Friday, September 24, 2010

Bangladesh on right track to achieve MDGs, says Danish PM

NEW YORK, Sept 24 (UNB): Denmark 's Prime Minister (PM) Lars Lokke Rasmussen Thursday said that Bangladesh was on the right track for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) within 2015, the deadline set by the United Nations.

The Danish PM made the appreciation during a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly.

" Bangladesh is on the right track," he said and assured that Denmark would increase its support and financial assistance for Bangladesh to achieve MDGs.

Rasmussen expressed his willingness to move on to "business partner" from "development partner" in view of Bangladesh 's rapid development in trade and economic sectors.

The PM had also bilateral meetings with her counterparts and senior government leaders of the Netherlands, Malaysia and Myanmar Thursday.

All the heads of governments and government leaders congratulated Hasina on Bangladesh 's MDGs achievements under her leadership.

Climate change figured prominently during the bilateral talks while the Danish PM agreed with Sheikh Hasina that the last COP 15 climate conference held in Copenhagen could not produce the expected results.

Both the PMs observed that the developed nations did little in fulfilling whatever commitments they made on the critical issue of the climate change though one year had already passed since the Copenhagen summit.

Hasina said that Bangladesh had taken a "stand alone" policy caring little about the external adaptation fund as it created its own "Adaptation Fund" to negate the onslaughts of the climatic phenomenon while it welcomed developed nations contribution to the fund.

"But the fact remains that we need resources to negate the impacts of the climate change," the PM said.

During the meeting with Netherlands PM Dr Jan Peter Balkenende, Hasina sought the Dutch supports for dredging of major rivers in Bangladesh to stop excess flooding and face adverse impacts of the Himalayan glacier melting caused by global warming.

She also sought the Dutch assistance for land reclamation in river banks and coastlines through sharing experience and expertise and to halt the river erosion.

Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win called on Sheikh Hasina when she categorically stated that the Myanmar government "in the spirit of good neighbourly relations" should take back the remaining Rohingya refugees who were already cleared by them for repatriation.

The PM noted that Dhaka-Yangon ties took a "new trajectory" since her government took the office more than one and a half years ago and expected that the bilateral ties would be enhanced in the future with increased connectivity and particularly through construction of the proposed tri-nation road links involving Bangladesh, Myanmar and China.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Crackdown against illegal Myanmar immigrants launched

Aizawl/Agartala, Sep 19 (IANS) The Mizoram government has launched a crackdown against Myanmar nationals living in the state without documents, officials said Sunday.

'The Mizoram Armed Police in the past two days have apprehended 52 Myanmarese from Aizawl and outskirts where (they) have set up colonies,' a police spokesman said.

The official said the illegal entrants would be pushed back soon to Myanmar.

The number of Myanmarese living in different parts of Mizoram has now been estimated at around 50,000.

The Mizoram government with the permission of the union home ministry has given entry passes and temporary stay permits to Myanmarese, who work in jewellery shops, vehicular service centres, shops, restaurants and cloth factories and at construction works.

'However, a large number of Myanmar citizens illegally took entry into the state and have been staying in Mizoram,' the police official said.

Aizawl Superintendent of Police Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said the home ministry recently told the Mizoram government that the Myanmar-Mizo nationals without valid entry permits could cross the Indo-Myanmar border and travel a maximum of 16 km into northeastern state for trading.

Khiangte said the police crackdown was launched as some immigrants recently indulged in crime, including drugs related deeds.

Meanwhile, the Tripura Police have also apprehended seven Myanmarese, including four women, in Agartala after they sneaked in from Bangladesh.

'They entered the Indian territory through Sonamura border in western Tripura,' a police official said.

'During preliminary questioning, the Myanmarese told police that they tried to go to other parts of India through Tripura and Assam to find jobs,' the official said.

'Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing their country to escape atrocities by members of the rival community in Myanmar,' said one of the arrested men, Tayub.

He told the police: 'We are not allowed to travel from one village to another without permission from the army. We are not even allowed to marry without the permission of the authorities.'

Since mid-1990s, over 225,000 Myanmarese have taken shelter in the Cox's Bazar district of Bangladesh. They are believed to have taken shelter in Bangladesh to escape religious oppression by the Myanmar government.

India's four northeastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh together share a 1,643 km unfenced border with Myanmar.