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PM Hasina confident of victory


MNA Editorial Desk: Expressing her confidence about her party’s win in the 11th parliamentary election, Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said victory will surely come in favor of ‘boat’. She expressed her hope after casting vote at Dhaka City College Centre at Dhanmondi in Dhaka as voting in the 11th national polls began on Sunday morning. The premier said the Awami League was ready to accept whatever the verdict comes. “I’m always confident about our victory in the elections … I trust my people and I know that they will choose us so that they ...

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Election materials being delivered to polling centres

MNA Exclusive Desk: The returning officers have started distributing election materials, including ballot papers and ballot boxes, to polling centres throughout Bangladesh. In the capital Dhaka, materials are being distributed from Central Women’s College in the Tikatuli area to some centresfor the Dhaka 6 constituency, including electronic voting machines (EVMs).

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Fire at Oikya Front office building


MNA Exclusive Desk: A fire has broken out at the commercial building Jaman Tower in Dhaka’s Bijoynagar, reported news agency. Fire Service control room on-duty officer Rasel Shikder told the Dhaka Tribune the fire had broken out on the 8th floor of the building around 2:40pm Friday. Three firefighting units were working to douse the fire, he said. The building hosts the office of the opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front. No casualties have been reported yet. The Oikya Front office is on the third floor of the building, and the online news portal sarabangla.net is housed on the 14th floor.

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UN chief calls for inclusive election in BD

Antonio Guterres

MNA Exclusive Desk: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called on everyone in Bangladesh to enable a ‘peaceful, credible and inclusive poll’ ahead of the Dec 30 election, reported news agency. The secretary general’s office released a statement to the effect on Thursday. The statement called on all stakeholders to ‘ensure an environment free of violence, intimidation and coercion before, during and after the elections’. Bangladeshi citizens, including women and minorities, must feel safe and confident in their ability to exercise the right to vote, it said.

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No restrictions on 25 Jamaat leaders contesting polls: HC


MNA Exclusive Desk: The High Court has not invalidated the candidacy of 25 Jamaat-e-Islami leaders; consequently they will not be restricted from participating in the parliamentary election, lawyers said. An HC bench, comprised of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Khairul Alam, gave the order on Thursday. Besides, the High Court has issued a ruling to discern why the Election Commission’s decision will not be declared illegal. Barrister Tania Amir was present at the hearing on behalf of the writ filed, while Advocate Yasin Khan represented the Election Commission. Deputy Attorney General Motahar Hossain Saju represented the state at the hearing, ...

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DMP team meets Kamal regarding security


MNA Exclusive Desk: A team of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has visited opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front’s chief, Dr Kamal Hossain, reported news agency. The DMP team, led by Deputy Commissioner (Motijheel division) Anwar Hossain, visited Dr Kamal at his Motijheel office around 1pm on Wednesday. “We came here as part of our regular duty.  We discussed Dr Kamal’s security issues,” Anwar Hossain told reporters. Earlier, on Tuesday, Dr Kamal had a heated conversation with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda. At Tuesday’s meeting, the Oikya Front chief alleged that “savage stick-wielding police” are preventing Oikya Front’s candidates from campaigning.

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Army begins polls duty


MNA Exclusive Desk: Army personnel have started election duties today, Monday, to help ensure the law and order before, during and after the general election billed for 30 December. Except 18 coastal and 87 bordering upazilas, members of Bangladesh Army will perform duties in all the remaining 389 upazilas, said an ISPR release on Sunday. Bangladesh Navy members will remain in the coastal upazilas while Border Guard Bangladesh personnel in the bordering upazilas alongside other designated areas. Besides, Bangladesh Air Force will keep adequate helicopters and transport aircraft ready in case of any emergency strikes, the release, said, adding that ...

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Myanmar announces ceasefire against armed groups


MNA Exclusive Desk: The Myanmar military announced a more than four-month cessation of its activities in northern areas where it is fighting ethnic minority insurgents, in what appeared to be a rare conciliatory move aimed at kick-starting peace talks. The army would “stop military operations in respective military regions” in the north and east of the country until April 30, 2019, the office of the military’s commander in chief said in a statement. The cessation would allow military negotiators to conduct talks with insurgent groups that have refused to sign up to a nationwide ceasefire agreement, with the aim of ...

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Bipartisan senators call for US ‘genocide’ label of Myanmar killings


MNA Exclusive Desk: A bipartisan group of US senators on Wednesday called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to designate the Myanmar military’s campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority a genocide. “We are deeply concerned that despite clear evidence of genocide amassed by the Department’s own report … that the Department has not made a formal determination that the crime of genocide has been committed,” said a letter to Pompeo from the senators, reported news agency. In September, leaders of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee called on the Trump administration to declare the military campaign a genocide, ...

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Bangladesh Asia’s 2nd most gender equal country

gender equal

MNA Exclusive Desk: After jumping 25 notches last year, Bangladesh has retained the second place among the most gender equal countries in Asia this year, the World Economic Forum says. The country has slipped only one notch to the 48th position, but is still ahead of all other countries in the continent except the Philippines, according to WEF’s The Global Gender Gap Report 2018 published on Monday. The nearest country from its South Asian neighbours on the index is Sri Lanka on 100th with 0.676 points, followed by Nepal on 105th with 0.676 points. India is on the 108th position ...

