PM stresses worker-owner's responsible role in country's prosperity



News desk, Barta24.com
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the workers and owners of the industries and factories to play a responsible role in ensuring each other's rights and country's prosperity.

"The owners invest money and workers give labour in a factory. Their investment and toil keep the factory running alongside increasing production and thus the country's economy becomes strengthened," she said. 

The prime minister said this while addressing a discussion on Great May Day at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here organised by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

She virtually joined the function from her official Ganabhaban residence in the city.

The premier asked the labour leaders not to pay heed to the foreigners' prescriptions in solving problems rather to settle those with their own ways.

Sheikh Hasina said that all have their own responsibilities to run an organisation.

She said the owners will have to ensure appropriate salary for the labourers and suitable environment and safety measures for the workers while the workers have to give their best efforts to run the factories.

"It's the labourers' duty to work sincerely to keep their factories, where they work for livelihoods, operative and it's the owners' duty to ensure the well-being, working environment and safety of the labour force," she said.

Sheikh Hasina hoped that Bangladesh will go ahead if there remains a cordial relationship between the owners and workers of the industries and they work complementarily with each other.

She said the owners and workers should cherish the spirit of the May Day and take the country forward.

The prime minister spelled out her government’s various measures to ensure labourers’ welfare that included increasing minimum salary range, building dormitories, ratifying ILO conventions and protocols, establishing Bangladesh Shramik Kallayan Foundation and enacting necessary laws and rules.

She said some labour leaders are still running after the foreigners to solve the problems of Bangladesh's industries.

She added: "I don't know why some labour leaders make complaints to the foreigners although we have done many things for the welfare of them--- I don't know if there is anything that serves their interest or anything to exchange."

The prime minister urged the labour leaders to meet her if there is any problem, saying that she can realise the demands of labourers from the owners.   

She criticized the so-called labour leaders who go to the foreigners with complaints about the country's labour situation and are inclined to involve the foreigners to resolve problems instead of finding local solutions.

"We're able to solve our own problems. I would like to tell the labour leaders to come to me if you have any problem instead of crying before the foreigners. If there is anything beneficial for the labourers, I can realise it from the owners," she said.

State Minister for Labour and Employment Ministry Begum Monnujan Sufian gave chairperson’s remarks while Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Labour and Employment M Mujibul Haque spoke.

Country Director of ILO (International Labour Organisation) Tuomo Poutiainen, President of Bangladesh Employers' Federation (BEF) Ardashir Kabir, and Acting President of the Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik League Nur Kutub Alam Mannan also spoke on the occasion while Secretary of the Labour and Employment Ministry Md. Ehsane Elahi gave the address of welcome.

On behalf of the prime minister, Begum Monnujan Sufian handed over the cheques of financial assistance to 10 labourers and their family members from the fund of Bangladesh Shramik Kallayan Foundation. 

A documentary on the activities of the Labour and Employment Ministry was also screened at the function.

The prime minister stressed the need for forging unity of owners and workers and solving their problems through discussions.

Referring to this year's theme of the Great May Day, "Shramik-Malik Ekota Unnnyaner Nischoita (Workers-owners unity, assurance of development)" she said, "Development requires cordial relations between the owners and workers."

Sheikh Hasina said her government is implementing 90 percent of the annual development plan with own financing which was earlier done by the money from the foreign funds and building of the Padma Bridge with own finance is the main testimony for the country.

"We don't need to go to the foreigners," she said with a proud voice, mentioning that Bangladesh is now a self-reliant country in food production.

Bangladesh turned into a developing nation, she said, adding her government is working to make the country a developed and prosperous one by giving people an improved and better life as envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Sheikh Hasina said though Bangladesh is an agricultural country, it dearly needs industrialization for desired development.

So, the government has given importance to industrialization in a planned way without harming the arable lands and has been setting up 100 economic zones across the country which would create new employment opportunities and increase production, she said.

Paying her rich tributes to the heroes of May Day, the prime minister said they have established the workers' rights through their supreme sacrifice.

