DHAKA, Dec 16, 2020 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina extended her sincere greetings and warm felicitations to the countrymen marking the 50th Victory Day.
She also expressed deep gratitude to those countries and persons who helped Bangladesh by various means during the War of Liberation.
“. . . 16th December is the Great Victory Day and National Day. This is one of the glorious days of the Bengali Nation. Responding to the clarion call of the greatest Bangalee of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Bangalee Nation earned ultimate victory on this day in 1971 after 23 years of intense political struggles and nine-month bloody war against the Pakistani occupation forces,” said the Prime Minister in a message on the occasion of the Great Victory Day.
Paying deep homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she recalled with gratuity three million martyrs, two hundred thousand dishonored women and the bravest sons of the soil-freedom fighters, for whose supreme sacrifices we have got an independent and sovereign Bangladesh.
“Under the undaunted leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, the Bangalee nation got prepared for independence through Language Movement of 1948-1952, Education Movement of 1962, Six Point Demand of 1966 and 11-point Movement and Mass Upsurge of 1969,” said the Prime Minister.
She said Awami League secured an absolute majority in the general elections of 1970. However, Pakistanis prevented Bangalee Nation from assuming the power. Father of the Nation realized that the oppression, persecution and deprivation meted out to the Bangalee Nation would not be ended without achieving independence.
“Accordingly, on the historic 7th March of 1971, Bangabandhu in front of a million of people at the then Race Course Maidan firmly pronounced, ‘The struggle this time is the struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is the struggle for independence,’ ” she added.
‘At the call of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, country-wide non-cooperation movement began and preparation for waging armed struggle also continued’, she said.
She said Pakistani occupation forces launched a brutal onslaught and committed genocide on the innocent and unarmed Bangalees on the fateful night of 25th March, 1971.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu declared independence of Bangladesh at the early hours of 26th March of 1971 resulting in the formal War of Independence while the first government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was formed with Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the President, Syed Nazrul Islam as the Vice-President and Tajuddin Ahmad as the Prime Minister which was sworn-in on 17th April of 1971 at the historic Mujibnagar and led the Liberation War.
The valiant freedom fighters earned ultimate victory on 16th December 1971 by defeating Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators- Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Sham. We got our red-green flag, she said.
She noted that when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib had engaged himself in rebuilding the war-ravaged Bangladesh, the anti-liberation war criminal cliques assassinated the Father of the Nation along with most of his family members on 15th August 1975.
“Through this heinous killing, they initiated the politics of killings, coup and conspiracy and blocked trial of Bangabandhu’s killers through promulgating Indemnity Ordinance; thwarted democracy by declaring Martial Law. They distorted the glorious history of Liberation War; destroyed its spirit; tailored the Constitution and restricted the freedom of the press. Later, the BNP-Jamaat alliance government had kept on doing so,” said the Prime Minister.
She said Bangladesh is now a self-reliant country, she said during 1996-2001 and the tenures of successive Awami League governments since 2009, Bangladesh has made incredible socio-economic progress. Per capita income rose from US $543 in 2005-06 to US $2,085 now and Bangladesh has qualified to graduate to a developing country, she said, adding that various mega projects, including Padma Bridge, Metro Rail and Elevated Expressway are being implemented in road, rail, and sea and air communication sector.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has joined the list of Satellite technology savvy countries as the 57th nation in the world with the launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1. Bangladesh is now one of the top five countries in the world in terms of economic progress, a country of ‘Role model’ of development.
“We have relentlessly been working to turn Bangladesh into a developed-prosperous country by 2041. We have started the implementation of the world’s first 100-year ‘Delta Plan 2100’,” she added.
She said the government has adopted ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy to combat militancy, terrorism, and repression on women and drugs menaces.
The Prime Minister said UNESCO has joined Bangladesh in celebrating the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and next year Bangladesh will celebrate the golden jubilee of our Independence.
“Inspired by the spirit of the great War of Liberation, let us unite against all communal evil forces and thwart any conspiracy against the country, democracy and the government,” she said.
“In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, we must follow the health guidelines, and play our due role in maintaining the country’s development, progress and continuity of democracy. May this be our firm pledge on this great Victory Day,” said the Prime Minister.