A freshers’ reception and orientation programme of the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (UMSAILS) LLM programme was held at the University of Asia Pacific (UAP) on 19 October. A total of 22 students of 15 public and private universities from the South Asian region were admitted to the LLM Program with fully and partially funded scholarships funded by UMSAILS, said a press release.
National professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, vice chancellor of UAP and vice chair of the South Asia Foundation (SAF) Bangladesh chapter, chaired the session and briefly introduced SAF and UMSAILS. He spoke about how UNESCO goodwill ambassador Madanjeet Singh founded SAF in 2000 as a secular, non-profit and non-political organization comprising eight autonomous chapters: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
SAF’s core objective is to promote regional cooperation through a number of UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institutions of Excellence in the eight SAARC countries. He warmly welcomed the newly admitted students of the LLM programme from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Chief guest at the event, eminent jurist, senior advocate of Bangladesh Supreme Court and chair of SAF Bangladesh Chapter, Kamal Hossain, highlighted the need for legal and human rights education on South Asian perspectives and expressed his satisfaction with UAP’s department of law and human rights being entrusted with LLM focused on human rights. He recognised the department as a center of excellence capable of providing quality legal and human rights education under the leadership of national professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury.
Mahfuz Anam, Editor and Publisher of the Daily Star and also a member of the SAF advisory board, Bangladesh, speaking as special guest, underscored the significance of legal education and the role of lawyers as the protector of citizens’ rights in our society. He recalled the sincerity of Kamal Hossain in his professional life and urged the students to take lessons from him in this regard.
Also joining the event were Monzoor Ahmed Chowdhury, chairman, board of trustees, Qayum Reza Chowdhury, treasurer, M Alauddin, senior vice chairman, Justice AFM Abdur Rahman, Ishfaq Ilahi Choudhury, treasurer, UAP and faculty members.
Three newly enrolled students from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh shared their thoughts. The friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere of the event helped the freshers to lighten up and get familiarised with their surroundings.
The programme was moderated by Chowdhury Ishrak Ahmed Siddiky, associate professor and programme coordinator, LLM programme while a vote of thanks was given by Md. Asaduzzaman, associate professor and head, department of law and human rights.