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International Friends join 50th Anniversary of Victory Day celebrations in Brussels

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 17th December, 2021 08:37:44 PM
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The Embassy of Bangladesh in Brussels and Mission to the European Union celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Glorious Victory Day with spontaneous participation of international friends and partners.

Anchored on the theme of ‘Realizing Dreams & Embracing Responsibilities’, the day long programmes paid befitting tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to Bangladesh’s achievements in the last 50 years and to the country’s aspirations as a responsible nation in the coming days.

A record number of international dignitaries provided messages of felicitations, both in live and pre-recorded format, on this special day of Bangladesh. Director of the Asia Pacific Division of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Jean Cornet d’Elzius said ‘the country has shown resilience in the trials it endured’ and heralded the 50thanniversary celebration of Bangladesh-Belgium diplomatic relations next year.

Santosh Jha, Ambassador of India in Belgium recalled the inspiring leadership of Bangabandhu to bring together people from all walks of life in the struggle for freedom against the forces of oppression and tyranny and stressed that it was ‘India’s honour to be part of this moral struggle’. He highlighted the importance of India and Bangladesh moving forward together for the development of the entire region.

Referring to Bangladesh’s contribution to international peace and security through its longstanding participation in UN peacekeeping as exemplary, Gyaltshen Penjor, Ambassador ofBhutan in Belgium said ‘the achievements of Bangladesh go far beyond its borders’.

On behalf of the Managing Director of EEAS of the European Union, Ioannis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos, Head of South Asia and Regional Affairs Division at the Asia Pacific Department delivered a message, terming Bangladesh as a ‘steadfast partner’ of the European Union and applauded the progress of the country in human development indicators.

Commending the significant socio-economic progress of Bangladesh and the country’s role in sheltering more than a million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar, Milan Zver, Member of the European Parliament lauded Bangladesh ‘as a model for democratisation in other Muslim countries’.

Helmut Scholz, Member of the European Parliament termed as ‘remarkable’ that the Liberation War of Bangladesh was a reflection of how people were standing up for their freedom, for their ability to shape their own life.

Paulo Casaca, Founder and Executive Director of the South Asia Democratic Forum termed Bangladesh as an example in South Asia and across the world of a country that has been ‘able to achieve a level of development that was unthinkable 50 years ago’.

Ismat Jahan, Ambassador and Head of Mission, Permanent Mission of the OIC to the European Union underscored the active participation and meaningful contribution of Bangladesh to the work of the OIC.

Prof. Dr. Hans Harder from Heidelberg University underscored the relevance of ‘muktijoddher chetona’ in today’s world as ‘a basic mantra of democracy and resilience’.

Speaking in Bangla, Martin Hribek, Assistant Professor in Bengali and Indian Studies, Institute of South and Central Asia,in Charles University, Prague shared that practice of the Bangla language is a long tradition of Charles University and famous Bangladeshi authors such as Syed Waliullah, Abu Ishaque and Hasan AzizulHaq have been translated at his department. He wished for greater prosperity of Bangladesh and wider dissemination of the Bangla language.

Atsuko Hirose, Deputy Secretary General of Energy Chartercongratulated Bangladesh for going from strength to strength and observed that the last fifty years symbolize the determination and ambition of the people of Bangladesh and are also a testament to the resilience of Bangladeshis.

EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley and Ambassador of Saudi Arabia Khalid Al Jindanalso joined the programme and accorded warm messages of felicitations on this special day.

As part of the celebrations, the programme brought alive the inspiration of Bangabandhu and the story and culture of Bangladesh through a dance recital titled ‘Eternal Bangabandhu and a Triumphant Nation’, performed by the renowned dance troupe Nrityanchal.

In the morning segment of the programme, members of the Bangladesh community in Belgium and Luxembourg joined the celebrations. Renowned freedom fighter Nasir Uddin Yousuff recalled memories of active participation in the War, the struggles of the Bangalis under the leadership of Bangabandhu and the ongoing successful development journey undertaken by Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He shared his thoughts and hopes for a progressive, prosperous Bangladesh for the young generation.

Members of the Bangladesh community who participated in the programme, recalled the contribution of Bangabandhu in the daily lives of all Bangladeshis and particularly for those living abroad. They highlighted that Bangabandhu’s works, teachings, and ideals will forever remain a guiding force for the nation.

In his speech, Ambassador Mahbub Hassan Saleh paid homage to Bangabandhu and all the martyred members of his family, three million martyrs of the Liberation War and more than two hundred thousand women freedom fighters who were violated by the Pakistan military and their local collaborators.

He recalled the contribution of the international community in the independence of Bangladesh, including that of India and Bhutan. He reiterated Bangladesh’s pledge to continue to recreate and realize Bangabandhu’s dreams and to propagate the message of peace throughput the whole world.

Terming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the ‘lighthouse’ for the people of the country, as the source of inspiration, energy and identity, he highlighted Bangladesh’s progress towards becoming a middle-income country, towards taking up greater responsibilities in the world stage.

On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Victory Day, Ambassador Saleh held a conversation with Lt. Col. (Retd.) Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir, Bir Protik, which can be viewed on the Facebook page of the Embassy.

The programme began in the morning with hoisting of the national flag and Ambassador Mahbub Hassan Saleh placing a floral wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu.

During the programme, messages on the occasion issued by the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and State Minister for Foreign Affairs were read out by the officials of the Embassy.

Both sessions of the programme were organized on virtual platform in keeping with local health regulations regarding COVID-19. The programme was also streamed live on the Facebook page of the Embassy.