Mamunur Rashid, among

others, were present on the

occasion.

Seeds and fertilizers have been distributed among the exhibited farmers and

cultivators under the project of family nutrition gardens in uncultivated fallow

lands and courtyards of residential houses at Louhajang in Munshiganj. A distribution

ceremony was held in front of the Agriculture Office of the Upazila

Parishad on Thursday.

Photo : TBT


frIDAY, SEPTEMbEr 24, 2021

7

Three hours after being freed from a giant migrant camp under an international bridge, Mackenson

Veillard stood outside a gas station and took stock of his sudden good fortune as he and his pregnant

wife waited for a Greyhound bus to take them to a cousin in San Antonio.

Photo : AP

Many migrants staying in US

even as expulsion flights rise

DEL RIO : Three hours after being

freed from a giant migrant camp under

an international bridge, Mackenson

Veillard stood outside a gas station and

took stock of his sudden good fortune

as he and his pregnant wife waited for a

Greyhound bus to take them to a cousin

in San Antonio. The couple camped

with thousands for a week under the

bridge in Del Rio, Texas, sleeping on

concrete and getting by on bread and

bottled water.

"I felt so stressed," Veillard, 25, said

this week. "But now, I feel better. It's

like I'm starting a new life."

Many Haitian migrants in Del Rio are

being released in the United States,

according to two U.S. officials,

undercutting the Biden

administration's public statements that

the thousands in the camp faced

immediate expulsion to Haiti.

Haitians have been freed on a "very,

very large scale" in recent days, one

official said Tuesday. The official, who

was not authorized to discuss the

matter and thus spoke on condition of

anonymity, put the figure in the

thousands. Many have been released

with notices to appear at an

immigration office within 60 days, an

outcome that requires less processing

time from Border Patrol agents than

Vaccine inequity

comes into stark

focus during

UN gathering

UNITED NATION : The

inequity of COVID-19 vaccine

distribution will come into

sharper focus Thursday as

many of the African countries

whose populations have little

to no access to the life-saving

shots step to the podium to

speak at the U.N.'s annual

meeting of world leaders.

Already, the struggle to

contain the coronavirus

pandemic has featured

prominently in leaders'

speeches - many of them

delivered remotely exactly

because of the virus. Country

after country acknowledged

the wide disparity in accessing

the vaccine, painting a picture

so bleak that a solution has at

times seemed impossibly out

of reach.

"Some countries have

vaccinated their populations,

and are on the path to

recovery. For others, the lack

of vaccines and weak health

systems pose a serious

problem," Norway's Prime

Minister, Erna Solberg, said

in a prerecorded speech

Wednesday. "In Africa, fewer

than 1 in 20 people are fully

vaccinated. In Europe, one in

two are fully vaccinated. This

inequity is clearly unfair."

Countries slated to give

their signature annual

speeches on Thursday include

South Africa, Botswana,

Angola, Burkina Faso and

Libya.

Also among them will be

Zimbabwe, where the

economic ravages of the

pandemic have forced some

families to abandon the longheld

tradition of taking care of

their older people. And

Uganda, where a surge in

virus cases have made scarce

hospital beds even more

expensive, leading to

concerns over alleged

exploitation of patients by

private hospitals.

ordering an appearance in immigration

court and points to the speed at which

authorities are moving.

The releases come despite a massive

effort to expel Haitians on flights under

pandemic-related authority that denies

migrants a chance to seek asylum. A

third U.S. official not authorized to

discuss operations said there were

seven daily flights to Haiti planned

starting Wednesday.

Ten flights arrived in Haiti from

Sunday to Tuesday in planes designed

for 135 passengers, according to

Haitian officials, who didn't provide a

complete count but said six of those

flights carried 713 migrants combined.

The camp held more than 14,000

people over the weekend, according to

some estimates. Texas Gov. Greg

Abbott, during a visit Tuesday to Del

Rio, said the county's top official told

him the most recent tally was about

8,600 migrants. U.S. authorities have

declined to say how many have been

released in the U.S. in recent days.

The Homeland Security Department

has been busing Haitians from Del Rio,

a town of 35,000 people, to El Paso,

Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley

along the Texas border, and this week

added flights to Tucson, Arizona, the

official said. They are processed by the

UN: 16 million Yemenis are

'marching towards starvation.'

UNITED NATIONS : The head of the U.N.

food agency is warning that 16 million people

in Yemen "are marching towards starvation"

and says food rations for millions in the wartorn

nation will be cut in October unless new

funding arrives, reports UNB.

David Beasley said Wednesday at a highlevel

meeting on Yemen's humanitarian

crisis that the United States, Germany,

United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and

other donors stepped up when the World

Food Program was running out of money

earlier this year and "because of that we

averted famine and catastrophe."

WFP is running out of money again and

without new funding reductions will be

made in rations for 3.2 million people in

October and for 5 million by December, he

said. At a virtual pledging conference cohosted

by Sweden and Switzerland on March

1, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

appealed for $3.85 billion for Yemen this

year. But donors pledged less than half the

amount -- $1.7 billion, which the U.N. chief

called "disappointing." In the last six

months, the total has grown to just over half

Border Patrol at those locations.

Criteria for deciding who is flown to

Haiti and who is released in the U.S. are

a mystery, but two officials said single

adults were a priority. If previous

handling of asylum-seekers is any

guide, the administration is more likely

to release those deemed vulnerable,

including pregnant women, families

with young children and those with

medical issues. The Biden

administration

exempts

unaccompanied children from

expulsion flights on humanitarian

grounds. The system is a "black box,"

said Wade McMullen, an attorney with

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, who

was in Del Rio. "Right now, we have no

official access to understand what

processes are underway, what

protections are being provided for the

migrants."

On Wednesday, more than 300

migrants had been dropped off in

Border Patrol vans by early afternoon

at a welcome center staffed by the Val

Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition.

They waited for buses to Houston, a

springboard to final destinations in the

U.S. Many were required to wear ankle

monitors, used to ensure they obey

instructions to report to immigration

authorities.

the amount required.

The high-level meeting Wednesday on the

sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly's

annual meeting raised about $600 million,

according to the European Union, which cohosted

the session with Sweden and

Switzerland. That still leaves at least $1

billion unfunded.

In major pledges, U.S. Secretary of State

Antony Blinken announced an additional

$290 million in humanitarian assistance for

Yemen and the European Union said it was

allocating an additional 119 million euros

(about $139 million) in humanitarian and

development aid.

The Yemen director for the Oxfam charity,

Muhsin Siddiquey, commended the donors

who made pledges and expressed hope the

funds will be quickly made available to aid

organizations.

"However, once again a few international

donors have generously put their hands in

their pockets while the rest of the world looks

on as Yemen descends further into hunger,

poverty and an even bleaker future," he said.

Yemen has been convulsed by civil war

The head of the U.N. food agency is warning that 16 million people in

Yemen "are marching towards starvation" and says food rations for millions

in the war-torn nation will be cut in October unless new funding

arrives.

Photo : AP

Libya, UN refugee

agency discuss

illegal migration,

border control

TRIPOLI : Vice President of

the Presidency Council of

Libya, Musa al-Koni, met

with Jean-Paul Cavalieri,

chief of mission in Libya of

the United Nations High

Commissioner for Refugees

(UNHCR) here on

Wednesday to discuss illegal

migration, border control,

among others.

"The Vice President of the

Presidency Council

confirmed that illegal

migration is mainly a

humanitarian issue. He

stressed the importance of

uniting international efforts

to come up with successful

solutions to it," said a

statement issued by the

Presidency Council.

Al-Koni also stressed the

importance of addressing

illegal migration in libya's

southern border rather than

at sea where illegal migrants

cross towards Europe,

according to the statement.

Cavalieri said that there are

problems facing the

evacuation of migrants from

Libya to other countries,

including failures to organize

flights.

Cavalieri also stressed the

need to cooperate with the

Presidency Council to address

illegal migration.

Washington Post questions

whether Biden is normalizing

Trump's foreign policy

BEIJING : The Washington

Post has questioned whether

President Joe Biden's foreign

policy is a faithful

continuation of Donald

Trump's and a repudiation of

Barack Obama's.

In an opinion piece in the

paper, columnist Fareed

Zakaria raised the question

after "almost eight months of

watching policies, rhetoric

and crises." "...Many foreign

observers have been

surprised - even shocked - to

discover that," wrote Zakaria,

reports UNB. "A senior

European diplomat noted

that, in dealings with

Washington on everything

from vaccines to travel

restrictions, the Biden policies

were 'America First' in logic,

whatever the rhetoric," the

article said. A Canadian

politician said that if followed,

Biden's "Buy America" plans

are actually more

protectionist than Trump's.

Despite having criticized

Trump's tariffs repeatedly,

Biden has kept nearly all of

them, wrote Zakaria.

Another striking example of

Biden's surprisingly

Trumpian foreign policy is the

Iran deal. Since he took office.

NEW YORK : An influential panel of

advisers to the Centers for the Disease

Control and Prevention grappled

Wednesday with the question of which

Americans should get COVID-19

booster shots, with some members

wondering if the decision should be put

off for a month in hopes of more

evidence. The doubts and uncertainties

suggested yet again that the matter of

whether to dispense extra doses to

shore up Americans' protection against

the coronavirus is more complicated

scientifically than the Biden

administration may have realized when

it outlined plans a month ago for an

across-the-board rollout of boosters.

The rollout was supposed to have

begun this week.

Much of the discussion at the

meeting of the CDC's Advisory

Committee on Immunization Practices

focused on the possibility of a scaledback

booster program targeted to older

people or perhaps health care workers.

But even then, some of the experts said

that the data on whether boosters are

actually needed, precisely who should

get them and when was not clear-cut.

"What would be the downside" of

simply waiting a month in hopes of

more information? asked Dr. Sarah

Long of Drexel University.