Since independence, Sheikh Hasina said the Bangabandhu and Awami League government was always dedicated to the welfare of the working class people, adding that Bangladesh has so far signed 36 ILO protocols and conventions for protection of the rights of the workers.

"I do not know whether any country in the world signs so many ILO protocols and conventions," she added.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his every step, had demonstrated himself as a dedicated person for the oppressed people, she said.

"We believe in Bangabandhu's ideology,” she continued.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu nationalized all abandoned industries after independence to protect the workers' rights and declared May 1 a public holiday.

"So it's our duty to work for the labourers," she said.

Fair group stands for developing technical skills of Bhutanese youth



News Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Fair Group has stood beside the youth of Bhutan for developing the technical skills.

In response to a request from the Bhutan Embassy in Dhaka on behalf of the Bhutan government, Fair Group organised a monthlong special internship program for them in smartphone, consumer electronics products and automobile maintenance and servicing.

Sunday (June 26) at an informal ceremony held at the Banani Autograph Office of the Fair Group, the internship certificates were handed over to eight young people from Bhutan by Ambassador Rinchen Kuentsyl and the Chairman of Fair Group , Ruhul Alam AL Mahbub. Do Young-A, Country Director of Korea Overseas Co-operation Agency in Bangladesh, KOICA, Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Rezaul Karim Lotus, President of Bangladesh DCAB, AKM Mainuddin, General Secretary, and General Hamid R. Chowdhury RCDS, PSC (Ret.) Hasnain Khurshid, Head of Communication and Corporate Philanthropy, Khandaker Hafiz Al Asad, Director, Fair Services Limited and Bijay Mukherjee, Head of Services, Fair Technology were present on the occasion.

Bhutan was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as an independent country. During the war of liberation, on 6 December 1971, Bhutan officially recognised Bangladesh.

Referring to the deep ties between the two countries, Ambassador of Bhutan Rinchen Kuentsyl said that Bangladesh's role in the socio-economic development of Bhutan is immense.

Expressing deep gratitude to the Fair Group on behalf of the Government and people of Bhutan, he said that Fair Group has provided hands-on education to the youth of Bhutan through internship programs.

He expressed confidence that they would return to Bhutan to be partners in socio-economic development.

Ruhul Alam Al Mahbub, Chairman, Fair Group, assured to continue the cooperation in the development of human resources in Bhutan.

He said Bangladesh-Bhutan friendship is eternal. He also said that skilled trainers will be sent from Fair Group if necessary to enhance the skills of the trainers in Bhutan. Fair Group's partner Fair Solutions, Mirpur Samsung Center, trained six young people of Bhutan on smartphones and consumer electronics products, and at Fair Technology Hyundai 3S Center in Tejgaon, two young people in Bhutan were trained in automobiles.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's pledge - 'Made in Bangladesh' Fair Group is continuously working to implement. They are producing South Korean famous Samsung smartphones and consumer electronics products at the Fair Electronics Factory in Shibpur, Narsingdi and marketing them all over Bangladesh.

The work of setting up a fair technology factory at Bangabandhu Hi-Tech Park in Kaliakair, Gazipur is now nearing completion, where they will soon be assembling South Korea's famous Hyundai SUVs and sedans.

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Padma Bridge, the Wonder of Bangladesh



News Desk, Barta24.com
Padma Bridge, the Wonder of Bangladesh

Padma Bridge, the Wonder of Bangladesh

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The wait period is over. The dream came true. Today (June 25), the door of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, which stands on the two banks of the river Padma, is opening.

This dream bridge of about 60 million people in 21 districts of the south-west is a proud history of the whole country. The wonder of the whole world. The bridge connecting Mawa in Munshiganj to Banglabazar in Shariatpur is a harbinger of a new day in the country's economy, investment, trade and overall development.

The celebration of Padma victory will touch the whole country today. Various programs have been taken all over the country on the occasion of inauguration of Padma Bridge. The people of the south are happy with the new day.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will open the much-anticipated 6.15-kilometer Padma Bridge for vehicular movement on Saturday which will bring massive progress in road connectivity of 21 south and southwestern districts with the capital of Dhaka and other major cities.

