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24 December, 2019 12:49:50 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 24 December, 2019 02:19:21 PM
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Telenor terms it an invitation but expert says ‘legal notice’

notice to president
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Telenor terms it an invitation but expert says ‘legal notice’

Norway-based multinational telecommunications giant Telenor has said it sent an invitation – not a legal notice to Bangladesh’s President Abdul Hamid, although a Dhaka-based legal counsel termed it a legal notice as it was sent through a law firm. Clarifying the issue over a reported ‘legal notice to the president’, Telenor Group in a statement said it was an invitation letter to the president for a dialogue, reported local news agency UNB.

“Telenor Group sent an invitation letter for dialogue, and not a legal notice,” said Cathrine Stang Lund, director, Group Communication Asia, Telenor Group in the statement sent on Sunday. According to the treaty process, she argued, such letters should be sent to heads of state.

Telenor had bilateral investment treaty with the Government of Bangladesh and the Government of Singapore, added UNB. When contacted, corporate lawyer Barrister Tanjib-ul Alam yesterday told The Independent the Telenor letter is, no doubt, a legal notice sent to the president.

Alam said as the Telenor letter was sent through a legal firm, it can be deemed as a legal notice.

The Telenor letter reads, “Notice of Intent to Seek Resolution of a Dispute Under Article 7(1) of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Singapore and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (2004).” The Independent has obtained a copy of the Telenor notice sent to President Abdul  

Hamid. Earlier on Thursday, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar said Grameenphone sent a legal notice to the president through a legal agency in Singapore seeking arbitration with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) over its dues.

Telenor director Cathrine Stang Lund said, “It’s Telenor Group’s position that we believe the disputed audit should be solved through dialogue, and that an amicable and transparent solution should be reached between the authorities of Bangladesh and Grameenphone.”

“It remains our hope that this can be solved without international arbitration. It’s an agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one state in another state,” the statement said.

The statement further said, “Bangladesh has around 30 bilateral investment treaties. The procedures adhered to by Telenor are agreed in the treaty and Telenor is following due process.”

“The process itself is governed by the treaty, and includes a period of six months for discussions after initial invitation letter, before any further steps towards international arbitration can be taken,” the statement added.

On November 24, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court asked mobile phone operator Grameenphone to pay within three months Tk 2,000 crore of the Tk 12,579.95 crore dues as claimed by BTRC.

The BTRC claims dues of Tk 12,579.95 crore in 27 sectors from GP. Having failed to recover the money, the BTRC on April 2 sent a notice to GP threatening to revoke its licence.

Later, GP moved a lower court seeking a temporary injunction on the BTRC’s notice which was turned down on August 28. Later, it filed an appeal with the High Court.

MK

 

 

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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.

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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