Exclusive Stories

BNP will not take part in election under Hasina: Khaleda


MNA Editorial Desk: After boycotting the national elections of 2014, BNP has once again made it clear that they will not take part in the next national elections under the Awami League administration. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said, “A fair election is not possible with Hasina in power. I tell the chief election commissioner that it’s your responsibility to hold a credible election in the country,” in a rally in Dhaka on Sunday, when she restated her demand for a ‘neutral government’ for the polls. The 13th constitutional amendment scrapped the provision of a polls-time caretaker government and paved the ...

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‘Bangladesh close to Rohingya repatriation deal with Myanmar’


MNA Exclusive Desk: Remained focused on having a ‘bilateral’ solution to the Rohingya crisis, Bangladesh is very close to reaching a repatriation agreement with Myanmar, said foreign secretary Shahidul Haque on Saturday. “Currently, we’re focusing on signing a bilateral agreement for the return of Rohingyas…we’re very close in terms of reaching a retu rn agreement with Myanmar authorities,” he said. The foreign secretary was addressing a dialogue titled ‘Addressing Rohingya Crisis: Options for Bangladesh’ arranged by Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) at a city hotel. He, however, said if the bilateral arrangement does not work finally, Bangladesh has other options ...

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Rangpur Mayhem: Several Hindu homes burnt, 1 Muslim killed, 30 injured and 33 detained


MNA Exclusive Desk: Police have detained 33 people in connection with arson attacks on the house of local Hindus in Rangpur yesterday. A man was killed and 30 others were hurt, including 7 policemen and mostly Muslim, after police fired rubber bullets and teargas shells as violence flared up in Horkoli Thakurpara village of Rangpur yesterday over an alleged Facebook post “demeaning Islam”. The deceased was identified as Habibur Rahman, a local Muslim. He died of bullet injuries at Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) where 11 of those wounded were undergoing treatment. At least 8 Hindu houses were burned and ...

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23rd Kolkata International Film Festival begins

Kolkata International Film Festival

MNA Culture & Entertainment Desk: The 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival began on Friday with the screening of Iranian film Yellow. Altogether 143 films from India and abroad will be screened in the 8-day festival which was inaugurated at the packed Netaji Indoor Stadium. Megastars Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Kamal Haasan, besides British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were present at the inaugural function. The KIFF has become the landmark for showcasing best cinema across the world and he is happy to be back in a city which always holds special memories, Bachchan ...

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Sheikh Hasina, Modi flag off Khulna-Kolkata rail service


MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Thursday jointly flagged off the Khulna-Kolkata train service and opened two bridges on railway routes connecting Dhaka with Sylhet and Chittagong. The two premiers along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the projects through a videoconferencing from Dhaka and New Delhi when they also launched an ‘end to end’ immigration and customs facilities to ease Dhaka-Kolkata Maitree Train services. Sheikh Hasina opened the projects from her official Ganabhaban residence in Dhaka, while Narendra Modi inaugurated the schemes from his office in New Delhi. West ...

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Paradise Papers exposes tax heaven secrets of Queen, US official

tax havens

MNA Exclusive Desk: A huge new leak of financial documents revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen’s private estate, secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens, reports the BBC news. Donald Trump’s commerce secretary is shown to have a stake in a firm dealing with Russians sanctioned by the US. The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains 13.4m documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance. As with last year’s Panama Papers leak, the documents were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which called in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to ...

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Sheikh Hasina 30th most powerful woman


MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has moved up to 30th position on the list of 100 most powerful women on earth this year. She was 36th most powerful woman in the last year’s list, prepared by Forbes magazine, reports news agency. Sheikh Hasina has been dubbed the “Lady of Dhaka” in her profile published with the list on Wednesday. Forbes said Hasina has promised aid to the Rohingya people in stark contrast to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar and allocated 2,000 acres of land to provide them shelter. Citing Bangladesh’s own state sanctioned genocide during 1971’s liberation ...

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Khaleda’s motorcade passes through firebombing

MNA Editorial Desk: As the BNP motorcade carrying party Chairperson Khaleda Zia passed through on its way back to Dhaka from the Rohingya refugee camps, two buses were firebombed and explosives were detonated in Feni. The incident occurred around 4:30pm on Tuesday as the motorcade drove past the Mahipal filling station. Two explosions were heard after 30-35 cars in the convoy passed the area, witnesses said. Two buses parked on the opposite of the road were set into fire. Violence hit the roof in the area, causing disruptions. Though the motorcade had been scheduled to halt its journey at the ...

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Khaleda Zia’s convoy comes under attack


MNA Exclusive Desk: The convoy of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia, heading towards Cox’s Bazar, came under attack at Mohammad Ali Bazaar near Feni town on Saturday. When Khaleda Zia’s vehicle crossed the bazaar at about 4:45pm, a group of unruly people attacked the vehicles of her convoy, witnesses said. They damaged a number of vehicles, including microbuses of Channel I, DBC, Ekattor and Baishakhi televisions and beat several journalists and leaders and activists of BNP who were going with Khaleda Zia, reported news agency. However, Khaleda Zia reached Feni Circuit House safely at about 5:00pm. After taking ...

