Inside Thought

Making the world a better place

Publish: 11:23 AM, 06 Dec, 2021


Thumbnail

United Nations peacekeepers make a tangible difference in the lives of millions of people every day. At a time when we are witnessing a trend of deteriorating security and political situations, more than 87,000 peacekeepers from over 120 countries are helping save lives, preventing conflict, and creating conditions for lasting peace. And they are doing so while increasingly coming under attack.

These peacekeepers are part of a collective investment in global peace and security, which starts with the commitment of all partners that make up UN peacekeeping. This includes the Member States, the Security Council, General Assembly, host countries, and regional and international organizations -- all of whom have the unique ability to shape our response in some of the world’s most complex settings.

If UN peacekeeping is the international community’s most effective tool to help countries transition to peace, what do our operations need to successfully face emerging and growing threats? What is required from this partnership to ensure that we meet the expectations of those we serve and can deliver on what we have set out to accomplish? 

The answers to these significant questions lie at the heart of the 2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial on December 7 and December 8 that will bring together more than 100 countries. The Ministerial will now be organized virtually by the Republic of Korea due to concerns surrounding the pandemic. From New York to London to Vancouver, this is the latest in a series of high-level events dating back to 2014 that has witnessed world leaders pledge substantial resources to strengthen and reinvigorate UN peacekeeping. 

For example, as a result of this guiding process, the UN was able to create a stand-by force of 3,000 troops and police to deploy within 60 days, equipping us with the capability to send military resources to places such as the Central African Republic this year to respond to growing violence and shifts in the security situation. Generous contributions are helping ensure critical advances in the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, including the ability to deploy more women personnel with a view towards making peacekeeping more effective.

The objective of this year’s Ministerial is to garner political support and generate concrete pledges to strengthen UN peacekeeping, particularly through Action for Peacekeeping+ (A4P+). We have made progress strengthening the effectiveness of our work since 2018 as part of the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) agenda. A4P+, which we launched earlier this year, will catalyze progress in further enhancing the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping over the next two years.

UN peacekeeping requires new, more mobile capabilities that enhance protection of, both, peacekeepers and civilians, experienced troops, and police to help accomplish our mandates, better medical capacities and a digital transformation to increase situational awareness and confront new threats such as mis- and disinformation. These areas are well highlighted in the Seoul Initiative, which the Republic of Korea will announce as a key deliverable of the Ministerial.

At the same time, however, we must collectively do more, in partnership with Member States, to end sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel. In addition to being intolerable and their impact on communities, these acts by a very small minority of our peacekeepers tarnish the reputation and accomplishments of their colleagues who serve with dignity and honour. We must all play our part, including through training, accountability, and support to victims.

Member States are also being encouraged to increase the number of women peacekeepers serving and enhance their role, while simultaneously supporting women’s participation in peace processes.

As the host of the 2021 Seoul Ministerial and a strong supporter of UN peacekeeping, the Republic of Korea will announce its generous donation of more than a dozen helicopters to deploy to our missions. Other capabilities that the UN is expecting Member States to provide include rapidly deployable units, as well as training and capacity-building enhancements, with the goal of improving the overall responsiveness of military and police units. 

This year’s pledging conference comes at a time when the world is still reeling from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have witnessed remarkable ways that peacekeepers have adapted quickly to unprecedented challenges and continued to implement core mandate activities.

From Lebanon to South Sudan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, our peacekeepers have saved lives by supporting national and local COVID-19 response efforts, including through donations of medical equipment, renovating hospitals, fighting misinformation, and informing populations of health risks -- all while keeping themselves and others safe. 

Achieving sustainable peace requires that we continue to place political solutions at the heart of our collective efforts and partnership strategies. All of our peacekeeping missions exist to support political solutions, and elevated support for such political efforts is greatly needed from Member States. The Ministerial is a timely opportunity for leaders to reaffirm their support and maximize our chances of success -- the results of which will be felt for generations to come. Indeed, we owe nothing less to our peacekeepers who risk their lives each and every day, as well as the millions who count on us to succeed.



Comment


Inside Thought

Bangladesh-India historic relations at a new height


Thumbnail

No positive and long-standing results come out from a short-time relationship. This is much more complicated in politics and diplomacy. Only a few countries can maintain a very good relationship with their neighbors. However, the relationship between Bangladesh-India is exceptional. The relationship between these two neighbours stands on a historic milestone.

Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was a true friend of Bangladesh. Her contribution to the Liberation War of Bangladesh will be remembered forever. She not only recognised Bangladesh as an independent country on December 6, 1971 but also fought at the United Nations for Bangladesh. She was also active in the battleground. Indira Gandhi had given shelter and provided food to the Bangladeshi refugees. She visited the refugee camps during the war on foot. She wants to know the weal and woe of the Bangladeshi refugees at the camps and stand beside them.

Indira Gandhi had arranged arms and training for the freedom fighters. She helped Bangladesh a lot during the Liberation War. Her positive mind even did not change after the victory of Bangladesh on December 16. She accepted every request of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a true friend.  During his first meeting after the Liberation War, Bangabandhu requested Indira Gandhi to bring back Indian soldiers from independent Bangladesh. Indira Gandhi accepted it immediately. Many Indian diplomats and journalists became astonished seeing Indira Gandhi’s immediate response to Bangabandhu.  But nothing can be better than a true friendship. Indira Gandhi proved this repeatedly in his life. She was a true friend of Bangladesh.

