Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering arrives in Dhaka today on a three-day state visit, the 4th of the South Asian leaders, to attend the grand celebrations of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
A special flight carrying Lotay Tshering is expected to arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital at 9:30am. Nineteen gun-salutes will be heralded in the air to welcome the Bhutanese premier.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will welcome her Bhutanese counterpart at the VVIP tarmac of the airport by presenting him with a bouquet.
The Bhutanese leader will then be taken to the saluting dais when a smartly turnout contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force will present guard of honour. He will inspect the guard.
Bangladesh has a very special relation with Bhutan since it was the first country to recognise Bangladesh. Bhutan’s recognition came on December 6, 1971. It emerges from our history that Bhutan recognised first... even before Bangladesh's birth.
Both India and Bhutan recognised Bangladesh on December 6 but Bhutan did it first. This means that the recognition by the two neighbours came a few hours apart. In the message of recognition, Bhutan's Third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, wished Bangladeshi people success and prayed for the safety of independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Then Prime Minister of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay during his visit on December 8, 2014, handed over to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina “a text of the wireless message that was sent on December 6, 1971 by the Third King of Bhutan to the then acting President of Bangladesh conveying recognition of Bangladesh by Bhutan as a sovereign independent country.”
The airport ceremony over, the Bhutanese premier will visit Savar to place a wreath at the National Memorial. He will also plant a sapling there. He will then move to Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi.After laying a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu, the Bhutanese premier will drive to InterContinental Dhaka where he will be staying during his visit.
As per the programme schedule, the Bhutanese premier will then move to BIMSTEC Secretariat at Gulshan and hold meeting with the BIMSTEC Secretary General.
In the evening, he will attend a banquet to be hosted by the Bangladesh prime minister in honour of the Bhutanese leader at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. There will be a cultural programme prior to the banquet.
On Wednesday, the Bhutanese premier will hold an exclusive meeting at 11:20am with his Bangladesh counterpart at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and it will be followed by delegation-level bilateral talks.
Vice-Chancellor of Brac University Vincent Chang and Dr Mamun Khan of Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery will call on the Bhutanese premier separately.
Dr Lotay Tshering will call on the President of Bangladesh at Bangabhaban at 4:00pm on Wednesday. He will then attend the celebration programmes at the National Parade Ground.
In the evening, the Bhutanese premier will meet Bhutanese community in Dhaka at Royal Bhutanse Embassy.
Ending his three-day visit to Bangladesh, he will leave Dhaka for home at 10:10am on Thursday.