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Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover opened


MNA National Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday opened the Kakrail-Malibagh, Rajarbagh-Mouchak, Rampura-Mouchak and Mouchak-Eskaton portions of the much-awaited Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover. She inaugurated the flyover through a video conference at noon. With the inauguration of the rest 5.5-km overpass of the entire 8.7-km one, vehicles can now go over eight road intersections and three level-crossings at Karwan Bazar, Moghbazar and Malibagh, substantially improving the city trips. A total of Tk 1,218 crore has been spent on the construction of the country’s longest flyover. The construction work on the integrated Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover Project began in January 2013 with a deadline ...

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Myanmar starts work to take back Rohingyas: Suu Kyi


MNA Exclusive Desk: The Myanmar government has begun to work on taking back those who crossed the border into Bangladesh from Rakhine state, says the country’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The Myanmar state counsellor and leader of the ruling party made the statement during a meeting with Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan in the capital city of Naypyidaw on Wednesday. A ten-member delegation led by Khan attended the hour-long discussion with Suu Kyi, said the office of Home Ministry. Suu Kyi said her government is working on the repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar. She also spoke of adopting ...

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Over 600,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh


MNA Exclusive Desk: More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since violence erupted in northern Rakhine in August, a UN report said Sunday. The grim new landmark comes as authorities in Bangladesh were bracing for another possible surge in Rohingya arrivals, with thousands from the Muslim minority believed to be stranded along the border waiting to cross. Rohingya refugees have headed for Bangladesh in huge numbers after militant attacks on Myanmar security forces in Rakhine state sparked a major army crackdown on the community likened to ethnic cleansing by the UN. Now the UN-led Inter-Sector Coordination Group ...

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UN chief Guterres talks to PM over phone


MNA Exclusive Desk: PM Sheikh Hasina has reiterated her call to the international community, especially the United Nations, for exerting more pressure on Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas from Bangladesh. She reiterated Bangladesh’s demand during a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday night, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters. He said Guterres made the phone call to Hasina at around 9:30 pm and the conversation lasted for about 20 minutes on the Rohingya crisis. The press secretary said the UN secretary general expressed ‘grave concern’ over the exodus of hundreds of thousands of ...

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I intervened in Hasina, Khaleda release: Pranab Mukherjee

legal notice

MNA Exclusive Desk: Former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee has said he urged the then Bangladesh army chief Moeen U Ahmed to release political prisoners during the 2007-08 caretaker government. “In February 2008, Bangladesh army chief Moeen Ahmed came to India on a six-day visit. He called on me too. During the informal interaction, I impressed upon him the importance of releasing political prisoners,” Pranab Mukherjee stated in his autobiography, The Coalition Years (1196-2012), according to India Today. Pranab mentioned in his book that during the period, all prominent political leaders were imprisoned. Sheikh Hasina too was jailed. According to Pranab, ...

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BNP chief Khaleda Zia returned to Dhaka

Khaleda Zia

MNA Editorial Desk: BNP chief Khaleda Zia has returned to Dhaka after a three-month stay in the UK. She arrived at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 5:15pm, amid tightened security and gathering of supporters. Law-enforcement agencies have beefed up security around the airport for her arrival. Armed personnel carriers, water cannons and additional police were seen lining the VIP road. “We have provided extra security because party members have gathered in the area to welcome Khaleda Zia,” said Airport Police OC Noor-e-Ajam. Meanwhile, crowds of BNP leaders and activists were disrupting traffic on the vital road. Central leaders of ...

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Rohingya villages burned also after military operations: HRW


MNA Exclusive Desk: Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday reported destruction of tens of thousands of structures in Myanmar, which are primarily homes inhabited by ethnic Rohingya Muslims. Referring to some newly released satellite images, the rights group said at least 288 villages were partially or totally destroyed by fire in northern Rakhine state since 25 August 2017. HRW analysis says the burnings took place after the Myanmar officials claimed security force “clearance operations” had ceased. The images show at least 66 villages were burned after 5 September, when security force operations supposedly ended, according to a 18 September speech ...

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World Egg Day produces Chaos in Dhaka


MNA Editorial Desk: A special egg sale in Dhaka has ended in chaos after police got involved against the violent people who formed disorderly queues, surprising organizers by turning up in thousands. The program of sales aimed to mark World Egg Day on Friday was jointly organized by the Department of Livestock Services and the Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council or BPICC. The prospect of buying an egg for just Tk 3 attracted thousands, who began queuing up in front of the Krishibid Institution at Khamarbari from 7am. The market price for a single egg is above Tk 8. The ...

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Sex with wife below 18 is rape: Indian SC

child marriage

MNA Exclusive Desk: The Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday said sex with wife below 18 years of age is rape, striking down the provision of criminal law that permitted sex with wife aged between 15 and 18. The husband is liable to be prosecuted if the woman files a complaint within a year of the sexual act, the Supreme Court said. The landmark order comes at a time when the apex court is already hearing petitions calling for marital rape to be declared crime and a debate over the age of consent. The court, however, made it clear that it ...