Bangabandhu did not sacrifice anything to any country in the context of just liberated Bangladesh’s rights and self-esteem. Indira Gandhi saw the massiveness of Bangabandhu to the world positively. There was no misunderstanding anywhere. She talked to Bangabandhu with respect. Even there was no negative impression was created between them as Bangabandhu joined the OIC summit. Bangabandhu was also a true friend of India like Indira Gandhi. He maintained positive diplomatic relations with India forever.

On February 6, 1972, Bangabandhu was given a gala reception at Kolkata Brigade Parade Ground. In his speech at the reception, Bangabandhu said, “The relation of Bangladesh-India will remain forever. No power of the world can separate this relation.” The main base of this historic relation is our great Liberation War. Mujib-Indira had taken the relationship to a new destination following the liberation of Bangladesh. The first meeting of Mujib-Indira is widely discussed in today’s history. Bangabandhu was given a mass reception after his landing at Delhi Airport on January 10, 1972. Tens of thousands of people thronged Delhi streets to see the great hero of Bangladesh at a glance. Former Indian President   Varahagiri Venkata Giri, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her cabinet members were present at the airport to welcome Bangabandhu. The united way of the two countries had started on that day after a meeting of Mujib-Indira. Mujib at first told Indira to take back the Indian army from Bangladesh and later expressed his gratitude to India for helping Bangladesh’s Liberation War. In Delhi, Bangabandhu said, “The people of Bangladesh will never forget the help of your prime minister, your government, your army, and your people.”

Bangladeshi people still remember Indira Gandhi with respect. She stood beside the people of Bangladesh after the assassination of Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975, to hold the spirit of the Liberation War.  At that time, Indira Gandhi stood beside the two daughters of Bangabandhu. She had given political asylum to the two daughters of Bangabandhu. She had given a job to Dr. Wazed Ali Miah, spouse of Sheikh Hasina. A book written by Dr. Wazed Ali Miah described the incident in detail.

Since the assassination of Bangabandhu, the relationship between Bangladesh and India has had ups and downs at various times. This relationship got a new shape after the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty between Bangladesh and India in 1996. The treaty was signed by the strong diplomatic effort of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She brings back the relationship between the two neighbours in a positive manner after the demise of Bangabandhu. Sheikh Hasina made the relationship bringing some important issues on the frontline which represents the country’s interests.

Besides Sheikh Hasina, two more persons will have to be remembered for strengthening the Bangladesh-India relationship. They are late Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Former West Bengal’s Chief Minister Jyoti Basu. These two persons are involved with Bangladesh. Pranab Mukherjee’s father-in-law’s home in Bangladesh’s Narail. Bangladeshi people always eye him positively. On the other hand, he was also a real friend of Bangladesh forever. I met Pranab Mukherjee several times. He used to say that the relationship between India-Bangladesh is bonded with blood. This relationship was created during the great Liberation War. This relationship will stay always. He was right. Changing a friend is very common. But changing a neighbour is not possible. The stance of Bangladesh is very important to the world due to its geographical position. Pranab Mukherjee always talked about the respectful evaluation of India-Bangladesh relations. He played an important role to remove the bilateral crisis between the two countries. He never wants to delay resolving the crisis. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has a personal relationship with the family of Pranab Mukherjee. Pranab Mukherjee and his wife both of them had a deep affection for Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana.  Pranab Mukherjee played the role of guardian of Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana after the August 15 carnage.

Jyoti Basu had a similar love for Bangladesh as like as Pranab Mukherjee. He responded to the call of Sheikh Hasina to sign the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty. Jyoti Basu’s ancestral home is Bardi village under Sonargaon upazila of Narayanganj district in Bangladesh. He always remembers this and used to maintain a very good relationship with Sheikh Hasina.

After the 2001 national elections in Bangladesh, the relationship between Bangladesh-India slightly went down. This relationship got a new dimension later after the assumption of power by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She brings back the glory of the historic relationship with India by following her father. Bangabandhu had given us liberation and his daughter had given us development and prosperity. Bangladesh is now in a new seat of glory in the world. This success becomes possible due to economic and diplomatic policies taken by Sheikh Hasina. A US diplomat termed Bangladesh a ‘bottomless basket.' Sheikh Hasina responded by strengthening the economy of the country. She has shown the world that Bangladesh can and Bangladesh could. Today countries like the United States are praising the development of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is now a surprise to the whole world. There is only one hero of the growth of GDP during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. She is Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Bangladesh has achieved a milestone of development led by Sheikh Hasina.

Sheikh Hasina knows the magic to take forward the country by facing hard reality. She has taken the challenge of the economy during the Russia-Ukraine war. Bangladeshi economists said the global economic crisis can’t hit Bangladesh because there is philosophical and steadfast leadership by Sheikh Hasina to tackle the economic challenges. She is taking forward the country through her courageous leadership and will take it in future. She not only enriched the country’s economy but also showed her success in diplomacy. That is why; Sheikh Hasina’s positive diplomacy is being praised worldwide.

Sheikh Hasina’s big success is that she has taken Bangladesh-India relations to a new height. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited Bangladesh several times.  He sat in bilateral meetings with Sheikh Hasina. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister also sat in meetings with Narendra Modi during her India visits. These bilateral meetings are taking forward the relations between the two countries. These meetings have created positive hope among the people of both countries. They think both parties will have to sacrifice to continue the relationship and remove all existing crises. People-to-people contact will have to be increased in both countries.

The long-standing problems and crises between Bangladesh and India will have to be resolved visibly. The confidence will have to be boosted in both countries by resolving all problems. The people of Bangladesh believe that the government of Narendra Modi is in a positive stance like Sheikh Hasina. The relations between the two neighbouring countries will go forward more by Sheikh Hasina's important and meaningful visit to India. It will make a deep bridge in the relationship between Bangladesh and India.


