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Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh to sign security coop




Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia consulting to sign 2 agreements including security cooperation and the Mecca Road Initiative during the visit of the Saudi deputy interior minister, Dr. Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al-Daoud, to Bangladesh next month, November.

The Saudi deputy minister is scheduled to visit Dhaka on 11-12 November, told by the Saudi Ambassador in Dhaka on Wednesday, 27 October.

He noted that the visit would reflect the importance of the bilateral ties between both Bangladesh & Saudi Arabia.

The home ministry of Bangladesh is to sign the agreement on security cooperation on behalf of the country.

This agreement will see enhanced cooperation between both countries in capacity building, skill development and exchange of visits of security personnel.

Hence, The Makkah Road Initiative was floated to facilitate the smooth travel of pilgrims by easing procedures.

The initiative was launched by the Ministry of Interior within the Doy of Al Rahman Program, one of the programs of the Kingdom Vision 2030.

Under the initiative, the Saudi teams complete the travel procedures for the beneficiary pilgrims in their respective countries.

The initiative starts with issuing the visa electronically and taking the vital characteristics, passing through the completion of passport procedures at the airport of the country of departure after verifying the health requirements, in addition to coding and sorting luggage according to transportation and housing arrangements in the Kingdom.

The pilgrims who benefit from the initiative upon their arrival at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, are directly transported in buses to their places of residence in Makkah and Madinah, while the service authorities undertake the delivery of their luggage to their residences.

The process was experimentally introduced recently in seven countries including Bangladesh.

After the signing of the agreement it will be a permanent process, an official said.

Meanwhile, welcoming the visit of the Saudi minister, Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen said in recent times Saudi Arabia has come up with many good investment proposals also.

He also informed that both countries are working to facilitate the visit of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud to Dhaka.

He may visit Bangladesh at the beginning of the next year on our invitation, he added.

The Saudi minister will meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the foreign minister, the expatriate minister and other dignitaries.

Meanwhile, the foreign minister mentioned that at the request of the foreign ministry the Saudi Ambassador has agreed to postpone the realization of new biometric fees for the time being.

The foreign minister said that recently there was a misunderstanding between the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) and the Saudi Embassy over the visa application fees and procedure.

“I was told that a worker will have to pay 40 dollars as a biometric fee but the Ambassador told me it is four dollars only and these fees will be provided by the employer” Dr. Momen said.

He said that as he requested to postpone the decision until a meeting of all the stakeholders, the Saudi Ambassador expressed his satisfaction and agreed to do so.

Terming the Saudi envoy ‘a dynamic person’ the foreign minister said, after the arrival of this Ambassador, the number of visa issuance has risen and presently, over 4.5 thousand visas are being issued by the Saudi Embassy every day.

Saudi Arabia is the top manpower destination for Bangladesh as it accounts for more than 32pc of Bangladesh’s labor exports.

Manpower export is the country’s second-largest forex earning source after the readymade garment sector and more than 20pc of Bangladesh’s remittances come from the gulf country.


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UN says: Extraordinary economic dev among BD’s many achievements




Greeting Bangladesh, the United Nations on Sunday (26th March) said Bangladesh has many accomplishments — extraordinary economic development, a significant cultural legacy, leadership on a global stage for climate-vulnerable countries, and immense generosity in welcoming and hosting nearly a million Rohingya refugees.

“The hospitality of Bangladesh’s diverse people is just one of the many facets of a country that my colleagues and I have been fortunate to experience every day,” UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis said in a press statement on the occasion of the country’s Independence Day.

“On behalf of the United Nations, I warmly congratulate the people of Bangladesh on the 52nd anniversary of independence,” she said.

Over the last 52 years, Bangladesh has made impressive and remarkable achievements: evolving from a war-torn country to one of the leading economic powers in South Asia, standing at the threshold of upcoming graduation from least developed countries (LDCs) in 2026, and planned achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDG) by 2030, she said.

