PM extends greetings to countrymen on Victory Day



Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has extended her sincere greetings and warm felicitations to the country’s people on the occasion of the 49th Victory Day.

“…16th December is the Great Victory Day. This is a unique day for the Bangalee nation. Responding to the clarion call of the greatest Bangalee of all times the 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 struggle and a 9-month bloody war against the Pakistani occupation forces, she said.

“I extend my sincere greetings and warm felicitations to the country’s people on the occasion of the 49th Victory Day,” the premier said in a message issued on Sunday.

Paying deep homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she recalled with gratitude the four national leaders, three million martyrs, two hundred thousand dishonored women and the bravest sons of the soil-our freedom fighters, who earned our long-cherished freedom and independent Bangladesh.

“Under the undaunted leadership of Bangabandhu, the Bangalee nation got prepared for independence through Language Movement of 1952, Education Movement of 1962, 6-Point Demand of 1966 and 11-point Movement and Mass Upsurge of 1969,” Sheikh Hasina said.

“The Awami League secured an absolute majority in the general elections of 1970. However, Pakistanis prevented Bangalee from assuming power. Father of the Nation realised that the oppression, persecution and deprivation meted out to the Bangalee nation would not be ended without achieving the independence.

“Accordingly, on the historic 7th March of 1971, he in front of a million of people at the then Race Course Maidan firmly pronounced, ‘The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is a struggle for independence,” she said.

The country-wide non-cooperation movement had started at the directives of Bangabandhu and preparations for waging armed struggle also had begun as part of the Liberation War, Sheikh Hasina said.

On the fateful night of 25th March of 1971, the Prime Minister said, the Pakistani occupation forces launched a brutal onslaught and committed genocide on the innocent and unarmed Bangalees.

She said Bangabandhu declared independence of Bangladesh at the early hours of the 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 President, Syed Nazrul Islam as Vice-President and Tajuddin Ahmed as Prime Minister which was sworn-in on the 17th April of 1971 at the historic Mujibnagar and led the Liberation War.

The valiant freedom fighters earned the victory on the 16th December of 1971 by defeating Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators-rajakars, albadars and alshams, Sheikh Hasina said, adding: “We achieved an independent-sovereign country. Holding the red-green flag high the victorious Bangalees are marching forward towards the progressive path.”

She noted that when the Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had fully engaged himself in the struggle to reconstruct the war-ravaged country, the anti-liberation forces in collusion with the war criminals assassinated him along with most of his family members on August 15, 1975.

“They had initiated the politics of killings, coup and conspiracy and obstructed the process to bring the killers of Bangabandhu to book through promulgating Indemnity Ordinance. They ruined democracy by declaring Martial Law. They distorted the glorious history of our independence, debased its spirit. They defaced the constitution and suppressed the press freedom. Later, the BNP-Jamat alliance government had kept on doing so,” the premier said.

Noting that the Awami League, after a long 21 years of struggle and sacrifice, assumed the responsibility of running the government in 1996, she said: “Then again our party has been in government for last three consecutive terms since 2009 and relentlessly been working for uplift of the people. Bangladesh, one of the top five countries in the world in economic growth, is a ‘Role Model’ for development. We are the first in the world started implementing ‘Delta Plan-2100’.”

“In the last fiscal, we achieved record 8.13% GDP growth. The poverty rate has now decreased to 21%. Our per capita income has risen to US$1,909 and literacy rate 73.9%. Country’s 95% people are under electricity coverage. The average life expectancy of the people has jumped to 72 years. We are implementing a number of mega infrastructure development projects such as Padma Bridge, metro-rail, elevated expressways, rail and waterways across the country,” the Prime Minister said.

She said the government is working with adherence to the ‘zero-tolerance policy’ against militancy, terrorism and drug menace.

“We have established the rule of law in the country and executed the verdict of the trial of the killers of the Father of the Nation and the trial of the war criminals. We have peacefully resolved the land boundary issue with India.

“Disputes with India and Myanmar on maritime boundary have also been resolved. Bangladesh’s contribution to the various international forums for establishing global peace has been lauded. We have also joined the elite club of the satellite technology as the 57th nation of the world through launching Bangabandhu Satellite-1,” Sheikh Hasina said.

She said Bangladesh and UNESCO will jointly celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu next year, while the government has been working to make Bangladesh a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed-prosperous one by 2041. “Bangladesh is moving ahead, it will keep on doing so.”

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