The two-day meeting had been

Tensions grow as US, allies

deepen Indo-Pacific involvement

BANGKOK : With increasingly strong talk in

support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply

Australia with nuclear submarines, and the

launch of a European strategy for greater

engagement in the Indo-Pacific, the U.S. and

its allies are becoming growingly assertive in

their approach toward a rising China.

China has bristled at the moves, and the

growing tensions between Beijing and

Washington prompted U.N. Secretary-

General Antonio Guterres on the weekend to

implore President Joe Biden and Chinese

leader Xi Jinping to repair their "completely

dysfunctional" relationship, warning they

risk dividing the world.

As the U.N. General Assembly opened

Tuesday, both leaders chose calming

language, with Biden insisting "we are not

seeking a new Cold War or a world divided

into rigid blocs," and Xi telling the forum

that "China has never, and will never invade

or bully others or seek hegemony."

But the underlying issues have not

changed, with China building up its military

outposts as it presses its maritime claims

With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply

Australia with nuclear submarines, and the launch of a European strategy for

greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific, the U.S. and its allies are becoming

growingly assertive in their approach toward a rising China. Photo : AP

'Grow up': UK's Johnson says

world must face climate change

UNITED NATION : British Prime Minister

Boris Johnson told world leaders at the

United Nations on Wednesday night that

humanity has to "grow up" and tackle

climate change, saying humans must stop

trashing the planet like a teenager on a

bender, reports UNB.

Johnson is due to host a major United

Nations climate summit in Glasgow,

Scotland in six weeks' time. He is using a trip

to the U.N. General Assembly in New York to

press governments for tougher emissionscutting

targets and more money to help poor

countries clean up their economies.

In a speech to the General Assembly on

Wednesday, he said it's now or never if the

world is to meet its goal of limiting the global

temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial

levels. "If we keep on the current track then

the temperatures will go up by 2.7 degrees or

more by the end of the century. And never

CDC panel grapples with who

needs a COVID-19 booster shot

scheduled to resume on Thursday, but

it was not immediately clear whether

that would happen.

The meeting came days after a

different advisory group - this one

serving the Food and Drug

Administration - overwhelmingly

rejected a sweeping White House plan

to dispense third shots to nearly

everyone. Instead, that panel endorsed

booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine only

for senior citizens and those at high risk

from the virus.

While the COVID-19 vaccines

continue to offer strong protection

against severe illness, hospitalization

and death, immunity against milder

infection seems to be dropping months

after vaccination.

"I want to highlight that in September

of 2021 in the United States, deaths

from COVID-19 are largely vaccinepreventable

with the primary series of

any of the three vaccines available,"

said CDC advisory panel member Dr.

Matthew Daley, a researcher at Kaiser

Permanente Colorado.

And the public must understand that

no matter how good a COVID-19

vaccine is, when it comes to milder

infections, "it is unlikely that we will

prevent everything," said Dr. Helen

Keipp Talbot of Vanderbilt University.

Several panelists said another

over critical sea lanes, and the U.S. and its

allies growing louder in their support of

Taiwan, which China claims as part of its

territory, and deepening military

cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

On Friday, Biden hosts the leaders of

Japan, India and Australia for an in-person

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue for broad

talks including the COVID-19 pandemic and

climate change, but also how to keep the

Indo-Pacific, a vast region spanning from

India to Australia, "free and open," according

to the White House.

It comes a week after the dramatic

announcement that Australia would be

dropping a contract for conventional French

submarines in favor of an Anglo-American

offer for nuclear-powered vessels, a

bombshell that overshadowed the unveiling

of the European Union's strategy to boost

political and defense ties in the Indo-Pacific.

"One thing is certain, that everyone is

pivoting toward the Indo-Pacific," said

Garima Mohan, an Asia program fellow with

the German Marshall Fund think tank.

mind what that will do to the ice floes,"

Johnson said. "We will see desertification,

drought, crop failure, andmass movements

of humanity on a scale not seen before. Not

because of some unforeseen natural event or

disaster, but because of us, because of what

we are doing now." In his speech, Johnson

compared humanity to an impetuous 16-

year-old - "just old enough to get ourselves

into serious trouble." "We have come to that

fateful age when we know roughly how to

drive and we know how to unlock the drinks

cabinet and to engage in all sorts of activity

that is not only potentially embarrassing but

also terminal," he said.

"We believe that someone else will clear up

the mess we make, because that is what

someone else has always done," he added.

"We trash our habitats again and again with

the inductive reasoning that we have got

away with it so far.

concern is the public confusion that

could result if they recommend a

booster only for certain recipients of the

Pfizer vaccine. That could leave people

vaccinated with Moderna or Johnson

and Johnson shots wondering what to

do. The meeting was devoted to Pfizer

booster shots only. Moderna's

application to dispense third doses is

not as far along in the process. And a

major U.S. study on whether mixingand-matching

booster doses is safe and

effective isn't finished.

Many experts are torn about the need

for boosters because they see the

COVID-19 vaccines working as

expected, even amid the spread of the

highly contagious delta variant. It is

normal for virus-blocking antibodies to

be highest right after vaccination and

then wane over the following months.

"We don't care if antibodies wane.

You care what is the minimum" needed

for protection, Long said.

Yet no one knows the antibody level

threshold below which someone's risk

for infection suddenly jumps. Even

then, the body has backup defenses.

Antibody production and even those

backup defenses don't form as robustly

in older people. But it's impossible to

pinpoint the age at which that becomes

a problem, CDC microbiologist Natalie

Thornburg told the committee.


FrIDAY, SEPTEMBEr 24, 2021

8

Agrani Bank has recently signed an agreement on Automated Challlan System(ACS) with Bangladesh

Bank. Ahmed Jamal, Deputy Governor Of Bangladesh Bank was present as a chief guest at the ceremony.

Mohammad Shams-Ul Islam, MD and CEO of Agrani Bank Limited and Md. Forkan Hossain, general

manager of Bangladesh Bank signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations . Among

others Nurun Nahar, executive director from Bangladesh Bank , Md Monower Hossain, General manager

and CFO; Enamul Mawla, head of IT and MIS division; Abu Hasan Talukder, Deputy general manager

of Agrani Bank Limited along with other officials from both organizations were also present at the ceremony.

Under this agreement Agrani Bank will be enabled to collect passport fees,vat,tax and other government

fees.

Photo: Courtesy

"BSCIC-OIKKO digital display and sales

centers" to be established in 493 upazilas

A Memorandum of

Understanding (MoU) was

signed

between

Bangladesh Small and

Cottage Industries

Corporation (BSCIC) and

Oikko Foundation in the

capital recently. The MoU

was signed with the aim of

establishing "BSCIC-

OIKKO Digital Display and

Sales Center"s in 493

upazilas of Bangladesh, a

press release said.

Minister of the Ministry

of Industries of the

Government of the People's

Republic of Bangladesh

Nurul Majid Mahmud

Humayun, MP was present

virtually as the Chief Guest

on the occasion. President

of Oikko Foundation

(CMSME Entrepreneur

Development Wing) and

prominent personality

Shahin Akhtar Rainy was

also present on the

occasion digitally. Mayor of

Dhaka North City

Corporation and President

of Oikko Foundation

(CMSME Enterprise

Extension Wing) Md.

Atiqul Islam and Shykh

Seraj, Director and Head of

News, Impress Telefilm

Ltd., Channel I, sent their

warm regards to BSCIC

and Oikko Foundation on

the joint initiative. The

event was presided over by

the BSCIC Chairman Md

Mostaque Hasan, ndc. MD.

Mofidul Islam, Secretary,

BSCIC and Apu Mahfuz,

Chief Executive, Oikko

Foundation has signed the

agreement on behalf of

BSCIC and Oikko

Foundation respectively.

Speaking on the occasion,

Minister of Industries,

Nurul Majid Mahmud

Humayun, MP said,

"Entrepreneurs producing

and selling local products

directly and digitally in

every upazila will be

immensely beneficial for

both the economy and the

entrepreneurs themselves.

Besides, I am hopeful that

seeing these budding

entrepreneurs prosper will

inspire others to begin their

own ventures. So I thank

both the organizations and

all concerned for taking up

such a wonderful

initiative."

Shahin Akhtar Rainy,

President, Oikko

Foundation (CMSME

Entrepreneur

Development Wing) said,

"I am hopeful that we will

be able to contribute to the

implementation of the

Prime Minister's 'Vision

2041' through the smooth

operation of all our plans

and activities. I sincerely

thank BSCIC for being a

partner in our journey."

BSCIC and Oikko

Foundation have been

working tirelessly to

improve the quality of the

CMSME sector in

Bangladesh, to sell and

promote the products of

CMSME entrepreneurs

across the country directly

and digitally. In that

continuity, BSCIC and

Oikko Foundation have

taken the initiative to

implement this project.

Grameenphone partners with Global Technology Company

Wipro for advanced network management

Grameenphone (GP) has

signed a contract with Wipro

Limited, the global technology

service company, as part of its

continued efforts to acquire

advanced network

capabilities. Wipro will be part

of managing GP's present

mobile networks and building

an advanced future-fit

network, a press release said.

The new contract expands

the relationship between the

two companies, as GP has

relied on Wipro as a

technology partner to manage

application development,

infrastructure support and IT

security. With its technology

leadership and global

experience, Wipro has

emerged as a leading player in

Bangladesh.

Demand for advanced

mobile services and highquality

network experience is

rapidly increasing in

Bangladesh. Wipro's

advanced capabilities and

operating model will help

accelerate Grameenphone's

journey towards building a

future-fit network that will

meet customer's digital

experience requirements by

boosting the quality of service

with the jointly built

capabilities for bringing in

future technologies, i.e., 5G,

touch-free operations and

fault management. This

partnership with Wipro will

also widen the opportunity for

local talent to pursue global

opportunities and upskill with

a leading tech player.

On awarding the contract to

Wipro Limited, Rade

Kovacevic Chief Technology

Officer Grameenphone said,

"Our role as a tech service

leader and connectivity

partner has become crucial

over the last 24 years in

moving Bangladesh forward.

