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Bangladesh Observed Independence Day Today

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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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PM Sheikh Hasina Distributes Relief to Cyclone Remal Victims in Patuakhali

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Hasina PM Sheikh PM to Declare 12 More Districts Landless, Homeless-Free This Wednesday

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina distributed relief materials to the victims of Cyclone Remal in Patuakhali district on 30 May.

The relief distribution event took place at Government Mojahar Uddin Biswas Degree College in Kolapara, organized by the district administration.

Earlier, the Prime Minister conducted an aerial survey of the Mathbaria and Pathorghata areas in Patuakhali district to assess the damage caused by the cyclone. She arrived at the helipad next to Khepupara Govt Model Secondary School in Kalapara at 12:20pm, following a one-and-a-half-hour helicopter ride from Dhaka.

Mathbaria and Pathorghata in Kalapara were severely affected when the cyclone hit the Bangladesh coast on Sunday, originating from the Bay of Bengal.

The Prime Minister’s helicopter flew low over the affected areas, allowing her to closely inspect the devastation caused by tidal surges and heavy rains that washed away embankments, fish farms, and toppled houses and trees along the coast.

The cyclone resulted in at least 16 deaths and numerous injuries, despite a significant evacuation effort to cyclone shelters, which was closely monitored by the Prime Minister from Dhaka.

Following the relief distribution, Sheikh Hasina visited the Shaheed Sheikh Kamal Bridge on the Patuakhali-Kuakata road. She then met with divisional level officials to review the relief operations and discuss the immediate rehabilitation needs of the affected population.

Concluding her day-long visit to the region, the Prime Minister is scheduled to return to Dhaka at 3pm.

Cyclone Remal claimed lives and caused extensive damage, destroying over 35,000 homes and seriously affecting more than 3.7 million people across 19 districts. The storm made landfall near Khepupara in Patuakhali, with wind speeds reaching up to 130kmph on Sunday evening.

In Patuakhali alone, around 327,000 people were affected, with 235 houses completely destroyed and 1,865 partially damaged, according to official sources. The agricultural sector suffered losses exceeding Tk 260 million, while the fishery sector’s losses were estimated at over Tk 280 million.

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PM Sheikh Hasina Hails Bangladesh as a Role Model for Global Peace

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Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared today that Bangladesh has become a role model in global peacekeeping, urging for the cessation of ongoing wars and advocating for dialogue to resolve conflicts, redirecting funds from arms races to human welfare.

“Bangladesh is a dependable name in the efforts of protecting peace and safety alongside establishing global peace. We are acknowledged by all and have become a role model on the global stage,” she stated.

The Prime Minister made these remarks while addressing an event at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2024.

She noted that 6,092 Bangladeshi peacekeepers, including 493 women, are serving with distinction in 13 UN peacekeeping missions.

“Our peacekeepers are working with fame and glory,” she said, adding that heads of state and government where Bangladeshi peacekeepers are deployed have highly praised their efforts.

“I feel really proud hearing the appreciation,” she continued.

Sheikh Hasina emphasized that Bangladesh follows the ideals of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in its pursuit of global peace.

“We are actively participating in other international forums alongside the UN peacekeeping missions to establish global peace,” she said.

She recalled that Bangladesh’s “Culture of Peace” proposal was unanimously adopted by the UN in 1999, leading to the declaration of the year 2000 as the “International Year of the Culture of Peace.”

The Prime Minister highlighted Bangabandhu’s role as an envoy of peace and a voice for the oppressed, which earned him the “Joliot Curie Peace Medal” on May 23, 1973.

Sheikh Hasina commended Bangladeshi peacekeepers for their dedication to protecting civilians, human rights, and establishing peace globally, noting that they have shared Bangladeshi culture and language with the communities they serve.

“The people of those countries have given you untold love and affection,” she said.

“Overall, our professionalism, efficiency, and commitment in establishing global peace have set an example for others,” she continued, urging peacekeepers to continue their efforts to enhance Bangladesh’s reputation further.

She paid tribute to the 168 Bangladeshi peacekeepers who lost their lives and the 266 who were severely injured in the line of duty.

Chief of Army Staff General S M Shafiuddin Ahmed, Senior Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, and United Nations Resident Coordinator Gwyn Lewis also spoke at the event. The program began with a minute of silence to honor the fallen peacekeepers.

A video documentary showcasing the achievements of Bangladeshi peacekeepers in UN missions was screened, and the Prime Minister handed out awards to three injured peacekeepers.

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Dhaka Wasa to Raise Water Prices by 10% from July 1

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The Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has announced a 10% increase in water prices effective from July 1.

According to the new pricing structure, the residential rate per unit (1,000 liters) will rise to Tk16.7, up from Tk15.18, while the commercial rate will increase to Tk46.2, up from Tk42.

A notification issued on Wednesday (May 30) stated, “Dhaka Wasa’s respected customers are hereby informed that the prices were adjusted due to inflation according to section 22 of the Wasa Act 1996.”

The notification further mentioned, “This decision will also apply to unmetered holdings, deep tube wells, buildings under construction, and all types of (water and sewage) charges, including minimum bills. The notification is published as per section 23 of the Wasa Act 1996.”

In July 2022, Wasa had raised water prices by 5%, with the new rates becoming effective from September 1.

“According to the law, Wasa can raise water tariffs by 5% every year to adjust with inflation, and Wasa hiked the price as per the law,” said Dip Azad, a member of the Dhaka Wasa board.

Section 22 of the Dhaka Wasa Act-1996 permits the authorities to increase water tariffs by a maximum of five percent each fiscal year upon the board’s approval.

In 2017, water prices were Tk10 per unit for residential consumers and Tk32 for commercial users. Wasa implemented a five percent price hike for three consecutive years starting from 2017. In 2020, residential water prices saw a 25% increase following government approval.

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