United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun:Bangladesh Climate Change a Microcosm for the Rest of Earth

At this year’s United Nations climate-treaty talks in Cancun, diplomats are taking a less ambitious approach and hoping for incremental progress.

Last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen attracted many world leaders, including President Obama, and the goal was to create a global regime to hold carbon dioxide emissions in check to slow global warming.

But the meeting was fractious and ended without a strong agreement. Still, there is momentum, particularly from Europe, to use the United Nations process to take on this global issue.

Climate change affecting Bangladesh is a microcosm for the rest of the planet the Moderator of the Church of Scotland warned today.

The Right Reverend John Christie who is meeting the Prime Minister David Cameron in London today on the first day of the climate change conference in Cancun that what is happening in Bangladesh has to be tackled by affluent nations.

Bangladesh is among one of the most badly affected regions in the world by climate change. Through work done by the Church of Scotland and Church of Bangladesh climate change is being tackled to enable farmers to grow their crops.

James Pender a Church of Scotland World Mission worker with the Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme, through his efforts, has made a wider awareness of the problem and impact it has on Bangladesh and ultimately the rest of Earth.

Mr Pender said: “As I’ve talked to farmers in Bangladesh they tell me they no longer know when to plant their crops because the seasonal weather patterns that had been relied upon for generations can no longer be depended on because of climate change caused in the west.”

The Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme has been helping communities to adapt to the changes in climate and become more resilient to disasters.

Right Reverend Christie saw for himself a month ago the devastation climate change has had on Bangladesh.

He said: “Bangladesh is a microcosm of what is happening elsewhere in the world. Climate change has worsened the problems that Bangladesh is facing. We’ve witnessed floods, drought and cyclones in the regions. In parts of Bangladesh the soil has become ruined because of saline levels increasing because of the rise in sea level and less rainfall in the dry season.”

Mr Christie will give the Prime Minister a letter signed by himself and Cardinal Keith O’Brien of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, the Most Reverend David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Shaykh Ruzwan of the Islamic community in Scotland, highlighting their disappointment over the failure of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit.

The letter also calls on the coalition government to take on a stronger role in international leadership by reducing its emission reduction target to at least 40 percent by 2020 and also guarantee that its climate finance contributions will be separate from and additional to its existing overseas development and commitments.

In 2007, the Church of Scotland established its Responding to Climate Change project, reflecting the growing concerns of the Kirk and congregations about the impact of climate change not only in Scotland but around the world.

An updated report from James Pender highlights the continued need to act in the fight against climate change. The report had renewed the Kirk’s determination in tackling climate change.

Notes to News Desks and Reporters:

A copy of the report is available online www.cofscotland.org.uk

For further information contact Nick Jury, Senior Media Relations Officer, Communications Department, Church of Scotland on 0131 240 2268 or Adrian Shaw, Climate Change Officer, Church of Scotland, on 0131 225 5722

JAPAN – To support More for Padma Bridge, more investment in Bangladesh

JAPAN always working as a trusted development partner of Bangladesh .To develop a strong infrustucture of Bangladesh Development Japan participated friendly for long years.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested her Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan to encourage Japanese investment in Bangladesh and relocate their not-so-profitable industries to her country.
Bangladesh sought an additional $150 million fund from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the construction of Padma Bridge. Earlier, Japanese government promised to co-finance the Padma Bridge project along with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank by contributing $ 300 millions
The JICA president assured the Bangladesh Premier of providing support for implementing the projects. She also promised for increasing grant and technical support to Bangladesh’s power, IT, environment, sewerage and drainage sectors.
Japan will provide additional $100 million (S$131.6 million) to Bangladesh for the construction of the Padma Bridge.

The announcement came in a joint statement signed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in Tokyo yesterday evening.

The additional $100 million will be given in the form of Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan to implement the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project.

With this additional $100 million in ODA, JBriefing newsmen, Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said Sheikh Hasina thanked the Japanese government for releasing its $ 424 million fund under its 31st Yen Loan Package and requested for releasing fund under its 32nd yen loan package soon.

Of the total funding of $2.40 billion, the World Bank will provide $1.20 billion, ADB $550 million, IDB $130 million and the Abu Dhabi Fund of the UAE government $30 million to implement the Padma Bridge Project.

The Japan premier also assured Hasina of actively considering the Bangladesh proposal for relaxing the rules of origin of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) on knit products to strengthen bilateral economic relations through textile trade.