To deliver on the evergrowing

connectivity needs,

boost customer experience,

and bring in advanced future

technologies, this year we

have expanded 4G coverage

across the country, acquired

the maximum allowable

amount of spectrum,

partnered with Tower

Companies to roll out new

towers and gained access to

fibre network in partnership

with

Bangladesh

Telecommunications

Company Limited (BTCL)."

Marking this partnership

with Wipro, he also added,

"We are taking a significant

leap forward in our ability to

manage our network, and

excel further in meeting our

customers' expectations. In

addition, this partnership will

bring in global expertise and

future-fit capabilities and

create global career

opportunities for Bangladeshi

talent. I would also like to

thank the regulator and

Bangladesh Govt. for

continuous guidance and

support throughout this

journey."

Bhavya Kapoor, Managing

Director - Southeast Asia,

Wipro Limited said, "Wipro's

primary focus is to accelerate

Grameenphone's growth by

leveraging our global

strength, and providing

progressive and innovative

localized technology

solutions. With the growing

convergence of IT and core

telecom networks, and the

advent of software-defined

lined networks, cloud-first

architecture and 5G, we are

glad to partner with

Grameenphone to provide

advanced capabilities to

modernize their network;

coupled with IT applications

and infrastructure."

Wipro recently completed

its fourth year of operations in

Bangladesh, one of the focus

countries under its APMEA

(Asia Pacific-Middle East-

Africa) Strategic Market Unit.

Diplomatic Impact on Business: Millions

of dollars are going to foreigners

BUSINESS DESK

Bangladesh is moving

forward at an irresistible

pace with the aim of being

included in the list of

developed countries of the

world, numerous mega

projects are running all over

the country. As a result, both

the prestige and reputation

of Bangladesh in the court of

the world economy will

increase and its benefits will

be directly cherished by the

people at all levels of the

country. Bangladesh will be

able to achieve more and

more prosperity even if it

gets the recognition of a

developed country if it takes

advantage of new

opportunities and

implements far-reaching

development plans of the

government. In particular,

the government's goal of

ensuring fast and

uninterrupted

communication across the

country and building a

"digital Bangladesh" in

tandem with the times is

undoubtedly commendable.

But even when these public

welfare initiatives fall into

the clutches of some

unscrupulous businessmen

ADB cuts Asia

growth forecast

on slow Covid

vaccine rollout

MANILA : The Asian

Development Bank warned

of "lasting scars" from the

coronavirus pandemic as it

cut its 2021 growth forecast

for developing Asia on slow

vaccination rates, surging

infections and crippling

lockdowns, reports BSS.

A shortage of doses, which

has hampered efforts to

inoculate the vast region

stretching from the Cook

Islands in the Pacific to

Kazakhstan in Central Asia,

could worsen as evidence of

waning vaccine protection

increases demand for

booster shots, the lender

said Wednesday.

The Philippines-based

ADB forecast growth of 7.1

percent-compared with its

previous prediction in April

of 7.3 percent and a slight

contraction in 2020 -- but

said the recovery "remains

fragile".

Vaccination rates have

been uneven across the

region, where less than a

third of the population was

fully protected against

Covid-19 at the end of

August, the lender said in an

update of its flagship Asian

Development Outlook.

That compared with more

than 50 percent coverage in

the United States and nearly

60 percent in the European

Union.

The Faculty of Business Studies,

University of Dhaka (DU) is going to

organize the 5thInternational Conference

on Business and Economics on September

25-26, 2021. Faculty of Business Studies

has been organizing this conference

regularly for the last five years. This year,

the theme of the conference is - Business

and Economy in the New-normal

Landscape. The aim of the conference is to

bring together academics and

professionals to a common forum for

developing strategies to meet the

challenges of global business in the years to

come. The conference will create

opportunity to share experience, exchange

new ideas, foster innovation and establish

research relations among the participating

individuals and institutions, a press release

said.

The virtual opening ceremony of the

conference will be on September 25, 2021

at 10.00 am (Bangladesh Standard Time,

GMT +6:00). Professor Dr. Md.

Akhtaruzzaman, Vice Chancellor,

University of Dhaka will grace the occasion

as the Chief Guest; Professor Dr.

Muhammad Samad, Pro-Vice Chancellor

and capitalist syndicates, the

success of these initiatives is

unwittingly called into

question. One such

influential syndicate in

Bangladesh's infrastructure

and construction sector is

the Singapore-based

international construction

and consulting firm Surbana

Jurong Infrastructure (Pvt)

Ltd. and its affiliate Surbana

Jurong (Bangladesh)

Limited.

Surbana Jurong opened its

branch office in Bangladesh

in 2019 and the meantime

Surbana Jurong has built

more than 11,000 km of new

highways and rebuilt old

roads in Bangladesh; laying

railways above 2,100 km;

Samsung inaugurate authorized service center

in Banasree to enhance customers' convenience

Samsung Bangladesh has

inaugurated its new

Authorized Service Center at

Banasree in the capital

recently. The new service

center was inaugurated by

Hwansung Woo, Country

Manager, Samsung

Bangladesh and Arshad Huq,

Managing Director & CEO,

Transcom Electronics Ltd, a

press release said.

On this occasion,

Hwansung Woo, Country

Manager, Samsung

Bangladesh, said, "Samsung

has always been a step ahead

when it comes to ensuring

consumers' satisfaction. As a

global tech giant in mobile

construction of 105 bridges,

large and small; construction

of 40 residential,

commercial and hospital

buildings; establish more

than 1,250 km of gas, water

and electricity connections;

infrastructure development

and construction of EPZs

over an area of more than

1,024 acres and a water

treatment plant with a

treatment capacity of 315

million liters per day. There

are various rumors in the

business community about

how a foreign company,

which officially started its

branch office in Bangladesh

in 2019, is taking over the

work of many big

government projects in such

phone & consumer

electronics etc., Samsung has

always been seeking for

customers' satisfaction and

continuously trying to serve

valued customers who are

using & loving Samsung

products & services."

Ensuring consumers'

convenience has always been

Samsung's forte, and now

with this new initiative, the

company is expanding its

service network in populated

areas of the country. In this

Service Center, consumers in

Banasree and its vicinity can

enjoy safe and fast In Home

services according to their

convenience for all Samsung

(Administration), Professor Dr. A. S. M.

Maksud Kamal, Pro-Vice Chancellor

(Academic) and Professor Mamtaz Uddin

Ahmed, Treasurer, University of Dhaka

will be Special Guests of the ceremony.

Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam,

Hon'ble Chairman, Bangladesh Securities

and Exchange Commission, will also be

present at the event as a Special Guest. The

keynote speech of the conference will be

delivered by Professor Bernadine Van

Gramberg, Hon'ble Pro-Vice Chancellor,

Swinburne University of Technology,

Australia.

After the opening ceremony there will

be four parallel paper presentation

sessions in the afternoon of September

25 and five sessions in the morning and

afternoon on the next day including a

Ph.D. Colloquium and a business case

presentation session. Thirty two

research papers and business cases will

be presented in this conferences by local

and international researchers.

The closing ceremony of the conference

will be held on September 26, 2021 at 7.00

pm at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka.

H.E. Dr. Dipu Moni MP, Minister of

a short period. However,

there is no mention of the

activities of their Bangladesh

chapter on the official

website of Surbana Jurong.

A closer look at the matter

revealed on condition of

anonymity from several

government officials and

various government and

non-government

construction consultants

that Surbana Jurong had

secretly exerted diplomatic

influence at various high

levels of government and

administration and had

undertaken numerous mega

projects in a short period.

Although there is a clear

government directive that no

firm or organization under a

ministry will get a job more

than once, the Surbana

Jurong is turning a blind eye

to this directive and

undertaking several

developmental works of the

same ministry.

As a result, the

government construction

process is being out of

balance, the monopoly

power of an organization is

losing millions of dollars to

foreigners on the one hand,

and domestic companies are

finding it difficult to sustain

Electronics and home

appliances, including

television, air conditioner,

refrigerator, washing

machine etc. In addition to

that, mobile phone and tab

consumers can avail of aftersales

services every day from

10 am to 7 pm.

As a global company,

Samsung has a unified

system and operation level

and Bangladesh is in the

forefront of it. And this

service center has skillful and

experienced technical

engineers who will ensure

global standard after sales

service for the valued

customers.

5th Int'l Confce on Business and Economics

to be held on Sept 25-26 at DU

Education, Government of the People's

Republic of Bangladesh, has given her kind

consent to grace the occasion as the Chief

Guest; Professor Dr. Md. Akhtaruzzaman,

Vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka and

H.E. Salman F. Rahman, Private Industry

and Investment Advisor to Hon'ble Prime

Minister, Government of the People's

Republic of Bangladesh, will remain

present as Guests of Honour; Dr. Benazir

Ahmed BPM (Bar), Inspector General of

Police, Bangladesh Police, Government of

the People's Republic of Bangladesh,

Professor Dr. A. S. M. Maksud Kamal,

Hon'ble Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic)

and Professor Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed,

Hon'ble Treasurer, University of Dhaka

and Golam Murshed, MD & CEO, Walton

Hi-Tech Industries Ltd. will remain

present as Special Guests of the closing

ceremony.

Professor Dr. Muhammad Abdul

Moyeen, Dean, Faculty of Business

Studies, University of Dhaka and Professor

Dr. M. Sadiqul Islam, Department of

Finance, University of Dhaka are the

Conference Chair and Co-chair

respectively.


FRiDAY, SEPTEMbER 24, 2021

9

PSG's Neymar, left runs to pass Metz's Vincent Pajot during the French League One match

between FC Metz and Paris Saint-Germain at Saint Symphorien stadium, in Metz, eastern

France, Wednesday.

