Oct 162016
Myanmar attack, Bangladesh, Rakhine State, Foreign Ministry

Residents displaced by conflict flee from Maungdaw in Rakhine State on October 13, 2016. Photo: AFP

Expressing concern at the loss of innocent lives in clashes in Myanmar, Bangladesh underscored the need for arresting the perpetrators for bringing them to justice.

Taking note of coordinated attacks on the Border Guard Police posts in Rakhine State on October 10 and clashes that followed, Bangladesh today said it finds these developments in Rakhine, bordering Bangladesh, 'disturbing' and unequivocally condemns the attacks on Myanmar forces.

In a press statement the Foreign Ministry said, Bangladesh as a responsible neighbor on its own had sealed the borders with Myanmar in the early hours of October 10 to deny perpetrators easy escape.

Bangladesh apprehended two muslims of Rakhine State and handed them over to the authorities of Myanmar within a day. â??Bangladesh authorities are in constant touch with their Myanmar counterparts and providing help as requested,â? it said.

The Foreign Ministry said Bangladesh follows a â??zero toleranceâ?? policy towards violent extremism and terrorism of any form and their manifestation.

Bangladesh conducted a number of operations against Arakan Army and other ethnic armed groups originating from Myanmar in the recent times to help Myanmar.  Bangladesh returned two Tatmadaw members rescued from Arakan Army captivity last year.

â??Bangladesh will continue to assist Myanmar in this time of need,â? the statement said adding â??Bangladesh believes that cooperation in these areas could be best realized under legal framework which Bangladesh has been stressing over two years.â?

Such institutionalised cooperation is needed to comprehensively address all aspects of insecurity, from drug to human trafficking to gun running to civil commotion and internal disturbances to insurgency.

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Oct 152016
Shujan proposes search body to reform EC

Shushasoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan), a citizens’ platform advocating good governance, today demanded formulation a search committee to reconstitute the Election Commission.

A five-member committee, to be chaired by one senior Justice of the Appellate Division nominated by Chief Justice, will comprise of four representatives one each from Awami League and BNP-led alliances, civil society and mass media.

With the demand for enacting a law, Shujan placed the proposal at a roundtable titled “Election Commission Reformation and Citizens’ Thoughts” at Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka this morning.

ALSO READ: Search for New Election Commission: AL, BNP at loggerheads

It should be ensured that civil society and mass media representatives have no nepotism or biasness to any political parties, according to the proposal.

Reading out the keynote paper, Badiul Alam Majumdar, secretary of the civil society platform said despite a constitutional obligation to formulate law, the provision has never been followed.

“So law needs to be formulated to reconstitute the commission as it is mandatory in 118 Chapter of the constitution,” he said.

He further said that legality of recruitment in the commission without any specific law will be “questionable”.

The law will stipulate the qualifications, responsibilities and other activities of the commission, he added underscoring the goodwill and neutrality from political parties and concerned authorities.

Among others, former CEC ATM Shamsul Huda, former EC Brig Gen (retd) M Shakhawat Hossain, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder and Dhaka University law professor Asif Nazrul, spoke at the function, presided over by Shujan President M Hafiz Uddin Khan, also former adviser to a caretaker government. 

Meanwhile, after months of calm, the country’s politics could heat up again over the process of forming a new Election Commission, which would oversee the 2019 general election. 

The tenure of the existing EC expires in February.

The ruling Awami League-led alliance wants the new EC to be formed by a search committee under the jurisdiction of the president, a power vested in him by the constitution.

On the other hand, the BNP-led 20-party alliance and other political parties not aligned to the AL-led 14-party alliance want dialogue with all stakeholders before formation of such a committee. They have warned the government against any move to have a “subservient election commission”.

The current EC, led by Kazi Rakib Uddin Ahmad, drew a lot of flak over how it conducted polls during its four-year tenure. It held a general election in 2014 that the BNP-led alliance boycotted. It held city corporation, municipality, and upazila parishad elections that were marred by violence and irregularities.

Its worst performance was in the union parishad elections earlier this year when 126 people died in violence.

