With patriotic fervour and gaiety, the 49th Bangladesh Armed Forces Day was celebrated in Beijing, China on Saturday.
The Bangladesh Embassy in Beijing held elaborate programmes, in line with events organized at the national level, to mark the day in a befitting manner.
Bangladesh Ambassador to China Mahbub Uz Zaman graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
In his speech, the Ambassador paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He said Bangabandhu through his visionary leadership mobilised the Bengali Nation to raise their voices against all sorts of tyranny, oppression and exploitation unleashed by the then Pakistani rulers.
It was through Bangabandhu’s inspirational leadership that led the nation to victory on 16 December 1971, he noted.
Ambassador Mahbub also paid rich tributes to the three million martyrs who made supreme sacrifices during the liberation war.
He mentioned that this day in 1971 is significant for us because on this day, the valiant members of the Army, Navy, and Air Force of Bangladesh launched a combined offensive on land, sea, and air against the Pakistani occupation forces which culminated in final victory on 16 December 1971.
Ambassador Mahbub said that under the leadership of the worthy daughter of Banganbandhu, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh is totally committed to contribute towards global peacekeeping efforts.
Today, Bangladesh Armed Forces have kept the Flag of Bangladesh flying high through their participation in UN Peace Keeping Operations, he continued.
Bangladesh is known globally as the leading troop contributor to UN Peace Keeping Operations under the Blue Berets, he added.
In his speech, Defence Attache Brigadier General SM Mahbub Ul Alam paid rich tributes to the contribution and role of the Father of the Nation for igniting the passion of the Bengalee Nation for independence through the historic speech of 7 March 1971 and his declaration of independence on 26 March 1971.
He said, "Through his inspirational leadership we achieved an independent and sovereign country, Bangladesh on 16 December 1971."
The Defense Attache mentioned the contribution of Bangabandhu to building modern and fully professional Armed Forces.
He also spoke about the heroic role and glorious contribution of the Armed Forces at times of peace and during humanitarian operations.
The Defense Attache underlined the glorious role of the Bangladesh Peace Keepers in United Nations Peace Keeping Operations.
As a precautionary measure, due to the possibility of a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, this year's attendance at the event was kept to a minimum.
It was therefore mainly an in-house programme where Embassy members and a few invited members of the Bangladesh community in Beijing attended.
In accordance with current guidelines being followed by the host authorities, no government officials and PLA representatives were invited.
The event commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag with the playing of the National Anthem of Bangladesh.
A special prayer was then conducted for the salvation of the souls of those brave heroes who embraced martyrdom during the War of Liberation.
Prayer was offered for the peace, progress and prosperity of Bangladesh.
At the commencement of the programme, one minute of silence was observed as a mark of respect to the Seven Bir Shrestos and for the thirty lac shaheeds who sacrificed their lives during the War of Liberation in 1971.
Messages of the President, Prime Minister and the Chiefs of three Services were then read out.
This was followed by a discussion session on the significance of the Armed Forces Day.
Economic Minister, Assistant Defense Attaches and representatives of Bangladesh community in Beijing took part in the discussions, among others.