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Bangladesh’s 12th Parliamentary Election Echoes Across Indian Media Outlets

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Election

In a noteworthy development, the 12th parliamentary election in Bangladesh has become a focal point in Indian media, with prominent outlets like NDTV, ANI, DD Metro, WION, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Indian Express, News Stream, and The Wire extensively covering diverse aspects of the polls. Reports from these media houses have diligently highlighted the ongoing voting procedures, the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) boycott, and the general strike initiated by the BNP. Keenly observed by Indian journalists and observers, the election has garnered significant attention, with three Indian observers actively participating in the monitoring process.

Academic experts, former diplomats, and Indian political analysts have contributed their insights through columns and editorials, shedding light on the election’s significance and India’s perspective on the matter. According to ANI, NDTV, and other reliable sources, despite the BNP’s strike call, voters have shown resilience, turning out in substantial numbers to exercise their right to vote. The reports suggest that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is poised to secure her fourth consecutive term.

In a detailed analysis, ANI underscored the international dimension of the election, noting that 100 foreign observers, including three from India, are closely monitoring the electoral proceedings. Meanwhile, The Times of India has published comprehensive reports on various facets of the election, with journalist Sachin Parashar contributing an insightful editorial titled “Bangladesh Polls 2024: Amid the Geopolitical Slugfest, India Watches Cautiously.”

The Hindu has reported on instances of violence during the election and the opposition’s boycott, highlighting a concerning tally of 18 arson attacks. This widespread coverage in Indian media underscores the regional interest in Bangladesh’s electoral process, emphasizing its geopolitical implications.

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PM Sheikh Hasina Commences Six-Day Official Visit to Thailand

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina embarked on a six-day official visit to Thailand today (24 April) at the invitation of her Thai counterpart Srettha Thavisin, aiming to enhance bilateral relations between the two nations.

Accompanied by her entourage, the premier departed from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10:13 am aboard a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, according to the premier’s Speechwriter Md Nazrul Islam.

The aircraft is scheduled to land at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok at 1:30 pm local time.

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, during a media briefing on Monday, highlighted the significance of the visit, stating that it would foster new avenues of cooperation between Bangladesh and Thailand.

This visit marks the premier’s first bilateral engagement since the formation of the current government in January.

During her visit, Sheikh Hasina will engage in bilateral discussions with Thai Prime Minister Thavisin and participate in the 80th Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Several cooperation documents are set to be signed, including a letter of intent on negotiations for a free trade agreement, an agreement on visa exemption for official passport holders, and various Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) covering energy cooperation and tourism sector collaboration.

The visit will also provide an opportunity to explore the potential Free Trade Agreement between the two countries and address issues such as the Rohingya repatriation process and bilateral cooperation in investment, tourism, energy, and connectivity.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to receive a formal welcome from her Thai counterpart and engage in bilateral talks at the Government House. She will also attend a state lunch hosted by the Thai Prime Minister.

Additionally, the prime minister will have a Royal audience with Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshan, King and Queen of Thailand.

In her multilateral engagements, Sheikh Hasina will participate in the 80th Session of ESCAP and deliver a speech, focusing on leveraging digital innovation for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.

The session aims to facilitate region-wide cooperation in utilizing digital innovation to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda.

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Bangladesh-Qatar Strengthen Ties with 10 Cooperation Deals

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Bangladesh and Qatar signed 10 cooperation documents on Tuesday, including five agreements and five MoUs, aimed at strengthening ties and elevating relations to new heights.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani witnessed the signing of the documents.

The five agreements cover cooperation in the legal field, promotion and protection of mutual investments, avoidance of double taxation, maritime transport, and the establishment of a Joint Business Council (JBC) between FBCCI & QCCI.

The five MoUs include cooperation in sports and youth, manpower employment (Labour), diplomatic training, education, higher education, scientific research, and between Qatar Ports management Company “MAWANI QATAR” and Chittagong Ports Authority.

Earlier in the morning, PM Hasina warmly welcomed and received Emir Sheikh Tamim at her office.

They had a tête-à-tête meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, followed by a bilateral meeting.

After signing the visitors’ book, the emir headed for Bangabhaban where the president received him.

A high-level Qatari delegation led by Qatar’s emir is on a state visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of the president and the prime minister.

During the ceremony, a road and a park in Dhaka were named after Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

The park, constructed in Kalshi area of Mirpur under Dhaka North City Corporation, and the road from Mirpur ECB point to Kalsi Fly Over were named after Emir of Qatar.

Now, the road and park are known as Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Avenue and Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Park.

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Minister Samanta Urges Hospital Preparedness Amid Heatwave

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Samanta

Health and Family Welfare Minister Professor Dr. Samanta Lal Sen has instructed public hospital authorities to prepare for providing healthcare services as the country faces a severe heatwave.

“Elderly individuals and children are particularly vulnerable during this heatwave. I urge people, especially seniors and children, to stay indoors to avoid heatstroke and related complications,” he stated during a virtual press conference held at the ministry.

State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Rokeya Sultana and Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof. Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam were also present.

Dr. Sen emphasized that the extreme heatwave has created a critical situation in the country, prompting public hospitals to be on standby to offer treatment services.

“In consideration of the health risks to schoolchildren, I have requested the education minister to close educational institutions. Following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s directive, schools and colleges will remain closed until April 27,” he added.

Dr. Sen mentioned that public hospitals, including Shishu Hospital, have been instructed to take special measures for children. Additionally, dedicated beds have been allocated at Dhaka North City Corporation Hospitals for elderly individuals and children.

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