The ongoing debate over how the EC should be formed began after Law Minister Anisul Huq had said a search committee would be set up to form the new EC.

Oct 152016
England XI score 137/4

Sabbir Rahman celebrates the wicket of England batsman Joe Root at the MA Aziz Stadium today.

The first tour match finally allowed some batting practice for the England team today after rain washed out the opening day’s play at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong yesterday.

The two-day game, which eventually turned into a 45-over-a-side match, started in earnest under glorious sunshine with left-handed opener Ben Duckett, who had a wonderful debut in the ODI series against Bangladesh, carrying his good form with bat against the red ball as England XI, very much in Test-match mode, scored 137 for four at the end of the 45 overs. 

The left-right pair of Duckett and Haseeb Hameed put on 77 runs for the first wicket before Duckett was retired out after scoring an aggressive 59 off 66 balls.  Skipper Sabbir Rahman with his mixed gem of spinners dismissed Joe Root for two as England XI were reduced to 79-1 after 21 overs against the BCB XI. Sabbir also dismissed Haseeb for 16 as the visitors went to lunch 87-2 in 26 overs. 

Even with the generous sunshine, it was scant practice for the Test players for whom this was the first competitive outing on tour. The 19-year-old Hameed spent an hour and 40 minutes at the crease while Root will rue a missed opportunity on a docile pitch.

Moeen Ali, one of the players who featured in the ODI leg of the tour which England won 2-1 on Wednesday at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, was Sabbir’s third wicket, caught by Kamrul Islam Rabbi in the 42nd over for 24 off 74. Test specialist Gary Ballance however made most of the limited opportunity by occupying the crease for 98 minutes for an unbeaten 27.

Oct 152016
Ambulance runs over 2 at DMCH

Two persons including a child were killed and five injured as an ambulance ran them over at the emergency entrance of Dhaka Medical College Hospital this morning.
One of the deceased is identified as Shakil, 7, while another victim aged 65 could not b…

Oct 142016
Xi leaves Dhaka after 2-day visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping left Dhaka for India this morning after a two-day visit which saw China inking 27 deals with Bangladesh worth $24.45 billion in soft loan for various key development projects.
Earlier around 9:00am, the Chinese president p…

Oct 142016
Xi talks ‘bilateral issues’ with Khaleda

Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping met BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and discussed bilateral and geopolitical issues, a spokesperson said after the meeting.

We called upon the Chinese leader to stay alongside Bangladesh in its path towards development, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said.

The meeting began at Le Méridien hotel, where Xi is staying, around 5:35pm and carried on for 40 minutes, Sayrul Kabir Khan, a staff of Khaleda Zia’s press wing, told The Daily Star.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee member Mahbubur Rahman, leaders Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Riaz Rahman accompanied the BNP chief.

Veteran politician Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir briefed reporters after the meeting.

“The Chinese president also called upon us to stay beside them for the overall development of Bangladesh and China,†Fakhrul said.

The meeting with BNP, the party that boycotted the last general elections, takes place following “fruitful†talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and signing of several MoUs.

At the press briefing following the signing of deals, China President Xi Jinping highlighted that he wants to build up a long-term strategic partnership with Bangladesh. 

Oct 142016
Samsung Note 7 recall to cost $5.3b
The discontinuation of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 would cost the company about $3 billion during the current and next quarters, bringing the total cost of the recall to at least $5.3 billion.
The Note 7 discontinuation will cost in the mid-2 trillion won range during the October-December period and another 1 trillion won ($884 million) during the January-March quarter, Samsung Electronics said in a statement on Friday, reports AP.

Samsung already slashed its third-quarter profit forecast by $2.6 billion earlier this week, an amount that could wipe out its entire mobile business profit. That did not include the cost of Samsung’s first recall, which analysts estimated at 1 trillion won to 2 trillion won.

Samsung has enough cash and other businesses to absorb the shock from the phone recall. It said it expected to generate 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion) in operating income during the third quarter after the recall cost. Analysts said most of the income will be generated by sales of advanced displays and semiconductors.