Comment


Inside Thought

Unknown mysteries in the question net of August 15

Publish: 06:22 PM, 14 Aug, 2022


Thumbnail

'Bishad Sindhu' of Mir Musharraf Hossain fails. The brutality is as terrible as the Maidan of Karbala. The father of the nation was killed but no one staked his life. Nobody made a single noise. Nobody sacrificed. Leaving the body of the father of the nation at Dhanmondi number 32, some went to take oath, some to recite the oath. Some was busy saving lives. Some cried silently. Some remained indecisive. Some waited for voluntary imprisonment. Some ran away from home. It was a brutal history of failure. The stigma of not being able to come to the streets to protest the incident. Everyone is talking a lot now. Giving pompous speech. But the answer to that question is not found. At the time of writing this article, 50 years of independence have passed. Bangladesh, under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter, now stands tall in the world. He who founded the country could not see this rise. He was brutally murdered just three and a half years after independence. Domestic and foreign conspirators targeted the newly independent-sovereign nation. The father of the nation was brutally killed to stop the progress of Bangladesh. The Awami League at that time failed to protest that killing. The security forces of the President could not resist. The armed forces did not take a counter position after receiving the call from the army chief. Those failures are still a mystery. The Awami League had a huge organization. There was no shortage of leaders and workers, bureaucrats and flatterers. Where were they? The army did not descend across the country. They were roaming in certain areas of Dhaka. Despite that, why didn't Chhatra League, Jubo League, Krishak League, Sramik League take out a single procession. After the formation of Baksal, there was an urge to join groups. Government officials, journalists, university teachers from all over the country used to attend, give long speech every day. They used to declare to give their lives for the Father of the Nation. Those news were all over the newspapers. There was no lack of bureaucrats, leaders and workers, security guards. After the brutal murder, everybody kept quiet. Chhatra League, Jubo League leaders went silent. If 100,000 people gathered at Dhanmondi 32 in the morning, the murderous gang would not have survived for a second. On August 15, there was a program at Dhaka University. Leaders and workers from all over the country were in Dhaka. The campus was bustling with BCL workers walking throughout the night. Why didn't anyone march after hearing the news in the morning? Can the then Chhatra League president and general secretary avoid responsibility for that failure? A march from the campus would spread across the country like wildfire in no time. Because of the failure and silence of the leaders, the workers stopped. And Bangabandhu's companions went to take oath. Bangabandhu Government's Cabinet Secretary HT Imam conducted the oath ceremony. The then Foreign Secretary Fakhruddin and HT Imam went to Bangabhaban together in a car. They did not have to be forced. Went voluntarily. Our history is very cruel.

 

No one, including the armed forces, can escape the responsibility of failure. Politicians were total failures. Bureaucrats changed in an instant. Like other forces, the police chief also went to show allegiance. In an instant, everyone became an accomplice of the murderous gang. All the intelligence agencies and security forces of that time failed to protect the president. Those who joined Baksal in groups changed their tune in a moment. Those who sat under Bangabandhu's feet and used to flatter, were also not found. Everyone became busy protecting themselves. Not a single leader of the party called the workers to come out. The Rakkhi Bahini also failed. All the members of Rakkhi Bahini were freedom fighters. Two members of the Rakkhi Bahini committed suicide in Savar due to anger and humiliation of not receiving any command. Weapons from their arsenal inside the BDR were intercepted. They were not given weapons. The situation would have changed if the Rakkhi Bahini had come out. It is said that the isolated members of the army were responsible for the incident. The question remains, why the others did not listen to the army chief? Why didn't those who realized the urge to take a counter position on November 3 come out on August 15? Why didn't they stand up against the murderous Major gang? The founder of Bangladesh was killed with his family, everyone sat and watched the prank of the murderers. There is nothing more scandalous and sad in the history of this nation. Never will. Shafayet Jamil, Khaled Musharraf were definitely in favor of Bangabandhu. But they were also indecisive. History would have changed if the resistance on 3 November had been on 15 August.

 

I was reading a book about Bangabandhu written by Dr. MA Wazed Mia. A book by AL Khatib and Anthony Mascarenhas also contains many unknown facts of history. Nimmi, wife of murderer Dalim, was a classmate of Sheikh Rehana. Nimmi used to visit Dhanmondi 32 regularly. Dalim's mother-in-law was not left out. They often had lunch together. Dalim used to come too. One day Dalim said to Begum Fazilatunnessa Mujib that he doesn’t have a mother. I remember my mother's face when I see Begum Mujib. With permission Dalim called Begum Mujib mother. Begum Mujib used to give him food with son's love. A cruel irony of fate, that Dalim was one of the killers of August 15. Did the murderer Dalim not remember Begum Mujib's love and kindness for once? How can people be so terrible! Bangabandhu made Mostaq, the leader of the killers victorious. Awami League won 291 out of 300 seats in 1973 elections. All won by huge votes but Mostaq won by only 700 votes. There was a delay in declaring the result. One day Mostaq came to Bangabandhu during the election campaign. Requested to visit his constituency. Bangabandhu defended that request. Despite that, winning by only 700 votes shows how unpopular Mostaq was in his area. If the murderer Mostaq did not win that day and Rashid Engineer came to parliament from the opposition party, what would have been such a loss? Even if Awami League did not get so many seats, nothing would have happened. Someone asked Bangabandhu about this, was it very important for you to help Mostaq win the election? Bangabandhu smiled in response. He said, he is an old colleague of mine. On August 15, Mostaq did not remember Bangabandhu's contribution.

