Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said her government has taken the responsibility for running the state to take Bangladesh to a more dignified position by making it self-reliant in every aspect particularly socioeconomically, reports BSS.
“We have shouldered the responsibility of running the state to take Bangladesh to a more dignified position by achieving self-reliance socioeconomically without seeking help from others,” she said while virtually addressing as the chief guest the “Swadhinata Purashkar-2020” (Independence Award-2020) handing over ceremony from her official Ganabhaban residence.
The Cabinet Division organised the function from Osmani Memorial Auditorium here this morning.
The Prime Minister added “We are a victorious nation as we had achieved independence through the Liberation War defeating the Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators. As a victorious nation we will move around the world with keeping our heads high with due dignity. We will not seek any help from others like baggers as we have to stand on our own feet.”
To achieve dignity, Sheikh Hasina said her government has been untiringly working to reach healthcare service and power to every house, ensure education for all, develop the communication system, provide house to every homeless and landless people and make the countrymen self-reliant economically.
The premier said Bangladesh had lost the possibility of achieving the dignity with the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15 in 1975.
But, assuming office after 21 years, the Awami League has once again started its journey towards making Bangladesh a “Sonar Bangla” envisioned by Father of the Nation, she said.
Sheikh Hasina congratulated the recipients of the Independence Award-2020 saying the government has given the award this year to those personalities, who have immense contribution to independence as well as the country’s socio-economic advancement.
Eight distinguished persons including two posthumously and an educational institute had been named for the “Swadhinata Purashkar-2020” (Independence Award-2020).
The recipients are Jute and Textiles Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi, MP, and Azizur Rahman for Independence and Liberation War, one of the key Liberation War organisers Commander Abdur Rouf (posthumous), martyred intellectual Md Anwar Pasha (posthumous), Professor Dr Md Obaidul Kabir Chowdhury and Prof Dr AKMA Muktadir for medical science, Kalipada Das and actress Ferdousi Mazumdar for culture and Bharateswari Homes, a boarding school for girls in Tangail, for education. Of the recipients, Azizur Rahman had recently died of Covid-19.
On behalf of the Prime Minister, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque handed over the award to recipients in recognition of their glorious and outstanding contribution to their respective fields.
Prof Dr AKMA Muktadir on behalf of the awardees expressed his feeling on receipt of the highest civilian award.
Each award recipient was awarded with a gold medal weighing 50 grams of 18-karat gold, a certificate and Tk 500,000.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam moderated the function and read out the citations with brief life sketch of the recipients.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has taken various initiatives to restore the country’s dignity which was destroyed by military dictator Ziaur Rahman as he gave foreign posting to the killers of Father of the Nation.
Ziaur Rahman not only gave indemnity to killers of Bangabandhu but also stopped the trial of the war criminals and released them from jail after the assassination of Father of the Nation, she said.
She continued that the military dictator coming to the power by violating the constitution also brought back the war criminals, who fled the country with Pakistani passports, to the country and made them cabinet members and advisers.
She added that Father of the Nation had initiated the trial of the war criminals soon after the independence and arrested 21,000 persons in this connection.
The Prime Minister said they had tried the killers of Bangabandhu and initiated the trial of the war criminals for committing crimes against humanity during the country’s Liberation War in 1971 and thus regained the country’s dignity.
The post 1975 government also tried to erase the name of Father of the Nation and banned the Historic March 7 speech, which inspired millions of people to join the Liberation War.
The father of the nation has brought the country’s independence with his 24-year struggle to bring smile on the faces of the countrymen by achieving their emancipation.
In this connection, she said, “We formed the government (in 1996) after 21 years. Since then, we have been trying to put forth the real history before the people.”
The Prime Minister has once again requested all to follow the health guidelines properly to remain protected from the second possible wave of the Covid-19 as Europe has been rattled by the fresh surge of the diseases.
She, however, expressed her firmness that Bangladesh would definitely advance towards prosperity and development due to the governments’ timely measures despite the entire world getting stuck for the pandemic.
The PM prayed for salvation of the departed souls who died of COVID-19, including “Swadhinata Purashkar-2020 recipient Azizur Rahman.
She also wished early recovery of coronavirus patients.