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Jack Ryan

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  1. China's finance ministry and National Health Commission have extended 60.33 billion yuan ($8.74 billion) to help contain a spreading virus, according to a statement on the ministry's website.

    The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 81 on Monday, as the government extended the Lunar New Year holiday and more big businesses shut down or told staff to work from home in an effort to curb the spread. ($1 = 6.9040 Chinese yuan)

  2. Swaying voters on the digital space
    A look at mayoral candidates’ social media campaigns


    With close to 100 million internet users in the country, everything from shopping to entertainment is moving online, and it is no surprise that mayor and councillor candidates for the two Dhaka city corporation elections have jumped on the bandwagon. From live broadcasts to inspirational videos and at least one hip-hop song groovy enough for dance parties, the competition for voters’ attention on the virtual space is no less serious than the real world.  

    According to the 2018 digital report of global creative agency We Are Social, there are 30 million active social media users in Bangladesh, and the country’s median age currently stands at 27 years. Social media is proving to be an effective channel to reach out to the younger demographic, considering many of them are first-time voters.

    This year, mayoral candidates took social media seriously from the start. No longer relying on accidental hits like Manik Bhai er Salam Nin, we saw organised efforts from the candidates to reach the digital audience.


    With one look at the four major mayoral candidates’ activity on Facebook, it is evident that the battle for the digital audience has heated up in Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC). With an array of content on different topics, both Atiqul Islam and Tabith Awal are going on Facebook Live a few times a day, broadcasting campaigns and street rallies.

    Although innovative at the start, the medium has become quite repetitive as the election draws nearer. However, it is Dhaka South City Corporation’s (DSCC) BNP-backed aspirant Ishraque Hossain who has embraced Facebook Live more than anyone else.


    Even if his followers miss Ishraque in real life, his Facebook page has live videos from the field every hour, with a whopping 21 videos posted on January 23 alone.

    However, there is little variety of content on his social media. Like all other candidates, he posts rally dates and times, and has shared a few basic videos where he speaks to electorates about the issues he plans to tackle.

    AL-backed candidate Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh appears to be putting the least importance on social media. Instead of live videos, he is the only candidate to hold “Watch Parties” on Facebook. His Facebook page also has still photos of his campaign, alongside video clips of talk shows addressing the electorate; some motivational videos on the future of Dhaka, and daily videos where he addresses topics like the history and beauty of Dhaka, but rarely provides concrete information on his plans for the city.

    Repeated attempts were made by multiple reporters to reach both DSCC candidates and their campaign officials for comments on their online campaigns, but neither parties responded.


    Candidates of the north have a better-curated social media presence. AL’s Atiqul Islam is using his 11-month of experience as mayor to his advantage, posting photos, videos, animations and infographics highlighting both his past work and future plans. There are photos and videos of him interacting with people, hugging, laughing, singing, and playing sports -- painting a “relatable” image designed to elicit an emotional response.

    Tabith Awal told this newspaper over phone last week that instant feedback from the public is a big advantage of social media campaigning. He has been posting videos on his Facebook page, where he responds to comments. “It is easier to target voters through digital campaigning. We can reach the Bangladeshi diaspora, future voters, as well as international stakeholders and influencers. Most importantly, it is a two-way medium, constantly giving me something to work on according to the electorate’s response,” said the BNP-backed DNCC mayor candidate.

    Echoing the comment on instant feedback, Toufiq Zahidur Rahman, who works with Atiqul on his campaign, also mentioned the environmental benefits of online campaigning. “It reduces waste to a great extent, and largely extends our reach beyond traditional campaign methods,” he told this newspaper.


    On one hand, there are reports of attacks on candidates and supporters’ rallies, while voters are also growing increasingly weary of traditional campaign methods that involves the nuisance of loudspeakers, laminated posters, biker gangs, and more.

    Against such a backdrop, adapting to the digital age not only seems to provide a more level-playing field, but also to capture the large youth population online.

    Both AL and BNP candidates of DNCC mentioned the huge reach of social media and environmental benefits of online campaigning as major advantages. On the internet, all candidates can sponsor posts with specific groups of voters in mind, without having to worry about their physical security or exhaustion. This medium also allows the audience to access a large pool of information about the candidates with just a few clicks. As the polls draw nearer, number of sponsored posts from all candidates have also increased.

    The Election Commission, which imposes rules on campaign code of conduct has not specified rules for social media – like allowed dimensions for visuals, or bar on advertisements, giving candidates more flexibility in terms of time and audience targeting.

    On the topic, Toufiq Zahidur Rahman said, “It is more important to remain civil and not attack each other, regardless of specific regulations.”

    Tabith Awal highlighted the importance of data collection for online campaigning, and said the regulation should be brought on data, instead of restrictions on online campaigning.


    The power of social media in electoral promotions first truly came to light during the 2018 national election, after a song titled “Manik Bhai-er Salam Nin” took Facebook and Youtube by storm. Although the aspirant -- Hasibur Rahman Manik -- failed to secure Awami League’s nomination for a seat in the parliament, the eclectic song remained on people’s mind the entire campaign period.

