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Border killing tops the agenda in border conference

Special Correspondent
 
A five-day director-general level conference between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) concluded in Dhaka on Wednesday , with the Bangladesh side giving top priority to stop killing of unarmed Bangladeshi citizens along then border.
Killing of Bangladeshi nationals by the BSF goes on unabated for many years despite commitments from top BSF officials to bring down the number of such deaths to zero.
According to the rights body Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), 31 Bangladeshis were killed, 39 injured and 24 abducted by the Indian border guards last year. In the previous three years, the BSF killed 46, 33 and 26 Bangladeshis.
Besides, around 39 people were injured and 24 abducted last year, 73 hurt and 59 abducted in 2015, 63 injured and 110 abducted in 2014 and 84 hurt and 175 abducted in 2013. However, many of the abductees returned home later.
In January this year, the BSF killed two Bangladeshis and abducted nine, said ASK.
In the meeting Indian side said that they were using non-lethal weapons to keep the death figure at a low level. They also complaint about attacks on BSAF Men by the miscreants at the border. 
Trafficking of drugs, arms and ammunition from India, trespassing the border, development works within 150 yards of the international border, setting up of an effluent treatment plant (ETP) in the Indian side of Akhaura Integrated Check Post (ICP) and exchange of information about smugglers and criminals would also came up for discussion at the meeting held at the BGB headquarters in Pilkhana.
Led by BSF DG K K Sharma, a 19-member Indian delegation attended the conference. The delegation members included senior officials of the BSF, and home and foreign affairs ministries. 
On the other hand, BGB Director General Maj Gen Abul Hossain led the 28-member Bangladesh side. The team included officials of the Prime Minister’s Office, home and foreign ministries, Joint River Commission, Department of Narcotics Control, Survey of Bangladesh and the Department of Land Record and Survey.
The next round of the conference between to border guarding forces will be held in Octrober this year in New Delhi.

Comment

Special Correspondent
 
A five-day director-general level conference between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) concluded in Dhaka on Wednesday , with the Bangladesh side giving top priority to stop killing of unarmed Bangladeshi citizens along then border.
Killing of Bangladeshi nationals by the BSF goes on unabated for many years despite commitments from top BSF officials to bring down the number of such deaths to zero.
According to the rights body Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), 31 Bangladeshis were killed, 39 injured and 24 abducted by the Indian border guards last year. In the previous three years, the BSF killed 46, 33 and 26 Bangladeshis.
Besides, around 39 people were injured and 24 abducted last year, 73 hurt and 59 abducted in 2015, 63 injured and 110 abducted in 2014 and 84 hurt and 175 abducted in 2013. However, many of the abductees returned home later.
In January this year, the BSF killed two Bangladeshis and abducted nine, said ASK.
In the meeting Indian side said that they were using non-lethal weapons to keep the death figure at a low level. They also complaint about attacks on BSAF Men by the miscreants at the border. 
Trafficking of drugs, arms and ammunition from India, trespassing the border, development works within 150 yards of the international border, setting up of an effluent treatment plant (ETP) in the Indian side of Akhaura Integrated Check Post (ICP) and exchange of information about smugglers and criminals would also came up for discussion at the meeting held at the BGB headquarters in Pilkhana.
Led by BSF DG K K Sharma, a 19-member Indian delegation attended the conference. The delegation members included senior officials of the BSF, and home and foreign affairs ministries. 
On the other hand, BGB Director General Maj Gen Abul Hossain led the 28-member Bangladesh side. The team included officials of the Prime Minister’s Office, home and foreign ministries, Joint River Commission, Department of Narcotics Control, Survey of Bangladesh and the Department of Land Record and Survey.
The next round of the conference between to border guarding forces will be held in Octrober this year in New Delhi.