 

Bangbir Quader Siddiqui is the protesting hero. Like many, I don't feel bad when the beneficiaries of 1971 and 1975, are insulted. Kader Siddiqui is a brave warrior. Kader Siddiqui is a brave warrior. In 1975, he was the leader of Tangail, not of the Centre. He was the governor. From that position he was the only one who declared armed resistance. Hundreds of his comrades gave their lives. Many have gone to the gallows. Someone had a lifetime imprisonment. This state has not recognized them even in all these years. But rewarded the murderers' accomplices. Those who play a role in team adversity have passion. They cannot be flattered. Nobody likes them. But their contribution cannot be underestimated.

 

There were two Deputy Directors of Rakkhi Bahini - Late Anwarul Alam Shaheed and Sarwar Hossain Molla. I talked to both of them several times about those failures. I also published some of Sarwar Molla's words in Bangladesh Pratidin. Who called them to Bangabhaban and Cantonment that black morning? Kept them busy all day in the name of various discussions. Looking at the list of those army officers is shocking. Awami League has received a lot from the families of many of the November 3 coup victims. The families of those who resisted on November 7 were not left out. I don't want to discuss them today. Instead, let’s talk about General Khalil. He was the chief of BDR. He did not give the weapons kept in Pilkhana to the Rakkhi Bahini, a 100% freedom fighter organization. General Khalil was also among the influential people of Mostaq's Bangabhaban. He also later joined the Awami League. Nominated repeatedly. In 1991, he received the boat symbol for the last time. I interviewed him for Bhorer Alo in 1992. He said he got the news early in the morning while he was shaving. He could not answer the question why he had left the radio to shave so early in the morning.

 

Who took General Khalil Awami League? And why? Many questions are not answered. How did Amin Ahmed Chowdhury become the president's military secretary? Who gave Colonel Mateen the security responsibility of Bangabhaban? Why did Ziaur Rahman, BDR chief Major General Khalilur Rahman, IG of Police Nurul Islam, Brigadier Mashurul Haque meet at Bangabhaban so quickly? On whose order Army Adjutant General Colonel Moinul Hossain Chowdhury went to Savar camp on August 17 to pacify the members of the Rakkhi Bahini? General Shafiullah was removed from the army chief and Ziaur Rahman was made the army chief. Khaled Musharraf was given CGS on the same day. History has many hard truths. They cannot be hidden. After the assassination of Bangabandhu, MAG Osmani became the Defense Adviser. And Major General Khalilur Rahman became Chief of the Defense Staff. Ziaur Rahman's most trusted officer was Brigadier MA Manzoor. He was in the Defense Attaché in Delhi. He came to Dhaka after hearing the news of Bangabandhu's murder. He was like a shadow with Ziaur Rahman. He was upset because Khaled Musharraf was CGS. He didn't give up. In a twist of fate, Manzoor was accused of murdering Zia. Director of Defense Forces Nuruzzaman was out of the country on August 15. After he returned home, the Rakkhi Bahini were assimilated into the Army in early October. At that time, Nuruzzaman repeatedly talked to Shafayet Jamil and Khaled Musharraf to do something in return. They both agreed with Nuruzzaman to overthrow the murderers and oust Mushtaq. Their efforts were thwarted on November 7 by Jasad under the leadership of Colonel Taher. They supported Ziaur Rahman. In the last 14 years, they have received no less awards from Awami League.

 

Security was not strong enough to protect Bangabandhu. The father of the nation lived a simple life. Even as the country's statesman, he lived in a small house at Dhanmondi 32. He did not think about his personal safety. I was talking about this with the Deputy Director of the Rakkhi Bahini Colonel Sarwar Molla. He said that police EA Chowdhury, SP Mahbub was worried about Bangabandhu's safety. They went to Bangabandhu with two second men of the Rakkhi Bahini, Sarwar Molla and Anwarul Alam Shahid. They told Bangabandhu about their security concerns. Advised to leave the Dhanmondi 32 house and go up to Bangabhaban or Ganabhaban. Bangabandhu did not agree to this. Bangabandhu told them, 'People have found me among them all their lives. If I leave Dhanmondi I will move away from them. I am a leader of people. Begum Mujib also did not agree to leave Dhanmondi 32. Sheikh Kamal and Jamal also liked this house. Sarwar Mollah said that other forces including the President Guard Regiment were in charge of the President's security. Not the Rakkhi Bahini. The task of the Rakkhi Bahini was to maintain law and order in the newly independent country. Taking action against arms holders, black marketeers, hoarders. All the members of this force were freedom fighters. They had a commitment. The security forces and the police had information that proletariat and Jasad masses might attack Bangabandhu's house. Sarwar Molla said, I increased the patrol around Dhanmondi 32 on this news. Sheikh Mani did not like that patrol of the Rakkhi Bahini. He misunderstood. He thought that the security forces had stepped up patrolling in Dhanmondi on someone's orders to disturb him. As this complaint went to Bangabandhu, the patrol had to be reduced. He said that Savar was the base of the members of the Rakkhi Bahini. The head office was at Sherbanglanagar. It did not have its own arsenal. Weapons were kept in the Pilkhana. The next day BDR chief Khalil did not give us weapons. As the Rakkhi Bahini chief was not in the country, the top army officers kept both of them busy all day in the cantonment and Bangabhaban in the name of discussion. He said, the army officers of our generation asked the Rakkhi Bahini to be patient. Two of our members in Savar committed suicide after hearing the news of Bangabandhu's death. No political leader, minister, government has not received orders from anyone to do anything.

