Bhutan Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering on Wednesday lauded the role of his counterpart Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh’s development and dealing with the pandemic, and said the country is “truly blessed to have her”.
He said even from a distance, “I could sense so much care and concern for her people. Bangladesh is truly blessed to have her.”
“I am sure Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is proud of Bangladesh today and of course, his daughter,” he said while addressing at the national celebration of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence at the National Parade Ground in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was also present at the event.
He said: “While we have many bilateral engagements, I have seized the opportunity to visit Bangladesh this time with sole intention to pay tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his heroic legacies that laid strong foundations for a peaceful, progressive, and prosperous Bangladesh.
“I have also come here to pay respect to the daughter who has displayed deep commitments to realise her father’s dream of “Sonar Bangla”. Like I mentioned earlier, she is one such leader who places the freedom and happiness of her people before everything else. Bangladesh has progressed at all levels.”
“The improvements are so visible each time I visit the country, especially in the last one decade, the strides Bangladesh has made in its economy is highly commendable,” said the Bhutan Prime Minister.
“Despite the pandemic, you have also been able to retain one of the highest GDP growths in the continent.”
The Prime Minister conveyed the greetings from the King, the Queen and the people of Bhutan to the government and the friendly people of Bangladesh.
“It is always a delight to return to Bangladesh, which I call my second home,” he said as he studied 11 years – seven years in Mymensingh Medical College and four years in Dhaka for postgraduate – in Bangladesh.
“But this time, the reason is even more compelling. I have come to celebrate two very special events with my friends and the people of Bangladesh,” he said.
“The birth centenary of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and the 50 years of independence of the country he gave his life for. I strongly believe that as a part of humanity, we all have a story to share.
“Bangladesh has story to share and I am happy to be listening to it, seated next to Her Excellency the prime minister, an inspiring leader and a mother-like figure for me.
“Such significant occasions uplift the spirit of not just the people of Bangladesh but the entire region at a time when COVID-19 pandemic has claimed many precious lives and disrupted livelihoods of millions around the world,” he said.
“Here, I would like to offer my heartfelt prayers to the families who have suffered a great deal.
“We have endured the unprecedented challenge so far and wish you strength, as we hope to see the end of it soon,” he said referring to the virtual interactions with his counterpart during the pandemic.
“For Bhutan, our King is leading the combat against the disease, and ensuring the wellbeing and livelihood of our people.
“His Majesty has always regarded the safety and sustenance of the people of Bhutan as his sacred duty.
“With such benevolence from the golden throne, we feel so reassured, not just at critical times but at all times to come.
“I am a firm believer that only those leaders who centre their principles around humanity and compassion can bring about the desired peace and stability in the world.
“Like the rest of all Bhutanese, I remain grateful to my King. It is laudable that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and team have managed the situation so well despite the overwhelming size and population.
“We are also deeply appreciative of the support extended by the government and the people of Bangladesh during these extraordinary times,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said that the development forecasts are even more impressive.
“We are proud of the progress because strong economy for Bangladesh will be an impetus for Bhutan and the region. This year is also special as we have enjoyed 50 years of bilateral ties with Bangladesh. We shall strive to secure far more success and achievement, as we continue our journey together in the second half of the century. And in this journey, while Bhutan will continue to be guided by Gross National Happiness, the development philosophy conceived by our King, I can comfortably relate it to similar wisdom from your leader, Bangabhandu Sheikh Mujib who said, “Sokoler sathay bondhutto, karo sathay biddesh noy”. (Friendship to all, malice to none)”
“With such identical lights shining our path, it is not surprising that the two countries have developed so much affinity and affection along the way,” he said.
“May the legacy of the Father of the Nation echo for eternity! As beautifully inscribed by Annada Shankar Roy, “Joto din robay padda, jamuna, gouri, meghna bohoman, toto din robay kirti tomar Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”. (As long as Padma, Meghna, Gouri, and Jamuna rivers continue to flow, the accomplishments of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will remain alive in the hearts of the people) (In Bengali)- I find these words so true and insightful,” he said, thanking the prime minister for giving him the opportunity to be part of the history.