Hasina said Japanese investors can invest more in Bangladesh, as the country is investment-friendly and now being considered the second most profitable economy in South Asia.

Hasina, at an official banquet, said more investments can also significantly help to reduce the trade deficit — Bangladeshi imports now amount to over a billion dollar as against exports of US$ 330 million to Japan.

Naoto Kan hosted the banquet in honour of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Tokyo.

Sheikh Hasina stressed on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between Bangladesh and Japan for reaping mutual benefits by exploiting the untapped potentials of the two countries as well as reducing huge trade imbalance.

She sought more Japanese cooperation in Bangladesh’s quest for a ”Digital Bangladesh” and for graduating it to a middle-income country by fulfilling the government’s Vision-2021.

The PM said her government began implementing policies ensuring a sound macro-economic stability, comfortable foreign reserve, and an excellent business climate.

Both Dhaka and Tokyo are committed to international peace and security, counter-terrorism, prevention of nuclear proliferation, elimination of weapons of mass destruction, and management of global climate change issues, she said.

She observed that the common views on most issues of mutual concern, goodwill, understanding and complementarities naturally lead the two countries to a strategic partnership, which would promote global peace.

Hasina assured that Bangladesh will extend its wholehearted support to the rightful claim of Japan for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.

The Bangladesh premier thanked Kan for their generous hospitality during her visit to Japan.

Finance Minister A M A Muhith, Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, Prime Minister’s Adviser Prof Dr Alauddin Ahmed and Dr Mashiur Rahman, Executive Chairman of Board of Investment (BOI) Dr S A Samad, Ambassador At Large M Ziauddin, and Bir Bahadur MP joined the banquet.

Awami League leader M Akhtaruzzaman, Principal Secretary M A Karim, ERD Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Foreign Secretary Muhamed Mijarul Quayes, Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad, and FBCCI President A K Azad were also present

First Sikh jatha to Bangladesh

Thousands of people braved freezing cold temperatures to take part in a parade through Sandwell to celebrate the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
“Guru Nanak Dev – The First Sikh Guru :Guru Nanak was the first Guru of the Sikhs. Guru Nanak Devji was the founder of Sikhism, which is a religion that is the world renowned and has thousands of followers. Guru Nanak dev was born on 15th April, 1469″

The procession of around 10,000 people – called a Nagar Kirtan – set off from the Guru Har Rai Gurdwara in West Bromwich yesterday, before visiting four other Gurdwara’s in the borough and ending at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick.

And despite waking up to temperatures hitting -7 degrees, thousands of people turned out, with some members of the parade even taking part barefoot. The parade was organised by the eight Gurdwaras in the borough.

Read more: http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2010/11/29/thousands-brave-cold-for-sikh-parade/#ixzz16k2gIDxdSource :To ensure the proper maintainance of Sikh shrines in Bangladesh, the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) on Monday flagged off a Sikh delegation to that country.

During this maiden visit, members of the Jatha will celebrate Guru Nanak Dev’s 542nd birth anniversary at a Sikh shrine in Dhaka.

According to a six-page report, published by the SGPC in 2005, four out of nine gurudwaras have disappeared in Bangladesh and the remaining ones are in poor condition.

The report also says the land attached to these gurdwaras has been encroached upon by unscrupulous persons.

Avtar Singh Makkar, the President of the SGPC, called on the Government of Bangladesh to allow the “Sambh Sambhal” (care taking) of these shrines.

The gurdwaras in Bangladesh were constructed to commemorate the religious journeys of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Teg Bahadur in 1506-1507 and 1665-67 respectively.

Senior members of American Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (AGPC) have also visited Sikh shrines in Bangladesh recently and highlighted their concern about their upkeep to the Bangladesh Government.

Dr. Pritpal Singh, convener of the AGPC told ANI that the AGPC has conveyed its concerns about Sikh shrines around the world, and particualrly in Bangladesh to the US State Department.

The SGPC intends to keep sending Jathas to Bangladesh to ensure that the government takes the initiative to maintain the shrines. By Ravinder Singh Robin(ANI)

Guru Nanak Sahib was a supporter of Hindus and Muslims and did not differentiate between them. Therefore, he also visited Muslim holy places. He was very different in that regard.

Guru Nanak devji went to Mecca and Medina.. Although this can’t be proven, people say that Guru Sahib reached Mecca by sea. Guru Nanak devjialso went to other countries such as Syria, Turkey and Tehran in Iran. From there he went to Kabul, Kandhar and Jalalabad.