 

There are also many questions about advance intelligence. However, Indira Gandhi warned Bangabandhu based on information from Indian intelligence. Indira's friend Pupul Jaykar, a minister in her government, has a book. The book is autobiographical of Indira Gandhi. She wrote that at the end of 1974, Rameshwar Nath Kao, the head of intelligence agency 'R', met Indira one day. He told Indira that a rebellion was being fomented within the Bangladeshi military. Indira ordered to go to Dhaka and convey all the information to Mujib. Kao came to Dhaka. He met Bangabandhu at Dhanmondi 32. The lax security system surprised him. While walking in the garden, he informed Bangabandhu about the conspiracy. Then Bangabandhu assured him, 'Nothing will happen. They are my people. Pakistan Army did not dare to do anything, what will they do in Bangladesh?' Kao returned to Delhi upset. He informed Indira about everything. Bangabandhu had one faith in his nation. To the party, the government and those responsible for protecting him. Despite having so much faith, he was deceived. In fact, it does not take time to change the appearance of people. After the assassination of Bangabandhu, everyone changed. And those who did not change remained with failure, disappointment and suffering.



Comment


Inside Thought

NUCLEAR POWER: Decimation or Development?


Thumbnail

Lets think about an ethereal world; where the ozone hole is not increasing in size anymore, where you don’t have the ethical conundrum of using electricity with the cost of air pollution, where you don’t have to squander money on electricity, where you don’t see countries hitting the highest temperatures ever recorded, where you don’t see wild fires destroying whole areas and people not only dying to these fires but also from the heat of the temperature rise. Instead, let’s imagine a world free of all of these. A world where we are sustaining our environment rather than destroying it. This imaginary world can only be brought into reality when usage of fossil fuels is completely brought to a standstill. In a world where our dependency on electricity is proliferating each day, the carbon emission and air pollution is also multiplying equivalently. Today, fossil fuels are supplying 84 percent of the world energy, whereas renewable energy sources are only supplying a measly 16 percent of it. To explain further, nonrenewable energy comes from sources that will be depleted within our lifetime, examples include fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and petroleum. Whereas, renewable energy comes from sources which cannot run out for instance; sunlight, wind, water. What if I told you there is a trump card above all these energy sources, which is much more efficient and eco-friendly. “Nuclear power”; which was previously seen as a weapon and a mode of destruction by mankind has come out to be the exact opposite. Before beginning to judge nuclear power on the premise of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedy or a nuclear energy crisis like Chernobyl or Fukushima, let’s dive into it without any previous dubious assumptions because you might be surprised to learn that nuclear energy is actually considered one of the most environmentally friendly forms of energy production in the world. The applications of nuclear technology far exceed the provision of low-carbon energy. It fuels our most ambitious space exploration projects and helps stop the spread of diseases. It also helps doctors diagnose and cure patients. These manifold applications put nuclear technology at the center of the global movement toward sustainable development.

Bangladesh plans to build the Rooppur nuclear power plant, the most ambitious project ever attempted in the history of the nation’s development, in an effort to join the exclusive “nuclear club” of 31 other countries. Being a part of Least Developed Countries (LEDC), Bangladesh had already begun the construction of its first nuclear power plant back in November 2017 and a year later another unit of the power plant had also commenced construction. With growth in demand and grid capacity Bangladesh is aiming to reduce its dependence on natural gas. In an effort to combat climate change, Bangladesh has set an idealistic aim of reducing carbon emissions by 21.85% by 2030. Power facilities using fossil fuels are primarily responsible for these emissions. Being one of the most climate-vulnerable nations in the world, nuclear power is an essential answer to the climate emergency. In addition, by agreeing to transport spent fuel abroad to reduce hazards, Bangladesh has wisely tackled the issue of nuclear waste disposal. Now let’s come to a more pressing question. Being a LEDC, why should Bangladesh stump up such a huge amount of money on nuclear power when there are much cheaper alternatives. This is because nuclear power is the most reliable energy source and it is not even close. An average nuclear reactor can generate 1 GW of electricity. This does not imply that a 1 GW coal or renewable facility may be installed in its stead. Two coal plants or three to four renewable plants (each of 1 GW size) would be required to provide the same amount of power for the system. Although the initial cost of establishing a nuclear power station is high, the cost of producing electricity from them is comparatively low, and they have low running expenses. Additionally, nuclear energy is less susceptible to price fluctuations than conventional fossil fuel energy sources like coal and natural gas are. This makes it possible to anticipate the cost of nuclear energy long into the future. As technology develops, that price is expected to stay low or even decrease. Moreover, one of the most significant advantages of nuclear energy is its reliability as a source of power generation. Nuclear energy may be produced at any time of day, unlike solar and wind energy, which require the sun to be out or the wind to be blowing. This implies that there won’t be any pauses in the generation of electricity at a nuclear power plant because it can produce energy continuously.




Nuclear energy might be one of the most controversial energy sources we have. For some people, the potential risk associated with nuclear power is too great. For others, nuclear looks like the answer for a zero-carbon future. Strict safety regulations have been put in place for nuclear power facilities. Nevertheless, no matter how careful you are, accidents might still occur. We know from incidents like the Fukushima accident, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania that a nuclear plant meltdown may have disastrous effects on the neighbourhood. It is important to keep in mind, however, that these types of accidents are rare. Plus, many studies show that the fossil fuel industry is substantially more deadly than the nuclear industry, even when you include catastrophes like Chernobyl.