Photo: AP

French leader PSG relies on

another late winner:Deja vu

SPORTS DESK

French league leader Paris Saint-

Germain made it seven straight wins

but needed another injury-time winner

to beat last-place Metz 2-1 in an

unconvincing performance, reports

UNB. The referee was about to blow the

final whistle when right back

AchrafHakimi netted his second goal in

the fifth minute of injury time with a

curling shot past goalkeeper Alexandre

Oukidja. Moments earlier, Metz

captain Dylan Bronn and coach

Frederic Antonetti were sent off Bronn

for a second yellow card after kicking

the ball away and Antonetti for angrily

protesting to the referee.

As PSG players celebrated Hakimi's

goal, a furious Oukidja sprinted over to

them and starting shoving as he sought

out striker KylianMbappe. It was

unclear why, but it took several

minutes for players, and PSG coach

Mauricio Pochettino, to calm Oukidja

down. Images appeared to show

Mbappe saying something to Oukidja

when the goalkeeper was facedown on

the ground after conceding Hakimi's

second goal.

Oukidja then sprang to his feet and

chased down Mbappe, leading to PSG

players responding protectively and

Neymar pushing Oukidja over. Neymar

and Oukidja both were shown a yellow

card. Lionel Messi sat out after taking a

knock to the knee in Sunday's last-gasp

2-1 home win over Lyon. Striker Mauro

Icardi, who headed a 93rd-minute

Derby County hit with

12-point deduction after

entering administration

SPORTS DESK

Second-division English

soccer club Derby, which is

managed by England great

Wayne Rooney, was taken

over by administrators on

Wednesday after falling into

financial problems during the

pandemic and will be hit with

a 12-point deduction.

The club from central

England will slip to last place

in the Championship with

minus-2 points after eight

games. The team played in

the Premier League as

recently as 2008 and Rooney,

the record scorer for England

and Manchester United, has

been its permanent manager

since January.

Derby is up for sale, with

two takeover bids collapsing

this year. It has entered

administration - a form of

bankruptcy protection - with

the aim of completing all of its

matches this season.

"We are in the early stages

of assessing the options

available to the club and

would invite any interested

parties to come forward," said

Andrew Hosking, one of the

three administrators

appointed from business

advisory firm Quantuma.

Derby is a two-time English

champion and one of 12

founding members of the

Football League in 1888.

SPORTS DESK

winner against Lyon, latched on to a

smart pass from Neymar in the fourth

minute.

He expertly clipped the ball over the

goalkeeper only for a defender to clear

it off the line. But Hakimi finished

neatly with a volley.

PSG missed chances and this allowed

Metz to get into the game. Central

defender BoubakarKouyate equalized

with a superb header from a corner in

the 39th that goalkeeper KeylorNavas

could not keep out.

Navas rescued PSG with a fine onehanded

save moments before the

break, when right winger LamineGueye

broke through on goal and tried to chip

him. PSG is seven points ahead of

second-place Marseille, which remains

unbeaten after a 0-0 draw at thirdplace

Angers. Tensions were high at the

final whistle as some Marseille fans left

their enclosure and confronted Angers

fans, before security officials intervened

quickly. There have been two highprofile

incidents of fan disorder this

season, in matches between Nice and

Marseille, and between northern rivals

Lens and Lille.

Fourth-place Lens lost its unbeaten

home record as it slipped to a 1-0 defeat

against Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, Lyon moved above Nice

and into sixth place after a 3-1 win

against lowly Troyes.

Lyon fell behind just before the break

when midfielder Xavier Chavalerin

volleyed in from the edge of the penalty

area. XherdanShaqiri curled in an

Former world number one Simona Halep

and coach Darren Cahill have parted ways

after working together for six years, the

Romanian player said on Wednesday,

reports UNB.

The 29-year-old won her first Grand Slam

- the 2018 French Open - under the guidance

of Cahill before the Australian left her team

at the end of that season to spend more time

with family. The two reunited ahead of the

2019 WTA Finals. In the first three years

with Cahill, Halep finished two seasons as

Simona Halep is a two-time Grand Slam winner.

equalizer minutes into the second half

for his first goal since joining from

Liverpool. Another former Premier

League player made it 2-1 as former

Chelsea left back Emerson pounced in

the 71st.

Midfielder Lucas Paqueta, who

scored last Sunday against PSG,

wrapped it up late.

Nice's first defeat saw it lose 1-0 at

fifth-place Lorient.

Earlier, defending champion Lille got

back to winning ways by beating Reims

2-1, taking pressure off coach Jocelyn

Gourvennec.

It was only Gourvennec's second

league win after replacing title-winning

coach Christophe Galtier, who left in

the offseason to join Nice.

Canada forward Jonathan David and

midfielder Benjamin Andre put Lille 2-

0 up by halftime. Alexis Flips gave Lille

a scare by converting a 73rd-minute

penalty.

OTHER MATCHES

Struggling Monaco won 3-1 at home

against Saint-Etienne for just its second

victory.

After German forward Kevin Volland

put Monaco ahead in the 27th minute,

Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Etienne

Green was sent off moments later for a

clumsy foul.

The visitors equalized through striker

Denis Bouanga in the 41st. France

striker Wissam Ben Yedder scored with

a penalty for the second straight game

to make it 2-1 in the 61st and then

added a late goal.

'Thank you for everything':

Simona Halep splits with

coach Darren Cahill

world number one and also reached the final

of the 2018 Australian Open.

"After six wonderful years working

together, @darren_cahill and I have decided

that it's time to end our working relationship.

Thank you D for everything, for making me a

better tennis player and a better person," the

two-times major champion wrote on

Twitter.

Halep, who was knocked out in the

fourth round of the U.S. Open by Elina

Svitolina earlier this month, got married

to Macedonian businessman Toni Iuruc

last week.

Photo: AP

Mbappe needs to

learn how to be

humble: Metz coach

SPORTS DESK

French World Cup winner

KylianMbappe was told

Wednesday that he needs to

add a dose of humility to his

undoubted talents in front of

goal "if he wants to be

loved", reports UNB.

The advice came from

Metz coach Frederic

Antonetti after the megarich

Ligue 1 team needed a

stoppage time winner to

beat the bottom side 2-1 and

preserve their 100% start to

the domestic season.

"Mbappe needs to behave

better if he wants to be

loved," said Antonetti.

"I love this player, he is

very, very strong but he'd

benefit from having a more

humble side."

Antonetti was responding

to a question on the yellow

card handed to his

goalkeeper Alexandre

Oukidja who confronted

Mbappe over his celebration

when the winning goal was

scored. "In the game,

Mbappe was non-existent,"

said Antonetti.

Bangladesh go

down 5-0 to Iran

SPORTS DESK

As presumed earlier,

Bangladesh women's

football team suffered a big

margin of defeat to strong

Iran as the Iranians cantered

to a 5-0 win in their second

and last Group G match of

the AFC Asian Cup India

2022 qualifiers Wednesday

at Bunyodkor Stadium in

Uzbekistan, reports BSS.

Iran began to dominate

Bangladesh in the beginning

of the match and took a 3-0

lead at the breather.

After resumption, the

Iranians continued their

onslaught on Bangladesh's

fort by adding the remaining

two more goals in the second

half to ensure their emphatic

victory in the one-sided

affair.

Bangladesh were hardly

able to offer any resistance

against Iran in the whole

proceedings and had to

leave the field conceding the

day's result.

Earlier, Bangladesh

suffered a loss by identical

margin against higher

ranked Jordan in their

opening match.

Bangladesh squad: Rupna

Chakma, Sheuli Azim,

MasuraParvin, Monika

Chakma, Mishrat Jahan

Mousumi, Srimoti Krishna

Rani

Sarkar,

MosammatSiratShopna,

Sabina

Khatun,

NilufaYesmin, Nila, Maria

Manda and TohuraKhatun.

Cristiano Ronaldo

leapfrogs Lionel

Messi in Forbes' list

of top-earning players

SPORTS DESK

Manchester United forward

Cristiano Ronaldo has

reclaimed top spot in the list of

the world's highest-paid soccer

players from Lionel Messi,

according to Forbes, reports

UNB.

Ronaldo, 36, rejoined United

from Juventus in August after

12 years away, while Messi has

swapped boyhood club

Barcelona to join Paris St

Germain.

Forbes said Ronaldo, among

the world's most popular

athletes with over 500 million

followers across Facebook,

Instagram and Twitter, is set to

make US$125 million before

taxes in the 2021-22 season,

with US$70 million coming

from salary and bonuses at

United.

The rest will come from

endorsements and partnerships

with brands including Nike,

Herbalife, Clear and his CR7

brand.

Messi, who topped last year's

list, will be paid a salary of

US$75 million with an

additional US$35 million from

endorsements for total expected

earnings of US$110 million.

Rookies bring impressive

resumes to Ryder Cup

SPORTS DESK

The United States are counting on six Ryder

Cup rookies with impressive golf resumes as

they try to wrest the coveted trophy from

Europe at Whistling Straits, reports BSS.

The youth movement-against a veteran

European side-is less risky than it might

appear with the Americans counting the

newcomers as RINOs- Rookies in Name Onlythanks

to their accomplishments elsewhere. "I

have all the faith in the world in all the

rookies," said Justin

Thomas, who made his own Ryder Cup

debut in the loss to Europe in France in 2018.

"Your rookies are a two-time major champion

in Collin Morikawa or a FedExCup Champion

in Patrick Cantlay, and a (Tokyo Olympics)

gold medallist in XanderSchauffele," Thomas

said. "When you're looking at guys like that

that are your rookies, that says a lot about your

team."

The other newcomers are Harris English,

ranked 11th in the world, four-time US PGA

Tour winner Daniel Berger and 25-year-old

Scottie Scheffler.

Scheffler may be the lowest-ranked player

on the US team at 21 in the world, but only four

of Europe's players are higher in the rankings.

Cantlay's late-season surge earned him Player

of the Year honors on the US PGA Tour, where

he stared down Bryson DeChambeau in a sixhole

playoff to win the BMW Championship

then edged world number one Jon Rahm to

win the Tour Championship and the $15

million FedEx Cup playoff crown. Cantlay said

he's expecting the Ryder Cup to be a "more

amped up version" of his playoff duel with

DeChambeau, and he's revved at the prospect.

