Dec 12, 2020


Padma Bridge bursts into full view with the final span installed

The dream of the people of 21 southern districts to get connected to Dhaka by road nears completion as the installation of the final span has made the entire basic structure of the 6.15-kilometre Padma Bridge visible. Span No. 2F, the final of the 41 spans of the Padma Bridge, was installed on piers 12 and 13 last week, making the main structure fully visible. The dream project Padma Bridge connects the southwest region with the rest of the country, and after many ups and downs, adversities and controversy, this dream is about to be materialized, thanks to the steely resolve of Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina. The construction of the Padma Bridge began in December 2014, with the installation of the first span on the piers 37 and 38 bringing the structure into view in September 2016.

Rohingya refugees relocating to Bhasan Char voluntarily, hoping for ‘peace, comfort and nice housing’

As the process to shift the Rohingyas from Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar to Bhasan Char begins, a sense of excitement has spread among the refugees, who are seeking “peace, comfort and nice housing”. “We will find peace, comfort and nice housing in Bhasan Char,” according to a 60-year-old Mahmuda Khatun. She further said, “We had to live under tarpaulin in the camps in Cox’s Bazar in too much heat and among too many people. We couldn’t bathe and suffered very much.” “Bhasan Char has building to live in and other facilities, we will find comfort and peace there. That’s why I am going there on my own will,” she added. While echoing similar sentiments, the Rohingya refugees have emphasised that their decision to shift is not due to any pressure from the government authorities.

Forbes List: HPM Sheikh Hasina 39th most powerful woman in the world

HPM Sheikh Hasina ranks 39th on the list of the world’s 100 most powerful women of 2020 announced by Forbes on Tuesday. HPM Sheikh Hasina, the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Bangladesh, is currently serving her fourth term, which is also her third consecutive term, after her party, Bangladesh Awami League, won 288 of the 300 parliamentary seats. In the current term, she focuses on issues such as food security and access to education and healthcare, Forbes wrote. “An ongoing struggle of Sheikh Hasina has been establishing a firm democracy in Bangladesh,” Forbes wrote on the website.

C’wealth SG attributes Bangladesh’s ‘incredible achievements’ to HPM Sheikh Hasina

Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland has termed Bangladesh's past one decade's of development "incredible achievements", saying HPM Sheikh Hasina deserved its "full credit". "Sheikh Hasina deserves full credit for the incredible achievements of her government since she has been prime minister," she said in an exclusive virtual interview with BSS following a high-level dialogue jointly organized by Bangladesh High Commission in the UK and Commonwealth Secretariat in London last week. The top Commonwealth official said many current world leaders may learn from Sheikh Hasina's leadership that secured Bangladesh's positive growth amid pandemic even while the country was shouldering the burden of over a million Rohingyas who fled their homeland in Myanmar to evade persecution.

Bangladesh health helpline 16263 wins trust, supports millions amid pandemic

Emerging out as a saviour to the patients amid the Covid 19 pandemic, the Health Call Centre, has led the way in advising patients remotely, helping millions stay at home and reduce the risk of infections by avoiding hospital visits. This also helped ease pressure on the hospitals overwhelmed by the worst public health crisis in a century. Besides supporting other patients, those involved with the national health helpline - 16263 - dialled back to advise those who tested positive for COVID-19. The doctors and other staff members of the call centre continued to attend office in-person risking their lives to provide information and services. After Bangladesh reported its first novel coronavirus cases on Mar 8, the helpline received more than 10 million calls in eight months until Nov 28. On an average, nearly 40,000 calls were made daily.

Export receipts highest in four months

Merchandise exports bounced back in November, rising 0.76% year-on-year to $3.07 billion helped by garment, home textile and jute goods shipment, according to media reports. In the July-November period, the earnings from exports rose 0.93% to $15.92 billion compared to the same period a year ago. Garment, which accounts for about 85% of the national exports, brought home $12.89 billion from July to November, up 1.48%, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). The government's first stimulus package, rolled out after the virus hit the shores of the country in March, paid off as exporters were able to keep production and export afloat during the most challenging time.

Bangladesh enters duty-free trade era, signs historic PTA with Bhutan

Bangladesh has signed a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bhutan, mainly to safeguard the trade benefit after graduation from least developed country (LDC) status in 2024. HPM Sheikh Hasina and her Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering witnessed the signing ceremony, joining the event virtually from Gono Bhaban in Dhaka and Thimphu respectively. Under the agreement, Bangladesh will enjoy duty benefit on export of 100 local products and Bhutan will enjoy duty benefit on 34 products. Bhutan is the first country with which Bangladesh signed its first PTA as Bhutan was the first country to recognise Bangladesh in 1971 as an independent country.

Hefajat-e Islam: Politicking in the garb of religion

Hefajat-e Islam is now more than a political party with a strategic disclaimer of having no political agenda. The recent leadership and their activities only proved that they are working just like a political party, observed political analysts about Hefajat, which made the headlines for the last few days by inciting hate against sculptures, including the ones of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. At least one-third of Hefajat leaders, who last month seized control of the new committee of the Qawmi madrasa-based organisation, have direct links with Islamist political parties that took part in elections alone or under the platform of the BNP-Jamaat alliance. Six top leaders of Khelafat Majlish, another component of the BNP-led alliance, were also included in the new committee.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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