As you can see, there are several justifications for and against nuclear energy. This carbon-free energy source has the potential to progress us toward a clean energy future with additional technological advancements. In the future, new plants could appear. Other sources of energy, such as geothermal, wind, and solar power, are really renewable and may help us move toward a more environmentally friendly future. By adding solar panels, you can now power your house with green energy. You can power your home with solar energy even when the sun isn’t shining if you combine solar panels with energy storage. Plus, installing solar panels can completely eliminate your utility bill!



Comment


Inside Thought

Awami League has one Sheikh Hasina


Thumbnail

Like everyone else, I am also drawn to chatter. Sometimes I just want a storm in a cup of tea. Whether it is politics or literature. I was talking to a senior leader of Awami League. We were talking about the current political and economic situation. Another colleague of mine was also at the table. We discussed about whether or not BNP will participate in the next election. The current state of Sri Lanka, the war in Ukraine, the global reality and the challenges facing the government were not left out from the storm in a cup of tea. We questioned what will be the role of America and India regarding Bangladesh in the upcoming elections and why diplomats are so active about Bangladesh now. The leader was giving his opinion. Again he was throwing questions to us. The leader said, 'Neither BNP nor foreigners are a factor for us. The politics of Bangladesh is not dependent on foreign countries. Nothing will happen in this country at the behest of any other country's ambassador or high commissioner. BNP's attempt to fish in troubled water will be of no use. Sushil and doctors' multifaceted activities in the country and abroad will be ruined if we are good.' I was listening to the words attentively. I asked, what do you mean by saying we are good? Please elaborate. In response, the leader said, 'We mean the Awami League. Talking about the activities of our leaders and workers. Common people see the activities of the government party. But some people do whatever they want without understanding. They engage in fights among themselves. Creates unnecessary controversy. Manifests unrestrained behavior. Does not want to understand reality. People are disappointed by this. The workers of the government party are angry and saddened. Our problem is with our inner troubles. Outside conspiracies were there before; they are still there. Only by dealing with them Awami League is in today's position.

 

I liked the words. Awami League is an old, traditional and experienced political party. Over the ages, this party has fought various movements. This party has led the liberation war. Sheikh Hasina fought with Bangabandhu's Awami League all her life. Established human rights. Today's Awami League is enjoying the benefits of her sacrifice. She has created a record of consecutive powers. Bangabandhu and Sheikh Hasina's Awami League knows how to agitate and how to disrupt a movement. The party has equal experience of being in and out of power for a long time. BNP does not have the strength to do anything with a strong stand against this party. Tiredness has developed within the BNP for being out of power for a long time. After Begum Khaleda Zia went to jail, there was despair. BNP is no longer in its previous position. They could not create any movement for the release of the party chairperson. Couldn't stand by the leader. There is still no end to the problems inside and outside the party. Begum Khaleda Zia is now physically ill. She is surrounded by doctors, lawsuits and jails. General leaders and workers are worried about her physical condition. Another top leader of the party is in London. Bangladeshi politics cannot be led at the top level while sitting on foreign soil. Mirza Fakhrul is fighting to manage the team in this difficult environment. It is still not the time to tell how much he can do. However, as a gentleman, Mirza Fakhrul has established a position in the country and abroad. And surviving.

 

The political reality of ruling party and opposition parties are completely different. There is account of demand in government party. Assault case and jail on opposition party. Awami League was in the opposition for a long time. They are in today's position after facing difficult situations including assault case and lawsuits. No one faced more adversity than Awami League. After August 15, 1975, this party was out of power for 21 years. 1975 to 1980 was a miserable time for the party. Then the leaders decided to bring Bangabandhu Daughter to support the party due to the difficult reality. Millions of Awami League workers welcomed the news of the leader's arrival. Enthusiasm was created in the team. These workers were Bangabandhu's trust. Sheikh Hasina also survives in their love. 1977 paved the way for Sheikh Hasina to take charge of Awami League. The conference was held on April 3 and 4 that year at the Eden Hotel in Dhaka. Sheikh Hasina was brought to a silent discussion among the party workers of that conference. In the conference, Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury was one of the claimants of the party president. Syeda Zohra Tajuddin inaugurated the conference under the chairmanship of Molla Jalaluddin. Many leaders including Fanibhushan Majumder, Zahirul Qayoum directly opposed Mizan Chowdhury in that conference. Young leaders agreed to it. In that council Syeda Zohra Tajuddin was temporarily made the convener. Later, Abdul Malek Ukil took over as president. Abdur Razzak became the general secretary and Tofail Ahmed became the Organizing Secretary.

 

In that conference, Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury paid tribute to Bangabandhu and said, 'The leader is gone but the workers are left behind. If a civilian government is established in the country, then it is possible for Awami League to form that government.' Mizan Chowdhury's speech encouraged the leaders and workers of Awami League. The idea was created around Sheikh Hasina. The next conference of Awami League was held on February 13-15, 1981. A year before that conference, the leaders started coming and going to Delhi. They requested Bangabandhu Daughter to take charge of the party. Dr. SA Malek, Zillur Rahman, IV Rahman, Abdus Samad Azad, Korban Ali, Amir Hossain Amu, Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury and other senior leaders repeatedly went with the request. In the 1981 conference, Sheikh Hasina's name was announced as the president. There was no other alternative to keep the Awami League together and to energize the workers. After the conference many leaders including Abdul Malek Ukil, Dr. Kamal Hossain, Zillur Rahman, IV Rahman, Abdul Mannan of Tangail, Abdus Samad Azad, Korban Ali, Zohra Tajuddin, Sajeda Chowdhury, Golam Akbar Chowdhury, Amir Hossain Amu, Abdur Razzak, Tofail Ahmed and many others went to Delhi again. Separately, SA Malek was the first to go. They met with the leader about the date of return to the country. Awami League leaders and workers all over the country were waiting for her return. Finally, the wait ended on May 17 of the same year.