    The ruling party’s “Joy Bangla, Jitbe Ebar Nouka” also made a strong impression at the time. Not only was it a meme favourite on Facebook and a popular track for videos on the TikTok platform, it even gained popularity as ‘gaye holud’ dance numbers, with the polls coinciding with the wedding season.

    BNP took a different route at the time, releasing a video featuring its Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in a rousing call to action, specifically targeted to first-time voters, urging them to exercise their franchise.


    As some candidates build their online presence and others fall behind, there has been one person this election season who has harnessed the power of social media at its greatest. Aleya Sarwar Daisy, a councillor candidate for DNCC’s ward-31, produced a hip-hop track that outlines her plans for the area that has been all over social media.

    “I want to work for the young generation, and I focused on them with this song,” Daisy told The Daily Star. “I wanted to do something unique.”

    With over 6,000 shares on the original video and countless reposts, “Daisy apa-r salam nin” is the track that will define this election season as the youth’s chosen groove, regardless of the election result.


  3. 8 int'l human traffickers held in Dhaka
    Published at 03:41 pm January 27th, 2020

    Two victims were rescued during the drive

    Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested eight members of an international human trafficking gang from Dhaka's Kamrangirchar, Keraniganj and Mugda areas.

    RAB 11 conducted a special drive and arrested the members of International Women's Trafficking Cycle on Sunday.

    The elite force also rescued two victims during the drive, said a press release issued by RAB 11 media office on Monday.

    RAB also seized 39 passports, photocopies of 66 passports, 18 flight tickets, 36 visas, a CPU, and 19 mobile phones from their possession.


  4. Pressure mounts on Myanmar
    UN chief to notify UNSC about ICJ genocide ruling

    Myanmar and its ally China will face mounting pressure after the World Court asked Naypyidaw to stop genocidal acts in Rakhine State, analysts said.

    The ruling is a slap on Myanmar and its allies, Prof Imtiaz Ahmed, director of the Centre for Genocide Studies at Dhaka University, told The Daily Star yesterday.

    The most important aspect of the ruling is that Myanmar has to submit a report to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) within four months on the measures taken to prevent the genocidal acts. Similar reports will have to be submitted every six months, he said.

    The Gambia has to approve of the reports that will be submitted by Myanmar, he added.

    The ICJ on Thursday ordered Myanmar not to destroy the evidence of crimes committed against the ethnic minority in Rakhine State.

    “A big victory in the ruling is that the ICJ has recognised the ethnic community as Rohingya. So, Myanmar cannot deny this identity and say they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh,” said Imtiaz.

    The 17 judges, including the ones from Myanmar, China and Gambia, unanimously took the decision, which is quite rare, the professor of international relations said.

    The provisional measures ordered by the court, are legally-binding. In accordance with the Statute of the Court, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will promptly transmit the notice of the provisional measures to the UN Security Council, according to a statement issued yesterday by a spokesperson of Guterres.

    Guterres strongly supported the use of peaceful means to settle international disputes, it said.

    He further recalls that, pursuant to the Charter and to the Statute of the Court, decisions of the court are binding and believes that Myanmar will duly comply with the order from the court, it added.

    Asked what role China and Russia can play when the orders are sent to the UN Security Council as these veto powers earlier opposed any concrete actions against Myanmar for the atrocities, Imtiaz said, “Even if the Security Council doesn’t work, Myanmar is legally-bound to implement the orders.”

    He reckons that China and Russia will not oppose the ICJ orders because they will be then globally described as complicit in genocide.

    There were questions as to whether Dhaka was able to truly internationalise the Rohingya crisis, but with the ICJ ruling, it has been ensured that a global body, of which Myanmar is a member, will watch Myanmar’s actions, he said.

    If China, Japan and India don’t work effectively to help Myanmar enforce the ICJ orders, Bangladesh will now tell them that they will be complicit in genocidal acts, he added.

    This is an opportunity for Bangladesh to strongly negotiate with Myanmar and its allies and put pressure on the country to find a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis which originated in the 1970s.

    Some 750,000 Rohingyas fled brutal military campaign and took shelter in Bangladesh, joining some 300,000 others who had fled earlier waves of violence in Rakhine.

    They have been denied citizenship, basic rights like education and health, and freedom of movement.

    Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen said the challenge for Bangladesh was to use the global pressure created on Myanmar and its allies.

    “The World Court will take five to six years to complete the trial. Meanwhile, we will continue to engage bilaterally with Myanmar,” he said at an event in the capital Thursday night.

    Masud said the ICJ ruling will create confidence among the Rohingyas for returning to their homeland in Rakhine.

    Japan, China and India are with Bangladesh, he said, adding, “They have geo-strategic interests in the region… We have economic and strategic partnership with them and will nurture that and try to solve the problem.”


    The UK has encouraged Myanmar to comply with the legally-binding provisional measures.

