Tuesday, 25 January, 2022

‘Maitree Dibas’ celebrated in 20 countries

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 7 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
‘Maitree Dibas’ celebrated in 20 countries

Bangladesh and India on Monday jointly celebrated ‘Maitree Dibas’ in 20 countries to commemorate the historic December 6, the day when Bhutan and India recognised Bangladesh as a sovereign and independent state in 1971.

The day has been designated by the Prime Ministers of Bangladesh and India as Bangladesh-India Friendship Day (Maitree Dibas) in March 2021.

As part of the celebrations, Friendship Day was jointly commemorated in 18 selected countries, including Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE, the USA, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Qatar, Singapore and the UK, in addition to the celebrations in Bangladesh and India by the respective diplomatic missions of the two countries.

The celebration of Friendship Day coincides with Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s Independence and 50th anniversary of Bangladesh-India friendship.

The reports from different foreign missions say that the Friendship Day programme was observed on Monday as planned.

In few of the cities, the celebrations would be held at a later date due to the Covid-19 related restrictions declared by the host governments.

According to a message received from the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi, India and Bangladesh celebrated December 6 as “Maitree Dibas”, the 50th anniversary of India-Bangladesh diplomatic relationship.

The governments of both the countries have taken a number of programmes to celebrate the day.

Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA), a renowned think tank of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, arranged a seminar in the afternoon to reminiscence the historical and eventful ties of 50 years between India and Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who sent a video message to the seminar, mentioned historical aspects of friendly relationship of these two countries in her six minutes recorded speech to address the seminar.

She respectfully recalled the sacrifice of Indian soldiers and the cooperation of the people of India during the liberation war. She mentioned that the relationship of India and Bangladesh is blood relationship. She also remembered the great contribution and support of the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said over the last 50 years of friendship between Bangladesh and India is now at a unique height. The friendship will remain strong forever because the relationship is built on the glory of deep trust, friendship and above all sacrifice, she added.

Former Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said during the regime of the present government a new dimension has been added about Bangladesh-India relations. He said today is the time to realise that the relationship is always trusted and reciprocity.

“So, if Bangladesh is good, India will be good.  We want to move forward with this goal.”

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said Bangladesh has graduated to list of the developing countries.

He lauded the development journey of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government and said that India would always stand by Bangladesh as a trusted friend.

Minister of State of Cultural Affairs KM Khaled, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India Mohammad Imran, Director General of ICWA Shrimati Vijay Thakur Singh, Former High Commission of India to Bangladesh Rajeett Mitter took part in the seminar as discussants.

On the other hand, Bangladesh High Commission hosted a reception for 20 Indian Army war veterans who fought for Bangladesh independence in 1971.

Bangladesh High Commission also hosted a cultural programme in the Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi in the evening to celebrate ‘Maitree Dibas’. Renowned Rabindra Sangeet singer Rezwana Choudhury Bannya performed in the programme.

Report from Tokyo says the Embassies of Bangladesh and India in Tokyo celebrated the 50 years of Bangladesh – India Relations through Friendship Day with due fervor on Monday.

To mark the day, a reception was organised at a local hotel on Monday evening where Honda Taro, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan graced the programme as Chief Guest.

Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan Sahabuddin Ahmed and Ambassador of India Sanjay Kumar Verma received the distinguished guests.

Ambassadors and representatives of different diplomatic missions, dignitaries, high-officials, renowned businesspersons, academicians, journalists from Japan and expatriates from both Bangladesh and India attended the event.

Attendees paid solemn respect to all martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

A colorful cultural programme enthralled the audience. Besides this, Ambassador Sahabuddin Ahmed and Ambassador Sanjay Kumar Verma gave their remarks.