Monday, May 23, 2016

Message from Canada on the passing of Councilor Myke Magalang

Shown in  photo: Vice-Mayor Dante Marquez, Dr. Catherine Coumans and Councilor Miguel "Myke" Magalang. In pursuit of the Marinduque environmental case in Canada

Dr. Coumans Sends Condolences to the Magalang's Family


Posted by Romeo Mataac, Jr., Marinduque News Online:

Catherine Coumans of MiningWatch Canada sent her condolences to the bereaved family of the late Councilor Miguel “Myke” R. Magalang.

Dear All,

My heart is incredibly heavy at this news of our untimely loss of Myke. I met Myke in 1988, when I first arrived in Marinduque with my husband. Over the course of more than a year on the island, and in the many years to follow, he became a dear friend, as well as a trusted and much appreciated source of wise counsel. Myke was one of the most intelligent and passionate people I knew. His research skills and ability to martial facts into persuasive texts for action were rare gifts, as was his ability to see the bigger picture and look far down the road, while remaining strategic in the day to day and ongoing struggle for justice in Marinduque. It breaks my heart that he will not be with us here, when we finally reach that goal. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, who he loved so deeply, and to his daughter who meant the world to him.

In gratitude for his friendship and deep sadness at his loss,

Catherine

(Research Coordinator Catherine Coumans works with MiningWatch Canada's expert advisors, staff, and Directors to ensure the accuracy, focus and timeliness of their information resources and research efforts. Tasks include monitoring government and industry initiatives affecting MiningWatch interests, supporting participation of MiningWatch members and associates in consultations and negotiations, representing MiningWatch perspectives in meetings, presentations and negotiations as required, and preparing and/or co-ordinating written briefs and submissions as required. Her focus area is the Asia-Pacific region.)

Recalling the speech of Councilor Magalang: Quo Vadis, Elusive Justice?

A Colloquium for local government functionaries on the alternative venues for the Marinduque Case versus Placer Dome Inc. and Barrick Gold Corporation sponsored by the Municipal Government of Boac. Legislative Session Hall, 2F New Municipal Government Building, Boac, Marinduque, August 13, 2014 (8:00am-01:00pm).

In our search for environmental justice and fair compensation for all the damages wrought by the irresponsible mining operations to the people and environment of this Island which culminated in the March 23, 1996 Boac River Mining Disaster, there is a need for competent legal representation of the municipality of Boac and the people of Marinduque in general as the civil case against Placer Dome Inc. and Barrick Gold Corporation is pursued in other forum or venue – either the Philippines or Canada. 

In the midst of uncertainties and unpredictable direction the Nevada Case is proceeding, there is a need to fill in the gap for expert information if only to ensure that the people of Boac and Marinduque are not deprived of their right to access to information, participation, and justice. The colloquium, therefore, aims to provide venue for intelligent discussions towards collective action and commitments through the appreciation of: (a) the advantages or disadvantages of pursuing the case in Canada; (b) exploring the possibility of engaging pro bono lawyers from Canada; (c) analyzing the corporate social responsibilities of Canadian mining companies throughout the world; (d) strengthening local government functionaries’ roles on governance of the extractive industry; and, (e) deepening the collective commitment of local government officials to pursue justice for the victims of mining in the province.

Salamat po sa lahat ng mga Punong Barangay na dumalo gayundin sa lahat ng kinatawan ng mga Pamahalaang Bayan ng Mogpog, Gasan at Buenavista.

Magalang passed away on May 22, 2016 after spending a day in comatose. His remains lie in state in Boac, Marinduque.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Konsehal Myke Magalang of Boac has died

Malaking kawalan sa Bayan. Konsehal Myke R. Magalang
Tagapagtaguyod ng Sining, Kultura at Lokal na Kasaysayan; pakikipaglaban sa mga usaping Pangkalikasan at Pangkomunidad; Mabuting Pamamamahala at pagsugpo sa Kahirapan


Konsehal Myke Magalang ng Boac, Pumanaw na


ni Romeo Mataac, Jr., Marinduque News Online 

Pumanaw ngayong araw, Mayo 22, 2016 ang isa sa masigasig at kasalukuyang konsehal ng bayan ng Boac na si Miguel "Myke" R. Magalang.