    “The Court was clear that Myanmar must do more to protect the Rohingya,” said Heather Wheeler, UK minister for Asia and the Pacific, in a statement.

    Malaysia said the ICJ order is a step in the right direction to address the situation.

    “The decision [of ICJ] reflects the serious concern of the international community on the need to address effectively the plight of the Rohingya and establish accountability and justice in respect of alleged serious human rights violations against the Rohingya,” said a Malaysian foreign ministry statement.

    “As a fellow state party to the 1948 Genocide Convention, Malaysia calls on Myanmar to fulfil its obligations… to ensure that the crisis is not prolonged.”

    Amnesty International said the ICJ decision sends a message to Myanmar’s senior officials that the world will not tolerate their atrocities, and will not blindly accept their empty rhetoric on the reality in Rakhine State today.

    An estimated 600,000 Rohingya people who remain there are routinely and systematically denied their most basic rights, it said.

    “Myanmar must comply with the ICJ’s ruling and take immediate action to cease ongoing violations against the community and to prevent the destruction of evidence,” said its Regional Director Nicholas Bequelin.

    In a statement, 103 civil society bodies of Myanmar said political and military policies have always been imposed with violent force and intimidation upon the people of Myanmar on the basis of their political and religious beliefs and ethnic identities.

    “Lessons from history have shown that aforementioned acts of violence and intimidation were committed with impunity, using mechanisms of political power and military might. The inability and incapability of Myanmar’s internal justice mechanism enable perpetrators to continue to carry out violent acts with impunity,” it said. 


  5. Protect Rohingyas from genocide
    UN’s top court in historic ruling asks Myanmar to take right steps, rejects Suu Kyi’s arguments in genocide trial


    In a landmark ruling, the top court of the United Nations has ordered Myanmar to prevent acts of genocide against the country’s persecuted Rohingya minority and to stop destroying evidence.

    In a unanimously-ruled order issued by a panel of 17 judges, and read by presiding Judge Abdulaqawi Ahmed Yusuf, the court yesterday upheld the provisions of the 1948 Genocide Convention - saying Myanmar had “caused irreparable damage to the rights of the Rohingya”.

    The Hague-based International Court of Justice rejected arguments made by Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in December and set out urgent steps for the majority Buddhist nation to end the violence.

    In November, the Gambia filed a suit against Myanmar alleging it was committing “an ongoing genocide against its minority Muslim Rohingya population”. It also asked the court to impose emergency measures following a 2017 military crackdown by Myanmar that sent around 740,000 Rohingyas fleeing into neighbouring Bangladesh.

    UN investigators last year branded the bloody expulsion a genocide, and called for the prosecution of top generals -- including the powerful army chief. They also accused one-time democracy icon Suu Kyi and her government of complicity in the atrocities.

    According to the Statute of the ICJ, the court has the power to order provisional measures when “irreparable prejudice could be caused to rights which are the subject of judicial proceedings”. The court found that the condition of urgency had been met in this case.

    Provisional measures are steps to take aimed at preventing further harm and comes as the first step in the legal case.

    Judge Yusuf said that “the court was of the opinion that the Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable” and needed to be protected from further bloodshed.

    Thousands are suspected to have been killed in the crackdown and refugees brought widespread reports of rape and arson by Myanmar’s military and local militias.

    In its application to the court, the Gambia requested six provisional measures requiring Myanmar to act “with immediate effect” to prevent further genocide of the Rohingya group and to take steps not to destroy or render inaccessible any evidence already described in the application.

    The Gambia also urged both sides not to take any action which might aggravate the dispute or render it more difficult to resolve, and to provide a report to the court on implementing such measures.

    The Gambia later also requested Myanmar cooperate with United Nations bodies that seek to investigate the alleged acts.

    Judge Yusuf said the court was not constrained to ordering the measures requested by the Gambia and that it had the power to order additional measures, reported Al Jazeera. Yusuf further said that, in ordering provisional measures in this case, it was not necessary to decide on the question of the presence of genocidal intent, as claimed by Myanmar.

    The court ordered Myanmar should take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of article two of the Genocide Convention. It particularly cited clause one - killing members of the group, clause two - causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, clause three - deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its destruction in whole or in part, and clause four - imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

    Myanmar must further ensure that its military does not commit genocide or attempts to commit genocide or conspires to commit genocide. Myanmar was also ordered to prevent the destruction of evidence and to ensure the preservation of evidence related to the alleged genocide.

    Judge Yusuf also said the court was not satisfied with Myanmar’s own efforts “to facilitate the return of Rohingya refugees present in Bangladesh, to promote ethnic reconciliation, peace and stability in Rakhine State, and to make its military accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law”.

    The court ordered Myanmar to report back within four months, and then every six months after that, reported AFP.

    Gambian justice minister Abubacarr Tambadou hailed the court’s decision to uphold his country’s case, which was supported by the 57-nation Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, Canada and the Netherlands.

