She added: “Let us not trample the Liberation War’s spirit of non-communalism . . . let us not forget our debt to tens of thousands of martyrs.”
“This Bangladesh is the land of Lalon Shah, Rabindranath, Kazi Nazrul, Jibonanda . . . This Bangladesh is the Bangladesh of Shahjalal, Shah Paran, Shah Makhdum and Khanjahal Ali; this is a land of 16 and a half crores of Bengalis — this country belongs to all,” Sheikh Hasina said.
She particularly urged the youths and new generations uphold the this spirit and not forget the “sacrifices of your forefathers”.
BSS adds: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cautioned the countrymen against the reappearance of fanaticism in her Victory Day speech, saying her government was determined to prevent any attempt to use religion as a “political weapon” to create social unrests.
“Don’t use religion as a political tool . . . we will not allow anyone to create any anarchy or division in this country in the name of religion,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said a section of defeated forces of 1971 reappeared in the political landscape to mislead ordinary pious Muslims with concocted and confusing messages to create social unrests to return the country to a situation which the nation overcame 50 years ago.
She said being patronized by a political quarter, these elements even dared to show their red eyes to the government though Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had warned the nation against the use of religion as a political weapon many decades ago.
Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prime minister said not only Bangladesh, the entire world has been suffering due to the lethal disease which has put a huge negative impact on health management alongside the economy.
Pointing out that economy of many developed and emerging countries has registered a negative growth in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, she said Bangladesh has been able to tackle its negative impact by taking timely and appropriate measures.
“We’ve have set an example in the world with tackling the coronavirus pandemic in unison,” she said”
Sheikh Hasina said the government has declared a set of stimulus packages worth Taka 1,21,000 crore which are 4.3 percent of the GDP.
Besides, she said, cash incentive has also been given to 2.5 crore marginal people of different professions, while remittance, agriculture production and export earnings have rebounded overcoming the primary setback caused by the COVID-19.
“Our foreign currency reserve has exceeded US$ 41 billon despite the pandemic,” she added.
Mentioning that country’s GDP growth has registered 5.24 percent in the last fiscal, the premier said several international organizations have forecast that Bangladesh’s economic growth in 2020 would be the highest in South Asia.
Sheikh Hasina said development work of different mega projects has been going on in full swing, and all the spans of the Padma Bridge, the dream and pride project of country’s people, have already been installed.
Apart from it, the work of metro rail in Dhaka is progressing fast, while Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant did not witness a single day work closure and construction work of Matarbari Power Plant in Cox’s Bazar, tunnel under Karnaphuli river in Chattogram as well as four-lane of country’s highways is going speedily, she continued.
The prime minister said the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is being celebrated on a limited scale due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ll celebrate the 50th anniversary of our independence next year, and if the coronavirus pandemic goes away, the Golden Jubilee of our independence will be celebrated with due enthusiasm and jubilation alongside the programmes marking the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation,” she added.
Mentioning that Bangabandhu used to say that none will show respect to a nation of beggar, the prime minister said, “We’ve have come out of the image by putting Bangladesh at a dignified position on the world stage.”
Noting that today’s Bangladesh is not an economically-fragile nation, she said the country is now self-reliant economically. “Now, 97 percent of the fiscal budget are met by own financing and this Bangladesh is not depended on anybody,” she said.
Referring to the attainment of all criteria to step into the list of developing countries from the least developed ones, the premier said “We’re on the edge of materializing the dream of the Father of the Nation to turn Bangladesh into a hunger-and-poverty-free as well as non-communal ‘Sonar Bangla’.”
She went on saying, “We’ve to keep up the development spree, and then our dream of becoming developed and prosperous country by 2041 will be fulfilled.”