Si Magalang ay tumakbo bilang Sangguniang Pambayan Member noong nakalipas na Mayo 9, 2016 National and Local Elections sa ilalim ng Partido Liberal subalit hindi pinalad na manalo.

Bago ang kanyang pagpasok sa pulitika, si Konsehal Magalang ay aktibong nagsulong at kumatawan sa Marinduque sa laban nito sa Marcopper Mining Corporation. Siya ay nagsilbing Executive Secretary ng Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC).


Narito ang mga isinulong na ordinansa at adbokasiya ni Magalang bilang isang responsableng opisyal ng Bayan ng Boac at respetadong mamayan ng Marinduque.

Ilang ordinansa na inakda at isinulong ni Kon. Magalang noong 2001-2004

068 s. 2001: Municipal Scholarship Ordinance
070 s. 2002: People’s Participation & Empowerment Ordinance
072 s. 2002: Business License Plates Ordinance
073 s. 2002: Health and Diagnostic Ordinance
074 s. 2002: Provident Fund Ordinance
076 s. 2002: CARE for Indigents Ordinance
077 s. 2002: Heraldic, Local History, Culture & the Arts Ordinance
079 s. 2002: Trees Farming & Butterfly Propagation Ordinance
080 s. 2002: Employees’ Grievance Settlement Ordinance
081 s. 2002: Gawad Boakeño Ordinance
083 s. 2002: Typographical Error Ordinance
084 s. 2002: Personnel Selection & Merit Promotion Ordinance
085 s. 2003: Investment, Enterprise and Tourism Code
086 s. 2003: Municipal Waters Ordinance
087 s. 2003: Cellular Phones Regulatory Ordinance
088 s. 2003: Solicitations Regulatory Ordinance
089 s. 2003: Youth Welfare and Development Ordinance
090 s. 2003: Barangay Frontline Workers’ Welfare Ordinance
091 s. 2003: Reorganization Ordinance of 2003

Mga ordinansang inakda at isinulong ni Kon. Magalang sa Ikawalong Sanggunian: 2013-2016

147 s. 2013: Land Registration and Administration Ordinance
148 s. 2013: Providing for the Internal Rules of Procedures
149 s. 2013: Frontline Workers’ Retirement & Separation Ordinance
150 s. 2013: Creating a Market Specialist I (SG-11) Position
151 s. 2013: Night Market Ordinance
152 s. 2013: Gustavo Sto. Domingo Complex Ordinance
153 s. 2013: Daang Teofilo Roque Ordinance
155 s. 2014: Procedures in Administrative Investigation
157 s. 2014: Boac Children’s Social Protection Code
159 s. 2014: Volunteerism for Rural Development Ordinance
166 s. 2014: Edmundo Reyes Sr. Sports & Athletic Arena Ordinance
168 s. 2014: Information & Communications Technology Ordinance
170 s. 2015: Farmers & Fisherfolks Month Ordinance
171 s. 2015: Gusaling Luis Aliño Hidalgo Ordinance
177 s. 2015: Public Employment Service Office Ordinance
178 s.2015: Tubong as Intangible Cultural Heritage Ordinance
181 s. 2015: Fire Protection Ordinance
190 s. 2015: March 24 Historical Infamy Ordinance
192 s. 2015: Philhealth Capitation Fund for the Poor Ordinance
194 s. 2015: Public-Private Partnership Ordinance
195 s. 2015: Creating Priority Positions in the LGU
196 s. 2015: Senior High School Scholarship Ordinance
209 s. 2015: Granting of One Time PEI for LGU employees
207 s. 2016: Insurance for Day Care Children Ordinance
208 s. 2016: Insurance for Barangay Functionaries Ordinance
Kabilang ang inakdang 183 na makabuluhang Resolusyon (2013-2016)



Mga naging misyon sa ibang bansa (1999-2015)