    “This is a historic day today, not just for international law, for the international community, but especially for the Rohingya,” he told reporters outside the court.

    Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi -- who was widely criticised for her defence of the same military that once locked her up for years -- said yesterday that some Rohingya refugees may have “exaggerated” the extent of the abuses.

    “The international justice system may not yet be equipped to filter out misleading information before shadows of incrimination are cast over entire nations and governments,” she wrote in an opinion piece in the Financial Times published ahead of the ruling.

    Suu Kyi also said Myanmar should have time to act on the results of an internal investigation by the country, which this week admitted war crimes may have been committed but ruled out genocide.


    The military dodged questions in the capital Naypyidaw yesterday morning, with a spokesman telling reporters it would simply “follow the instructions of the government”.

    Legal experts have applauded the court’s decision. Reed Brody, commissioner at the International Commission of Jurists, said to Al Jazeera:  “This is a great day for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas who have been displaced, killed and raped. The UN’s highest court has recognised their suffering.”

    Brody added: “There is still a long way to go before this order becomes reality and we see actual improvements in the lives of the Rohingyas, but today this persecuted people will have a first taste of justice. This is further a stunning rebuke of Aung San Suu Kyi, especially after she went personally to The Hague to defend the actions of the Myanmar military. There will now be huge pressure on the government to comply with the court’s ruling.”

    Brody says the fact that the decision was unanimous will give additional weight to the court’s measures.

    According to Gleider Hernandez, professor at Catholic University of Leuven, the ICJ has made clear that it intends to supervise the implementation of the judgement. He said “Though not unprecedented, the regularity with which Myanmar had to submit reports is striking.”

    Rights groups also hailed the ICJ ruling while calling on the international community to put pressure on Suu Kyi and Myanmar.

    “Today’s decision sends a message to Myanmar’s senior officials: the world will not tolerate their atrocities,” Amnesty International’s Regional Director Nicholas Bequelin said.

    Although ICJ rulings are final and binding, countries have occasionally flouted them, and the court has no formal mechanism to enforce them.

    However the “significance... shouldn’t be written off,” said Cecily Rose, assistant professor in international law at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

    “The court’s orders and judgments tend to carry relatively great authority or legitimacy. Even though the situation in Myanmar is highly political and fragile, international law still plays a role by informing decision-making among international actors,” she told AFP.

    Param-Preet Singh, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch, hailed the ruling as a landmark step.

    “The ICJ order to Myanmar to take concrete steps to prevent the genocide of the Rohingya is a landmark step to stop further atrocities against one of the world’s most persecuted people,” he said.

    “Concerned governments and UN bodies should now weigh in to ensure that the order is enforced as the genocide case moves forward.”



  6. MCMV: Previous 12, now 8
    KA-31: Previous 10, now 6
    More P-8s: Previous 10, now 6
    LPD: Previous 4, now scrapped
    Cadet training ship: to be terminated

    Indian Navy cutting down on procurement due to Budget cuts

    The rationalisation process has been initiated after consecutive budgets where projected demands of the Navy have not been met. In the current budget, for example, the Navy was allocated Rs 41,259 crore against the projected amount of Rs 64,307 crore, which officials say is not even adequate to continue annual payments for acquisition contracts already signed.

    With forced budget cuts hitting hard, the Indian Navy is pulling back on procurement of combat systems, cutting down on the numbers planned to be acquired in some cases and foreclosing other projects that have hit a dead end.

    The rationalisation process, which is likely to be approved by the defence ministry, has been initiated after consecutive budgets whereprojected demands of the Navy have not been met. In the current budget, for example, the Navy was allocated 41,259 crore against...


  7. Major step towards holding Myanmar accountable: Gambia

    The Gambia today said the verdict of the International Court of Justice is a major step towards holding Myanmar accountable for alleged acts of Genocide against Rohingya.

    The African nation, which initiated the legal battle against Myanmar, came up with the instant reaction after the UN’s top court granted essential provisional measures against Myanmar.

    “The ICJ unanimously grants essential Provisional Measures requested by the Gambia against Myanmar. Major step towards holding Myanmar accountable for alleged acts of Genocide against Rohingya,” the Gambia’s Ministry of Justice said in a tweet hailing the verdict.

    Earlier, the ICJ told Myanmar to take urgent steps to prevent the alleged genocide of the minority Rohingya Muslims.

    This is the first time that Myanmar has faced justice over the 2017 military crackdown against the Rohingyas that forced around 740,000 Rohingya to flee neighbouring Bangladesh.

    The International Court of Justice in The Hague granted a series of emergency steps requested by the mainly Muslim African state of The Gambia under the 1948 Genocide Convention.


  8. A victory for humanity: Foreign minister

    The verdict of the International Court of Justice hopefully will stop recurrence of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the world, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said in an instant reaction.

    “A victory for humanity, a milestone for human rights activists across all nations. A victory for Gambia, OIC, the Rohingya and of course, for Bangladesh. God bless humanity and also the ‘mother of humanity' Sheikh Hasina,” he said in a statement this afternoon.