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Language hero Zainul Abedin hospitalized

Holiday Report
 
Language hero, renowned scriptwriter, senior journalist and Jatiya Press Club (JPC) founding-time member Zainul Abedin was admitted at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical College and Hospital(BSMMC) on Monday last.
The octogenarian journalist and screen-play writer of many a famous films is suffering from various complications including breathing and cronic liver problem. He is now in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at BSMMCH in a very critical condition. 
Zainul Abedin  born in  Ahmedabad of  India in 1937  was  brought  up in Bihar where his father  Mohammd Mostafa had been    posted  as the Head  Draftsman  of  East Indian Railways. After  1947 partition of  India, M Mustafa  moved  to  Syedpur  of  the  then East Pakistan and  remained  in railway  job.   Zainul Abedin eldest  of  three brothers and a sister  had  his  matriculations  from  Syedpur  and  came  in contact  with communist movement  from his student  life. 
Zainul Abedin, popularly known to his  friends and  admirers as “Biahari  Zainu”, migrated  to Dhaka  and  was  admitted  to  Dhaka  College  to study  commerce  in  intermediate class. He  joined  the  language  movement  when he  was a second year student  of  Dhaka  college  which  at that time  was located  near  Fulbaria railway station.  He  used  to write provoking   and  attractive  slogans  in Urdu  language  to  popularize  the  causes  of  Bangla  as  state language  especially  among  the  Urdu speaking  residents  of    Dhaka. He  attended  the historic  boat  meeting  on the river Buriganga organized  by   Tamuddun-e-majlis, the  fore runner of  the  great   language movement  of  1952.  He  was  also put  into jail for  his  involvement  in   language  movement. 
Zainul Abedin  joined  the  print  media  in  1957  and  served  the  Zaung, Morning News , Eastern news Agency (ENA) , Bangladesh Times   and   the  Urdu  section  of   the  Cinemagazine  Chitrali. He  is  still  the  Bangladesh Correspondent  of  The  Zaung, the largest  circulated  Urdu daily published  from Karachi. 
Zainul Abedin   is  also  popular  in the film world  for  his  involvement  as a script  writer  and  alluring  forceful  dialogue.  Chokori, Choto shaheb, Payel, Anari ,  sangram  are some  of  his popular  box-office  hit  movies  where  the  then leading  heroes and heroins  played  their  roles.    
Meanwhile, Zainul   also earned  his fame  as a urdu short story writer. He  has translated  in Urdu  the  famous  Bengali novel  Khwabnama  by  Akhtaruzzaman Ilyas . A  bachelor, Zainul  opted  to  remain as a Bangladeshi citizen  even  after  his  brothers and sister migrated  to Karachi. 
He wishes   to  stay   on  this  soil for  his  life  since  he  fought n for  this  country  and   his  father  and  mother  are lying  in  Syedpur graveyard.

Comment

Holiday Report
 
Language hero, renowned scriptwriter, senior journalist and Jatiya Press Club (JPC) founding-time member Zainul Abedin was admitted at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical College and Hospital(BSMMC) on Monday last.
The octogenarian journalist and screen-play writer of many a famous films is suffering from various complications including breathing and cronic liver problem. He is now in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at BSMMCH in a very critical condition. 
Zainul Abedin  born in  Ahmedabad of  India in 1937  was  brought  up in Bihar where his father  Mohammd Mostafa had been    posted  as the Head  Draftsman  of  East Indian Railways. After  1947 partition of  India, M Mustafa  moved  to  Syedpur  of  the  then East Pakistan and  remained  in railway  job.   Zainul Abedin eldest  of  three brothers and a sister  had  his  matriculations  from  Syedpur  and  came  in contact  with communist movement  from his student  life. 
Zainul Abedin, popularly known to his  friends and  admirers as “Biahari  Zainu”, migrated  to Dhaka  and  was  admitted  to  Dhaka  College  to study  commerce  in  intermediate class. He  joined  the  language  movement  when he  was a second year student  of  Dhaka  college  which  at that time  was located  near  Fulbaria railway station.  He  used  to write provoking   and  attractive  slogans  in Urdu  language  to  popularize  the  causes  of  Bangla  as  state language  especially  among  the  Urdu speaking  residents  of    Dhaka. He  attended  the historic  boat  meeting  on the river Buriganga organized  by   Tamuddun-e-majlis, the  fore runner of  the  great   language movement  of  1952.  He  was  also put  into jail for  his  involvement  in   language  movement. 
Zainul Abedin  joined  the  print  media  in  1957  and  served  the  Zaung, Morning News , Eastern news Agency (ENA) , Bangladesh Times   and   the  Urdu  section  of   the  Cinemagazine  Chitrali. He  is  still  the  Bangladesh Correspondent  of  The  Zaung, the largest  circulated  Urdu daily published  from Karachi. 
Zainul Abedin   is  also  popular  in the film world  for  his  involvement  as a script  writer  and  alluring  forceful  dialogue.  Chokori, Choto shaheb, Payel, Anari ,  sangram  are some  of  his popular  box-office  hit  movies  where  the  then leading  heroes and heroins  played  their  roles.    
Meanwhile, Zainul   also earned  his fame  as a urdu short story writer. He  has translated  in Urdu  the  famous  Bengali novel  Khwabnama  by  Akhtaruzzaman Ilyas . A  bachelor, Zainul  opted  to  remain as a Bangladeshi citizen  even  after  his  brothers and sister migrated  to Karachi. 
He wishes   to  stay   on  this  soil for  his  life  since  he  fought n for  this  country  and   his  father  and  mother  are lying  in  Syedpur graveyard.

