The Supreme Court in effect extended till May 19 the tenure of Accord, a platform of European buyers who comprise the most lucrative destination for Bangladesh’s RMG exports, in what can be viewed as a small victory for the retailers. The development came after the court adjourned until May 19 the hearing of an appeal filed by Accord challenging a High Court judgment that asked the agency to wrap up its activities in Bangladesh.
“Accord can function in Bangladesh until further hearing of its appeal by the Supreme Court,” said Additional Attorney General Murad Reza, who appeared for the government. A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after Accord sought an adjournment, on the grounds that it was in talks with the government for an amicable settlement of the the relevant issues.
After a gap of 22 years, Bangladesh deployed its border security force, the since-reformed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at St Martin's Island, the coral island off the coast of Cox’s Bazar. Sources at BGB headquarters said their units were patrolling the small island in the northeastern part of the Bay of Bengal. They were deployed with heavy weaponry.
Although no clear reason for it has emerged even after more than a week, indications are they are unlikely to leave soon. "Numbers will be increased further,” Mohammad Mohsin Reza, BGB Public Relations Officer (headquarters), told our sister newsagency UNB. He said the paramilitary troops were also there in the island till 1997. “They (BGB members) have been deployed there alongside members of other law-enforcement agencies, including the Coast Guard, to ensure security on the island,” Reza said, without elaborating as to what had actually prompted the move.
Speculation ran rife that the BNP and the ruling Awami League were talking in private to negotiate terms for Begum Khaleda Zia’s release on parole, where she would be allowed to go abroad for “treatment”. At one point, it gathered enough momentum that even BNP secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir sounded a bit unsure in shooting it down after meeting his party chair in jail over the Bengali New Year.
As Dhaka Courier went to press this week, a team of Rajuk was on hand to demolish the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building constructed illegally on the Hatirjheel canal. The team, including members of law enforcement agencies, along with necessary equipment took position in front of the 16-storey building to start demolition works on the morning of April 16.
All preparations have been taken to demolish the building, said Rajuk director (Admin), Khandakar Oliur Rahman. Later, the gas, electricity and other utility service will be cut off to force out any entity that fails to clear out. The previous night, a letter was sent to Hatirjheel project director to demolish the building following a High Court order. Earlier on April 2 2018, the Supreme Court granted BGMEA a year and 10days (until April 12, 2019) to vacate the building.