The UN fully supports Bangladesh’s commitments to economic and sustainable development and appreciates the strong and long-lasting relationship with Bangladesh and our shared values.

The constitution of the country, which was adopted even before Bangladesh had formally become a member of the United Nations in 1974, guarantees fundamental human rights. The right to freedom of speech, religion, movement and assembly, the right to speak one’s own language and other rights that are in line with the UN charter, said the UNRC.

“Wishing you all a Happy Independence Day!” — she concluded.

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PM Sheikh Hasina, President pays homage to Liberation War Martyrs




Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina & President M Abdul Hamid paid rich tributes to the Liberation War martyrs by placing wreaths at the National Memorial at Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka early on Sunday (26th March), marking the 53rd Independence and National Day.

The president first placed the wreath at the altar of the memorial followed by the prime minister.

After laying the wreaths, the president and the premier stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect for the memories of the martyrs of the Great War of Liberation in 1971.

A smartly turned-out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force presented a state salute at that time while the bugles played the last post.

The head of the state and the head of the government also signed the visitors’ book kept on the memorial premises.

Flanked by her party leaders, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the Awami League, paid glowing tributes to the Liberation War martyrs by placing another wreath at the National Memorial on behalf of her party.

Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, senior AL leaders, leaders of AL-led 14-party alliance and high civil and military officials, among others, were present there.

Later, the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament) speaker and the chief justice also paid homage to the martyrs by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum.

Every year, March 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of history’s blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night of March 25, 1971, achieving the long-cherished independence on December 16 the same year at the cost of a sea of blood.

In the wake of the military crackdown by the then Pakistan occupation force, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh through the then EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) wireless at 00-30 hours on March 26 (the night following March 25) in 1971 at his historic Road-32 residence at Dhanmondi in Dhaka.

The day is very auspicious and precious to the Bengali nation.

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Bangladesh Observed Independence Day Today




The Independence Day of Bangladesh is celebrated on 26 March as a national holiday in Bangladesh. It commemorates the country’s declaration of independence from Pakistan in the early hours of 25 March 1971.

In the 1970 Pakistani general election, under the military government of President Yahya Khan, the largest political party Awami League, led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, won a clear majority in East Pakistan national seats as well as provincial assembly. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto conspired with Yahya Khan and changed their position, refusing to hand over power to Sheikh Mujib.

Negotiations began between the two sides, however, the ruling West Pakistani leadership did not trust Sheikh Mujib, due to instances such as the Agartala conspiracy case. When it became evident that the promises made by the West Pakistan government were not going to be kept, many East Pakistani Bangla-speaking Muslims and Hindus began a spirited struggle for independence.

On 7 March 1971, Sheikh Mujib gave his famous speech at the Ramna Racecourse, in which he called for a non-cooperation movement.

Authorities, mostly West Pakistani personnel, rounded up Bengali armed forces officers, NCOs, and enlisted personnel. Forced disappearances went rampant. On the evening of 25 March, in an interview with David Frost, Sheikh Mujib still called out openly for negotiation and a united Pakistan. That night the Pakistan Army began Operation Searchlight, conclusively signalling West Pakistan was not ready for a transfer of political power to the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.[4]

The Independence of Bangladesh was declared on 26 March 1971 at the first watch by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman . Another declaration was read out on 27 March 1971, by Major Ziaur Rahman, on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Major Zia (who was also a BDF Sector Commander of Sector 1 and later of Sector 11) raised an independent Z Force brigade, Chittagong and the guerilla struggle officially began.

The people of Bangladesh then took part in a nine-month guerilla war against the Pakistan Army and their collaborators, including paramilitary Razakars. This resulted in the death of about 3 million Bangladeshi, as per Awami league and Indian sources, in the Bangladesh War of Independence and Bangladesh Genocide. The BDF, later with military support from India, defeated the Pakistan Army on 16 December 1971, leading to the end of the war and the Surrender of Pakistan.

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