A 10-day celebration to mark 50 years of its independence and birth anniversary of its independence hero – Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman- begins today.
It is being observed to mark the 101st birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, who led Bangladesh’s Liberation War in March 50 years ago.
A host of dignitaries from home and abroad, among whom are a number of heads of state and government in South Asia, will begin joining the celebrations from Wednesday.
Reports said many of them could not make it the last time due to a protracted pandemic situation, when Bangladesh officially launched Bangabandhu’s year-long birth centenary program.
Bangladesh is celebrating the golden jubilee at a time when the country is fresh from nationwide jubilation over fulfilling all criteria for graduating from a least developed economy to a developing one.
An official from PMO said amid many difficulties Bangladesh has tackled considerably well the Covid-19 pandemic by managing to ensure vaccines to its people as one of the first few countries in the world. Bangladesh received international accolades for its economic resilience amidst a global economic slowdown in the pandemic.
Streets and big buildings in the national capital have been decorated with colorful festoons, flags and banners to celebrate one of the country’s biggest celebrations set to begin at 4 pm at the National Parade Ground.
Bangladesh’s President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be joined by the Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the event. China’s President Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga are expected to send video messages. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend as chief guest at the concluding event of the 10-day celebrations on March 26 at the National Parade Ground.
Apart from the central program at the Parade Ground, several virtual and online events will be held across the country from 17 to 29 March.
President Abdul Hamid will attend several events on March 17, 22 and 26 while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will do the same on March 17, 19, 22, 24 and 26.
The main theme of the 10-day program is ‘Mujib Chironton’ (Eternal Mujib). Everyday there will be two sessions – a discussion and a cultural show. State-run BTV will telecast all events live.
With a recent surge in Covid-19 cases, Bangladesh is taking cautious measures to maintain all health protocols in staging all the celebratory events. The measures include maintaining physical distance, use of facemasks and multiple Covid-19 tests for all invited guests.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) earlier announced that no other mass gatherings would be allowed in Dhaka during this period on security and health safety considerations.
The government yesterday directed hoisting the national flag at all government and private offices buildings to mark the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
As part of the birth centenary celebrations of the Father of the Nation, the Shop Owners’ Association of Bangladesh has decided to close shops and stalls all over the country on Wednesday.
Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is arriving on Wednesday, according to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.
Dr Momen said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of Nepal Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa would join the celebrations in person.
The foreign minister also said Chinese President Xi Jinping would send a video message marking the celebrations and a counsellor, who is above the rank of a minister, may come with the message.
Additionally, he said the French president and the Canadian prime minister would also send video messages marking the celebrations.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and his wife Fazna Ahmed will arrive on March 17 on a two-day visit and attend the celebrations at the Parade Ground in the city.
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa will arrive in Dhaka on March 19 to join the celebrations while President of Nepal Bidhya Devi Bhandari will be here on March 22.
Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering will arrive in Dhaka on March 24 while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive on March 26.
Modi will visit places outside Dhaka, though the other three South Asian leaders will have engagements in Dhaka only.
Indian Prime Minister will visit Bangabandhu Memorial in Tungipara to pay respect to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.