With due patriotic fervor and festivity, the 50th Independence and National Day of Bangladesh was celebrated in Beijing, China on Friday.
Marking the Golden Jubilee of independence in a befitting manner, the Bangladesh Embassy in Beijing held an array of programs.
The celebrations were divided into two segments. The first segment commenced with the hoisting of the flag by Ambassador Mahbub-Uz-Zaman. It was followed by prayer for the martyrs of the Liberation War and the progress and prosperity of Bangladesh.
A special “Munajat” (prayer) was offered for Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members. After that, the Ambassador, along with all officials of the Embassy, paid respect to his memory by placing a floral wreath at his portrait situated at the Bangabandhu Corner and Library of the Embassy.
Messages from the President, the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh on the occasion were read-out. After that, officers of the Embassy participated in the discussions on the Golden Jubilee of Independence.
Ambassador Mahbub-Uz-Zaman, in his speech, paid glowing tribute to the contribution of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He said that through his visionary leadership he led the freedom loving people of Bangladesh to rise against dominance, exploitation, and oppression and wage the liberation struggle against the military rulers.
The Ambassador highlighted the supreme sacrifice of the martyrs of the War and the valiant freedom fighters.
In the evening, a grand reception was held in Marriot NorthEast Hotel in Beijing where Wu Weihua, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (Vice-premier rank) of China attended as the Chief guest.
He was accompanied by Luo Zhaohui, Vice Minister of the Foreign Ministry of China and other high officials. The host government allocated the highest level of Chief Guest which was an honour and prestige for Bangladesh.
At the ceremonial part of the reception, the National Anthem of Bangladesh was played, followed by the National Anthem of the People's Republic of China.
It was followed by the Speech of the Ambassador of Bangladesh and the Chief Guest with a translation of the speeches in Chinese and English, respectively.
A toast for peace and prosperity, and for long-lasting friendship was proposed by the Ambassador and the Chief Guest.
A dance performance was staged by Nihon Anan Rahman, Rukaiya Tahira, and Nameerah Karim Chowdhury with the song “purba digante Shurjo Uthese, rokto lal, rokto lal, rokto lal" ( the Sun has risen in the East horizon of the sky, and the blood is red too).
Thereafter, a cake in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Independence Day was cut by the Ambassador and the Chief guest while Ambassadors of different countries stationed in the Chinese capital also joined them.
In his speech, the Chief Guest, Wu Weihua, highlighted the friendly relationship between the countries.
He referred to the video message of President Xi Jinping, which was broadcast on 17 March 2021 in Dhaka as a part of the 10-day long celebratory events in commemoration of the Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh.
He cited the notion of President Xi Jinping that “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is an old and good friend of Bangladesh”.
He assured that China would continue to extend all possible support to Bangladesh in her development march.
In his remarks, Ambassador Mahbub-Uz-Zaman recalled the contribution of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in creating an independent Bangladesh.
He also highlighted the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs and the freedom fighters.
He thanked the Chief Guest for gracing the event with his presence.
He highlighted the development march of Bangladesh as the country is poised to become a developed country by 2041 under the steadfast stewardship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He thanked the Chinese government for being a development partner of Bangladesh in her quest for economic development, progress and prosperity.
The programme was well attended. With the consent of the local authority, the Embassy extended invitations to the diplomats, high ranking civil and military officials of the host government, businessmen and elites of the city.
There was a huge turnout at the reception which was in fact the largest reception held in Beijing in the recent time.
The pomp, grandeur and attendance that marked the reception, signifies the value that China attaches to the relation with Bangladesh.
- Md Enamul Hassan is a news editor and broadcast journalist at the China Media Group (CMG) in Beijing, China.