"Playing in that environment, the idea of that,

is really exciting so I'm looking forward to

getting out there and experiencing it," he said.

Cantlay, 29, and 27-year-old Schauffele,

have already proved their match-play chops.

At the 2019 Presidents Cup, they played

together in all four team sessions, winning two

foursomes matches and dropping two fourballs.

Each won his singles match as they

finished the week with 3-2 records.

The two prepped for the Ryder Cup with a

joint holiday in Napa, California, and it's oddson

that US captain Steve Stricker will put them

together come Friday.

Cantlay said playing with a well-known

partner is particularly helpful in the alternate

shot format of foursomes.

"When you are playing and you hit a bad

shot, you don't want any sense of, 'Oh, I

wonder what my playing partner is thinking

about the terrible shot I just hit,'" he said."

That kind of insight into the format will be

useful, especially against an experienced

European side that features just three rookies

in Viktor Hovland, Shane Lowry and Bernd

Wiesberger.

And US veterans like Jordan Spieth along

with Stricker and vice captain Phil Mickelson,

have been advising the newcomers on

managing emotions that always seem to be

magnified in the Ryder Cup.

Prized recruits: Olympic gold medallistXanderSchauffele and two-time

major winner Collin Morikawa are among six rookies on the US Ryder Cup

team at Whistling Straits.

Photo: AP

Tamim set to fly for Nepal

to take part in EPL

SPORTS DESK

Bangladesh star opener Tamim Iqbal is all

set to fly for Nepal on Thursday night to take

part in Everest Premier League (EPL) T20.

Tamim will represent Bhairahawa

Gladiators in this event, reports UNB.

Tamim was suffering from a knee injury

which forced him to sit out of action for a

while. He missed both the home series

against Australia and New Zealand recently.

He last played a competitive cricket match in

Zimbabwe early this year.

Debashis Chowdhury, the chief physician

of BCB, confirmed that Tamim would fly for

Neplan on Thursday night. He also said

Tamim is close to getting fully fit.

"Tamim was advised to go through a

rehabilitation process after the Zimbabwe

series. He has been working so hard to get fit.

He was working under the guidance of the

physio of the national team. He started to bat

for the last three days, and he has no

complaints. We believe he will be able to play

EPL well," Debashis told the reporters on

Thursday in Mirpur. The decision of Tamim

to take part in EPL is part of his

rehabilitation process. If he can play well in

EPL, it would be determined that the batter

is fully fit to play with his full effort."Tamim

is confident after completing half his

rehabilitation process. He has been doing all

the skill training without any problem. But

playing in a real cricket match is something

different. He needs to play competitive

cricket to see if he is really fit. In that sense,

playing in the EPL is very important for

Tamim," Debashis added.

Tamim sustained the blow on his knee in

the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League

in early this year. Due to the blow, he missed

the super league stage. He, however, took

part in the ODI series in Zimbabwe despite

not being fully fit. Weeks ago, Tamim

withdrew himself from the T20 World Cup

citing lack of match times. At the same time,

he confirmed that he is not retiring from the

shorter format of the game of cricket.

The EPL will kick off on September 25 at

Tribhuvan University International Cricket

Ground. Along with the Gladiators, Biratnagar

Warriors, Chitwan Tigers, Kathmandu Kings

XI, Lalitpur Patriots and Pokhara Rhinos are

also taking part in the EPL.

Fans fight at French league

game in latest stadium violence

SPORTS DESK

There was more fan disorder in the French

league as Marseille supporters ran onto the

field and clashed with Angers counterparts

at the final whistle, reports UNB.

Moments after the 0-0 draw, about 50

Marseille fans left their away enclosure and

rushed along one side of the field to the

stands where Angers fans were. Clashes

broke out and combatants used sticks and

threw objects before stewards intervened.

"Please, please. What image are we

giving? Please, lads, calm down," the

stadium announcer said, as other fans

whistled and jeered those fighting.

It was the latest incident of soccer

violence in France this season, after serious

disorder at the Nice-Marseille match last

month.

Last Saturday, fans threw ripped-up seats

and tried to fight each other at halftime

during the northern derby between Lens

and Lille.

Lens played its home game without fans

on Wednesday as punishment, losing 1-0 to

Strasbourg, and Marseille could now face

sanctions from the league.


FRIDAY, sEPTEMBER 24, 2021

10

Toronto Multicultural Film Fest

begins with 'Rupsha Nadir Banke'

'Mission Extreme' set to release

worldwide on Dec 3rd

After being delayed by two years due to the deadly

Covid-19 pandemic, the first episode of the muchanticipated

police action thriller movie 'Mission

Extreme' is set to have its worldwide release on

December 3, reports UNB.

This was confirmed by Sunny Sanwar, writerproducer

and one-half of the directors of the film,

also a superintendent at Anti Terrorism Unit of

Bangladesh Police. Joyed over the upcoming release

of the big-budget cop-thriller, starring Dhallywood

superstar Arifin Shuvoo and inspired by some of the

breathtaking operations of the Counter-Terrorism

Unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Sanwar said that

the decision has been made considering the

improving situation of Covid-19 in the country.

"The initial victory against the pandemic has been

achieved in the country by opening educational

institutions, and we are getting back to our

normalcies with the rapid vaccination. Altogether,

we felt that this is the time to welcome our movieloving

audiences to the theatres with new big-budget

movies. Thus, we are releasing our film on

December 3rd and we hope everyone will be by our

side," Sanwar told media on Thursday.

He also informed that the trailer will be releasing

soon, as well as a massive publicity campaign to

promote the film ahead of its big release.

The story and screenplay were written by Sunny

Sanwar himself. The film is produced by Cop

Creation, in association with Mime Multimedia and

Dhaka Detective Club. The film initially was

scheduled to release in 2020 on the occasion of Eid

al-Fitr but was postponed due to the Covid-19

situation in the country. It was rescheduled for a

2021 Eid release, but again pandemic prevented it.

Co-directed by Faisal Ahmed, the movie features

an ensemble cast of Arifin Shuvoo, the debutant

'Miss World Bangladesh 2018' Jannatul Ferdous

Oishee, Taskeen Rahman, Sadia Nabila, Sumit

Sengupta, Raisul Islam Asad, Fazlur Rahman Babu,

Shatabdi Wadud, Majnun Mizan, Iresh Jaker,

Manoj Pramanik, Aref Syed, Sudip Biswas Deep,

Rashed Mamun Apu, Ehsanul Rahman, Dipu, Syed

Nazmus Sakib and others.

For this particular project, actor Arifin Shuvoo has

done rigorous body transformation after nine

months of hard work. Sharing his excitement, the

National Award-winning superstar said, "The hard

work I've put in to get myself fit for 'Mission

Extreme' is never to be forgotten. I have had to suffer

major injuries while training for the body

transformation, which includes painful leg injuries

from which I am still suffering. The movie is finally

going to be released and I will forget all of my pain if

we can satisfy our audiences who have been waiting

for the film for such a long time."

My presence is remarkable

in one word : Bobby

TBT REPORT

Eamin Haque Bobby, better known as Bobby, is a Bangladeshi film

actress and film producer. She made her acting debut in Khoj: The

Search, released on 16 April 2010. Dehorokkhi (2013) helped

establish her as a star in the Dhallywood film industry.Bobby

started her career as a model.

Bobby is the face of the big screen. It goes without saying

that she doesn't appear on the small screen. She has

worked in a few commercials in her career but was last

seen in an advertisement about a year and a half ago.

However, the heroine has worked in a new

promotional shoot as she preferred.

The shooting of the advertisement, made by

Rehman Khalil, started last Tuesday at a shooting

house in Birulia and ended on Wednesday.

Bobby said 'Glamour' is being given importance in

this advertisement. Because it is an advertisement

for a beauty soap. Bobby commented, "There are

some things that can be done to make good or bad

results! The idea of arranging the shooting of the ad

and my presence are all remarkable in one word.

After the ad, the audience will understand."

Bobby was away from work for a long time due

to the Corona pandemic. She has returned to work

on a large scale through this advertisement. However,

the heroine wants to take more time to return in film.

She will start shooting only when the situation is completely

normal. Bobby said she will start shooting a web film soon

named 'Mayurpangkhi'. The announcement of the web

film will come in a few days.

Earlier, she has been seen in advertisements of

Power, Elite Mehedi, Warid Telecom, alton etc.

TBT REPORT

Rupsha Nadir Banke', a fulllength

film directed by

E k u s h e y P a d a k - w i n n i n g

filmmaker Tanvir Mokammel,

wasscreened at the fourth

Toronto Multicultural Film

Festival 2021 in Canada.

Toronto Film Forum (TFF) is

organising the festival from

September 23 to 28. A total of

300 films are participating at

the festival.

'Rupsha Nadir Banke' was

screened at the first day of the

festival. Tanvir Mokammel

shared the news on his

Facebbok page.

'Rupsha Nadir Banke' is a

historical film. The story of the

film revolves around a leftist

politician named Manob

Indian singer-songwriter Ananya Birla announced her debut album

'Bombay Basement'.

Ahead of the full release of the album, Ananya released the music

video of the lead track 'When I'm Alone' on Tuesday night. The video

also marks her maiden innings as a music video director.

Recently Ananya teamed up with AR Rahman for the official

Cheer4India song of the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics,

'Hindustani Way'.

Including the lead track, there are six songs in the album - 'Give

Me Up', 'Deny Me', 'Do It Anyway', 'Tu Hi Mera Ghar' and 'Old Me'.

The entire album which was conjured up during the pandemic,

hints at themes such as self-love, racial discrimination and toxic

relationships in a nonconformist manner.

More than 60 years after the erstwhile

Soviet Union beat the United States into

orbit with the launch of its Sputnik satellite,

a new space race is heating up between the

two rivals. The Russians plan to produce

the first feature film 'The Challenge' to be

shot in outer space, ahead of Tom Cruise's

upcoming $200-million space epic.

