Lock-Unlock episode in corona pandemic!



Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor, Barta24.com
Photo: Barta24.com

Photo: Barta24.com

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In the corona situation open and close issues have become quite interesting. Whenever the market opens, it closes again. The same is the case with the office. People are not getting a clear idea. Confusion is increasing.

The hot controversy has started in social media. People want explanations. I want to know the issues in detail. These must be clearly stated and explained.

One wants to know, the definition of public transport. The question of how people will come and go to the office if public transport is closed is also being raised.

A comment came to light, which is of a journalist leader. He said, holidays are not increasing, public transport is closed. I just don't understand it. I did not understand that the elderly should not go to the office. How old are you? Is it decided? If public transport is closed, how will people go to the office? Does everyone have a private car? Or will the office provide cars to everyone? I don't understand anything. Do any of you understand? Or has my head been shaken?

The situation of opening and closing in corona is such that everyone is in a fix. When the corona situation is upward, the decision has to be made by thinking in all directions and with a clear idea of the decision taken by everyone. But in reality it is not happening.

This is not the first time that such a confusing and chaotic situation has arisen before. The garments were suddenly quickly opened. Thousands of workers came to Dhaka by bus, car, on foot and in crowds. They went back as the closure was announced again. In the intervening days, the social distance and isolation were severely violated by the push-and-pull. As a result, the danger of corona increased and it spread across the country.

The same situation was seen during the lockdown. Dhaka, Narayanganj and adjoining Savar, Tongi, Gazipur, Narsingdi, Kishoreganj have been identified as extremely dangerous 'red zones'. But the people of those areas, especially the workers, went home in their respective villages. No one stopped them. Nominal lockdown could do nothing for them.

These undesirable movements are especially responsible for the community transmission of corona in Bangladesh. Even before that, the failure to contain the thousands of migrants was not less responsible for corona's community transmission.

From these incidents, those concerned could not show any significant example of being aware of any situation to deal with. Instead, under the pressure of the traders' association, the market was reopened before Eid, which is now having a devastating effect. The number of infected has gone from one and a half to two thousand every day. It is expected to increase and spread in the coming days.
It is right that this is not something that corona can do for the rest of life. Work must also be carried out in accordance with the adverse situation and through full precautionary measures. But it cannot be closed again by opening it again and again in experimental manner. It is not possible to work in a 'trial-error' manner keeping in view the most serious, important and sensitive issues like human life and death. We have to work by considering and scrutinizing all aspects.

As a result, there is a need for clarity about opening and closing of offices and public transport. Next will be the issue of opening educational institutions. The authorities have to think about what it will be like in advance. Decisions must be made with limited human casualties. Do not put them in danger or confusion.

Like the rest of the world Bangladesh is also in a bad patch of severe corona infection. We must come out of this danger. For this, various departments and agencies are working tirelessly. As a result, it is important to coordinate with everyone and take action with everyone's opinion. In particular, it is necessary to formulate policies for the professional activities and social movement of the people by giving priority to the opinion of the public health experts. Under no circumstances should decisions be made that could increase the danger and accelerate community transmission by confusing and frightening people.

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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Dr. Kamal's Writ Hearing on Tax Evasion Adjourned for a Week



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Dr. Kamal's Writ Hearing on Tax Evasion Adjourned for a Week

Dr. Kamal's Writ Hearing on Tax Evasion Adjourned for a Week

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The High Court has adjourned the hearing of prominent lawyer, constitutional expert Dr. Kamal Hossain's writ petition for a week.

A High Court bench of Justice Syed Rifat Ahmed and Justice Mohammad Mahbub-ul-Islam granted the order on behalf of Kamal Hossain on Sunday (June 5).

Junior lawyer Barrister Tanim Hossain Shaon appeared for the writ petition. "We asked for a one-day court hearing," the lawyer said. The court has given one week time.

Earlier, a writ petition was filed in the High Court by Kamal Hossain over a dispute over the amount of income tax applicable to him for one year. The writ petition challenging the order of the tax appeals tribunal was on the agenda for hearing today.

Writ has said, for the tax year 2018-19, Kamal Hossain in his income tax return file shows annual income of 1 crore 4 lakh 3 thousand 495 Taka. On the other hand, it is mentioned in the return file that the applicable tax has been deducted at the source as 76 lakh 41 thousand 548 Taka.

Meanwhile, on December 30, 2019, the Deputy Tax Commissioner in an order fixed Kamal's annual income at 20 crore 11 lakh 4 thousand 219 Taka. Due to non-submission on time, with a late charge of 87 lakh 35 thousand 634 Taka,
a total of 6 crore 9 lakh 85 thousand 351 Taka income tax was demanded from Kamal Hossain.

Against the decision of the Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Kamal Hossain appealed to the Tax Appeal Tribunal. However, the tribunal dismissed the appeal.

Later, a writ petition was filed in the High Court on behalf of Dr. Kamal Hossain. The High Court on Sunday (June 5) adjourned the hearing of the writ petition for a week.

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