    The Gambia’s Ministry of Justice hailed the verdict and said, “The ICJ unanimously grants essential Provisional Measures requested by the Gambia against Myanmar. Major step towards holding Myanmar accountable for alleged acts of genocide against the Rohingya”.

    The African nation, which initiated the legal battle against Myanmar, tweeted the statement after the UN’s top court granted essential provisional measures against Myanmar.

    The World Court, the ICJ accepted all four provisional measures’ request in a unanimous (all 15 judges) verdict and asked Myanmar to submit a report within four months confirming measures taken; followed by reports every 6 weeks.

    The court used the term 'Rohingya' and also rejected Myanmar’s claim and also asked the country to stop genocide and atrocities against Rohingyas.

    Besides, the ICJ ordered Myanmar to take urgent steps to prevent the alleged genocide of the minority Rohingya Muslims.

    This is the first time that Myanmar has faced justice over the 2017 military crackdown against the Rohingyas that forced around 740,000 Rohingya to flee neighbouring Bangladesh.

    The International Court of Justice in The Hague granted a series of emergency steps requested by the mainly Muslim African state of The Gambia under the 1948 Genocide Convention.


  9. Protect Rohingyas: ICJ orders Myanmar

    The International Court of Justice on Thursday ordered Myanmar to take urgent measures to protect its Muslim Rohingya population from persecution and atrocities, and preserve evidence of alleged crimes against them.

    Mostly Muslim Gambia launched a lawsuit in November at the United Nations' highest body for disputes between states, accusing Myanmar of genocide against Rohingya in violation of a 1948 convention.

    Thursday's ruling dealt only with Gambia's request for so-called preliminary measures, the equivalent of a restraining order for states. It gave no indication of the court's final decision, which could take years to reach.

    In a unanimous ruling by a panel of 17 judges, the court said Myanmar must now take all steps within its power to prevent serious harm to Rohingya, and report back within four months.

    More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar after a military-led crackdown in 2017, and were forced into squalid camps across the border in Bangladesh. UN investigators concluded that the military campaign had been executed with "genocidal intent".

    Moments before the court in The Hague began reading its ruling, the Financial Times published an article by Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in which she said war crimes may have been committed against Rohingya Muslims but that refugees had exaggerated the abuses against them.

    During a week of hearings last month, Suu Kyi asked the judges to drop the case.

    The World Court's rulings are final and without appeal, but it has no real way of enforcing them.

    More than 100 Myanmar civil society groups published a statement saying they hoped international justice efforts would "bring forth the truth" and end impunity.

    "Political and military policies have always been imposed with violent force and intimidation upon the people of Myanmar, systematically and institutionally, on the basis of their political and religious beliefs and ethnic identities and continue until the present," the statement said.

    "We understand very clearly that the ICJ case against Myanmar is directed towards those responsible for using political power and military might, and not to the people of Myanmar."


  10. BSF kills 4 Bangladeshis in Noagaon, Jashore

    India’s Border Security Force (BSF) reportedly killed four Bangladeshi nationals, said to be cattle traders, along the Noagaon and Jashore borders.

    Among the deceased, three were shot along the Porsha border in Naogaon, while another was tortured to death along the Putkhali border in Sharsa upazila of Jashore.

    The news surfaced a day after the killing of two Bangladeshi cattle traders by BSF members along the Hatibandha border in Lalmonirhat.

    The dead in Naogaon were identified as Md Mofizul, 35, of Chak Bishnupur village; Ronjit Kumar, 32, of Bijli village; and Kamal Hossain, 34, of Patapukur in Porsha upazila, our Chapainawabganj correspondent reports, quoting a Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) official, who sought anonymity.

    The victim tortured to death was Hanef Ali Khoka, 35, of Agrabhulat village under Sharsa upazila in Jashore.

    Shahinur Rahman, officer-in-charge (OC) of Porsha Police Station, told our correspondent that the three cattle traders were gunned down when they, along with some others, were bringing in cattle from India.

    The body of Md Mofizul was recovered in the afternoon from the Bangladesh side, while the bodies of the two others are still on Indian ground, he said.

    Lt Colonel Ariful Haque, commanding officer of 16 BGB Battalion in Naogaon, confirmed the death on the Bangladesh side.

    In Jashore, Hanef was caught by BSF members of Bannabaria camp on Wednesday noon when he, along with some other cattle traders, were returning with cows, our Benapole correspondent reports, quoting locals.

    Hanef died at one stage after he was tortured by BSF members, said Tabuibar Rahman, local union parishad member.

    BGB asked BSF for a flag meeting after the family members of Hanef informed their camp, said Subadar Mozammel Hossain, in charge of Agrabhulat BGB camp.