The main purpose and objective of the tour were to make the people find out the truth about God and let them know about the new religion Sikhism and its wonderful teachings. Guru Nanak devji set up a large number of worshiping centers. These centers taught Sikhism and all the things associated with it.

Guru Nanak devji also asked his followers to come forward to head these centers and spread the word of God around to one and all.

Prime Minister Sheikh hasina Japan Visit and initiatives .

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the seventh day of her tri-nation tour Sunday morning arrived in Tokyo beginning her five-day official working visit.

A Lufthansa aircraft carrying the PM and her entourage from Frankfort Airport landed at Narita International Airport at 8:30am (BST).

Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Tomotsu Shinotsuka and Bangladesh Ambassador in Japan AKM Majibur Rahman received Hasina. She was taken to her hotel in a colourful motorcade.

During her stay in Japan, Hasina will hold meetings with Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan and also have an audience with Emperor Akihito.

After the summit talks between the two premier, a joint statement is expected to be issued touching on several important bilateral issues including Japanese financial assistance for construction of the long-awaited Padma Bridge.

The premier is scheduled to address a number of business conferences and hold meetings with representatives of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan External Trade Organisation and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to discuss issues of trade and investment
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday laid emphasis on reducing huge trade gap between Bangladesh and Japan by more Japanese investment and relocation of weaker Japanese industries in Bangladesh.

“In the current fiscal year, Japan’s export to Bangladesh was over US$ 1 billion but Bangladesh’s export to Japan was only US $330 million. This needs to be corrected by more Japanese investment and relocation of weaker Japanese industries in Bangladesh,” she said.

The prime minister was addressing a luncheon meeting hosted by Japan-Bangladesh Committee for Commercial and Economic Cooperation (JBCCEC) at Tokyo Kaikan.

JBCCEC Chairman Toshihito Tamba also addressed the function, which was attended by leaders of business and industry from Japan and Bangladesh.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, FBCCI president AK Azad, PM’s Advisor Dr Mashiur Rahman and Press Secretary to the PM Abul Kalam Azad were present.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh’s special investment schemes under Public-Private-Partnership (PPP), and Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT), could be of interest to Japanese investors.

“Major schemes are a world class international airport, a third sea port, monorail and subways, among others,” she said.

She also called upon the Japanese investors to invest in Bangladesh in sectors like power, infrastructure, IT, renewable energy, transportation and textiles.

The prime minister said Bangladeshi and Japanese businessmen can invest on the basis of partnership in major investment sectors.

Hasina said the present state of bilateral relations between Japan and Bangladesh calls for the conclusion of a `Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement’.

She said Bangladesh’s liberal investment policies are attracting foreign investments at a scale not seen in the recent past. “Much of it was also due to our macroeconomic stability, with inflation under control, and a stable stock market.”

Bangladesh’s current friendly investment climate has been recognised by Goldman Sachs with the inclusion of Bangladesh in its list of “Next Eleven” emerging economies, and by JP Morgan among its `Frontier Five’, the Prime Minister said.

Besides, she said, it is also indeed very encouraging that Jetro have found Bangladesh as the second best profit making destination for Japanese business in Asia, with 87 percent respondents from business world expressing readiness to invest in Bangladesh.

Hasina observed that with democracy and peace restored following the December 29, 2008 election held in a free and fair manner, people including the business community have got back confidence in the government.

She said since the present government took office, Bangladesh achieved a near 6 percent annual GDP growth rate despite facing the challenges of global financial crisis, natural disasters and the adverse impacts of climate change.

She mentioned that Bangladesh’s exports rose to US $ 17 billion while its remittances from abroad to US $ 12 billion.

Bangladesh :A breakthrough in the textile sector

Source :On the eve of a pivotal Cotton Season, 2010-11, the Bangladesh textile industry faces stark choices on the supply chain: maintain a status quo or stay ahead of time. The latter offers the most prolific choice. One must understand that Bangladesh is uniquely placed in the textile world and possesses tremendous advantages over its competitors, mainly India, China and Pakistan. It is unique in a sense that the Bangladesh textile industry is fairly new and it has shown unprecedented growth in last 20 years, which is distinctive to any other industries in the world. It is unique because the industry has been supported by a group of dynamic entrepreneurs, millions of hard working, innovative and skill labour forces who earn the lowest wages, and, above all, an industry-friendly government which offers substantial support to the industry.