1999: Volunteer Mission, World Scout Bureau, Seoul, South Korea;
2007: Guest Campaigner, APEC Ministers Meeting on Mining, Australia
2007: Guest Lecturer, International Guest Program, Austria
2009: Keynote Speaker, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
2009: Delegate, Al Gore Course on Climate Change, Australia
2009: Delegate, Asian Workshop on Social Accountability, Indonesia
2009: Delegate, Int’l Negotiation on Climate Change, UN, Thailand
2009: Panel Reactor, Publish What You Pay Conference, Canada
2010: Delegate, Int’l Conference on Dev’t Cooperation, EU, Nicaragua
2011: Delegate, Asian Reg’l Workshop on Extractive Industry, Thailand
2012: Delegate, UN Conference on Sus. Dev’t, (Rio+20), Brazil
2012: Case Study Presenter, Conference on the EIA Process, Thailand
2012: Delegate, Case Sharing on Social Accountability, Thailand
2014: Participant, Int’l Learning & Meeting on DRR, Manila-Iloilo-Albay
2015: Campaigner on Climate Change, Brighton-London-Manchester, UK
2016: Mentor, International Training – Al Gore Leadership Corps, Sofitel

Lubos ang pakikiramay ng Marinduque News Online sa pamilya Magalang. Konsehal Myke will be a great loss to our society. Indeed, you will surely be missed.

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and Pope Francis' controversial statements

Mayor Duterte: For the record, I believe in God but not in religions, period. The most hypocritical institution in the Philippines, guess who? 
Pope Francis: It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest. In the face of Islamic terrorism, it would therefore be better to question ourselves about the way in an overly Western model of democracy has been exported to countries such as Iraq, where a strong government previously existed. Or in Libya, where a tribal structure exists. 
Mayor Duterte (To the Bishops): Kayo ba'y naniniwala talaga sa separation of Church and State?
Pope Francis: States must be secular. ('Secular' - not having any connection with religion). Confessional states end badly. That goes against the grain of History. I believe that a version of laicity accompanied by a solid law guaranteeing religious freedom offers a framework for going forward. We are all equal as sons (and daughters) of God and with our personal dignity. However, everyone must have the freedom to externalize his or her own faith.

Philippine President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte recently caused a stir among many Catholics in this predominantly Catholic country with his response to broadcaster Jessica Soho of GMA-7 on some religious issues.

Similarly, Pope Francis in a recent exclusive interview by the French Catholic newspaper, La Croix, created quite a controversy with his response, driving some to state that "he is declaring himself of anti-Christ spirit".

During the campaign period, Duterte said he does not care if the Catholic hierarchy would not endorse him as he reiterated his support for family planning.

“Some bishops came out saying ‘Do not vote for Duterte.’ I said let this election be a sort of a referendum, a sort of a plebiscite for the church and me,” Duterte said during a forum with The STAR

Those who have raised concerns on the qualification of Duterte to become president were Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, retired Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez and Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz.
 
 

La Croix releases English translation of Papal interview

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has given an exclusive interview to the French Catholic La Croix newspaper. In the broad-ranging conversation with journalists Guillaume Goubert and Sébastien Maillard for La Croix, Pope Francis discussed matters ranging from healthy secularism and the right way to understand and live according to the Church’s universal missionary mandate, to the idea of Europe in relation to the migration crisis and the possibility of peaceful coexistence among Muslims and Christians.


He also addressed the clergy sex abuse crisis, offering considerations about an ongoing investigation – widely covered in France – involving the Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, whose handling of the case of one pedophile priest in particular has been subject to scrutiny and criticism. La Croix has now published an English translation of the interview, available here.

INTERVIEW Pope Francis

In your speeches in Europe, you refer to the “roots” of the continent without ever describing them as Christian. Rather, you define “European identity” as “dynamic and multicultural.” In your view, is the expression “Christian roots” inappropriate for Europe?
  
Pope Francis : We need to speak of roots in the plural because there are so many. In this sense, when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful. It then takes on colonialist overtones. John Paul II, however, spoke about it in a tranquil manner.

Yes, Europe has Christian roots and it is Christianity’s responsibility to water those roots. But this must be done in a spirit of service as in the washing of the feet. Christianity’s duty to Europe is one of service. As Erich Przywara, the great master of Romano Guardini and Hans Urs von Balthasar, teaches us, Christianity’s contribution to a culture is that of Christ in the washing of the feet. In other words, service and the gift of life. It must not become a colonial enterprise.

On April 16, you made a powerful gesture by bringing back the refugees from Lesbos to Rome. However, does Europe have the capacity to accept so many migrants?