Samsung added that it will make significant changes in its quality assurance processes to enhance product safety for consumers. It did not elaborate.

The company said it will expand sales of two other smartphones released in spring, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, quashing rumors that it may try to release updated versions of those devices. Samsung usually releases a new iteration of the Galaxy S series in spring, so the company may have to provide a strong incentive to sell the 6-month-old phones, such as lowering their prices.

Due to unexplained fires and overheating problems, more than 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones were recalled before the product was discontinued earlier this week just two months after its launch in August.

In the United States, 1.9 million Note 7 phones are subject to the two recalls. Samsung also recalled about 200,000 phones in China and about half a million phones in South Korea.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said there were 96 reports of batteries in Note 7 phones overheating in the country, including 23 new reports since the first recall announcement last month. The company received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damages associated with the phones.

“Consumers should immediately stop using and power down all Galaxy Note 7 devices, including Note 7 devices received as replacements in the previous recall,” the agency said.

The botched recall raised questions about Samsung’s initial analysis of the Note 7 phone’s problems. At first, Samsung said a minor manufacturing error in the batteries for the Note 7 was causing the phones to overheat.

The problem with the replacements is still unclear. Experts say Samsung may have rushed to conclude the Note 7’s problem was a battery issue and it may take a long time to find the real cause.

Seeking to retain customers, Samsung is giving an incentive of a $100 credit to Note 7 owners who switch to another Samsung phone.

The Note 7 device was one of the most expensive smartphones in the market with all the latest technologies from Samsung, including the ability to unlock the phone by scanning a user’s iris. It was sold for between $850 and $890. –RH

Oct 142016
Xi Jinping holds official talks with Hasina at PMO
Published : 14 Oct 2016, 16:09:18
Xi Jinping holds official talks with Hasina at PMO
Chinese President Xi Jinping made official talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka.
The meeting began at Chameli of the PMO at 3:10 pm and continued until 4pm on Friday, reports UNB.

Sheikh Hasina and the Chinese President had a tete-a-tete at Shimul of the PM office from 3pm.

They will witness the signing of MoUs and agreements which will be held at PMO’s Karobi soon after the official talks. There will be a press statement after the signing ceremony.

The Chinese President will sign visitors’ book there before returning to his place of residence.

Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will meet the Chinese President at Rangamati Room of the hotel at 4:35 pm.

Earlier, Xi arrived here on a historic state visit on Friday morning. –RH

Oct 142016
30 die in Central African Republic fighting
At least 30 died and 57 wounded in fighting between former Seleka rebel group fighters and the United Nations peacekeepers in Central African Republic on Wednesday.
The attack in Kaga-Bandoro was likely retaliation for the death on Tuesday of a suspected former Seleka member, the peacekeeping mission said in a statement. Peacekeepers repelled the attackers, killing at least 12 of them, the UN mission said, reports AP.

The UN condemned the violence that saw rebels attack civilians, target authorities and loot aid organisations.

Armed men attacked a secondary school during a teacher training, witnesses told the UN children’s agency, saying that among those killed were three teachers, the director of an educational center and the vice president of the parents association.

“We are deeply shocked by these developments and saddened that teachers have been targeted,” said Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF’s representative in the country.

A local priest said he saw that two humanitarian workers were also among the dead. He spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety. –RH

More than 5,000 people already displaced by years of violence have taken refuge next to the UN base, their informal settlements burned, the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs said.

“There is, today, no legitimate reason for any armed group to use weapons,” said the UN mission’s chief, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga. “The people have suffered enough and are tired of this war that has lasted too long.”

Central African Republic descended into conflict in 2013 when the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the Christian president. That ushered in a brutal reign in which the rebels committed atrocities. When the rebel leader left power, a backlash by the Christian anti-Balaka militia against Muslim civilians followed.

The sectarian violence has continued, despite a high-profile visit by Pope Francis last year to appeal for calm.

Hundreds of former Seleka fighters have regrouped in Kaga-Bandoro, along with Muslim civilians, after fleeing the capital, Bangui, two years ago. –RH

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