Bangladesh is also unique because it is the only textile country among other major textile producers which does not produce any raw cotton. This Achilles’ heel provides a deadly weakness in spite of our considerable strength that can potentially lead the textile industry to a vulnerable stage. Therefore, the Bangladesh textile industry must look beyond the horizon, think bigger than our conventional world, and share a passionate vision with our next generations that would transcend beyond our boundary and put us ahead of our time.

The Sheikh Hasina administration demonstrated a strong leadership by ensuring supplies of raw cotton to our textile industry. Commerce Minister Mr. Faruk Khan’s visit to Uzbekistan is a milestone achieved by the present administration that will have a long-term impact on our textile industry. Minister Khan led a team of government officials and industry leaders representing Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BJMA) and Bangladesh Cotton Association (BCA). For the first time in the history, Bangladesh has asked a foreign country for allowing direct investments from Bangladesh in cotton production and textile manufacturing. A proposal for investment in cotton production will move Bangladesh textile industry ahead of its current state. Minister Faruk Khan showed a strong leadership while conciliating with the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Elyor Ganiyev, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade, Republic of Uzbekistan. After an hour and a half-long meeting between the two delegations at the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade, Minister Elyor Ganiyev offered his Bangladesh counter-part of what considered to be a win-win proposal for both the countries. The Government of Uzbekistan agreed to provide a secured supply of 200,000 MT of raw cotton to Bangladesh every year.

In addition, Minister Ganiyev asked for Bangladeshi investments in the development of spinning industry of Uzbekistan. The Government of Uzbekistan will allow Bangladesh investors to produce about 200,000 MT of yarns, of which 100,000 MT can be brought back to Bangladesh and the rest 100,000 MT can be exported to countries of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), also a emerging market for textile products. Bangladeshi investors will receive a favourable treatment from the Uzbekistan Government, including a 15 per cent discount in raw cotton prices and seven-year tax holidays. Bangladeshi investors will also have access to the CIS countries under a six-billion-dollar free trade regime.

The Uzbekistan government holds Bangladeshi entrepreneurs and experts with high regards due to their enormous success in the textile sector. The Uzbekistan Government is willing to replicate our successes in textile sectors in Uzbekistan. This would be a win-win situation for both the nations to become an integral part of the development of the textile industries of the two countries. Great opportunities exist for Bangladesh entrepreneurs to get involved in textile industries in this emerging Central Asian country, where the infrastructure is well developed and the government support is very much favourable to industrial development. In addition, Bangladesh can export a highly skilled labour force, including managers and engineers, to Uzbekistan.

Above all, Bangladeshi entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to invest in Uzbekistan where other competing countries, mainly China, India and Turkey, have moved faster to consolidate their position. Bangladesh cannot afford wasting time and should move quickly to earn its fair share in the development of Uzbekistan textile industry.

In this regard, Minister Faruk Khan proposed a joint commission to be formed representing both the countries. The commission will study the investment proposal and recommend to the respective ministers shortly. The delegations from both the countries recognised that a air link between the two countries must be restored without any delay. A direct air link will provide an easy traveling opportunity for the entrepreneurs of both the countries. The proposed joint commission should start its work immediately and study the proposal thoroughly so that cooperation between the two countries many flourish.


South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak (center r.) meets Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, Sunday. China has called for emergency talks over North-South Korea crisis after North Korea attacked an island in South Korea and the United States and South Korea began joint military exercises Sunday.
Seoul, South Korea
China sought to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula Sunday on the first day of massive US and South Korean exercises in the Yellow Sea led by the United States aircraft carrier George Washington, with 80 planes on its decks.

..The exercises were about 50 miles south of the scene of North Korea’s attack last week on tiny Yeonpyeong Island in which two South Korean marines and two civilians were killed — and far out of North Korean artillery range.

The show of force, however, created enough of a sense of crisis to push China to call for emergency talks.


Little Bangladesh must grow into its name

new sign hangs at the corner of 3rd Street and New Hampshire Avenue in Central Los Angeles: Little Bangladesh.

Just behind it is a small shopping plaza with a Salvadoran restaurant, a Bangladesh joint, a former Korean cigarette shop and a restaurant that serves teriyaki chicken, burritos and boba drinks. Across the street are more Korean- and Mexican-themed businesses.

