2019 at a glance


2019 is over, and 2020 brings with it a whole new decade of possibilities. So as we move forward in time, let us take some time to review all the big events that took place last year. Below is a list of all the newsworthy issues that shaped the past year and changed our perspectives and lives for better. 

PM Sheikh Hasina in office for third consecutive term

Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as Bangladesh's prime minister for a record fourth term on 7th January after her Awami League's landslide victory in the 2018 elections.

President Md Abdul Hamid administered the oath of office to 71-year-old Hasina at the Bangabhaban for a record third consecutive term. Hasina was first elected prime minister in 1996 and then again in 2008 and 2014.

Hijack attempt on Dubai-bound plane foiled

A Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing in the southeastern Bangladeshi city of Chattogram on 24th February after a man allegedly tried to hijack the aircraft.

The jetliner made an emergency landing at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram at 5:15 p.m. Police said security forces stormed the plane and tried to arrest the lone suspect, a Bangladeshi man, aged around 25.

The suspect acted aggressively toward officers on the plane, and in response, commandos opened fire on the man, who was injured and immediately detained. He died a short time later as he was being transported from the scene.

Ducsu polls take place after 28 years

Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) and hall union elections were held on March 11 after 28 years of hiatus. The last Ducsu election was held on June 6, 1990 when General HM Ershad was president and the student body played a huge role in ousting the dictator.

Quota reform movement leader Nurul Haq Nur was elected VP of Ducsu through the election while Bangladesh Chhatra League leader Golam Rabbani was elected general secretary.

Rohingyas demand justice

Thousands of Rohingya refugees gathered for a rally at Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar and demanded justice on August 25th on completion of two years since the Rohingya influx began following persecution by Myanmar armed forces.

Rohingya leaders urged the international community to take steps to ensure justice against the genocide carried out against the Rohingya community in Myanmar. The Rohingya leaders also said they would agree for repatriation if their demands for citizenship in Myanmar are met and a safe environment is ensured in Rakhine state.

Casino crackdown

The sudden drive against the casinos starting on September 18 caught off guard the leaders of the ruling party’s youth front, the Jubo League, said to be operating the casinos under the coverage of some popular sports clubs. A few were arrested and others remain at large.

The drive against casinos was preceded on Sept. 14 by the removal of the president and the general secretary of the ruling party’s student wing, the Chhatra League, allegedly for demanding commission from a 10 billion taka ($122 million) development project at a public university.

Gambia files genocide case against Myanmar

Myanmar is to face accusations of genocide at the UN’s highest court over its treatment of Rohingya Muslims.

A 46-page application has been submitted to the international court of justice by the Gambia, alleging Myanmar has carried out mass murder, rape and destruction of communities in Rakhine state.

The Gambia, a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, has taken the legal lead in drafting the claim against Myanmar. It is being supported by other Muslim states. An initial hearing is expected at the ICJ in December.

Holey Artisan attack verdict

An anti-terrorism court in Dhaka has sentenced seven people to death in connection with a deadly siege in 2016 of a popular cafe in the Bangladeshi capital.

One person was acquitted by the court on Wednesday, which delivered its verdict amid tight security. Twenty-two people were killed after gunmen stormed the upmarket Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka's Gulshan area on July 1, 2016, in an attack that drew global condemnation. The victims included 17 foreigners.

Judge Md Majibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal of Dhaka ordered the deaths by hanging.

Bangabandhu Satellite’s commercial operation starts 

Bangladesh’s first communication satellite Bangabandhu-1 (BS-1) started its commercial operation from May 19th. Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL), the assigned entity to manage BS 1, will signed agreements with the local television (TV) channels and other firms to rent transponders of the satellite. 

In addition, commercial service of Bangladesh’s first local Direct-To-Home (DTH) television also began. Beximco Communications Limited (BCL) has introduced the DTH brand “Akash.” Moreover, the BS 1 is working to connect automated teller machines (ATM) of different banks to offer uninterrupted and secure banking services. Meanwhile, it has completed demonstration successfully for the job.

Located at the 119.1 east geostationary slot, BS-1 covers the SAARC countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkestan and a part of Kazakhstan.

The coverage is the strongest in Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, for which these six countries have initially been chosen for business.