  11. Biman today operates a modern fleet of Boeing wide bodies passenger aircraft and Bombardier regional turboprops.

    In January 2020, Biman expressed interest to buy two more Dash-8 Q400NG short bodied aircraft. This proposal is made to increase the frequency of the flights in domestic and regional routes. Besides, discussion is going on for taking four more Boeing 787-9 that was not taken up by Hainan Airlines and later on passed by Vistara. Besides, the airlines announced buying cargo aircraft in near future.


  12. How Gambia took the case to the ICJ

    Porimol Palma
    Bangladesh and The Gambia are located nearly 11,000-kilometre away and share no significant economic or political relation. But the countries stand together for one cause, justice for the Rohingyas.

    The Gambia, a small country in West Africa, is a member of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). After the Rohingyas started fleeing their home in August 2017 following a military crackdown in Myanmar, a delegation of OIC visited Bangladesh, the country that offered shelter to the persecution victims.

    Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, justice minister of The Gambia, who worked for years as a lawyer at the UN tribunal and focused on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, too was in the delegation.

    Talking to the Rohingya refugees, Tambadou recalled the Rwanda genocide that wiped out about 800,000 lives in 100 days. Around 250,000 women endured sexual assault during the Rwanda genocide.

    After the visit, Tambadou told the US-based Public Radio International, “I have had previous experience interacting with surviving victims of genocide, in particular the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

    “When I heard the stories being recounted by the witnesses, I noticed there were striking similarities -- not only in the fact that there is a process of historical dehumanisation that has occurred in Myanmar against the Rohingya, but also the fact that Myanmar authorities had engaged in systematic and organised operations which targeted Rohingya, targeted women.”

    “The world failed to help in 1994, and the world is failing to protect vulnerable people 25 years later,” he added.

    Later, at the OIC conference, he proposed formation of an Ad Hoc Ministerial Committee on Accountability for Crime Against Rohingya.

    Bangladesh, which was seeking a permanent solution to the crisis, and other countries of the 57-member body, strongly supported it. 

    Eventually, that OIC committee supported Tambadou, whose leadership eventually got the Rohigya genocide case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

    ICJ is scheduled to issue a ruling today on the case that seeks provisional measures to stop the ongoing genocide in the Rakhine state of Myanmar and hold accountable the perpetrators.

    The Rohingyas, for the first time, have found a hope of justice.

    Many wondered how The Gambia, a low-income country of agrarian economy trying to recover from an authoritarian regime of Yahya Jammeh, comes to lodge such a case.

    “Well, our experiences in The Gambia is what has actually informed the position of the government of The Gambia to speak out against the oppression of others, wherever it occurs around the world,” said Tambadou.

    The fact that no one helped the Gambians, no one put pressure on President Jammeh to stop his atrocities has led them to go through a very difficult two-decade period, he said.

    “We don’t want others to feel our pain or our fate. We know how it feels like to be unable to tell your story to the world, to be unable to share your pain with others in the hope that they will help. We know what it feels like to be helpless. We have lived through it for over two decades, and we don’t want others to suffer the same fate,” he said.

    Shireen Huq, co-convener of Bangladesh Civil Society Platform on Justice and Accountability for the Rohingyas, who was present at the ICJ hearing on the Rohingya case in December, said during the visit to Rohingya camp in 2018, Tambadou could smell genocide on the Rohingyas.

    “The Gambia has actually created a giant example of standing beside the persecuted minority. It is a struggle for global justice and humanity,” she told The Daily Star.

    The Netherlands, Canada and the UK have supported the case. It is time for others to follow the case, she added.


  13. BCB president upbeat about positive cricket in Pakistan

    Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon said the upcoming Twenty20 series between Bangladesh and hosts Pakistan will be good and highly competitive.

    Citing the last series in India, Nazmul said, “We should have won the series against India. We’re on a winning position in the series after the victory in the series opener though we could not do it finally. We had no Shakib and Tamim. So, there was a big gap due to the absence of these key players.”

    “We’ve got some players in BPL who have what we’re seeking for so long. Even some important players have returned to form. Of them, Liton got back in form, Tamim is also playing well though we’re yet to see his hard-hitting strokes, but he got back his confidence and that is a plus-point for us. Afif has been playing well, and so are Naim and Shanto. Off-spinner Mahadi Hasan has also returned to his form. We’ve got to see among them the spirit and courage what are needed for T20,” Nazmul told reporters after holding a meeting with the players, coaching staff, and officials at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

    "We have seven batsmen in the line-up. But we will not get scores from them everyday. Maybe two-three among them can fire. We’ve at least six batsmen, who can build a big score and that’s a plus point,” he added.

    He tipped the absence of Mushfiqur Rahim as unfortunate. “We’ll miss the service of Mushfiq. He is the dependable batsman for our team. He once again proved in BPL that he is the best. From that point of view, we will definitely miss him,” he added.

    “We also won't have Shakib. So, we’ll miss both of them. It is unfortunate for us if we don’t get in-form players. But I think it’ll be a good series. Like them, we hope it’ll be a good series. Bangladesh should win the series,” he said.