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Forced relocation of Rohingyas can create tension: ICRC

Holiday Desk
 
Ikhtiyar Aslanov , the head of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Dhaka has said they are against any forced movement of the people who have taken shelter in Cox’s Bazar after fleeing persecution in Myanmar.
The government has recently announced its plan to relocate them to Thengar Char, an island in the Bay of Bengal, before repatriation.
“This is new information for us. The foreign ministry informed us during a briefing. For us, ICRC as a humanitarian organisation, what is important is that the needs and the safety of the people are respected,” Ikhtiyar Aslanov told the online news agency bdnews24.com.
“International norm is that any movement of the people should be voluntary,” he said “if you are forced to move, it creates tension, it creates anxiety among the populations because they don’t know where they are going.”
In an exclusive interview to bdnews24.com at his office, Aslanov said: “Before any such plan, it is important to consider that how the population affected are going to perceive it.”
ICRC activities in Bangladesh in 2O16 ICRC activities in Bangladesh in 2O16 More than 400,000 Myanmar nationals, including the newly arrived 69,000, are living mainly in Cox’s Bazar in two registered camps and makeshift settlements after fleeing persecution and communal violence in the Rakhine State.
But, like Bangladesh and the Myanmar governments, ICRC does not use the word Rohingya to continue their humanitarian activities smoothly. Instead, they call them Muslim communities of Rakhine.
Foreign Minster AH Mahmood Ali recently in a briefing for diplomats on the plan said such a huge population in Cox’s Bazar district has created “formidable challenges” for the authorities to manage humanitarian assistances for them.
They also created, according to Ali, “some adverse effects on the overall socio-economic, political, demographic, environmental, and humanitarian and security situation in Cox’s Bazar and adjacent districts and also negatively affecting the eco-tourism prospects”.
Ali had also told diplomats that the government plans “to build necessary infrastructure including shelter, schools, hospitals or health centres, mosques, roads to make the place habitable” and that the relocation would take place “only after the development activities are completed”.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during a recent meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also called for support of the international community to help relocate them to the remote island until repatriation.
Ikhtiyar Aslanov Ikhtiyar Aslanov The ICRC head of the delegation said they were not questioning the concerns of the Bangladesh government.
“The question is rather how it’s going to be organised. How it is to be presented to them,” said Aslanov, who was the deputy of the ICRC’s Syria mission before his Dhaka assignment.
“It’s not about infrastructure and services. How the community is going to be interacting with others. Now they are interacting with the Cox’s Bazar local community.”
“Putting them completely separated from the mainland - how it’s going to affect their psychology. How will their safety be ensured? How the services will be delivered. Can they do something? What happens when cyclone strikes,” he raised all these questions.
He, however, said if ICRC has something to say on the relocation issue they will discuss that with the government bilaterally. “As a humanitarian issue, this is also part of our mandate.”
The world’s oldest humanitarian organisation, the ICRC plays a crucial humanitarian role during Bangladesh’s War of Independence in 1971.
After five years of operation since independence, the ICRC winded its Dhaka office up in 1975 but re-opened it in 2006 as it found it necessary mainly to train up Bangladesh peacekeepers who serve in UN missions.
Over the years, it has expanded its activities, and now it is focused on three directions – one of them is prevention work for which it works with the ministry of foreign affairs, home affairs and defence for promoting international humanitarian law.
The second part of its work is focused on protection under which it works closely with the prison authorities.
The third part is the humanitarian response under which it works in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to support livelihood projects for the poor. It provides grants and links them with the local authorities so that they can start work to earn a living.
They also work at Cox’s Bazar under the humanitarian response and support those Myanmar nationals who has taken shelter for decades.
Together with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, it has been working with healthcare project in Cox’s Bazar since 2014.
But after the recent influx, they introduced mobile health clinic to reach health services to those Myanmar nationals.
“They are afraid to come to the hospital fearing they will be caught there. So, we set up mobile clinics to reach services to them,” the head of the delegation said.
 