The nearest store with a clear connection to Bangladesh, Bengal Liquors, is a block away. All told, there are fewer than a dozen shops owned by or catering to Bangladeshis along this working-class commercial strip flanked by apartment buildings.

Muhammad “Shamim” Hussain, a leader of the local Bangladeshi community, said that although the sign is significant, the community must work to make the idea behind it a reality. “The sign is the symbol,” said Hussain, who came to the U.S. in 1981.

Community leaders applied for the neighborhood recognition more than a year ago. At first, the goal was much grander: to designate a 56-square-block area from 3rd to Wilshire Boulevard and from Western Avenue to Vermont Avenue — an area generally considered part of Koreatown — as Little Bangladesh.

The Korean community, which had not previously sought an official designation for the area, countered with its own application. And when the City Council voted on the matter in August, the Bangladeshis got only a four-block stretch of 3rd Street between Alexandria and New Hampshire avenues as their own.

But that strip doesn’t yet have the look or feel of a Little Bangladesh. Most stores in the area cater to a Korean or Latino clientele, and many of the dozen or so Bangladeshi stores are blocks away. Aside from a handful of restaurants and grocery stores, the neighborhood features almost no other Bangladeshi shops or services: no clothing boutiques selling salwar kameez, the traditional two-piece attire worn by both men and women; no jewelry shops for bangles; no souvenir shops; no salons offering henna and threading services. And since it closed about a year ago, no community center either.

Since they began their effort, local Bangladeshis have been trying, with limited success so far, to open and relocate businesses to the area, both to show their presence and to provide needed services for the thousands of lower- to middle-income Bangladeshi immigrant families who live there. On any given day, women in brightly colored traditional dress can be seen walking the tree-lined residential streets, often pushing strollers or accompanied by small children. On the weekends, they are joined by men also wearing salwar kameez, but in white or beige.

Although the number of Bangladeshi businesses in the area hasn’t risen quickly, the neighborhood designation is an acknowledgment of the local Bangladeshi presence and recognition that it has been positive, said Manju Kulkarni, executive director of the South Asian Network, a cultural and advocacy group with an office nearby.

The network estimates the current Bangladeshi population in the area at more than 20,000, based on a community mapping project it did five years ago.

“Now the people, they are going to say, ‘This is my place, I have to build it up’ … because this is the biggest news of our history in the U.S.,” said Maminul “Bachu” Haque, who owns a travel agency a few blocks away and is interested in relocating to the new district. He moved from Bangladesh to the U.S. in 1983.

Councilman Tom LaBonge, who represents the area, led the effort to forge a compromise between the Bangladeshi and Korean communities. LaBonge said he had initially wanted to designate a stretch of 3rd Street as an “international mile” because of its Korean, Salvadoran, Oaxacan and Bangladeshi shops and restaurants. But the Bangladeshis were insistent, he said.

Chang Lee, Koreatown development chairman for the L.A. Korean American Chamber of Commerce, was among those from the Korean and Bangladeshi communities who toured the area with LaBonge a year ago to decide on the boundaries for the new neighborhood designation. He said he expected it to take a while for the relative newcomers to establish as many businesses as his compatriots have during their 40-year presence in the area.

“Their stay in that area is not that long, so it will take some time,” Lee said of the Bangladeshis. “It’s their responsibility to turn that into Little Bangladesh, not just having the name for the name’s sake.”

There are some signs of progress. The new owner of the 99-cent store at 3rd and Ardmore Avenue plans to open a halal butcher shop next door, catering to the area’s new Muslim residents. And a halal butcher nearby is looking to open a restaurant. Other Bangladeshi merchants are looking at every open storefront but say the rents are too high.

The community regards Little India in Artesia as a model. Although Little India, unlike Little Bangladesh, doesn’t have an official county designation, it is known across the region as the place to go for saris, gold jewelry and Indian food. The new neighborhood must work to establish that kind of recognition, its leaders said.

When people come to the area, Hussain said, they should enjoy a full Bangladeshi experience.

On Dec. 16, the anniversary of Bangladesh’s 1971 victory over Pakistan in its war of independence, residents hope to close several blocks of 3rd Street for a celebration. By then, they hope the Bangladeshi-owned businesses along the strip — even those catering to a Latino clientele — will feature signs in Bangla.

In a cramped second-floor apartment one block north of 3rd, Taslimah Parveen sells formal and casual salwar kameez she brings back from annual trips to Bangladesh. When customers arrive, she brings out large plastic bins full of the folded two-piece outfits, many of them beaded.

