Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh
I extend my heartiest greetings to the countrymen and expatriate Bangladeshis on the occasion of the great Independence and National Day of Bangladesh.
The 26 March is the day of establishing self-identity of our nation. It‘s the day of breaking the shackles of subjugation. On this Independence Day, I recall with deep gratitude the Greatest Bangalee of all times, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, under whose undisputed leadership we have earned our coveted independence. I pay my tributes to four national leaders who steered the War of Liberation in the absence of Bangabandhu. I also pay my deep homage to the three million martyrs and two lakhs dishonoured women of the War of Liberation. My homage goes to all the valiant freedom fighters including the wounded ones. I extend my sympathies to those who had lost their near and dear ones, and were subjected to brutal torture during the Liberation War. I recall with gratitude our foreign friends who had extended their whole-hearted support and cooperation for the cause of our liberation.
Marking the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation ’Mujib Year‘ is being celebrated from March 2020 to March 2021. Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebration has been started on 17 March. Along with Bangladesh, Mujib Year is being celebrated globally with the initiative of the UNESCO.
The Bangalee nation had fought against oppression and deprivation of Pakistani rulers‘ for long 23 years under the leadership of Bangabandhu. They were compelled to hold General Elections in 1970. Bangladesh Awami League led by Bangabandhu won absolute majority in the elections. But the Pakistani rulers adopted repressive measures instead of handing over power to the majority party in a democratic way. Calling for independence at the then Racecourse Ground on 7 March 1971 Bangabandhu declared, “The struggle this time is the struggle for our emancipation; the struggle this time is the struggle for independence, Joi Bangla.” He instructed the Bangalee Nation to resist the enemies.
The Pakistani occupation forces unleashed a sudden attack and started killing innocent and unarmed Bangalees on the fateful night of 25 March 1971. They killed thousands of people in cities and towns including Dhaka. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formally proclaimed the Independence of Bangladesh at the first hour of 26 March 1971. Bangabandhu’s proclamation was spread all over the country through telegrams, tele-printers and EPR wireless. The international media also had circulated Bangabandhu‘s proclamation of Independence. Under the brave and dauntless leadership of Bangabandhu, the ultimate victory was attained on 16 December 1971 after a 9-month of bloody war.
The independence earned through supreme sacrifices of millions of people is the greatest achievement of Bangalee Nation. To ensure that this achievement remains meaningful, all have to know the true history of our great Liberation War and retain the spirit of independence. The spirit of the Liberation War has to be passed on from generation to generations.
Being imbued with the spirit of the freedom struggle, the Awami League government has relentlessly been working to develop the country since 2009. We have been accomplishing the unfinished tasks of the Father of the Nation. Bangladesh has achieved outstanding socio-economic progress in the last 11 years. It has fulfilled the requirements for graduating from least developed country to developing one. Our government is maintaining ‘zero tolerance’ policy to tackle militancy, terrorism and drug-menaces. For the first time in the world, we have formulated a 100-year plan named ’Delta Plan 2100‘. Bangladesh is one of the five top countries in the world in economic development. Ninety percent of development works are financed from our own resources. By establishing the rule of law, we have executed the verdicts of the trial of the killers of Bangabandhu. As per our pledges to the people the trials of war criminals are going on and verdicts of are being executed. People are now getting benefits of development as Awami League has continuously been in power for third consecutive time. Bangladesh is moving forward and it will go on. Today we have become a self-respecting country in the world holding our heads high.
By implementing our ‘Vision-2021’, ‘Vision-2041’ and ‘Delta Plan-2100’, we have been working relentlessly to build a hunger-poverty-free developed-prosperous Bangladesh as envisioned by the Father of the Nation. Let us unite in the spirit of the Great War of Liberation and maintain the continuation of development and democracy by facing any sort of conspiracy. Let us transform Bangladesh into a safe and peaceful home for our next generation-this should be our firm commitment on the Independence Day.
Joi Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu
May Bangladesh Live Forever.
Prime Minister of Bangladesh