Neutral, impartial 
As a guardian of the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC works with authorities, armed forces, police, civil society and media to promote awareness of International Humanitarian Law, IHL, and humanitarian values, and their integration into domestic legislation, civil and military education and training.
The head of the delegation in Dhaka said they would have to be “neutral and impartial” to carry out their humanitarian activities.
“We can work in a complex situation. We have to understand the complicated things to maintain neutrality,” he said while explaining their activities.
“How to remain neutral, how to be impartial is exactly the part that comes strongly in our discussion, debates and internal analysis. It depends from station to station, how it is accepted.”
“In general, the principle never changes. The principal of being neutral and impartial remains the same,” Aslanov said.
“It is often difficult to accept neutrality when two parties fight – the emotion and feeling are that you are helping the other side.”
“But we try to make the decision-makers realise that the situation can be another way around. They can be on the other side,” he said, adding that for the ICRC, neutrality does not mean “passive role”.
“…in our work, it is far from passive. It’s quite active.”
“Neutrality is something you have to work on constantly. Neutrality is something we have to disseminate and explain particularly at the moment when the emotions, feelings and sometimes accusations are so high; it’s very difficult to cut through the obstacles to talking about neutrality”.
“It’s a tough job,” he said.
In Bangladesh, there are certain problems; we are talking about a big crisis.
Aslanov said the ICRC works in 100 countries that do not mean that all the countries have the crisis. Some have protracted crisis, some have an actual crisis, some have lived through the crisis and now it is time for reshaping.
“We continue promotion of international humanitarian law,” he said.
In Bangladesh, Aslanov said, since it is a “peaceful” country, their work is focused on promoting international humanitarian law.
The ICRC also supports the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed, CRP, in Bangladesh. It also organised the first-ever international cricket tournament for the people with disabilities in 2015.
In May this year, it will hold a seminar with the prison authorities of 15 South-East Asian countries.

