PM places 3 proposals at UN meet
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on September 24 made three recommendations for solving the Rohingya crisis at its root, including abolition of discriminatory laws, policies and practices of Myanmar against the minority group. According to her second recommendation, Myanmar must create conducive environment by building trust and guaranteeing protection, rights and pathway to citizenship for all Rohingyas. If needed, it should create a “safe zone” inside the country to protect all civilians. Her third recommendation says atrocious crimes against Rohingyas in Myanmar should be prevented by bringing accountability and justice, particularly in the light of recommendations of the Fact-Finding Mission of the UN Human Rights Council. The PM was speaking at a high-level event on the “Global Compact on Refugees: A Model for Greater Solidarity and Cooperation” at the UN headquarters in New York. The PM was speaking at a high-level event on the “Global Compact on Refugees: A Model for Greater Solidarity and Cooperation” at the UN headquarters in New York.
Greater Unity Process: AL watchful, BNP hopeful
The ruling Awami League is not bothered about Dr Kamal Hossain's efforts to forge a greater national unity demanding free and fair polls, but it is keeping a close eye on the process. The BNP, on the other hand, is upbeat as the party thinks it is possible to bring all the opposition forces under a common platform and mount pressure on the government to hold a credible general election. Gonoforum President Dr Kamal Hossain and Bikalpadhara Bangladesh President Prof AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury at a citizens' rally on September 22 demanded formation of a polls-time neutral government through talks with political parties. Several top leaders of the BNP and its allies shared the stage with the two along with representatives of some smaller parties and civil society.
Editors denounce passage of Digital Security Bill
The Sampadak Parishad (Editors' Council) on September 22 expressed its deep regret at the passage of the Digital Security Bill 2018, which it considers to be against media freedom and freedom of speech guaranteed by the constitution. Mahfuz Anam, general secretary of Editors' Council; Mozammel Babu, vice-president of Association of Television Channel Owners; and Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, former president of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists in a statement said a parliamentary standing committee submitted its recommendations before the parliament without holding a promised meeting with them. As a result, the recommendations do not properly reflect the opinions of the journalist community, said the statement.
Trial can go on without Khaleda's presence
A Dhaka court on September 20 exempted BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia from personal appearance before it and decided to continue the trial of the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case inside Old Dhaka Central Jail in her absence. Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Judge Court-5 passed the order after he heard a prosecution lawyer's petition seeking completion of the trial in her absence. The court ordered the jail authorities to provide Khaleda treatment in jail as per the Jail Code after the defence lawyer submitted an appeal. The appeal was filed on September 13 as Khaleda did not appear before the court in the last several months due to her illness. The judge also extended Khaleda's bail in the case till September 24 and set the day for the next hearing. The ACC lodged the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon Police Station in August 2011, accusing Khaleda and three others of abusing the power to raise funds for the trust from unknown sources.