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27 September, 2020 10:34:03 PM

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Sheikh Hasina reaches new height in leadership

The decision to engage in humanitarian diplomacy is not a choice, but a responsibility. It flows from the breadth of humanitarian activities across the globe. Sheikh Hasina is managing this evolving crisis with empathy and she is appreciated at home and abroad therefore
Prof. Bashir Ahmed
Sheikh Hasina reaches new height in leadership

A dynamic leader is apparently a mentor who not only influences and develops the people he/she leads, but is able to read and react to different individuals and situations and I find instinct qualities of dynamic leadership in Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. In this article, I’ll briefly highlight how the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina demonstrates her leadership persistently for attaining inclusive development in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.

I was reading a very recent article in the Guardian written by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina jointly with CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation Patrick Verkooijen.

It narrates how Bangladesh fought twin perils of virus and Bangladesh can offer lessons for others facing the dangers like super cyclone Amphan and COVID-19. The article titled ‘Fighting cyclones and coronavirus: How we evacuated millions during a pandemic’ mentioned how Bangladesh successfully tackled super-cyclone Amphan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The article states there was no time to lose when cyclone Amphan began forming over the Indian Ocean in May. But shelters are not built with social distancing in mind in Bangladesh and the country faced a challenge: how to move 2.4 million people from the destructive path of the storm without delivering them into an even greater danger – Covid-19, it said. Mass evacuations are challenging at the best of times. Bangladesh government had successfully evacuated taking them in the different educational institutions in and around. Flood also hit nearly one-third of Bangladesh in the midst of pandemic. The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief again demonstrated its capacity while managing flood in a professional manner. This speaks of the beauty of the dynamic leadership of Sheikh Hasina.

I recently wrote an article which was published by a local English language daily. It was about diplomacy with compassion and Sheikh Hasina's approach to Rohingya crisis. The fundamental aim of the diplomacy with compassion is to establish humanitarian diplomacy as a permanent mindset. This sort of diplomatic approach includes advocacy, negotiation, communication, formal agreements and other measures. The decision to engage in humanitarian diplomacy is not a choice, but a responsibility. It flows from the breadth of humanitarian activities across the globe. Sheikh Hasina is managing this evolving crisis with empathy and she is appreciated at home and abroad therefore. She is making every effort in a professional fashion to persuade regional and global powers to come up with an amicable solution to this crisis despite China and India on the side of Myanmar on the Rohingya issue. Unfortunately, both countries are having huge strategic and economic interest in Myanmar. Even Russia seems to be compassionate to Myanmar on this issue. As part of an effort to prevent the coronavirus outbreak, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered the concerned authorities in late March 2020 to restrict the entry of outsiders in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.

COVID-19 has posed a serious threat towards the existence of human beings on an unprecedented scale with ruthless and remorseless efficiency. Subsequently, virtually all countries have been deployed possible best efforts to try and halt the spread of the pandemic at an enormous social and economic cost. The evolving crisis has been characterized by politicians, scholars and media organizations as the most perilous threat to human progress, peace, prosperity and stability since the Second World War. The COVID-19 induced lockdown struck livelihood choices because of social distancing, breakdown in logistics and storage facilities, scarcity of laborers, etc. 

The crisis enables us to rethink uplifting inclusive development. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has become a role model for the world leadership by taking various praiseworthy decisions at the international level to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Bangladesh has already announced a contribution of $50,000 for the development of safe and effective vaccines, expressing solidarity with global initiative for encountering the adverse effects of COVID-19 Pandemic. More than 444 public policies have been made so far by different ministries of the government in Bangladesh to regulate and control people’s behaviour, distribute and redistribute resources to prevent COVID-19 mayhem. The key emphasis of a policy is the implementation and monitoring, in order to successfully prevent COVID-19. The 31-point directives of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina serve as the overall policy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from this contribution, Sheikh Hasina has been working for creating a fund for the South Asian countries to recoup their economic losses caused by the corona pandemic. Amid the ongoing wave of the corona pandemic, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, had to tackle the post-Amphan situation in the country. Every move of the Bangladesh premier taken for her country and for the international community has been widely appreciated at home and abroad.

Apparently, all public departments and some private firms are directly and indirectly contributing to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. For instance,  the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and its attached bodies, and the Ministry of Public Administration prepare and circulate public policies while some others such as the Ministry of Home, Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of Defense (including Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air force), Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Ministry of Food, local government bodies, all government offices at the rural level, and all hospitals and medical colleges are actively involved in effective implementation and monitoring. Media is playing a vital role in broadcasting government orders to be followed, health hygiene to be maintained, and staying home. Philanthropic organisations continue to contribute in assisting vulnerable groups with food and hygiene items.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people-centred development is the core of discourse as this approach appeared in the cutting edge of international development discourse focusing on self-belief, self-reliance, and community living with the spirit of togetherness, social justice, and participatory decision-making. Prime Minister and her cabinet members are working persistently to get the momentum back for the sake of inclusive development.

The writer is a Professor of Government and Politics Department and the Provost of Sheikh Hasina Hall at Jahangirnagar University. He previously held the position of TSC Director and Dean of the Faculty of Law, JU. Email: [email protected]

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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