Comment

Holiday Desk
 
Ikhtiyar Aslanov , the head of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Dhaka has said they are against any forced movement of the people who have taken shelter in Cox’s Bazar after fleeing persecution in Myanmar.
The government has recently announced its plan to relocate them to Thengar Char, an island in the Bay of Bengal, before repatriation.
“This is new information for us. The foreign ministry informed us during a briefing. For us, ICRC as a humanitarian organisation, what is important is that the needs and the safety of the people are respected,” Ikhtiyar Aslanov told the online news agency bdnews24.com.
“International norm is that any movement of the people should be voluntary,” he said “if you are forced to move, it creates tension, it creates anxiety among the populations because they don’t know where they are going.”
In an exclusive interview to bdnews24.com at his office, Aslanov said: “Before any such plan, it is important to consider that how the population affected are going to perceive it.”
ICRC activities in Bangladesh in 2O16 ICRC activities in Bangladesh in 2O16 More than 400,000 Myanmar nationals, including the newly arrived 69,000, are living mainly in Cox’s Bazar in two registered camps and makeshift settlements after fleeing persecution and communal violence in the Rakhine State.
But, like Bangladesh and the Myanmar governments, ICRC does not use the word Rohingya to continue their humanitarian activities smoothly. Instead, they call them Muslim communities of Rakhine.
Foreign Minster AH Mahmood Ali recently in a briefing for diplomats on the plan said such a huge population in Cox’s Bazar district has created “formidable challenges” for the authorities to manage humanitarian assistances for them.
They also created, according to Ali, “some adverse effects on the overall socio-economic, political, demographic, environmental, and humanitarian and security situation in Cox’s Bazar and adjacent districts and also negatively affecting the eco-tourism prospects”.
Ali had also told diplomats that the government plans “to build necessary infrastructure including shelter, schools, hospitals or health centres, mosques, roads to make the place habitable” and that the relocation would take place “only after the development activities are completed”.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during a recent meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also called for support of the international community to help relocate them to the remote island until repatriation.
Ikhtiyar Aslanov Ikhtiyar Aslanov The ICRC head of the delegation said they were not questioning the concerns of the Bangladesh government.
“The question is rather how it’s going to be organised. How it is to be presented to them,” said Aslanov, who was the deputy of the ICRC’s Syria mission before his Dhaka assignment.
“It’s not about infrastructure and services. How the community is going to be interacting with others. Now they are interacting with the Cox’s Bazar local community.”
“Putting them completely separated from the mainland - how it’s going to affect their psychology. How will their safety be ensured? How the services will be delivered. Can they do something? What happens when cyclone strikes,” he raised all these questions.
He, however, said if ICRC has something to say on the relocation issue they will discuss that with the government bilaterally. “As a humanitarian issue, this is also part of our mandate.”
The world’s oldest humanitarian organisation, the ICRC plays a crucial humanitarian role during Bangladesh’s War of Independence in 1971.
After five years of operation since independence, the ICRC winded its Dhaka office up in 1975 but re-opened it in 2006 as it found it necessary mainly to train up Bangladesh peacekeepers who serve in UN missions.
Over the years, it has expanded its activities, and now it is focused on three directions – one of them is prevention work for which it works with the ministry of foreign affairs, home affairs and defence for promoting international humanitarian law.
The second part of its work is focused on protection under which it works closely with the prison authorities.
The third part is the humanitarian response under which it works in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to support livelihood projects for the poor. It provides grants and links them with the local authorities so that they can start work to earn a living.
They also work at Cox’s Bazar under the humanitarian response and support those Myanmar nationals who has taken shelter for decades.
Together with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, it has been working with healthcare project in Cox’s Bazar since 2014.
But after the recent influx, they introduced mobile health clinic to reach health services to those Myanmar nationals.
“They are afraid to come to the hospital fearing they will be caught there. So, we set up mobile clinics to reach services to them,” the head of the delegation said.
 
Neutral, impartial 
As a guardian of the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC works with authorities, armed forces, police, civil society and media to promote awareness of International Humanitarian Law, IHL, and humanitarian values, and their integration into domestic legislation, civil and military education and training.
The head of the delegation in Dhaka said they would have to be “neutral and impartial” to carry out their humanitarian activities.
“We can work in a complex situation. We have to understand the complicated things to maintain neutrality,” he said while explaining their activities.
“How to remain neutral, how to be impartial is exactly the part that comes strongly in our discussion, debates and internal analysis. It depends from station to station, how it is accepted.”
“In general, the principle never changes. The principal of being neutral and impartial remains the same,” Aslanov said.
“It is often difficult to accept neutrality when two parties fight – the emotion and feeling are that you are helping the other side.”
“But we try to make the decision-makers realise that the situation can be another way around. They can be on the other side,” he said, adding that for the ICRC, neutrality does not mean “passive role”.
“…in our work, it is far from passive. It’s quite active.”
“Neutrality is something you have to work on constantly. Neutrality is something we have to disseminate and explain particularly at the moment when the emotions, feelings and sometimes accusations are so high; it’s very difficult to cut through the obstacles to talking about neutrality”.
“It’s a tough job,” he said.
In Bangladesh, there are certain problems; we are talking about a big crisis.
Aslanov said the ICRC works in 100 countries that do not mean that all the countries have the crisis. Some have protracted crisis, some have an actual crisis, some have lived through the crisis and now it is time for reshaping.
“We continue promotion of international humanitarian law,” he said.
In Bangladesh, Aslanov said, since it is a “peaceful” country, their work is focused on promoting international humanitarian law.
The ICRC also supports the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed, CRP, in Bangladesh. It also organised the first-ever international cricket tournament for the people with disabilities in 2015.
In May this year, it will hold a seminar with the prison authorities of 15 South-East Asian countries.

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