For the last few years, Parveen has been looking for a small shop where she could open a boutique instead of selling the clothing in her living room or driving to Little India.

Many of the Bangladeshi women she knows make the drive to Artesia for such things as threading, a hair removal method, or henna at an accommodating salon. Many end up “spending $20 on gas to do a $5 threading,” her daughter, Mahajabeen Mahtab, said.

Parveen has looked at four or five stores, but rents that were already too expensive at $2.50 per square foot have risen to $3 and higher, her daughter said. The area’s comparatively high rents were the reason for the closure last year of the community center that had stood for several years near Deshi, a popular grocery and restaurant featuring Bangladeshi and Indian food, Hussain said.

“I think we need the whole boutique thing, the culture,” Mahtab said. “I think they can do a lot better. I think they can get a lot more stores. But it’s tough.”

2,000MW power from Nepal and Bhutan

Quoting the electricity crisis, the Finance minister said Bangladesh will get 2000MW power more by 2011,Nepal and Bhutan have pledged to export hydroelectricity to Bangladesh.

A Bangladesh delegation expressed eagerness to import 2,000megawatt electricity – 1,000MW from each of the neighbouring countries — during a recent visit.

Prime minister’s Finance Adviser Dr Moshiur Rahman led the seven-member delegation to Nepal and Bhutan from November 21 to 25.

On return home Friday, he told BSS that Nepal will give 1,000MW electricity from its Saptokoshi project while Bhutan another 1,000MW from its Sangkosh project.

Besides, there was much progress in discussions on the issues of transit, transshipment, water supply and expansion of bilateral trade with those two countries.

As all these things would require using the Indian territory, the whole issue would be discussed during Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s forthcoming Bangladesh visit early next year.

Meeting in both the countries observed that the Bangladesh-India joint communique, signed during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Delhi visit, enhanced opportunities for the countries in the region to expand cooperation.

During official talks in Nepal, the issues of water resource development and river management, generation and distribution of electricity at Shaptakoshi reservoir with partnership, communications, transit and transshipment, use of Mongla and Chittagong seaports, expansion of trade and taking joint initiatives in global arena regarding climate change were discussed

To be concious on Indo-Bangladesh border facts,

No alternative than Better service better custom better culture for real development. Now on reality and political activities between india Bangladesh is boosting up for developing cooperation and all kind of biletaral relation! but the The problems of human trafficking, smuggling and sexual harassment of locals by security personnel at the Indo- Bangladesh border were brought into focus by NGOs, researchers, academicians and journalists from the two nations at a conclave here.

Organised by Kolkata-based NGO Sanjog, the two-day event that began Friday saw a general resentment against the Border Security Force (BSF) and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel who were accused of corruption and sexually abusing women in return of letting them cross the border.

‘The BSF and the BDR have been and still are raping girls in their custody but no or little action is taken against them. The system – the government and the security forces – has become rotten,’ said Bengal-based NGO Banglar Manabhadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) secretary Kirity Roy.

On the numerous human trafficking cases in various courts, Roy said: ‘The Indian legal system is strong only on paper but it does not perform.’

According to the participants, there is rampant smuggling of goods right from salt and sugar to fake currency notes and arms across the Indo-Bangladesh border. However, more people from Bangladesh enter India as the eastern neighbour is economically weaker.

‘Even if the BDR and BSF rescue trafficked people, the lack of coordination between the two acts as a major hindrance in delivering justice to the victims,’ said Salma Ali of the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association.

Thorough investigation of each and every case should be carried out on both sides of the border, Ali said.

The objectives of the consultation at the conclave included sharing of findings from research on the border, facilitating a dialogue between stakeholders like civil society organisations based at the border, anti-trafficking organisations and those who influenced policy to evolve coordinated strategies for action.

Said Indrani Sinha, founder of SANLAAP, a Kolkata-based NGO aiming to protect the rights of the fairer sex: ‘There are different rates for people on both the sides to enter each other’s territory. The price depends on factors like the products to be smuggled and how strict the officer on duty is.’

Although everybody stressed on an urgent need for better networking and communications between the authorities and locals, some like Additional Superintendent of Bhopal Police Veerendra Mishra suggested the participants ‘walk the talk’.

‘Everybody admits that there should be coordination between the local stakeholders but no one is talking about any definite steps or measures,’ he said.