Marking the grand opening of the bridge, a festive mood is prevailing in the country, particularly in the southern and southwestern region which will be directly facilitated through the major road connectivity.

The premier will join the Padma Bridge inaugural ceremony at Mawa point in Munshiganj at 10 am.

As per the premier’s programme schedule, she will also unveil commemorative postage stamps, souvenir sheets, opening day cover and seals at 11am at Mawa point to mark the grand opening of the country’s biggest self-financed mega project which is likely to boost GDP by 1.2 to 2 percent.

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Bangladesh Floods: Six Million People Marooned



News Desk, Barta24.com
Bangladesh Floods: Six Million People Marooned

Bangladesh Floods: Six Million People Marooned

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Incessant rains and gushing waters have marooned at least six million people in Bangladesh, prompting authorities to call in the Army to assist in the rescue and relief operations.

Officials estimate that six million people were marooned at their nearly inundated homes or were forced to take makeshift refuge elsewhere as water level in rivers in northeastern and northern regions continued to rise.

“Water now continued to surpass much above the danger lines in two of the country’s four major river basin. The situation appears to be nearly as bad as that of the 2004 flooding, a Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) spokesman said. The FFWC attributed the flooding to excessive rainfalls simultaneously in upstream Meghlaya and Bangladesh.

Many people were forced to initially take refuge on their rooftops amid gushing rising waters until rescue boats came in Sunamganj, said local officials. Meanwhile, due to huge rainfall, many districts of norther Bangladeh are facing threat of fresh flood.

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CHT, Bay of Bengal and Security Perspective



Dr. Mahfuz Parvez
CHT, Bay of Bengal and Security Perspective

CHT, Bay of Bengal and Security Perspective

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The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is a group of districts within the Chittagong Division in southeastern Bangladesh, bordering India and Myanmar (Burma) and covering 13,295 square kilometers. Historically settled by tribal groups, now the CHT is also inhabited by huge Bengali settlers.

The CHT region witnessed bloodshed beginning in the early 1970s, when ethnic groups protested the government’s policy of recognizing only the Bengali culture and language and designating all Bangladeshi citizens as Bengalis.

The CHT Peace Accord, signed in 1997 with the promise to end ethnic insurgency and grant a host of benefits to the people, was hailed by all.

With two decades passed since the signing of the CHT Accord, its lack of implementation has reached alarming levels. Ethnic groups and Bengali community are also demanding different types of political, citizenship and land rights.

As per ground realities, there could be fresh tension, political confrontation and security problem in the CHT if the emerging issues are not addressed.

The fact that the CHT people are overwhelmingly in favor of peace as a necessary precondition to all round development of the region is good augury. But the biggest challenge is to continue the peace that has emerged from the conflict with the wisdom, determination and political skill of the leadership.

However, the proximity of the Chittagong Hill Tracts to the Bay of Bengal (BoB) poses a security risk. In a research report, Angshuman Choudhury, Siddharth Anil Nair, Ashutosh Nagda & Garima Maheshwari mentioned the BoB region is one of the most climate-vulnerable in the world. Its strategic, political, social and economic faultlines are also extensive. Together they create fertile ground for volatile security dynamics, social friction and violent conflict. It is a textbook example of the complex relationship between climate change and security, and how an aggregate of both could create emerging challenges for policy-planners (CLIMATE SECURITY IN THE BAY OF BENGAL, 18 Jan, 2022, 212, IPCS Special Report).

Growing strategic significance of the Bay of Bengal within the emerging and increasingly contested geography of the Indo-Pacific, is sharply visible in various ways. BoB's strategic location at the heart of the Indo-Pacific, and ponders the unfolding challenges to regionalism in the Bay of Bengal. It is important for Bangladesh to intensify its efforts to construct a more secure and cooperative Bay of Bengal littoral (C. Raja Mohan, "The Bay of Bengal in the Emerging Indo-Pacific").

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Professor, Political Science, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh; Associate Editor, www.barta24.com



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