Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bangladesh ambitious plan to reach Vitamin A to 19mi children

SALEEM SAMAD

BANGLADESH IN an ambitious plan will dispense of Vitamin A doses to nearly 19 million children aged below five years from Sunday.

In a nationwide campaign, thousands of volunteers, also school students will provide life-saving Vitamin A supplements to combat chronic deficiency, which cause night blindness, a sign of severe malnutrition.

Health workers and volunteers from 150,000 health centers, schools, and buses, country boats and train stations will also distribute de-worming tablets to 17 million children aged between two and five to reduce child growth retardation, writes bdnews24.com.

Apart from night blindness, vitamin A deficiency increases the risk of diseases like measles and diarrhea, both contributing to more than a third of child deaths in Bangladesh.

An estimated vitamin A doses annually save the lives of more than 30,000 children in Bangladesh, said Prof. Fatima Parveen Chowdhury, director of the Institute of Public Health Nutrition.

Quoting a national nutrition survey, the health official argues that night blindness among children has significantly declined from 3.7 percent two decades ago to 0.04 percent.


Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow is an award winning investigative journalist based in Bangladesh. He specializes in Jihad, forced migration, good governance and politics. He has recently returned from exile after living in Canada for six years. He could be reached at saleemsamad@hotmail.com

Bangladesh war crimes suspect escapes police dragnet

SALEEM SAMAD

BANGLADESH MOST-WANTED war crimes suspect escaped police dragnet and flees to India on his final destination to Pakistan.

Home minister Shahara Khatun on Tuesday told reporters that the authority will seek help from Interpol to arrest suspect Abul Kalam Azad aka 'Bachchu Razakar'.

Quoting close relatives of Azad, elite anti-crime forces Rapid Action Battalion on Monday at late night press meet told that he had left Dhaka on Mar. 30 and fled to India on Apr. 2.

The country’s International Crimes Tribunal issued arrest warrant for Azad on Apr. 2 for his alleged involvement with crimes against humanity committed in Faridpur, in the west of capital Dhaka during the bloody war of independence in 1971.

Meanwhile, elite police forces detained two sons and a brother-in-law of Azad for obstruction of justice and abetting the fugitive war crimes suspect to flee the country. They are being grilled by police.

The 64 year old Azad was described by war crimes investigators as henchmen of marauding Pakistan army responsible for genocide of millions, sexual abuse of Hindu women and torching villages suspected for harboring guerillas.

Azad is accused for abduction, murder and missing of scores of pro-independence supporters. He was an accomplice of jailed Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed, leader of Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami also charged with crime against humanity.

Only recently, Azad was a popular TV host of Islamic program. A Muslim evangelist had often travelled abroad including United States advocating for converting a pro-secular Bangladesh into an Islamic state and implementation of Sharia laws, a strict Islamic code.


Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow in journalism, is a Bangladesh based award winning investigative reporter. He is student of Islamic militancy, forced migration, good governance, press freedom and elective democracy. He was twice detained and tortured. Once in 1982 and second in 2002. Later he was expelled in 2004 from Bangladesh for whistle-blowing of the arrival of Jihadists from international terror network. He recently returned home from Canada. His email: saleemsamad@hotmail.com

Bangladesh satellite orbital position opposed by United States, other countries

SALEEM SAMAD

Bangladesh ambition space program to launch a communication satellite has drawn cold shoulder from 20 countries, including United States, Russia, France and Australia.

The country’s $150 million plan to launch a satellite by 2015 now seems to be uncertain.

The officials said on Monday that the countries opposed the Bangladesh satellite orbital position, as state telecommunication regulator applied for approval to send the satellite in 102 degree slot.
The state Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC)  said they have applied to ITU (International Telecommunications Union) to send the satellite named after independence hero “Bangabandhu” for 102 degree slot.

The countries who raised the objections argued that the Bangladesh request the position of the satellite likely to have frequency problem.

Space Partnership International (SPI), the U.S. based space satellite consultant for Bangladesh is working to enable that both parties could be benefited.

Bangladesh has alternative plan to send satellite at 69 degree east slot if it is refused the 102 degree orbit. However, ITU will give final decision regarding slot approval.
On the other hand, if Bangladesh is given the 69 degree slot, then Malaysia, Singapore, China are likely to raise objections, BTRC chairman Major General Zia Ahmed said.

Bangladesh spends $ 11-million annually for renting satellite for the local satellite television channels, telephone and radio.

Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow in journalism, is a Bangladesh based award winning investigative reporter. He is student of Islamic militancy, forced migration, good governance, press freedom and elective democracy. He was twice detained and tortured. Once in 1982 and second in 2002. Later he was expelled in 2004 from Bangladesh for whistle-blowing of the arrival of Jihadists from international terror network. He recently returned home from Canada. His email: saleemsamad@hotmail.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lifting of tsunami alert brings sigh of relief in Bangladesh


SALEEM SAMAD

WITH A big sigh of relief the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and Japan Metrological Agency has withdrawn the tsunami watch issued in the evening issued for Bangladesh and other Indian Ocean countries following a powerful earthquake and two strong aftershocks off Indonesia on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Bangladesh capital and other places experienced two medium tremors at around 14:38 (local time), but authorities said there appeared to be no threat of a tsunami.

The center also lifted the warning from India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia shortly afterwards.