‘Just criticising the armed forces all the time won’t reap any benefits. There have to be substantiate efforts to achieve the goal of peace,’ said Mishra.

“” From News ” A delegation of Indian border guards on Friday heard a Bangladeshi woman who described her ordeal of being raped and then seeing her husband get killed at the hands of their colleagues who detained them on the other of the border.

Some members of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) raped the woman, of Balabari village, Ashashuni Upazila, and then killed her husband Rabindranath Mandal when he tried to save his wife, she told the hearing.

The woman said that a patrol team from BSF’s Ghojadanga camp detained them when they were on their way from India to Bangladesh on April 22 last year. Rabindranath had gone to India illegally for treatment in 2008, she said.

The hearing took place during a BDR-BSF flag meeting at Bhomra border in Satkhira.

The following morning, the woman said, the BSF jawans left her and her husband’s body at the Zero Line at Lakkhidari.

They were later rescued by Bangladesh police and border officials. The victim accused some unidentified BSF personnel when she filed a case with Satkhira Sadar police.

Bhomra company commander Subeder Munsur Helal headed the five-member BDR team while the BSF delegation was led by Ghojadanga camp commander A C Sanjay Kumer.

Western Marine Shipyard -Bangladesh to deliver ships to Germany

Western Marine Shipyard will deliver a pair of the largest vessels ever built in Bangladesh to Germany tomorrow (Friday) in Chittagong.
Industries minister Dilip Barua, German state secretary of federal foreign office Martin Biesel and German ambassador to Bangladesh Holger Mitchell will be present when the Germans take delivery of the ships.

“Grona Ammersum” and “Grona Biessum” are both 100 metre long and 5200 deadweight tonnage (DWT) ice class vessels built in compliance with the latest IMO (international maritime organisation) guidelines under the supervision of class Germanischer Lloyd.

The vessels have been designed to sustain in cryogenic weather condition and certified as E3 ice class vessels, organisers said at a press conference at a local hotel in the city today.

Chairman of Western Marine Shipyard Saiful Islam said these vessels are the first two in a series of 12 ships built for Grona Shipping based in Leer, Germany. The ships made a successful sea trial on November 15 last.

Lauding the role of the grand alliance government he said that the government has provided all-out support and infrastructure facilities to the ship building industry.

“The government has extended all possible facilities including the infrastructural ones at least in the ship building sector without which it would have been quite impossible for us to accomplish such a highly sophisticated task,” Islam said.

Managing Director of the ship building company Shakhawat Hossain said it is once again proved that Bangladesh can build world class sophisticated ships with full satisfaction of customers from the advanced country like Germany.

Jalal Khaled, quality management director of Western Marine, owner of the vessels Mr. Markku Vedder from Grona Shipping, Germany, Mr. Lars Brenneke of East Wind, Germany, Mahfuz Anam, editor of the Daily Star and Matiur Rahman, editor of the daily Prathom Alo also spoke at the press conference.

HARTAL POLITICS Vs Economic Growth of Bangladesh.

I have just come back from a 12 year celebration party Of The Daily Prothom Alo with the Slogan” Bodlay jao -Bodlay Dao ” at institute of Engineers Auditorium ,Chittagong .Over there I met Mahfuz Anam the editor of The Daily star,Motiur Rahman editor of The Daily Prothom Alo .Exchanging my personal view and jesting the values of the speech of the editors makes clear sense of the potentiality of resourceful Amar Desh – Bangladesh . The urged to take self responsibility of person to person. To procure a developed Bangladesh we need change on our belief and executing custom. Is their any change on Hartal culture ??? ,Can we expect change ? Yes we urge !!! -gurumia
Let economy grow :(Sources )Top business leaders may propose passing a law banning hartal to put an end to its detrimental effects on trade, business and other economic activities.

Stressing that political unrest is greatly hampering investment and economic growth, the businessmen urged the political parties to find an alternative to hartal or ‘similar destructive activities’.

Political programmes like hartal virtually stand in the way of the country achieving its potential double-digit growth, they said at a discussion meeting organised by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the capital.

“This (hartal) is even more unacceptable when the country is on track of vigorous economic growth in the coming days thanks to its startling rise in trade and export activities,” said FBCCI President AK Azad, who chaired the discussion.

Azad said business leaders might propose a law to ban the hartal.

Meanwhile, the opposition BNP has called another countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal on November 30 after a similar hartal on November 14.

“Two hartals within a period of 15 days do not send a good signal to foreign investors and local businesses”, the apex trade body chief said.