 

Before Sheikh Hasina took the lead, there was apprehension about the future of Awami League. There were fears about survival. Sheikh Hasina took the helm of Awami League in a difficult environment. She was only 34 then. It was a challenge to lead such a big team at that age. Bangabandhu's daughter faced the challenge and brought the Awami League closer to power in 1986. Became the leader of the opposition party in the National Parliament. As in 1986, Awami League could not come to power in 1991 due to conspiracy. With infinite patience she tackled everything single-handedly. Awami League came to power in 1996 due to her single activism. After five years, in 2001, the conspiracy started again around Awami League. Awami League's preferred CEC was in the net of that plot. No support was received from the Awami League nominated president. After BNP-Jamaat came to power, riots started all over the country. Khaleda Zia's government had to send in the army to stop the violence. Operation Cleanheart was conducted across the country. The army went back after dealing with the situation. But the conspiracy against Sheikh Hasina was not over. This time, a grenade attack was carried out to kill Bangabandhu's daughter. The head of various agencies of the state has been accused in this incident and is now in jail. Allah saved her from death in a grenade attack on 21 August. Allah has kept her alive for people because she wants to do great work for the country.

 

Not only on August 21, Sheikh Hasina was repeatedly attacked after coming to the country in 1981, before 1996 and after 2001. She faced death. She was imprisoned. But she dealt the situation with extreme patience. Handled everything inside and outside the party. Many people may have forgotten many realities. Awami League would have come to power in 1986 and 1991 if Bakshal was not formed under the leadership of Abdur Razzak. We didn't have to wait until 1996. She handled the challenges of Dr. Kamal Hossain, Mostafa Mohsin Montu. Brought Abdur Razzaq back home. Abolished Razzak’s Bakshal. During and after the 1991 elections, we toured the country with Sheikh Hasina and saw people's love for her. She is responding to the love of the people of Bangladesh by coming to power with the surprise of development. Her philosophy, strong leadership of thought gave new height to Awami League and brought to a new level. Expectations have increased about Bangladesh in the country and abroad. Countries like Pakistan sees Bangladesh as a role model of development. Appreciates the Padma Bridge. This is the success of Sheikh Hasina; the success is of Bangabandhu's ideological style. People's expectations have increased for the healthy development of Bangladesh in the future. A new dream has been created. This achievement cannot be hindered by the childish behavior of some fools. I don't think Sheikh Hasina herself will let anyone do that.

 

The over-enthusiasts destroy Awami League all the time. Damaged reputation at home and abroad. Why would the party take responsibility of some ministers, MPs, leaders and bureaucrats? It is not the responsibility of an MP to beat. Committee Trade is not the responsibility of responsible affiliate leader. Many leaders and activists at the field level regretted the committee trade. Expressed disappointment about not holding the conference. For two and a half years, the Central Jubo League could not protect the request of Comilla South District Awami League President, General Secretary to make a committee. This organization is now of no good. One of Omar Farooq Chowdhury's critics said that he used to take decisions in haste. At the end of the day, he would organize and return home. Now it's the opposite. That day, an MP lamented about the Chhatra League. He said, they are taking money from both sides with the committee. Such committee trade is not the political culture of Awami League. If dynamic leadership is not created, if competent leaders do not come, the influence of government bureaucrats in politics will naturally increase. I have seen many bureaucrats become Awami Leaguers in the last 12 years. I have also seen it changed. Many people make new calculations after retirement. Forget about becoming a super Awami League during service. Some become civils. They speak on talk-shows and criticize the Awami League government. They express their displeasure if they do not get a contract appointment or a new five-year appointment to a commission. Forget what get got during their tenure. Awami League cannot depend on bureaucracy. Awami League is a political party based on labor. There are twelve types of people gathering in this group. But field workers are different. They have no demand. They worked for Bangabandhu. And working for Bangabandhu Daughter. They don't compare what they got and what they didn't. Because of that Awami League surviving. And will be surviving. As long as Sheikh Hasina is there, I don't see anything to worry about this party. She is handling everything single-handedly. She is the center of trust.


Awami League   Sheikh Hasina   Bangladesh   Politics  


Comment


Inside Thought

"The dream Padma Bridge is now our Self-esteem"


Thumbnail

There are different ways and ways with dreams. According to someone, why dream? Never dream. What is the benefit of sitting in a broken house and dreaming of lakhs of rupees? According to some, if you don't dream, how will the reality be, etc., etc.

If there is no harmony between words and deeds, if there is no harmony in the realization of dreams, then dreaming is really a nightmare. And if you work with a dream while keeping the goal right, the dream itself acts as a symbol of ability.

The Padma Bridge is a shining example of this. So dreaming is not bad at all. If I don't dream, how can I explain my desire? That is why we must dream. Dreams are of two kinds in my opinion. A dream that is possible in reality and an dream that is not possible in reality. We have to see our dream again and again. Which was seen by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He always dreamed of building a golden Bengal. His successor Sheikh Hasina is now dreaming, dreaming. Whose unique exterior is the Padma Bridge.

Padma Bridge was once a dream of Bangladesh but now the Padma Bridge is visible. The dream was to work towards that goal, that is why this famous bridge of the country is visible with its own funds. To me, the Padma Bridge is a symbol of ability. But the way to build the dream Padma bridge was not smooth at all.