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Around 18,523 Rohingya women pregnant

Rohingya women

MNA Exclusive Desk: Around 18,523 pregnant Rohingya women, who have entered Bangladesh during the massive exodus of Muslim community of the Rakhine state in Myanmar, have been suffering from many health-related problems. Moreover, nearly 441 child-expecting women out of 18,523, have been facing various types of health-related complexities, according to the information of Health Department. So far, some 150 women have given birth to their babies in Bangladesh, sources at the Health Department added. Besides, there are some 42,541 children of different ages in the makeshift Rohingya camps in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas who have been facing a great threat ...

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Buddhists cut festival expense to help Rohingya


MNA Exclusive Desk: The Buddhists community in Bangladesh has declared that they will forgo parts of their festivities for Probarona Purnima, their second biggest religious festival, and donate the cost of a major event for the Rohingya refugees who have recently arrived in Bangladesh. Community leaders announced this decision at a meeting with senior Awami League leaders at the party president’s Dhanmondi political office on Wednesday morning. However, the festival is also known as Ashvini Purnima that marks conclusion of the three months long seclusion of the monks inside their monasteries for self-edification and atonement of their defilement. The Purnima ...

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EU put off investment deal with Myanmar


MNA Exclusive Desk: The inking of the investment protection agreement (IPA) between the European Union and Myanmar has been put off until an unknown date. On September 14, the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament announced that it has postponed its visit to Myanmar, which was meant to finalise the EU-Myanmar investment agreement, according to a report published in the Myanmar Times. The committee’s chair, Bernd Lange, said that the delegation is postponed until further notice. “The EP’s International Trade Committee decided to postpone the delegation to Myanmar to an unknown date as it was clear that the ...

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Myanmar minister to discuss Rohingya issue


MNA National Desk: Amid the growing pressure on Myanmar, state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi sent her representative to discuss the Rohingya issue with the Bangladesh government, reports news agency. Minister of the office of state counselor Kyaw Tint Swe arrived at Shahjalal International Airport by a Thai Airways flight around 1:5am on Monday. Tint Swe is set to hold meeting with foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali today at state guesthouse Padma. The meeting began at 11:00 am. The delegation would discuss the means of “repatriating Muslim refugees” Myanmar’s Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Minister Win Myat Aye told The ...

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WFP to supply food for 500,000 Rohingyas


MNA Exclusive Desk: World Food Programme (WFP) will supply food assistance to 500,000 Rohingyas, who entered Bangladesh fleeing violence in Myanmar. WFP Executive Director David Beasley announced the food support for Rohingya refugees when he met relief and disaster management minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya in a city hotel on Saturday, an official release said. Secretary of the ministry Md Shah Kamal and director general of disaster management department Md Reaz Ahmed, among others, were present at the meeting. The minister said UNICEF would provide assistances for education of Rohingya children. “It is not possible to give shelter to the ...

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Missing Sarishabari mayor found in Sreemangal

Sarishabari mayor

MNA Exclusive Desk: Sarishabari mayor Rukunuzzaman was found in Sreemangal, Moulvibazar, on Wednesday, according to the police. The mayor’s hands and legs were tied when he was rescued, Moulvibazar police superintendent Md Shahjalal confirmed to media. A microbus dropped him off at the local Katiatala tea gardens, the mayor told the media at Police Station. He could not say much more. Rukunuzzaman was missing after he had left his house in Uttara sector 13, Dhaka, around 9:30am on Monday. His mobile phone was switched off since then. His elder brother Md Saiful Islam Tukon filed a general diary over the ...

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6,000 Rohingya orphan children to be rehabilitated


MNA Exclusive Desk: State Minister for Social Welfare Ministry Nuruzzaman Ahmed on Tuesday said that the government will rehabilitate some 6,000 Rohingya orphan children after giving them field card. “There will be separate arrangements for the Rohingya orphan children aged between 0-18. They will also be divided into two groups” said Nuruzzaman. “By filling up a form, the government is making database on the orphan children.” He also added. He told media that his ministry had already urged the government to allocate 200 bighas of land for their rehabilitation. Besides, Zillar Rahman, secretary of Social Welfare Ministry, said that the ...

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Conspiracy to assassinate Sheikh Hasina foiled


MNA Exclusive Desk: An attempt on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s life, inspired by the way Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards, was foiled four weeks ago by her loyalists and top counter-terrorism officers. Intercepts suggested that six to seven personnel of the Special Security Force (SSF), which guards the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, were preparing to attack Hasina on August 24. Their plan was to attack her as soon as she would step out of her office for an evening stroll. Four independent sources, including two in Dhaka and two in the external intelligence apparatus of India dealing ...

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China welcomes ‘attacks on Rohingya Muslims’


MNA Exclusive Desk: China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said China welcomes the measures taken by Myanmar’s government to alleviate the situation in Rakhine state. Wang made the comments in New York on Thursday on during a meeting on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly with Myanmar officials, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. More than 400,000 Muslim Rohingya have fled from Rakhine across the border to Bangladesh following a counter-insurgency offensive by Myanmar’s army in the wake of militant attacks on security forces. U.N. officials have described Myanmar’s strategy as “ethnic cleansing”. Earlier, myanmar’s army chief called ...

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