National, Front Page

March 17 to 26

World leaders to pay respect to Bangabandhu

Published : 12 Mar 2021 09:58 PM | Updated : 13 Mar 2021 12:59 AM

Prime Ministers of India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Presidents of Maldives and Nepal will visit Dhaka while leaders from China, Canada, Cambodia, Japan, and South Korea will connect virtually to pay respect to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from March 17 to March 26, marking his birth centenary and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh.

Pope Francis and OIC Secretary-General Dr Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen will also speak virtually during the 10-day grand celebrations styled ‘Mujib is eternal’.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told Bangladesh Post that they have invited many global leaders to become part of the celebration which is being seen as a way to have stronger relations with the external world.

Despite willingness, many would not be able to come due to the pandemic. “They will be connected virtually,” he said.

The government announced the period from Mar 17, 2020 to Mar 26, 2021 as Mujib Barsha or Mujib Year to celebrate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation.

To connect the celebration with the 50 years of independent Bangladesh, the 10-day event has been taken. However, due to the pandemic disruption, the government has extended the celebrations of Mujib Year by nine months.

Chief Coordinator of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Birth Centenary Celebration National Implementation Committee Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury on Friday at a briefing said the celebration would begin from the National Parade Ground following the Covid-19 health rules.

Some 500 invited guests from home and abroad will be present at the National Parade Ground on March 17, 19, 22, 24 and 26.

The main theme will be ‘Mujib Chirantan (Mujib is eternal)’, but there will be separate themes for each day celebration.

‘Vengechho Duar Esechho Jotirmoy’ is the theme of March 17 while ‘Mohakaler Torjoni’ for March 18 event, ‘Jotokal Robe Padma Jamuna’ for March 19, ‘Tarunner Alokshikha’ for March 20, ‘Dhongsostupe Jiboner Gan’ for March 21 events, ‘Banglar Mati, Amar Mati’ for March 22, ‘Nari Mukti, Sammo o Swadhinata’ for March 23, Santi, Mukti o Manobotar Agrodoot’ for March 24 events, ‘Gonohottar Kalratri o Aloker Avijatra’ for March 25 and ‘Swadhinatar Panchash Bochhor o Agrogotir Subornorekha’ for March 26.

All programmes, including the March 18, 20, 21, 23 and 25, will be aired live on television channels, online and social media in view of the current situation of Covid-19.

On March 17, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will attend the inauguration session as guest of honour while Chinese President Xi Jinping and

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver the welcome speeches virtually.

On March 19, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa will attend the event as guest of honour while Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari will be present on March 22.

Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering will be present at the National Parade Ground on March 24 while Pope Francis will deliver the welcome speech through virtually.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the closing day of the 10-day event on March 26 and deliver his speech.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will deliver the welcome speech on March 18, OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen will deliver speech on March 20, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on March 22 and South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun and Takasi Hawarkawar Son Osamu Hawakawa from Japan on March 25 virtually.

France President Emmanuel Macron will also send video message.

The events will be held from 4.30pm to 8pm on March 17, 19, 22, 24 and 26 while the programmes of the other days will be held from 5.16pm to 8pm, Chief Coordinator Dr. Chowdhury said.

The Foreign Minister earlier said there would be discussions on many issues, and agreements would be signed during the visit of the head of states.

“The main purpose is to build stronger bonding and friendship,” he said.

A counselor, who is above the Minister in rank, may come with the message from the Chinese President.

However, the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Bangladesh will be his first outside the country tour since the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the two-day stay, he will visit Bangabandhu memorial in Tungipara to pay respect to Bangabandhu and is expected to visit the Orakandi temple and “Satipith”.

 He is also expected to go to Satkhira.