“Such destructive activities could send back many potential foreign investors from our shore, at a time when many developed countries including Turkey and Japan are looking to relocate their industries in Bangladesh.

“Therefore, in the coming weeks, we would sit with the stakeholders concerned and the FBCCI members, and decide our next course of action to discourage hartal or similar activities in the country,” Azad said.

Highlighting the recent rise in the country’s trade and business activities, he said export rose by 37 percent in the last four months.

The FBCCI president mentioned that private sector has got a big role to play in creating jobs for 20 million people added to the workforce each year.

Chairman of Bangladesh Association of Banks Nazrul Islam Mazumder said, “The business leaders can form a committee that will sit with the leaders from both the (major) political parties to persuade them not to go for political confrontations which affect normal public life and business activities.”

Former FBCCI president Annisul Huq said, “Both the government and the political oppositions should be made to promise not to go for destructive moves like hartal in the future”.

Retailers attending the meeting also said the proposed hartal on November 30 will greatly affect them as business activities are yet to gain pace after the Eid holidays.

The November 14 hartal already affected trade activities worth around Tk 1,000 crore, they claimed.

Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers Association Habibur Rahman said , “Although garments industries are usually kept out of hartal, in reality it results in low turn out at the factories, and at the same time transport and shipment of goods and raw materials are also affected.”

President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abul Kasem Khan said, “It is only countries competing with us (Bangladesh) in Asia who are benefiting from hartal as it affects our export and shipment.”

He also said there should be provisions for compensating the business people in terms of taxes for the working days lost due to hartal.

Former president of FBCCI Yussuf Abdullah Harun said political parties should return to parliament instead of taking to the streets for resolving the political issues.

The business leaders also emphasised having dialogues with both the major political parties as well as creating public opinion and staging symbolic demonstrations against hartal and similar activities.

ADB to provide US$615 million to fund project in Bangladesh ,Priority On multipurpose bridge and Proverty

To reach the precondition of Development ,Communication is the key point to sound . The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will extend financial assistance of US$615 million for a major bridge project in Bangladesh which will help accelerate growth and poverty reduction in the country’s poor and underdeveloped southwest.

ADB’s Board of Directors today approved the loan funds for the construction of a multipurpose bridge across the Padma River – the first fixed river crossing for road traffic, linking the southwest of the country, to northern and eastern regions.
ADB is providing over 21 per cent of the total investment cost of nearly $2.92 billion for the bridge project.

In addition to ADB, the World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Islamic Development Bank are also contributing as cofinanciers.

“By providing a vital infrastructure link between the capital city, Dhaka, and the less developed southwest region, the Padma bridge will give the national economy a major boost,” said Sultan H. Rahman, Director General of ADB’s South Asia Department.

“It is the largest project assistance we have provided to Bangladesh. Implementing such a large project will be a major challenge, and the Government and development partners would need to work very closely to initiate and complete the project on time,” added Mr Rahman.

The southwest has some of the highest poverty rates in Bangladesh and the absence of a bridge across the Padma River – formed by the confluence of the Ganges and Jamuna rivers – has left it relatively isolated.

Currently passengers and freight are transported over the 5-kilometer wide river on ferries and other smaller vessels, which lack capacity and are frequently suspended during floods, fog and other bad weather conditions. Bridges in other regions, such as one built with ADB-JICA-WB support across the Jamuna River linking the northwest to the east, have been major growth and poverty reduction drivers for the country, and similar benefits in the southwest region are expected with this project.

“This bridge project will also have wider subregional impacts, as it will form part of the proposed Asian Highway route that connects Asia to Europe,” said Hideaki Iwasaki, Principal Transport Specialist in ADB’s South Asia Department.

The physical work will include the construction of a two-level steel truss bridge over six kilometers long, with a four lane highway to accommodate road vehicles on top, and a lower deck with a single track railway to be added in future. Twelve kilometers of approach roads, along with toll plazas and service areas will also be built, while dredging and river bank protection will be carried out.

ADB’s assistance will be extended through two loans. The first amount of US$539 million from ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 27-year tenor, with a seven-year grace period, and an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facility.

The second loan of US$76 million equivalent from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund has a 32-year tenor, with an eight-year grace period carrying an annual interest of 1 per cent, which rises to 1.5 per cent for the balance of the term.

The Bangladesh Bridge Authority is the executing agency for the project, which is due for completion in December 2015