    The BCB president urged players of the Bangladesh Twenty20 squad to focus more on their games during their tour of Pakistan.

    Asserting full security to the players and coaching staff, Papon said there will be no security problem for them in Pakistan because they will go there with full preparation besides the high-security arrangement provided by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

    “Any Twenty20 match is a high-tension game. A match could changed at every moment. So, I told them to keep a cool head. Inshallah, nothing will happen. We are with them all. We’ll stay and eat together. There is no problem,” Nazmul said.

    “A highly capable team from National Security Intelligence is going with us. There will be personnel from DGFI with us as well. We will take full preparation from our side on what is needed to make this tour successful. We’re trying our best. We didn’t talk about security this time around. There is nothing to worry about security,” he added.

    The BCB president entered the stadium and talked with players undergoing practice during their first practice session ahead of their Pakistan tour. He later informed that he had come to Mirpur for four reasons.

    He met all the players as he didn’t get a chance to meet them after BPL. Along with that, he has to go out of the country on emergency basis tomorrow night though he will return on January 22. Although he can't accompany the team from the start of the tour, he will meet them in Pakistan on January 23 and stay with them throughout the series.

    It was important to make sure which supporting staff are going there, for which he sat with everyone to fix the list. BCB director Akram Khan and chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu will accompany the BCB boss in Pakistan.

    Bangladesh will fly to Pakistan on Wednesday (January 22) night and reached on Thursday (January 23) morning (10am). The visiting team will hold a light practice on Thursday evening at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, before clashing against the home side under the lights on Friday (January 24).


  14. BSF kills two Bangladeshis

    Our Correspondent, Lalmonirhat
    Two Bangladeshi cattle traders were shot dead allegedly by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) along Hatibandha border in Lalmonirhat yesterday morning.

    Omar Faruq, officer-in-charge of Hatibandha Police Station, said they, along with the members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), recovered the bodies from Bonchauki border in Gotamari upazila.

    The bodies of Suruj Islam, 18, and Suruj Mia, 37, of Amjhola village in the upazila, were sent to Lalmonihat Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsies, our Lalmonirhat correspondent reported.

    Quoting witnesses, Tapas Chandra, commander of Banchauki BGB Camp, said BSF patrol team of Setai camp in Cooch Behar district of India’s West Bengal opened fire on the duo when they were entering Bangladesh with Indian cattle.

    Lt Colonel Tauhidul Alam, commander officer (CO) of Lalmonirhat 15 BGB Battalion, said they sent a letter to BSF protesting the killing of the two Bangladeshis.


  15. Intel appoints Bangladeshi-American Omar Ishrak as board chairman

    Star Online Report
    American technology giant Intel has appointed Omar Ishrak, a Bangladeshi American director at the company, as their new Chairman of the Board. 

    Omar replaces Andy Bryant, who is stepping down after seven years at the helm, amid a growing crisis in Intel's supply chain that has seen shortages in the company's line of processors.

    In a statement, the Santa Clara, California based company said the appointment was "effective immediately". 

    As of yesterday, 64-year-old Omar served as the CEO of Medtronic, a medical technology company headquartered in the US, but with the appointment at Intel, he will step down from that role. 

    He grew up in Bangladesh, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of London, King's College. Omar is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society, a leading educational organisation dedicated to "promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context", according to the Medtronic website.


  16. Rohingya Genocide Case: ICJ ruling today

    Diplomatic Correspondent
    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to deliver an order today in response to The Gambia’s seeking provisional measures to stop genocide against the Rohingyas in Myanmar’s Rakhine.

    The top UN court, situated in The Hague, Netherlands and comprised of 15 judges, is scheduled to start delivering the order at 3:00pm (Bangladesh time).

    The Gambia filed the case with the ICJ, also known as the World Court, in November last year. The West African nation, which is predominantly Muslim, took the legal step on behalf of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has held a series of meetings to encourage its 57 members to support the case.

    Lawyers from The Gambia and Myanmar took part in the hearing held on December 10-12.

    During the hearing, Justice Minister and Attorney General Abubacarr Marie Tambadou led the Gambian side, while the Myanmar side was headed by the country’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has been widely criticised for her role in the Rohingya crisis.

    The Gambia argued that Myanmar has been committing genocide against the Rohingya Muslim population living in Rakhine state. To prove its case, it cited reports by the UN Fact-Finding Mission and different global rights bodies.

    About 750,000 Rohingyas fled a brutal military campaign since August 2017 and took shelter in Bangladesh. They joined some 300,000 others who had fled previous waves of violence from Rakhine, where they have been denied citizenship since the 1970s and are deprived of basic rights like health and education, and freedom of movement.

    More than 24,000 Rohingyas have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces since August 2017, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency, which involved researchers and organisations from Canada, Australia, Bangladesh, Norway and the Philippines.

    More than 34,000 people were thrown into fire and more than 114,000 others were beaten up, the report said.

    It also said 17,718 Rohingya women and girls were raped since the Myanmar army and police systematically targeted the world’s most persecuted group.