Pope Francis : That is a fair and responsible question because one cannot open the gates wide unreasonably. However, the deeper question is why there are so many migrants now. When I went to Lampedusa three years ago, this phenomenon had already started.

The initial problems are the wars in the Middle East and in Africa as well as the underdevelopment of the African continent, which causes hunger. If there are wars, it is because there exist arms manufacturers – which can be justified for defensive purposes – and above all arms traffickers. If there is so much unemployment, it is because of a lack of investment capable of providing employment, of which Africa has such a great need.

More generally, this raises the question of a world economic system that has descended into the idolatry of money. The great majority of humanity’s wealth has fallen into the hands of a minority of the population.

A completely free market does not work. Markets in themselves are good but they also require a fulcrum, a third party, or a state to monitor and balance them. In other words, [what is needed is] a social market economy.

Coming back to the migrant issue, the worst form of welcome is to ‘ghettoize’them. On the contrary, it’s necessary to integrate them. In Brussels, the terrorists were Belgians, children of migrants, but they grew up in a ghetto. In London, the new mayor (Editor: Sadiq Khan, the son of Muslim Pakistanis) took his oath of office in a cathedral and will undoubtedly meet the queen. This illustrates the need for Europe to rediscover its capacity to integrate.

I am thinking here of Pope Gregory the Great (Editor: Pope from 590 – 604), who negotiated with the people known as barbarians, who were subsequently integrated. This integration is all the more necessary today since, as a result of a selfish search for well-being, Europe is experiencing the grave problem of a declining birth rate. A demographic emptiness is developing. In France, at least, this trend is less marked because of family-oriented policies.

The fear of accepting migrants is partly based on a fear of Islam. In your view, is the fear that this religion sparks in Europe justified?

Pope Francis: Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.

In the face of Islamic terrorism, it would therefore be better to question ourselves about the way in an overly Western model of democracy has been exported to countries such as Iraq, where a strong government previously existed. Or in Libya, where a tribal structure exists. We cannot advance without taking these cultures into account. As a Libyan said recently, “We used to have one Gaddafi, now we have fifty.”

Ultimately, co-existence between Christians and Muslims is still possible. I come from a country where they co-habit on good terms. Muslims come to venerate the Virgin Mary and St George. Similarly, they tell me that for the Jubilee Year Muslims in one African country formed a long queue at the cathedral to enter through the holy door and pray to the Virgin Mary. In Central Africa, before the war, Christians and Muslims used to live together and must learn to do so again. Lebanon also shows that this is possible.

The significance of Islam in France today, like the nation’s Christian historical foundation, raises recurring questions concerning the place of religion in the public arena. How would you characterize a positive form of laicity (Editor: ‘laicity’ refers to the French system of separation of Church and state)?

Pope Francis: States must be secular. Confessional states end badly. That goes against the grain of History. I believe that a version of laicity accompanied by a solid law guaranteeing religious freedom offers a framework for going forward. We are all equal as sons (and daughters) of God and with our personal dignity. However, everyone must have the freedom to externalize his or her own faith. If a Muslim woman wishes to wear a veil, she must be able to do so. Similarly, if a Catholic wishes to wear a cross. People must be free to profess their faith at the heart of their own culture not merely at its margins.

The modest critique that I would address to France in this regard is that it exaggerates laicity. This arises from a way of considering religions as sub-cultures rather than as fully-fledged cultures in their own right. I fear that this approach, which is understandable as part of the heritage of the Enlightenment, continues to exist. France needs to take a step forward on this issue in order to accept that openness to transcendence is a right for everyone.

In a secular setting, how should Catholics defend their concerns on societal issues such as euthanasia or same-sex marriage?

Pope Francis: It is up to Parliament to discuss, argue, explain, reason [these issues]. That is how a society grows.