'The Challenge' is the story of a Russian

doctor who is sent to the International

Space Station to save the life of a

cosmonaut. If all goes according to plan,

the production team will lift off next month

on a 12-day mission to pull off the historic

first.

Last year NASA announced that it was

collaborating with Elon Musk's 'SpaceX'

and Tom Cruise to shoot a movie that

would be partly filmed aboard the

International Space Station. Directed by

Doug Liman, the untitled film was

rumoured to have a budget of $200

million.

Russian space agency Roscosmos then

announced its own plans to shoot an outof-this-world

(literally!) feature, hoping to

achieve liftoff before its Hollywood

counterpart.

A collaboration between Roscosmos,

public broadcaster Channel One, and

leading studio Yellow, Black and White,

'The Challenge' will be directed by

KlimShipenko, whose blockbuster comedy

'Son of a Rich' is Russia's highest-grossing

Mukherjee, who was abducted

and killed by Razakars during

the liberation war in 1971.

Besides liberation war, the film

portrays different historical

movements like Swadeshi

Ananya Birla announces

her debut album

'Bombay asement'

movement, Tebhaga movement

and other progressive

movements.

The cast of the governmentgranted

film includes Tousif

Sadman Turja, Zahid Hasan

Russian film 'The

Challenge' beats

Tom Cruise's 'Space'

Shovon and Khairul Alam

Sabuj, Ramendu Majumdar,

Chitralekha Guha, Jhuna

Chowdhury, Afzal Kabir, Rajib

Salehin, Abdullah Rana, Masum

Bashar, Mili Basher and British

actor Andrew Jones.

Tousif Sadman Turja, Zahid

Hasan Shovon and Khairul

Alam Sabuj have portrayed the

different stages of Manob

Mukherjee's life in the two-hour

film while Naziba Bashar plays

the female lead in the film.

The film has been shot by tentime

national film awardwinning

cinematographer

Mahfuzur Rahman Khan and

Mohadeb Shi edited the footage

of the film. Rana Masud, Syed

Shabab Ali Arzoo and Sagir

Mostafa are the assistant

directors of the film.

Her songs, 'Let There Be Love' and its remix version, 'Day Goes By'

with Jamaican-American Sean Kingston, was well-received around

the world.

The other hit songs to her credit are 'Hold On', 'Meant To Be',

'Circles', 'Livin' the Life' (remixed by Afrojack), 'Better'.

'Bombay Basement', will be released on her YouTube channel and

across all major streaming platforms every week throughout

October 2021.

Source: Indian Express

film of all time.

The space movie stars YuliaPeresild, a

veteran screen and stage actor, who was

cast after a countrywide talent search last

spring. The production team underwent a

crash course in space travel earlier this year

at the Yuri Gagarin Centre for Cosmonaut

Training. On Thursday, a commission of

medical and safety experts from the center

gave the project approval to go ahead.

Shipenko and Peresild are scheduled to

blast into orbit on October 5 in a Soyuz

spaceship piloted by Anton Shkaplerov, a

veteran cosmonaut, with a backup crew on

standby in the event of any last-minute

medical problems.

At a news conference in Moscow on

Thursday, Peresild said it was "too late" to

be afraid of the cosmic task ahead. "If

you're afraid of wolves, you shouldn't go

into the forest," she said, adding: "There is

just no time left for fear." Variety

Konstantin Ernst, CEO of Russia's

Channel 1, which has commissioned the

movie, played down the notion of a new

space race heating up the cosmos, noting,

"Cinema isn't sports".

"We certainly would have preferred

arriving at the International Space Station

at the same time with Tom Cruise. We

would have enjoyed shooting the film

together much better," Ernst told.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

H O R O s c O P E

ARIEs

(March 21 - April 20) : Your inspiration

and imagination are soaring today, Aries.

You may want to try an artistic project of

some kind. You could be pleasantly

surprised at the results. Your intuition is also high, and

your understanding of those around you is greatly

increased. Don't be afraid to act from instinct. This is

one of those days when it should win out over

rationality and logic!

TAURUs

(April 21 - May 21) : You look gorgeous

and feel especially sociable today,

Taurus. Don't be surprised if you either

host a social event or decide to attend

one to which you've been invited. You're always a

congenial companion, Taurus, but today more than

ever your enthusiasm is high. People will want to

enjoy your company. You may also have some

interesting information everyone will want to hear.

GEMINI

(May 22 - June 21) : Some

misunderstandings could cause

confusion in the home, Gemini. Your

intuition and insight should defuse the

situation, especially since you're more diplomatic than

usual. You could also have an artistic inspiration,

perhaps a new project that could be very important to

you. It could be important to your career or it could

open up new opportunities for you.

cANcER

(June 22 - July 23) : Social events you

attend today could put you in touch with

some fascinating people. A new

acquaintance could become a close friend.

These individuals may be highly educated in a field that

interests you or from other states or countries.

Conversation should be stimulating. Any information

gleaned could serve you well for a long time. Writing,

teaching, and publishing matters come to the forefront.

LEO

(July 24 - Aug. 23): You generally like

to think of yourself as a practical and

down-to-Earth person, Leo. Today you

might depend on intuition more than

usual. People around you might seem to be acting

peculiarly, and your insight could give you hints as

to their true motivations and how to deal with them.

Relations with colleagues could especially benefit

from this. Follow your heart!

VIRGO

(Aug. 24 - Sept. 23): Emotions

could run high among those close to

you, Virgo. It might seem like

everyone is in a bad mood! In your

own relations with them, your friendly nature

and social skills will calm them down and keep

them on an even keel, at least when you're

around! Social events may keep you busy. You

could make some valuable contacts.

LIBRA

(Sept. 24 - Oct. 23): Your warmth,

sensitivity, and understanding in your

relations with those you care about are

heightened, Libra. You should feel

especially well, as your health is good. You want to

get out and be social with friends and family. If there

are no outings planned, don't hesitate to be the

instigator. Everyone will have a wonderful time, and

your company will be greatly enjoyed.

scORPIO

(Oct. 24 - Nov. 22) : Matters of

romance, love, and marriage should go

very well for you today, Scorpio. You

should feel especially warm and

supportive. Intimate conversations come easily to you.

Make certain before you speak that you're expressing

your thoughts in the right way. There's a danger your

partner might misinterpret your words. You don't want

any upset, however temporary, to mar your day!

sAGITTARIUs

(Nov. 23 - Dec. 21): Communication

between you and a family member could

be difficult today. Your warmth and

understanding might give this person the

courage to tell you what's on his or her mind. You

might feel adventurous, Sagittarius, so you and a

romantic partner could decide to go out on the town

and kick up your heels tonight. You're both looking and

feeling good. Have a great time!

cAPRIcORN

(Dec. 22 - Jan. 20): A welcome letter,

phone call, or perhaps visit could come

from a lover or close friend bringing

interesting news. Your creative

energies are bubbling over, Capricorn, so you might

want to try writing, music, drawing, or painting. You

might send some letters, place a lot of phone calls, or

make a lot of short trips in your neighborhood,

maybe to libraries or bookstores.

AQUARIUs

(Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) : Good news

regarding money could have you

thinking in terms of freshening up

your home. You might want to do

some painting or add some small decorative

touches like art or houseplants. You might even

want to shop for some new furniture. This

promises to be a lot of fun, Aquarius, so get family

members to do it with you.

PIscEs

(Feb. 20 - Mar. 20) : A visit from a

relative or neighbor early in the day

could put you in a fantastic mood.

Perhaps this person has some

interesting news, encouraging words, or maybe a

gift. Listen and enjoy, Pisces, but beware of idle

gossip. Some of what you hear is unlikely to be

true, so it's best to keep it all to yourself. In the

evening, go out on the town!


FrIDAY, SEPTEMBEr 24, 2021

11

Assistant Commissioner (Land) and Executive Magistrate of Katiadi Upazila Md Ibrahim conducted a mobile

court at Masua Bazar on Thursday afternoon and fined two traders of Masua Bazar. Photo : Shah Md. Sarwar

Info minister

disburses monetary

aid among Khulna

journalists tomorrow

KHULNA : Information and

Broadcasting Minister Dr

Hasan Mahmud is likely to

hand out cheques among

journalists in Khulna

tomorrow as support from

Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina.

Seventy five journalists,

who are facing misery due to

Covid-19, will receive a total

of Taka 750,000, said

Khulna

deputy

c o m m i s s i o n e r

Moniruzzaman Talukder.

Dr Hasan will also visit

Khulna regional Betar center

tomorrow morning for

paying homage to the mural

of Father of the Nation

Bangabandhu Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman situated

on the Betar premises.

GD-1392/21 (5x3)

Rangpur division records 4.05pc

Covid-19 positivity rate

RANGPUR : Rangpur division recorded 4.05

percent Covid-19 positivity rate as 15 fresh

cases were reported today after testing 370

new samples at two laboratories in the

division.

"The overall Covid-19 situation, including

daily positivity rate, continues improving in

the last more than one and a half months in

the division," Focal Person of Covid-19 and

Assistant Director (Health) for Rangpur

division Dr ZA Siddiqui said.

Earlier, the daily positivity rates were 3.89

percent on Wednesday, 5.84 percent on

Tuesday, 5.95 percent on Monday, 7.06

percent on Sunday, 5.14 percent on Saturday

and 7.39 percent on Friday last in the

division.

Among the 15 new patients, nine were

reported positive after diagnosing 182 new

samples at the Covid-19 Laboratory at

Rangpur Medical College (RpMC) in

Rangpur city at the highest ever daily

positivity rate of 4.94 percent today.

"The nine new Covid-19 patients include

seven from Rangpur and one each from

Gaibandha and Lalmonirhat districts,"

Principal of RpMC Professor Dr AKM

Nurunnobi Lyzu told BSS at 5:45 pm.