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Sheikh Hasina unveils AL manifesto

Sheikh Hasina

MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime minister and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday rolled out her party’s 21-point manifesto with various pledges, including expansion of urban facilities to villages and creating huge jobs to remove the curse of unemployment. Sheikh Hasina released the manifesto ahead of the 11th national election slated for 30 December with the slogan ‘Bangladesh on the march towards prosperity’.

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BNP unveils its own election manifesto

election manifesto

MNA Exclusive Desk: BNP rolled out its election manifesto for the 11th parliamentary elections on Tuesday with a set of promises, including making democracy an everyday practice, building a revenge-free Bangladesh and raising GDP growth to 11 percent. It also pledged to scrap the controversial Digital Security Act, Official Secrecy Act and other black laws if it is voted to power in the 11th parliamentary elections. BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir unveiled the party’s manifesto at a city hotel at 11:00am.

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Oikyafront unveils election manifesto

election manifesto

MNA Exclusive Desk: Jatiya Oikyafront on Monday rolled out its 14-point election manifesto with various promises, including ensuring the balance between the power of the President and the Prime Minister, and introducing upper house in Parliament. Chief of the alliance Dr Kamal Hossain unveiled the election manifesto at a city hotel on Monday, reports news agency. In its manifesto, Jatiya Oikyafront promised to ensure democracy so that one-party rule cannot take root in the country. ‘National unity, not the political vengeance, is our goal,’ Dr Kamal said while announcing the manifesto. There will be no age limit for government jobs ...

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UNGA adopts Bangladesh’s resolution on culture of peace


MNA Exclusive Desk: Like each year, the United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted Bangladesh’s flagship resolution on the ‘Culture of Peace’. Chargé d’ Affaires and deputy permanent representative (DPR) of Bangladesh Permanent Mission to UN Tareq Md Ariful Islam floated the proposal on Wednesday. The DPR also mentioned culture of peace is an aspiration of all humankind. “Promoting and inculcating a mindset of a culture of peace is at the core of the creative management of differences and divisions”. The concept of ‘Culture of Peace’ as a General Assembly (GA) agenda was first mooted by Bangladesh in 1999. The ...

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AL to win by majority in election: EIU


MNA Exclusive Desk: London-based Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) has predicted that the ruling Awami League would return to power with majority of parliamentary seats at the 11th parliamentary election, reported news agency. In the country report on Bangladesh, published on December 4, EIU stated that the Awami League will win the next polls by majority principally due to the fact that it has overseen solid economic growth. The report also specifically mentions the reputation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as being the key factor in the next election, stating that she remains the most popular candidate, according to numerous local ...

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MNA Exclusive Desk: Awami League’s election alliance has put forward 303 candidates to contest in the upcoming general election for 300 constituencies. Ruling Awami League has submitted its final list of 258 candidates; who will be contesting in the general election under the party’s banner. In its list submitted to the Election Commission today, the final day of setting candidates, it has given 16 seats to alliance members and left 26 seats vacant. Jatiya Party has announced that it will be contesting under the party symbol ‘Plough’ in 29 constituencies.

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MNA Exclusive Desk: The BNP yesterday announced the final list of 298 candidates, including 60 for its allies in the 20-party and the Jatiya Oikyafront. Two other seats — Chottogram-14 and Cox’s Bazar-2 — have been kept for Liberal Democratic Party Chairman Col (retd) Oli Ahmed and Jamaat leader Hamidur Rahman Azad. Oli will contest the December 30 polls with his party symbol “umbrella” while Azad as an independent candidate. All the 298 others will use BNP’s electoral symbol — “sheaf of paddy”. There are no rebel candidates from the BNP and its allies. Meanwhile, the party has also finalised ...

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EC rejects Khaleda’s all appeals


MNA Exclusive Desk: The Election Commission on Saturday upheld returning officers’ decisions cancelling the candidature of jailed BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for forthcoming national election. On the basis of majority opinions of the five election commissioners, the Commission pronounced its judgment turning down Khaleda’s petitions filed to get back her candidacy in Feni-1, Bogura-6 and 7 constituencies. Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda and three election commissioners—Rafiqul Islam, Kabita Khanam and Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury—rejected Khaleda’s appeals, while election commissioner MahbubTalukder accepted her candidature. Later, EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed announced the Commission’s judgment around 5:55pm rejecting the BNP chairperson’s three ...

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Over 300 retired bureaucrats endorse Awami League

Awami League

MNA Exclusive Desk: Over 300 retired senior public servants, including former chairmen of different commissions, senior secretaries and secretaries, have endorsed Awami League and the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, reported news agency. The retired public servants expressed their solidarity when they met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganabhaban on Friday. Former Anti-Corruption chairman M Badiuzzaman, former principal secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, former chairman of Energy Regulatory Commission AR Khan, former chairman of Privatization Commission Mollah Wahiduzzaman, ex-comptroller and auditor general of Bangladesh Masud Ahmed, former senior secretaries Mezbah-ul Alam and Unusur Rahman are ...

