Posted on Aug 16, 2021
The Embassy of Bangladesh in Brussels and Mission to the European Union organised a virtual program on Sunday 15th August to observe the National Mourning Day and the 46th Martyrdom Anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with due solemnity and respect.
The programme began by placing the national flag at half-mast by Ambassador Mahbub Hassan Saleh, who then placed a floral wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of the officials of the Mission. A one-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the memory of Bangabandhu and all the martyred members of his family who were brutally assassinated on the day, 46 years ago.
The discussion programme thereafter was widely participated by members of the Bangladesh community in Belgium.
During the discussion, Ambassador Mahbub Saleh underscored that Bangabandhu and Bangladesh are synonymous. He highlighted that the heinous assassination of Bangabandhu along with most of the members of his family was in reality the slaying of the newly independent, sovereign Bangladesh and an attempt to take Bangladesh back to the dark days of pre-independence. In the absence of Bangabandhu, it was his visionary daughter Sheikh Hasina who ably took the reins and has been leading the nation towards prosperity and development. Ambassador Mahbub Saleh called upon Bangladeshis living abroad to work towards mobilizing international support for bringing the self-confessed and convicted killers of Bangabandhu back to Bangladesh for due execution of the court verdicts.
Members of the Bangladesh community who participated in the programme said that the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu and most of the members of his Bangladesh tainted Bangladesh as an ungrateful nation before the world. They highlighted that Bangabandhu’s vision of an independent Bangladesh and said that his philosophy, works, teachings and ideals will forever remain a guiding force for the nation.
As part of the programme, Ambasador Mahbub Hassan Saleh held conversations on Bangabandhu, Bangladesh and National Mourning Day, with two important internationally reputed personalities who were conferred the ‘‘Friends of Liberation War Honour’’ award in recognition of their invaluable contribution to the historic War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.
In the first conversation, Dr. Richard Cash, global health researcher and Senior Lecturer in International Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recalled his experiences of living and working in Bangladesh since the 1960s.
He said that, “the Language Movement of which Bangabandhu was part of, was absolutely critical in the whole run up to the Liberation War and the culture of the country was totally intertwined …Bangabandhu was very much part of this culture, his Bengaliness, his love of that country and of the people …”.
Dr. William Greenough, Professor Emeritus at the Johns Hopkins University recalled Bangabandhu as a people’s man, who was always connected to his roots. He said Bangabandhu’s “heritage lies in the success today of all Bangladeshis and the country itself which he formed …his courage to be willing to go to jail, to be in unlawful captivity under the dictators of Pakistan and still come back and become leader of free Bangladesh is one of the most remarkable stories of the 20th century”. The complete conversations with Dr. Richard Cash and Dr. William Greenough can be watched anytime on the Embassy’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/bangladeshembassybrussels/).
Founder and Executive Director of a Brussels-based think tank South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) and former Member of the European Parliament, Mr. Paulo Casaca delivered a video speech on Bangabandhu and Bangladesh. In his words, “Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangabandhu as many affectionately called him, is a prime example of a generation of world leaders that emerged from colonization times …the best way to respect the heritage of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, an exceptional human being and creator of an exceptional nation, is to preserve the strategies set by Sheikh Hasina.” The complete Speech by Mr. Paulo Casaca is also available on the Embassy’s Facebook page.
During the programme, messages given on the National Mourning Day by Hon’ble President, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Hon’ble Foreign Minister and Hon’ble State Minister for Foreign Affairs were read out by the officials of the Embassy. A documentary titled “Bangabandhu Forever in Our Hearts” detailing the life and achievements of Bangabandhu was screened in the programme.
The programme was organised on a virtual platform following the health guideline issued by the local authorities regarding COVID-19. The programme was also streamed live on the Facebook page of the Embassy.
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