However, once a law has been adopted, the state must also respect [people’s] consciences. The right to conscientious objection must be recognized within each legal structure because it is a human right. Including for a government official, who is a human person. The state must also take criticism into account. That would be a genuine form of laicity. Full story on La Croix

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mensahe ni Cong. Lord Allan Velasco

Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Q. Velasco (right) with Associate Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., Mayor-elect Lorna Q. Velasco (Torrijos), and the chairman of the Provincial Board of Canvassers


🙏🏻 After 5 days....Natapos din po!!🙏🏻
Gusto ko po sanang kunin itong pagkakataon para po magpa Salamat sa 60,759 na ating mga Kababayan na nagbigay tiwala at suporta sa inyong Lingkod.. sa lahat po ng tumulong at nagsulong ng adhikain natin para sa Probinsya.. at sa lahat po ng nag-alay ng mga Dasal para sa tagumpay ng ating Lalawigan..🙏🏻
Sobrang nakakatuwa pung isipin na marami na sa atin ang talagang naghahangad na Magbago at Umunlad ang ating Lalawigan. Ito po ay isang napakabigat na hamon at responsibilidad na ibinigay ninyo, pero alam ko po na kakayanin natin ito dahil hindi lamang ako ang magsusulong nito kundi ang buong Lalawigan natin. Basta Sama-sama, kayang-kaya!!❤️👊🏻
Let us start the change!!👊🏻
Start it within ourselves and
Be the change!!😊
Ibalik ang Sigla sa Isla🌴🎏💦☀️
Love for country will make this nation great again - LAV🇵🇭❤️

Mensahe ni Gasan Mayor Vicky Lao-Lim tungkol sa nakaraang eleksyon

"SAPAGKAT HINDI PO TAYO NAGWAGI SA HANGARING MAKAPAGSERBISYO BILANG GOBERNADOR NG LALAWIGAN, TAOS PUSO AKONG NAGPAPASALAMAT SA 34,800 VOTERS NA NAGREGALO NG KANILANG MAHALAGANG BOTO SA AKIN AT SA BAYAN. MARAMING SALAMAT PO, KAYO AY TUNAY NA NAGMAMAHAL SA BAYAN AT NAGMAMALASAKIT NA ISULONG ANG PAGBABAGO AT MAGANDANG KINABUKASAN NG NAPAKARAMING NAGHIHIRAP NA KABABAYAN.

"MASAYANG TINANGGAP KO ANG PAGKATALO AT TAAS NOONG MAIPAGMALAKING NANINDIGAN TAYO HANGGANG SA HULING ORAS NG ELECTION WALA TAYONG BINILI NI ISANG BOTO.
"...SADYANG HINDI PA HANDA ANG KARAMIHANG BOTANTE SA TUNAY NA PAGBABAGO. KUNG KAILAN SILA MAGIGISING AT MAGING HANDA, DI NATIN MATITIYAK, PANGINOONG DIOS LANG ANG NAKAKAALAM."



TO ALL MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS,

MARAMING SALAMAT PO SA LAHAT NG PAGBATI NUNG MOTHERS DAY AT PATI PO SA LAHAT NG SUPORTA AT MALAKING TIWALA SA AKING GINAWANG SERBISYONG MATAPAT AT SAKRIPISYO UPANG ANG GASAN AY MAGKAROON NG MALAKING PAGBABAGO. AKO AY LABIS NA NAGPAPASALAMAT SA LAHAT NG MGA KABABAYAN NATIN NA TUMULONG UPANG MAGTAGUMPAY TAYO SA ATING PANGARAP NA MAPAUNLAD ANG GASAN.

AT SA MGA WALANG NAITULONG PWEDE PO BA TANGGAPIN AT IPAGMALAKI ANG MAGANDANG PAGBABAGO SA ATING BAYAN NA HINAHANGAAN SA BUONG MARINDUQUE?

WAG PO NATIN SIRAIN ANG ATING BAYAN, NG DAHIL LANG SA PULITIKA. MAGTATAPOS NA ANG SERBISYO KO BILANG MAYOR SA JUNE 30,2016. AT SA PAGPAPALIT NG PINUNO DALANGIN KO IPAGPATULOY ANG MGA IIWANAN KONG PROYEKTO NG MAHUSAY AT MAGING HIGIT NA MAUNLAD ANG BAYAN AT MAMAMAYAN NG GASAN.

SAPAGKAT HINDI PO TAYO NAGWAGI SA HANGARING MAKAPAGSERBISYO BILANG GOBERNADOR NG LALAWIGAN, TAOS PUSO AKONG NAGPAPASALAMAT SA 34,800 VOTERS NA NAGREGALO NG KANILANG MAHALAGANG BOTO SA AKIN AT SA BAYAN. MARAMING SALAMAT PO, KAYO AY TUNAY NA NAGMAMAHAL SA BAYAN AT NAGMAMALASAKIT NA ISULONG ANG PAGBABAGO AT MAGANDANG KINABUKASAN NG NAPAKARAMING NAGHIHIRAP NA KABABAYAN.