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Hasina 26th most powerful women in world


MNA Exclusive Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has advanced four notches and has been ranked 26th position on the Forbes 2018 list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Hasina’s position on the list was 30th in 2017, 36th in 2016 and 59th in 2015. In Hasina’s profile the magazine said in 2017, Hasina provided aid to Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar, allotting 2,000 acres of land in Bangladesh for the refugees. According to the list of the magazine published on Tuesday, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the list for the eighth consecutive year. UK Prime Minister Theresa May and IMF’s ...

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Viqarunnisa principal among 3 teachers suspended

acting principal

MNA Exclusive Desk: The Education Ministry directed the school management to suspend its three teachers of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, including its acting principal, over the suicide of a student. While talking to reporters at his secretariat office on Wednesday Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said the ministry also decided to cancel MPO benefits of trio. Earlier on Monday Aritri Adhikari, 16, student of Viqarunnisa’s Baily Road branch and daughter of Dilip Adhikari, has allegedly killed herself after the school authorities had humiliated her and her parents allegedly for copying answers from the mobile phone. The three teaches are ...

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EC rejects one-fourth of nomination papers

gazette notification

MNA Exclusive Desk: The Election Commission has rejected nearly one-fourth of the nomination papers submitted for the 11th parliamentary election, reported news agency. The commission scrutinized a total of 3,065 nomination applications yesterday and rejected 786, approving the nomination papers of 2,279 candidates. The candidates whose nomination papers have been rejected can appeal against their disqualification, which must be done by December 5. Hearing on these appeals will be held on December 6-8. Nomination papers of several heavyweight candidates from the opposition parties, including BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Jatiya Oikya Front leader Abdul Kader Siddique, have been cancelled. No ...

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Suu Kyi avoids Rohingya crisis in speech

Rohingya crisis

MNA Exclusive Desk: Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi did not mention the Rohingya crisis — which has led the United Nations to call for a genocide investigation — in her keynote address to an international meeting organised by a group linked to the Unification Church. “At the basis of conflict is ill-will which seeks to hurt and to destroy and thus to open the way to conflict, which in turn spews out an ever-renewing cycle of hate and fear, snuffing out the light of peace,” Suu Kyi said. Suu Kyi called for cooperation between nations to seek peace ...

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Ijtema ground turns into battlefield; Over 100 injured


MNA Exclusive Desk: Top leader of Tabligh Jamaat Maulana Saad Kandhalvi’s supporters and their rivals has locked into a clash at Airport Intersection in Dhaka. The clash erupted around 8am on Saturday, reported news agency. Following a chase and counter chase between the two groups, panic spread among the city dwellers. The clash also led to heavy traffic from Mohakhali to Uttara. The conflict between the two factions continued from the last session of Biswa Ijtema, Tabligh Jamaat’s annual event and the largest Muslim congregation after the hajj. The groups locked into another clash over the conflict at Dhaka’s Kakrail ...

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3056 candidates submit nomination papers

MNA Exclusive Desk: A total of 3056 candidates, including 265 in 20 seats of capital Dhaka, have submitted their nomination papers across the country to contest the upcoming general election billed for December 30. As per the Election Commission tally, 3,056 individuals and contenders of political parties filed their nominations forms for 300 seats by the deadline, reports news agency. Briefing reporters at Nirbachan Bhaban on Wednesday night, Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said 23 contestants filed nomination papers online. The highest 22 nomination papers were filed for Dhaka-8, while the lowest four nomination forms for Magura-2, said the ...

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150 retired armed forces officers meet PM


MNA Exclusive Desk: More than 150 retired officers of Army, Navy and Air Force expressed solidarity with the Awami League and pledged to work for the party’s victory in the upcoming national election. The retired officers pledged allegiance to the party in presence of Prime Minister and the party President Sheikh Hasina at a function in Ganabhaban. Top-level Navy officials to stand in solidarity with Awami League Dhaka Tribune PM’s Security Adviser Major General (retd) Tariq Ahmed Siddiq, Ex-Principal Staff Officer of Armed Forces Division Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Wadud, Rear Admiral (retd) Harunur Rashid and Air Commodore (retd) Kazi ...

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Myanmar seizes boat with 93 Rohingya fleeing to Malaysia


MNA Exclusive Desk: Authorities in Myanmar have seized a boat carrying 93 people, apparently Rohingya Muslims, fleeing displacement camps in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State and hoping to reach Malaysia, reported news agency. The boat is believed to be the third bound for Malaysia stopped in Myanmar waters since monsoon rains began to subside last month, bringing calmer weather, raising fears of a fresh wave of hazardous voyages after a 2015 crackdown on people smugglers. Moe Zaw Latt, director of the government office in Dawei, a coastal town in southern Myanmar, said fishermen had reported a “suspicious” boat to authorities. The ...

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