    The UN termed it a classic example of ethnic cleansing, while an independent UN Fact-Finding Mission described the violence as having genocidal intent and demanded probing the senior military officers.

    Though the UN repeatedly adopted resolutions condemning the atrocities by Myanmar, the UN Security Council could take no concrete actions against Myanmar to stop the genocide mainly due to opposition from the country’s close allies -- China and Russia.

    Bangladesh, influenced by China and India, signed a bilateral deal with Myanmar for the Rohingya repatriation, but the refugees refused to go back to Rakhine, saying the situation there were not conducive to their return and that there was no guarantee of safety and citizenship.

    The Gambian Justice Minister Tambadou, who worked for years as a lawyer at the UN tribunal that dealt with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, assumed a position of leadership in the lawsuit because of his special expertise.

    Both The Gambia and Myanmar are signatories to the UN’s Genocide Convention.

    Gambia’s filing the case marks the first time a country without any direct connection to alleged crimes has used its membership in the Genocide Convention to bring a case before the ICJ.

    Earlier, the International Criminal Court began an investigation into the rights violation against the Rohingyas by Myanmar. The ICC holds accountable the individuals, while the ICJ holds accountable the state as a member of the UN Genocide Convention.

    During the hearing, The Gambia argued that Myanmar had a state policy of eliminating the Rohingyas. Denial of citizenship, Rohingya ethnicity, restrictions on freedom of movement, marriage, health, education, and livelihood since 1970s are all part of that genocidal policy.

    Further arguing that promoting the narratives of hatred, mass killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence, burning Rohingya villages in 2016 and 2017 bear the testimony of genocide, The Gambia requested the ICJ to ensure provisional measures to stop the ongoing genocide against the Rohingyas.

    Lawyers for The Gambia also requested that Myanmar shall not destroy or render inaccessible any evidence related to the events described in the application.

    Myanmar, on the other hand, outright denied the allegations of genocide and ethnic cleansing, though it said its army used disproportionate force and committed crimes against the civilians during clearance operations in Rakhine since August 2017.

    Talking to The Daily Star, Nay San Lwin, media coordinator at the Free Rohingya Coalition, a global platform of the Rohingyas, said they were expecting the ICJ to order provisional measures to stop the genocide.

    “We expect it because genocide has happened over the years against us. It still continues. It must stop and the evidences of genocide must be protected for holding Myanmar accountable,” he said over phone from Germany, where he lives.

    In its analysis, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Myanmar is legally bound to comply with the order, if given by the ICJ.

    Under article 41(2) of the ICJ Statute, the court’s provisional measures are automatically sent to the UN Security Council. Such an order would increase pressure on the council to take concrete actions in Myanmar, including through a binding resolution to address some of the indicators of genocidal intent.

    Asked what would happen if China and Russia used their veto at the UN Security Council, Nay San Lwin said he expects that not to happen.

    “If it happens, it means there will be no future for the Rohingyas as well as for the global justice and humanity. But we hope justice will be done.”


  17. Forensic Lab to open in Rajshahi

    Rafiul Islam

    The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is going to launch a state-of-the-art forensic laboratory in Rajshahi for examining evidences, detecting crimes and identifying criminals in Rajshahi and Rangpur regions. 

    The laboratory has been set up in a four-storey building at Rajshahi Police Lines and Inspector General of Police Mohammad Javed Patwary is expected to inaugurate it on February 3. 

    “After inauguration, evidences of cases with Rajshahi and Rangpur metropolitans and ranges police can be tested there. They do not need to come to Dhaka anymore,” said Shaikh Nazmul Alam, deputy inspector general of CID’s Forensic Division.

    “Earlier, it took a long time to get laboratory reports and this delayed investigations, and sometimes evidence would be damaged,” said another CID official, adding that the lab will expedite investigations in these regions.  

    Initially, a 40-member team, led by an additional superintendent of police, will be deployed at the lab.

    The lab in Rajshahi is the third of its kind in the country, with the other two in Dhaka and Chattogram.

    CID officials said such labs play a significant role in examining important evidences to solve criminal cases. 

    But sending evidences from one division to another requires time, leading to delays. The lab in Rajshahi will reduce hassle, they said. 

    “The laboratory is well-equipped with highly specialised and sophisticated equipment of international standards. It is competent to carry out any chemical examination and documentation,” Rumana Akhter, special superintendent of CID’s Forensic Division, told The Daily Star.   

    The officials further said there would be a “ballistics section” to examine arms and explosives and separate sections for inspecting forgeries and counterfeit notes. 

    A special crime scene unit has been added to the lab to collect evidence from the scene of crime. 

    There will also be finger and foot print sections to match prints collected, a handwriting analysis and photography sections to accelerate investigations. 

    Its chemical laboratories will help uncover the presence of intoxicants in dead bodies, even those dug up from graves. It can also be used to test explosives or acid to find out how they were made, CID officials said. 


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