On the other hand, six new patients were

reported after diagnosing 188 samples at the

Covid-19 Laboratory at M Abdur Rahim

Medical College (MARMC) in Dinajpur at

the daily positivity rate of 3.19 percent today.

"The six new Covid-19 infected patients

include one each from Dinajpur and

Panchagarh and four from Thakurgaon

districts," Principal of MARMC Professor Dr

Syed Nazir Hossain said.

Talking to BSS, Divisional Director

(Health) Dr Md Motaharul Islam said the

number of Covid-19 patients rose to 54,770

as 15 new positive cases were reported today

from across the division.

"The district-wise break up of total 54,770

patients include 12,365 of Rangpur, 3,732 of

Panchagarh, 4,395 of Nilphamari, 2,727 of

Lalmonirhat, 4,622 of Kurigram, 7,492 of

Thakurgaon, 14,597 of Dinajpur and 4,840

US soldier wins long

fight to get Afghan

translator asylum

NEW YORK : Army combat

veteran Spencer Sullivan

has never felt more

victorious.

Sullivan spent years

fighting to get his Afghan

translator asylum after his

former platoon's other

interpreter was denied a

U.S. visa before being killed

by the Taliban in 2017.

On Wednesday, Abdulhaq

Sodais was finally granted

asylum by a court in

Germany, where he was

forced to flee after being

denied a U.S. visa

repeatedly despite facing

death threats for aiding U.S.

troops during its 20-year

war in Afghanistan, reports

BSS.

Sullivan, who now lives in

Virginia, said he dropped

his phone when he saw the

text message from Sodais.

"I just started crying,"

Sullivan said.

The decision marked the

end of an eight-year journey

between the two men who

risked their lives together

trying to eliminate the

Taliban, bonding in a way

that can only be forged in

war.

Sullivan dedicated himself

to helping Sodais after

losing another translator,

Sayed Masoud, who was

killed by the Taliban in 2017

while waiting for a U.S. visa.

The former soldier is among

scores of U.S. combat

veterans who have been

working on their own to

rescue the Afghans who

served alongside them.

Is the delta variant of the

coronavirus worse for kids?

NEW YORK : Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for

kids? No, experts say there's no strong evidence yet that it

makes children and teens sicker than earlier versions of the

virus, although delta has led to a surge in infections among

kids because it's more contagious.

Delta's ability to spread more easily makes it more of a risk

to children and underscores the need for masks in schools

and vaccinations for those who are old enough, said Dr. Juan

Dumois, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Johns

Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Weekly infection rates among U.S. children earlier this

month topped 250,000, surpassing the wintertime peak,

according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics

and Children's Hospital Association. Since the pandemic

began, more than 5 million children in the U.S. have tested

positive for COVID-19.

The delta variant has been identified in at least 180

countries, according to the World Health Organization. In

many of them, the spike in infections has also meant an

increase in hospitalizations in young children and teens.

Top Pakistan diplomat

details Taliban plan

UNITED NATIONS : Be realistic. Show patience. Engage.

And above all, don't isolate. Those are the pillars of an

approach emerging in Pakistan to deal with the fledgling

government that is suddenly running the country next door

once again - Afghanistan's resurgent, often-volatile

Taliban.

Pakistan's government is proposing that the international

community develop a road map that leads to diplomatic

recognition of the Taliban - with incentives if they fulfill its

requirements - and then sit down face to face and talk it out

with the militia's leaders, reports UNB.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi

outlined the idea Wednesday in an interview with The

Associated Press on the sidelines of the U.N. General

Assembly's meeting of world leaders.

"If they live up to those expectations, they would make it

easier for themselves, they will get acceptability, which is

required for recognition," Qureshi told the AP. "At the same

time, the international community has to realize: What's

the alternative? What are the options? This is the reality,

and can they turn away from this reality?"

Formation of Leather Industry

Authority proposed

DHAKA : Speakers at a meeting today

proposed to set up a 'Leather Industry

Authority' under the Industries Ministry in

order to develop the leather industry and

solve the existing problems in the sector.

The proposal was come at the 4th meeting

of the 'Task Force on Recommendation for

Development of Leather Industry and

Formulation of Action Plan' at the Industries

Ministry conference room in the city, said a

press release.

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud

Humayun presided over the meeting while

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi,

Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Minister Md Shahab Uddin, State Minister

for Industries Kamal Ahmed Mojumder,

Industries Secretary Zakia Sultana, among

others, were present. Mentioning that leather

industry is a big industry and Bangladesh

should find new markets abroad, he urged

the leather traders to enhance their efforts to

expand their business.

GD-1397/21 (5x3)

He informed that the government will

provide necesary supports in this regard.

Although the tannery factories have been

shifted from Hazaribagh to the unfinished

leather industrial city, he said, work of the

Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP)

and other components are not yet

completed.

In this situation, environmental clearance

has been issued in favor of some tanneries,

but now it is being delayed to renew the

environmental clearance, he added.

Due to delay in obtaining renewal of

environmental clearance, he said, it is

becoming difficult to get Export Registration

Certificate (ERC) as an exporter, Import

Registration Certificate (IRC) as an importer

and clearance of duty free bond facility.

In this context, the Industries Minister

said, "We are not in favor of closing the

tannery industrial city. We have the raw

materials, we have the manpower, we have

the experience.

Security Council condemns

attempted coup in Sudan

UNITED NATIONS : The Security Council on

Wednesday condemned in the strongest

terms Tuesday's attempt to disrupt Sudan's

transition by force.

In a press statement, the members of the

Security Council reiterated their full support

to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in his

endeavors to see Sudan through a successful

transition in a manner that achieves the hopes

and aspirations of the Sudanese people for an

inclusive, peaceful, stable, democratic and

prosperous future, reports UNB.

The council members urged all stakeholders

to engage constructively with the national

initiative known as "The National Crisis and

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Issues of the Transition-The Way Forward,"

and further encouraged Sudan's civilian and

military actors to remain committed and

continue working in the spirit of cooperation

and collaboration to achieve the goal of

Sudan's inclusive transition as outlined in the

Constitutional Document and the Juba Peace

Agreement, said the statement.

The council members expressed their

solidarity with the people of Sudan and

affirmed their readiness to support Sudan

during the transition period, and reaffirmed

their strong commitment to the sovereignty,

independence, territorial integrity and

national unity of Sudan, it said.

we`ÿ r/Rb-155(2)/23/09/21

GD-1395/21 (6x3)

GD-1393/21 (6x3)

a


Friday, Dhaka: September 24, 2021; Ashwin 9, 1428 BS; Safar 16, 1443 Hijri

Urgent action needed to end

catastrophe in Myanmar: UN

At Kachpur in Narayanganj, garment workers staged a protest by blocking the Dhaka-Chittagong

highway on Thursday morning demanding three months' arrears. They set fire to tires and also

vandalized several vehicles.

Photo : Star Mail

Munia murder case

Bashundhara

MD seeks

anticipatory bail

DHAKA : Bashundhara Group

Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir

submitted a petition to the High Court

on Thursday seeking anticipatory bail in

a case over the rape and murder of college

student Mosarat Jahan Munia in

April this year, reports UNB.

HC bench of Justice Msotafa Zaman

Islam and KM Zahid Sarwar will hear

the bail petition on September 29.

On April 26, police recovered the hanging

body of Munia from her flat in Gulshan.

Munia's elder sister Nusrat Jahan Tania

filed a case against Anvir that night accusing

him of incitement to suicide.

According to Tania, her sister Munia

was in a relationship with Anvir who

regularly visited her at the Gulshan

apartment.

On July 19, the investigating officer of

the case, Gulshan Police Station officerin-charge

Abul Hasan, submitted a final

report to the court giving a clean chit to

Anvir.

On September 6, Munia's sister

Nusrat Jahan Tania filed a rape and

murder case against Bashundhara

Group MD and seven others with

Dhaka's 8th Tribunal for Prevention of

Women and Children's Repression.

The court after recording the complaint,

directed the Police Bureau of Investigation

(PBI) to submit a report on it.

Everyone under 18

is a child: Kamal

DHAKA : Home Minister Asaduzzaman

Khan Kamal yesterday said everyone

under the age of 18 is a child in the country,

urging all to considering it.

He made the remarks while addressing

a function at the auditorium of Bir

Muktijoddha Asaduzzaman Khan

Complex at Madhubagh in the city as the

chief guest. Rapid Action Battalion

(RAB) organized the event on the occasion

of inauguration of a TVC titled

'Everyone has one commitment, juvenile

crimes to be controlled' under public

awareness activities.

"I was 15 years old when I passed SSC.

At present, those who study regularly

enter into university at the age of 18. We

think it's time to think about this 18-year

deadline," Kamal said.

He said, "This has been done by an

agreement with an international law. As

a result, law enforcement agencies are

struggling to curb juvenile crimes. So it's

time to rethink the issue."

The minister said the country has been

moving forward at indomitable pace

under the leadership of Prime Minister

Sheikh Hasina and security is the first

condition to hold on it.

"But our teenagers are getting

involved in various crimes. Our fear was

that schools and colleges would remain

closed during the COVID period and

everyone would be passing leisure time.

Our country is better than many countries,"

he added.

Kamal urged all guardians to ensure

proper education to their children in

time and pay attention to establish rule

of law in the society.

Journalists working as

a supportive force for

development: Hasan

DHAKA : Information and Broadcasting

Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday said

journalists are a supportive force for the

country's development and progress.

"Journalists have been working as an allying

force for the development and progress

being conducted in the country under the

leadership of Prime Minister and

Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina,"

he told a discussion here.

Rajshahi Division Journalists Association,

Dhaka, arranged its biannual general meeting

and a discussion on Barindra development

thoughts at the Jatiya Press Club.

Chaired by president of Rajshahi Division

Journalists Association in Dhaka

Khairuzzaman Kamal, the meeting was

addressed, among others, by general secretary

of Workers Party of Bangladesh Fazle

Hossain Badsha, organising secretary of

Awami League SM Kamal Hossain, general

secretary of Dhaka Union of Journalists

(DUJ) Sajjad Alam Khan Tapu, former secretary

general of Bangladesh Federal Union

of Journalists (BFUJ) Omar Farooq and

BFUJ treasurer Deep Azad.