The tsunami warning came in the wake of an earthquake followed by aftershocks that jolted various parts of the country, including the capital, triggering widespread panic among people.

Shamsuddin Ahmed, an assistant director of Bangladesh Meteorological Department, said earlier the Pacific Centre issued a tsunami warning for Bangladesh other countries of the Indian Ocean.

Dhaka University's earth observatory's caretaker Professor Humayun Akhter said, "The tremor in Bangladesh resulted from the earthquake in Sumatra. The tremor registered a 3.8 magnitude on the Richter scale."

The quake was felt as far away as Singapore, Thailand, India and Bangladesh. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in Bangladesh.

Prof. Humayun Akter, head of the Earthquake Observatory Centre said after Wednesday’s earthquakes that Bangladesh will remain safe from any devastating tsunami.

“The tsunami route is East-West. Bangladesh is situated at the north of Indonesia. So, Bangladesh will remain safe from tsunami,” said Dr Humayun. 

Dr Humayun said a devastating tsunami hit Indonesia after a 9.1 earthquake in 2004 claiming 230,000 lives in 13 nations and that tsunami did not affect Bangladesh.


Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow in journalism, is a Bangladesh based award winning investigative reporter. He is student of Islamic militancy, forced migration, good governance, press freedom and elective democracy. He was twice detained and tortured. Once in 1982 and second in 2002. Later he was expelled in 2004 from Bangladesh for whistle-blowing of the arrival of Jihadists from international terror network. He recently returned home from Canada. His email: saleemsamad@hotmail.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bangladesh war crimes suspect escapes police dragnet

SALEEM SAMAD

BANGLADESH MOST-WANTED war crimes suspect escaped police dragnet and flees to India on his final destination to Pakistan.

Home minister Shahara Khatun on Tuesday told reporters that the authority will seek help from Interpol to arrest suspect Abul Kalam Azad aka 'Bachchu Razakar'.

Quoting close relatives of Azad, elite anti-crime forces Rapid Action Battalion on Monday at late night press meet told that he had left Dhaka on Mar. 30 and fled to India on Apr. 2.

The country’s International Crimes Tribunal issued arrest warrant for Azad on Apr. 2 for his alleged involvement with crimes against humanity committed in Faridpur, in the west of capital Dhaka during the bloody war of independence in 1971.

Meanwhile, elite police forces detained two sons and a brother-in-law of Azad for obstruction of justice and abetting the fugitive war crimes suspect to flee the country. They are being grilled by police.

The 64 year old Azad was described by war crimes investigators as henchman of marauding Pakistan army responsible for genocide of millions, sexual abuse of Hindu women and torching villages suspected for harboring guerillas.

Azad is accused for abduction, murder and missing of scores of pro-independence supporters. He was an accomplice of jailed Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed, leader of Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami also charged with crime against humanity.

Only recently, Azad was a popular TV host of Islamic program. A Muslim evangelist had often travelled abroad including United States advocating for converting a pro-secular Bangladesh into an Islamic state and implementation of Sharia laws, a strict Islamic code.


Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow in journalism, is a Bangladesh based award winning investigative reporter. He is student of Islamic militancy, forced migration, good governance, press freedom and elective democracy. He was twice detained and tortured. Once in 1982 and second in 2002. Later he was expelled in 2004 from Bangladesh for whistle-blowing of the arrival of Jihadists from international terror network. He recently returned home from Canada. His email: saleemsamad@hotmail.com

Monday, April 09, 2012

Bangladesh to review defence ties with United States

SALEEM SAMAD



Bangladesh and the United States will review the existing bilateral defence co-operation next week in the capital Dhaka.

Bangladesh foreign minister Dipu Moni said on Sunday that she will take the opportunity to review the cooperation during the security dialogue scheduled on April 19. She also asserted that there is no plan to allow U.S. military base in Bangladesh, nor any other foreign country.

The foreign minister also said there was no proposal from the U.S. administration regarding the establishment of a base in Bangladesh or in its off shore isles.

In early March, the American ambassador Dan W. Mozena rejected news reports and reiterated that there was no permanent presence of U.S. Special Forces in Bangladesh, but on different occasions small teams routinely visits to conduct training.

Moni said Bangladesh has multifaceted co-operation with the U.S., including co-operation to fight against terrorism and militancy.

Responding to reporters query, whether the dialogue would lead to increase presence of the U.S. army or its base in the Bay of Bengal, the minister said that Bangladesh-U.S. security dialogue is a routine activity and the government held such meetings with many other countries too.

The minister added: “There is no presence of the U.S. military here, barring six or seven U.S. military men who are here for the training purpose.”

Last week U.S. Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman disclosed to reporters that the U.S. and Bangladesh will hold a dialogue on security challenges that the two countries face in this region and throughout the world.

Sherman had said U.S. Assistant Secretary for political and military affairs Andrew J. Shapiro will be in Dhaka for the dialogue.



Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow in journalism, is a Bangladesh based award winning investigative reporter. He is student of Islamic militancy, forced migration, good governance, press freedom and elective democracy. He was twice detained and tortured. Once in 1982 and second in 2002. Later he was expelled in 2004 from Bangladesh for whistle-blowing of the arrival of Jihadists from international terror network. He recently returned from Canada. His email: saleemsamad@hotmail.com