MASAYANG TINANGGAP KO ANG PAGKATALO AT TAAS NOONG MAIPAGMALAKING NANINDIGAN TAYO HANGGANG SA HULING ORAS NG ELECTION WALA TAYONG BINILI NI ISANG BOTO. DI KO KAYANG SIRAIN ANG PANGAKO KAY BISHOP JUNIE AT SA MGA TAONG SIMULAT SIMULA PA NG PAKIKIPAG UGNAYAN SA MGA BARANGAY NG BUONG MARINDUQUE AY SINABI KO NA HINDI AKO MAMIMILI NG BOTO UPANG MAIPAKITA SA BUONG PILIPINAS NA MARARANGAL ANG MGA BOTANTE NG MARINDUQUE.

WALA PO TAYONG MAGAGAWA SINIKAP KONG MARATING LAHAT PATI KASULOK SULUKAN AT KABUNDOK BUNDUKAN NG BUONG MARINDUQUE UPANG MAKILALA AKO AT MAIPALIWANAG ANG LAYUNIN KO BILANG GOBERNADOR...

SADYANG HINDI PA HANDA ANG KARAMIHANG BOTANTE SA TUNAY NA PAGBABAGO. KUNG KAILAN SILA MAGIGISING AT MAGING HANDA, DI NATIN MATITIYAK, PANGINOONG DIOS LANG ANG NAKAKAALAM.....

MULI MARAMING SALAMAT PO AT SANA PATULOY TAYONG GABAYAN NG DIOS AMA SA LANGIT SA PAGTAHAK SA TUNAY NA MATUWID NA LANDAS AT NAAAYON SA KANYANG KALOOBAN.

SUMASAINYO AT NAGMAMAHAL,


MAYOR VICKY LIM

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Lightning strikes kill 65 in four days in Bangladesh

NBC News carried a similar story from AP adding that 'Experts attributed those deaths to increased deforestation and metal devices such as cell phones, according to the AP."
Lightning strikes kill 65 in four days in Bangladesh
(CNN)Sixty-five people have been killed by lightning strikes in Bangladesh in four days, as the country endures its annual severe storm season.
Most of the deaths occurred in rural parts of north and central Bangladesh, with the victims predominantly farmers and construction workers, Reaz Ahmed, director general of Bangladesh's Department of Disaster Management, told CNN on Monday.
The deadliest recent day was Thursday, when 34 people were killed, he said. Twenty-one died the following day, seven on Saturday and three on Sunday.

Lightning strikes are relatively common in the low-lying, densely-populated nation, with the country experiencing severe storms with frequent lightning often between March and June, ahead of the onset of the monsoon.
Bangladeshi rickshaw drivers take shelter during a heavy downpour in the capital, Dhaka.
The storms were caused by strong cold fronts moving out of the Himalayas and southeastward, encountering warm, moist air from the Bay of Bengal.
    Deforestation has exacerbated the problem, with the lack of trees making farmers working in fields a target for lightning strikes.

    Ahmed said that while lightning was common at this time of year, the number of fatalities was higher than usual. Last year, 274 people were killed by lightning.

    "We are discussing with our meteorological experts on why the deaths are higher this year," he said, adding that the government had been running a public education campaign on how people could protect themselves from lightning.

    The government is providing 20,000 Bangladeshi takas ($253) to victims' families, and 10,000 Bangladeshi takas (roughly $126) to the wounded, he said.

    So far this year, five people have been killed by lightning in the United States, a country with about double the population of Bangladesh, which has 157 million people.

    About 90% of victims of lightning strikes survive, although many endure debilitating injuries. The odds of a person being struck by lightning during his or her lifetime is about one in 12,000.

    Rickshaw pullers carry passengers during a downpour at TSC in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 13 May 2016. City dwellers was relieved after the rain as they were having hot weather for the past weeks. Reports say dozens of people were killed after being struck by lightning during the countrywide storm the last two days. ABIR ABDULLAH / EPA