On the one hand, the complex engineering challenge of building a bridge over the Padma River, on the other hand, the conspiracy of a vested interest group in the country, the World Bank's baseless and speculative misinformation and consequent uncertainty of financing created obstacles in the way of construction of Padma Bridge. Plans for the construction of the Padma Bridge began in 1999 with a pre-feasibility study. Construction of the multi-purpose socio-economic development project 'Padma Multipurpose Bridge' on the Padma River was supposed to start in 2011 and was to be completed in 2013. Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the bridge at the end of Mawa on 4 July 2001 towards the end of the first term of her government.

After going through many ups and downs, the Hon'ble Prime Minister of this country Sheikh Hasina gave a proper answer to the allegations of vain and imaginary corruption of the World Bank in the Padma Bridge project and the ultimate non-cooperation. In response to the World Bank's allegations of gross corruption, Bangladesh said that so far no money has been released from the World Bank. No one else paid. How will there be corruption? Then the World Bank said there was a deep conspiracy of corruption. They canceled the agreement with Bangladesh on June 29, 2012 without proving the allegations of corruption. In a cabinet meeting in July 2012, he decided that the Bangladesh government would build the Padma Bridge with its own funds. Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave the World Bank time till January 31, 2013 to return to the Padma Bridge project. Rejecting the loan of the World Bank, Bangabandhu Kanya announced the construction of Padma Bridge with her own funds. Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction work of the main bridge on January 12, 2015 at a cost of Tk 30,193 crore. The first span is sitting on the poles number 36 and 37 on September 30, 2016. If soft soil is found under 22 poles in between, the design needs to be modified. It takes extra time about a year.

Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had immense confidence and trust in the people of this country. His challenge and steel-hardened victory prevailed. Egoism is defeated by the lies of the World Bank. The World Bank was later forced to admit that it had made a mistake in not fulfilling its promise to build the Padma Bridge. December 16, 2015, the World Bank Vice President. Kaushik Basu said at an event in Dhaka, ‘The history of the construction of the Padma Bridge has caused considerable bitterness between Bangladesh and the World Bank. But the Bangladesh government has acted in its own way. Even 10 years ago, no one could have imagined that Bangladesh would be able to implement such a big project on its own. They can do this without relying on the World Bank.

The main Padma bridge is 6.15 km. The total length of the connecting bridge and the bridge is 9.63 km. Although the project cost Tk 30,193 crore, the construction of two-storey bridge including railway line cost Tk 12,100 crore. Tk 9,400 crore has been spent on 14 km river governance, Tk 1,500 crore on rehabilitation, Tk 2,600 crore on acquisition of 2600 hectares of land and Tk 1,908 crore on construction of 12 km long 8-lane connecting road. Besides, consultancy, army security, construction yard and other expenses are Tk 2,500 crore. There are 294 piles in Padma bridge. The average depth of these piles is 122 meters; Which is equivalent to a 40 storey building. As the soil condition at the bottom of the river was bad, the skin had to be grouted in 61 piles of 22 pillars. The 6.15 km long bridge has 415 electric lights.

The Padma Bridge, the dream of the Bengali nation, has now come true by breaking the web of domestic and foreign conspiracies. Just waiting for the inauguration. The much-anticipated Padma Bridge of the people of 21 districts in the south-west will be opened for traffic on June 25. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate. Awaiting the opening of three world record averages. The Padma River is the second largest river in the world after the Amazon. Top in the world in terms of water flow. Padma Bridge showed the world that Bangladesh is not going to lose.

After the Awami League government came to power in 2009, it started work on several big projects and finally the government took special initiative to implement these as priority projects of the government. These mega projects of the government are: Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, Metro Rail Project in Dhaka, Rail Link Project on Padma Bridge, Railway Line Construction Project from Dohazari to Ramu via Cox's Bazar and Ramu to Ghumdhum, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project, Matarbari Coal Power Plant Construction Project, LNG Terminal Construction Project, Coal Based Rampal Thermal Power Station Construction Project, Pigeon Port Construction Project and Sonadia Deep Sea Port Construction Project. Not just projects, according to the provisional estimates, the GDP growth rate in the fiscal year 2021-22 stood at 7.25 percent. At the end of the fiscal year 2020-21, the GDP growth rate was 7.94 percent. As a temporary provision for the fiscal year 2021-22, the per capita income has increased to 2 lakh 41 thousand 480 rupees which is 2 thousand 624 US dollars. In the fiscal year 2020-21, the per capita income was 2 lakh 19 thousand 638 rupees which is 2 thousand 591 US dollars. So it is not too late to understand that Bangladesh is going to be a model of development.

The Padma Bridge is not just a name, it is a dream. That dream is now real. People have long dreamed about this bridge. On that day, the door of communication of 21 districts of south-western region will be opened by direct road from the capital Dhaka. The wheel of economy will turn with the wheel of a car. The desired bridge will create a direct link between the capital and the south, just as new industries will be built in the area around the bridge. Direct communication will create new employment opportunities. Travel to the capital will take half as long as before.

The Padma Bridge is a symbol of our nation's ability and confidence. Padma Bridge is an example of how capable Bangladesh has become. I have seen how much confidence Bangladesh has in Padma Bridge. The Padma Bridge was a critical response to a baseless allegation. Padma Bridge was the self-esteem of Bengalis. Padma Bridge is his strong protest that Bengalis never bow down to injustice. Self-esteem, our protest, our promise are mixed in every nook and cranny of Padma Bridge. Our pride. All in all, "the dream Padma Bridge is now a symbol of ability".


Comment


বিজ্ঞাপন