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Sunday, June 10, 2012

BNP gets conditional nod for rally

Dhaka Metropolitan Police on Sunday allowed the opposition BNP to hold its rally in the capital on Monday outlining 11 conditions to be adhered to during the programme.
BNP's Assistant Office Secretary Abdul Latif Jony received a letter signed by DMP Deputy Commissioner (Headquarters) Habibur Rahman around 8pm on Sunday.

The conditions include limiting the use of loudspeakers in the rally area from Fakirapool Crossing to Nightingale Crossing and its duration to three-and-a-half hours.

The letter also specified that the rally stage should not be used for any purpose other than making political speeches, and acts that could go against the law and public interest would not be allowed.

The DMP also mandated that the rally stage could not be set up on the main road, people could throng the rally venue only two hours prior to its start and the rally must end by 5:30pm.

The conditions also include that people cannot gather in any open place before or after the time permitted for holding the rally, and traffic cannot be hampered and people's movement cannot be obstructed outside the area fixed for the rally.

The main opposition led 18-party opposition alliance is set to hold the rally at 2pm on Monday in front of the party's Naya Paltan headquarters.

The law-enforcers had specified similar conditions for opposition's Mar 12 rally at the same venue.

Leading British Muslim leader faces war crimes charges in Bangladesh






One of Britain's most important Muslim leaders is to be charged with war crimes, investigators and officials have told The Sunday Telegraph 


Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, director of Muslim spiritual care provision in the NHS, a trustee of the major British charity Muslim Aid and a central figure in setting up the Muslim Council of Britain, fiercely denies any involvement in a number of abductions and "disappearances" during Bangladesh's independence struggle in the 1970s.

He says the claims are "politically-motivated" and false.
However, Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan, the chief investigator for the country's International Crimes Tribunal, said: "There is prima facie evidence of Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin being involved in a series of killings of intellectuals.

"We have made substantial progress in the case against him. There is no chance that he will not be indicted and prosecuted. We expect charges in June.
Mr Mueen-Uddin could face the death penalty if convicted.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

UK imposes curbs on study visa

Over 450 education providers in the UK will no longer be able to sponsor new international students.

In its bid to curtail the abuse of education visa and raise standards, the UK government has tightened the students' visa system.

In all, those 450 colleges bring more than 11,000 students into the UK each year, says a British high commission press statement.

"Tough new rules and enforcement action will not only reduce their abuse, but new norms will also help ensure that genuine international students receive the highest quality education," it said.

More measures will be introduced in April 2012.

New UK Border Agency regulations have significantly raised the standards that the education providers must meet before they can recruit international students.

So far, over 400 colleges have lost their right to recruit international students after they failed to sign up for the new inspection system.

In addition, a targeted UK Border Agency investigation into more than 100 colleges has led to 51 institutions losing their licences to recruit international students.

The investigation followed a spike in applications from South Asia just before the English language requirement rules were tightened in April.

More than 4,500 applications to study have been either refused or withdrawn as a result.

One college advertised classes even though the website said it was shut for maintenance, while another could not even produce a list of students enrolled or a timetable of classes.

On inspection, others could not produce any record of student attendance, or evidence of checking student qualifications.

Immigration minister Damian Green said, "Widespread abuse of the student visa system has gone on for too long and the changes we have made are beginning to bite.

"Too many institutions were offering international students an immigration service rather than an education and too many students have come to the UK with the aim of getting work and bringing over family members. Only first-class education providers should be given licences to sponsor international students.

"We have curbed the opportunities to work during study and bring in family members. We have also introduced new language requirements to ensure we only attract genuine students whose primary motivation is to study."

Colleges that want to bring in international students must also meet new higher sponsorship standards to ensure they are fulfilling their immigration responsibilities, the minister said.

The institutions that do not meet these standards will be removed from the sponsors' register, he warned.

The UK Border Agency has also created a list of more than 2,000 banks and financial institutions from which it will no longer accept evidence to show that a student has sufficient funds to support himself and pay for his course.

If a bank is on this list, a student providing supporting documentation from that institution will not be granted a visa.

However, the list for Bangladesh has not yet been published.

The post-study work route will close and students wishing to stay and work in a graduate level occupation will be able to apply under Tier 2 of the points-based system.

Students will be able to study for a maximum of 5 years above degree level (with some exceptions) and there will be restrictions on work placements for non-university courses, the new norms lay down.

The UK Border Agency continues to work closely with the UK education sponsors and take action against those sponsors that do not comply with the requirements of education provision and immigration control.

The reform of student visas was announced by the home secretary in March this year and the measures are being introduced in phases, according to the statement.

The first set of changes came into effect in April, including tougher sponsor accreditation and inspection requirements and English language requirements for students.

The second set became effective in July, including new rules on the ability of students to work and bring dependants.

Noor Hossain Day Thursday

Shaheed Noor Hossain Day will be observed across the country on Thursday in a befitting manner, with numerous programmes planned by various political and socio-cultural organisations.

Ruling Awami League, Jubo League, opposition BNP, Shaheed Noor Hossain Sangsad, Jubo Gono Forum, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal and Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote have all chalked out programmes to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of Noor Hossain, a pro-democracy movement activist.

He was killed in police firing near Zero Point in the city on Nov 10, 1987 while participating in a procession taken out against the autocratic regime of Hussein Muhammad Ershad.

He had a slogan 'Swairachar Nipat Jak, Gonotantra Mukti Pak' (down with autocracy, let democracy be freed) inscribed in white paint on his chest and back when a bullet pierced through his body.

His death strengthened the movement, expedited the fall of the autocratic ruler and helped restore democracy in the country.

Awami League and its front organisations will place wreaths at Noor Hossain Square in the city on Thursday morning.

President Zillur Rahman, prime minister Sheikh Hasina and leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia have issued separate messages on the occasion.

The president in his message said, "Shaheed Noor Hossain is a glorious name in the struggle for restoration of democracy. Noor's sacrifice brought pace to the movement against the then autocratic ruler and established democracy in the country in 1990.

"I firmly believe that democracy of the country won't be face obstacles so long as valiant people like Noor Hossain are alive."

Terming the day 'a red letter day', prime minister Shiekh Hasina in her message said, "The sacrifice of a number of martyred including Noor Hossain, 'Babul' and 'Fattah' helped restore the people's right to vote and democracy by speeding up anti-autocratic movement against the then autocratic ruler."

In her message, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia said, "The autocratic ruler descended following the sacrifice of Noor Hussain, and democracy was restored. But the dream of Noor Hussain is yet to come true."

She urged all to realise the dream of the heroic son of the soil, who embraced martyrdom for restoration of democracy.