It’s a proud moment for the nation. Bangladesh is celebrating 50 years of its independence and birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led the nation to freedom.
Bangladesh rose from the ashes of a devastating and exceptionally bloody nine-month war. Infamously dubbed a ‘basket case’ in its infancy, the country bravely faced all odds and became a global role model of development.
This year, as Bangladesh marks two historic occasions together, the UN gave its final recommendation to remove the least developed country tag.
Bangladesh kicked off a 10-day special festivity on Wednesday to observe the birth centenary and the golden jubilee of Independence.
President Abdul Hamid was present as the chief guest at the inauguration of the grand celebration that started at 4:30pm in the city’s national parade square ground in the Mujib Borsho.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the inaugural event, while President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih attended it as the guest of honour. Bangabandhu’s youngest daughter Sheikh Rehana was also present to witness the proud moment.
The special programme is being arranged maintaining health protocol amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Only 500 participants are allowed in the events of the national celebration at the national parade square ground.
Dhaka and key establishments across the country wore a festive look during the grand celebration themed ‘Mujib Chirontan’ on the occasion of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary on March 17 and the golden jubilee of the independence on March 26.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was received by President and Chief Coordinator of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee Professor Rafiqul Islam and Dr Kamal Abdul Naser at the venue.
President Abdul Hamid, accompanied by his wife Rashida Khanam, arrived at the venue at 4:29pm. Prime Minister Hasina received the President at the time.
Maldives President Solih, accompanied by first lady Fazna Ahmed, reached the venue. President Hamid and Prime Minister Hasina received him.
A group of 100 children sang a chorus of the National Anthem, which was followed by some patriotic songs. Title Animation Video of the celebration was screened and theme song of Mujib Birth Centenary (written by poet Kamal Chowdhury) was played.
Heads of the governments or states are joining the historic celebration as guests.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga sent greeting messages. Alongside the video messages of the three leaders, the greeting message of true friend of Bangladesh and noted journalist Sir William Mark Tully was also screened.
Then President Hamid, President Solih and Prime Minister Hasina addressed the inaugural event.
On the occasion of the celebration, Chinese President Xi Jinping gifted a bust of Bangabandhu to Prime Minister Hasina.
Prof Rafiqul Islam delivered the welcome speech at the event moderated by former cultural minister Asaduzzaman Noor.
The guests – President Hamid, Maldives President Solih, Prime Minister Hasina and Sheikh Rehana – were honoured by providing mementos in the event.
Speaker of Parliament, Chief Justice, cabinet members, parliamentarians, foreign diplomats, noted dignitaries and senior officials were present at the function.
Later, a cultural programme was held and the Wednesday’s event ended with a firework show.
Besides, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi will attend the celebration in person on March 26, while Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa will join on March 19, President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari on March 22, and Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering on March 24.
Among others, recorded video messages from France President Emmanuel Macron, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye kyun, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will be screened on other days of the programmes to mark the historic celebration.
Chiefs of international organizations and prominent persons including OIC Secretary General Yousef bin Ahmad Al–Othaimeen and Pope Francis will also send the video messages for the majestic event.
Bangladesh eyes stronger relations with the external world through celebration of the 50 years of Independence amid presence of global leaders – both in person and virtually.
During the 10-day celebration, the program begins at 4:30 pm and concludes at 8pm on March 17, 19, 22, 24 and 26. On the other five days, it will start at 5:16pm and end at 8pm.
President Abdul Hamid will also be present in the programme on March 22 and 26, while Prime Minister Hasina on March 19, 22, 24 and 26.
Among the programmes, there are separate theme-based discussion, cultural programmes, audio-visual and other presentations to pay tribute to Bangabandhu every day.
Source: United News of Bangladesh