Bangladesh population

5 facts to know for the evening of November 15: World population, BNP, RMG workers, G20 and “Saturday afternoon”

Good evening. Here is some historical dramas you can watch tonight. If you’re more of the current type, we recommend our Star Crime Files’ Last episode on victims of enforced disappearances. And here’s more news of what’s going on around, to catch up on before bedtime.

1. World population

To date, there are 8 billion human beings living on the planet, according to the United Nations in their latest report. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called it a “milestone” and “an opportunity to celebrate diversity and progress”. The population has grown by 1 billion people over the past 12 years. Middle-income countries, mainly in Asia, contributed to this growth; India alone has added about 180 million people and is expected to overtake China by 2030. According to Aminul Haque, professor of population science at the University of Dhaka, the report represents 3 key messages for the future of Bangladesh: increase in the aging population; still a huge young population, which gives us the opportunity to increase human resources, and the need to reduce maternal mortality and child marriage.

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2. GNP

BNP leaders today urged the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) to ensure that leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League do not incite chaos and violence at the party’s divisional rally in Dhaka on December 10. BNP rallies across the country have been marred by transport strikes and clashes with the ruling party and police. The venue for the Dhaka rally has yet to be decided. Meanwhile, BNP activists prepare for their Sylhet rally – campaigning to muster a crowd of more than “four lakh people” – to be held on November 19.

3. RMG workers

About 1,000 garment workers from a garment factory owned by Momo Fashion Limited in Dhamrai protested its sudden closure, which would deprive them of wages. Yesterday, RMG workers staged a strike to demand that their employers respect labor laws. To appease them, the bosses of the factory had said that they would respect the workers’ demands. But they didn’t. Today, when the RMG workers arrived at work, they were greeted with a notice: the factory would be closed for an indefinite period, under article 13/1 (labour law). The reasons for the closure have yet to be determined.

4.G20

The annual G20 began today in the shadow of war and the impending global economic recession. In a video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged countries to work together and end Russia’s “destructive war” to “save thousands of lives”. He also implored the introduction of price restrictions on Russian energy resources and the expansion of a grain export initiative. The United States and its allies supported a resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Chinese leader Xi Jinping did not directly mention the war in his remarks but said, “All countries should replace division with unity.” Deep dissent has emerged from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – in place of Putin – who dismissed the war talks as an unwarranted politicization of Russia’s “special military operation”.

5. Saturday afternoon

130 cultural activists and artists have issued a statement expressing concern over the censorship board’s halt to the release of Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s film, ‘Saturday Afternoon’, a political thriller inspired by the July 2016 terrorist attack in Holey Artisan. The Film Censor Board of Bangladesh‘s reasoning was that the film would harm the “image of the country”. The joint statement issued today, condemning the censorship, called the situation “an indication of the regressive approach taken by the state and the narrow-minded approach of all authorities concerned.” The film, which won two independent jury awards at the Moscow International Film Festival in 2019, stars Zahid Hasan, Nusrat Imrose Tisha, Iresh Zaker, Mamunur Rashid, among others. Farooki previously sent a letter to the board and said“Freedom of expression is fundamental and non-negotiable.”