Speaking as the chief guest, Hasan

Mahmud said that he thinks the country is

moving forward because of the government's

close relations with journalists.

He said that journalists run the mass

media and media is the mirror of a society.

"My request to journalists is that if there is

any wrong, it should be published. At the

DHAKA : Aggrieved E-orange customers

staged demonstrations in the capital and

tried to block a road near Matsya Bhaban,

prompting the police to charge baton on

them, reports UNB.

The customers staged the protests

seeking their money back and the repatriation

of the mastermind of fraudulent

police inspector Sohel Rana.

Witnesses said the cheated customers

of E-orange, an e-commerce platform,

formed a human chain in front of the

Jatiya Press Club at noon.

When they tried to put barricades on

the road near Matsya Bhaban around

1:30 pm, police charged baton and dispersed

them.

Police detained three people from the

spot for interrogation, Sazzadur Rahman,

DMP Ramna Division deputy commissioner,

told UNB.

"Thursday is the last working day of the

week and there was huge pressure of

vehicles on roads, so we didn't let them

block road," he said.

During demonstrations, the protesters

said as E-orange is a sister concern of

Orange Bangladesh then it must bear its

responsibility.

same time, the issues of success and development

should also be published," the minister

said.

He said that if the success stories are not

published, the image of the society and the

state will not flourish properly and it cannot

be said that the mirror is working properly.

Hasan, also the Awami League joint general

secretary, said that proper development

of media is related to flourishing of a state.

As Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina believes

in it, media flourished significantly in the

country in the last 12 years, he said.

He said that it is the reality that some

frauds are involved in flourishing media.

Hasan said that some people are using

media as shield for their self-protection and

business purposes and some are becoming

the owners of media with power of money -

they themselves are the owners, journalists

and reporters.

They collect advertisements roaming one

office to another and publish those in their

newspapers, he said, adding that they publish

100 copies of newspapers and send

those to 100 offices. Due to this, the mainstream

media have been facing challenges

and struggling to survive, he said.

The information and broadcasting minister

said that the government has taken steps to

stop publication of irregular newspapers and it

has already started a process to send letters to

the deputy commissioners asking them to cancel

declaration of 10 newspapers.

E-orange customers stage

protests, police charge baton

They also demanded the trial of all the

cases related to E-orange in speedy trial

tribunal and rejection of bail pleas of all

the accused until the issue is settled.

A Dhaka court on September 2 sent the

owner of virtual outlet e-orange Sonia

Mehzabin, her husband Masukur

Rahman and Aman Ullah, Chief

Operating Officer of E-orange, to jail in a

fraud case filed over the embezzlement of

Tk 1,100 crore from consumers.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Baki

Billah passed the order rejecting their bail

petition when they were produced before

it on completion of their 5-day remand.

Earlier on August 23, Dhaka

Metropolitan Magistrate Morshed Al

Mamun Bhuiyan placed the accused on a

5-day remand in the fraud case.

On August 17, the court sent them to

jail rejecting their bail prayers when they

surrendered to Dhaka Additional Chief

Metropolitan Magistrate Abubakar

Siddique's court.

On August 16, an aggrieved customer of

E-Orange Md Taherul Islam filed a fraud

case with Gulshan police station in presence

of 37 other customers who testified

against the accused.

Mia Seppo lauds

Bangladesh's

Covid control

DHAKA : UN Resident Coordinator in

Bangladesh Mia Seppo has appreciated

the joint efforts in testing, tracing and

treating patients, and thus keeping the

pandemic under control in Bangladesh,

reports UNB.

"I've been delighted to see how the

support provided by the United Nations

and our partners has enabled the government

to employ innovative methods of

testing, tracing and treating patients, and

thus keeping the pandemic under control

in Bangladesh," she said.

When Covid-19 arrived in

Bangladesh in March 2020, Mia said,

there were serious concerns over how

the country's health system would be

able to cope with the overwhelming

challenges posed by the pandemic.

She made the remarks after a delegation

from the Government, United

Nations, and NGO partners observed

efforts to combat COVID-19 transmission

in Dhaka. Senior Secretary of the

Health Services Division Lokman

Hossain Miah and Additional Director

General of DGHS, Prof Dr Nasima

Sultana also joined the field mission.

The Senior Secretary praised the

Government's partners for their support

in containing the pandemic in

Bangladesh. With funding provided by

the World Bank Pandemic Emergency

Funding Facility, USAID and the Foreign,

Commonwealth and Development Office

of the United Kingdom (FCDO), the government

of Bangladesh, several United

Nations agencies (FAO, UNFPA,

UNICEF, WFP and WHO), non-governmental

and civil society organizations are

conducting an innovative initiative to

reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in

communities across Bangladesh.

The programme - called the

Community Support Team (CST) initiative

- deploys teams of volunteers into

low-income urban slum communities to

help identify symptomatic Covid-19

cases and supports them and their families

with home-based case management,

hospital referral, telemedicine support,

and screens for vulnerable individuals

with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes

and hypertension.

DHAKA : UN High Commissioner for

Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on

Thursday said urgent action is needed to prevent

the situation in Myanmar from spiraling

into a full-blown conflict, reports UNB.

Her warning came in a new report from

the UN Human Rights Office detailing

widespread violations by the military

against Myanmar's people, some of which

may constitute crimes against humanity

or war crimes. "The national consequences

are terrible and tragic - the

regional consequences could also be profound,"

Bachelet said. "The international

community must redouble its efforts to

restore democracy and prevent wider conflict

before it is too late."

Released for the 48th regular session of

the UN Human Rights Council, the report

describes the situation in Myanmar, which

is also facing an economy in freefall and

the devastating impact of the COVID-19

pandemic - as "a human rights catastrophe

that shows no signs of abating."

Relying heavily on the use of lethal force

and mass arrests, military authorities have

perpetrated the vast majority of human

rights violations documented since the 1

February coup.

Serious violations have been committed -

of the rights to life, liberty and security of person,

the prohibition against torture, the right

to a fair trial, as well as the rights to freedom

of expression and freedom of peaceful

assembly. In recent weeks, there has been

further intensification of military activity, as

well as resistance by armed groups.

"There is no sign of any efforts by the

military authorities to neither stop these

violations nor implement previous recommendations

to tackle impunity and security

sector reform," High Commissioner

Michelle Bachelet said.

"This underscores the urgent need for

strong accountability measures. It also

runs in the face of commitments made to

BNP wants to halt country's

progress:Obaidul Quader

DHAKA : Awami League General

Secretary Obaidul Quader on Thursday

said when the country is moving forward,

a reactionary section, led by BNP, is trying

to halt the pace of the country's progress.

"They (the reactionary section) want

to destroy the people's properties by

destabilizing the country in the name of

movement," he told a press conference

on contemporary issues at his official

residence here.

Quader, also the road transport and

bridges minister, said coping with the

adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,

the country's people have started

returning to normal life.

"In this context, it is urgent to ensure our

political stability and development-friendly

environment," he added.

Responding to an allegation of BNP that

the government has flattened the expectation

of people, the AL general secretary

ASEAN leaders to cease the violence and

begin a constructive dialogue among all

parties," she added, referring to the

Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The report, which covers the period

ranging from the coup until mid-July, is

based on interviews with over 70 victims

and witnesses to human rights violations,

as well as remote monitoring, credible

open sources, and meetings with a range

of stakeholders.

When peaceful protests began nationwide

in February, military authorities initially

used less-lethal weapons in an

unnecessary and disproportionate manner

and conducted neighbourhood raids,

creating an atmosphere of terror, it said.

But the tactics swiftly evolved into systematic,

targeted killings and relying on

lethal force - including semi-automatic

rifles and snipers against protesters. More

than 1,120 people have been killed since

the coup.

said in fact the BNP itself does not value

the people's expectation.

Mentioning that Bangladesh is moving

forward at an indomitable pace in every

socioeconomic index, Quader said the

Sheikh Hasina government has awakened

hope in the minds of the country's young

generation.

About the conviction of BNP chairperson

Begum Khaleda Zia, he said by suspending

her punishment, the government

has given her the opportunity to take treatment

staying at her home.

"The BNP has no gratefulness. If the

BNP leaders had it, they would have been

grateful to the generosity of Sheikh

Hasina," the road transport minister said.

He said the BNP leaders are stating

that the government made BNP senior

vice-chairman Tareq Rahman to be in

exile but their allegation is one of their

falsehoods.

Conduct study to understand

vaccine performances, suitability

in Bangladesh : Experts

DHAKA : As Bangladesh is now administering

four types of Covid vaccines

without joining the trial of anyone,

health experts suggest conducting a

comprehensive study to know their

comparative performances and the

longevity of antibodies they produce,

reports UNB.

They said some small studies have

been conducted by different organisations

in the country with insignificant

sample size, mainly on the efficacy of

AstraZeneca vaccine, but there is no

study on other vaccines-Pfizer, Moderna

and Sinopharm.

The analysts think an inclusive study will

help understand which vaccine is most

suitable and effective in Bangladesh as the

efficacy of vaccines varies from country to

country and race to race.

Besides, the analysts also said a

nationwide serosurveillance also should

be conducted to know how much people

gained natural antibody through Covid

infection and its durability as they

believe a good portion of the population

has already been infected with the virus.

According to the Directorate General

of Health Services (DGHS), a total of

23,167,924, people received the first

dose of vaccines while 15,262,693 both

doses as of September 21.

Of the dispensed 23,167,924 first shot,

7,042,743 are of AstraZeneca jabs, while

55,852 of Pfizer, 2,578,567 of Moderna

and 13,490,762 of Sinopharm ones.

Another

5-foot-long

dead dolphin

found on

Kuakata

beach.

Locals saw it

floating at

Tetrishkani

Point on the

beach on

Thursday.

Photo: PBA

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