Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged all to come forward and uphold the development and democratic spree being imbued with the spirit of the independence struggle.
“Let us engage ourselves for the welfare of the country. Let this be our vow on the Victory Day of 2018,” she said today in his message on the occasion of the Victory Day.
“Today is the 16th December, the Great Victory Day. This is a unique day of pride for the Bangalee nation. Responding to the clarion call of the greatest Bangalee of all time, the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the nation earned the 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,” the Prime Minister added.
She extended her sincere greetings and warm felicitations to the countrymen at home and abroad on the occasion of the 48th Victory Day. On this glorious day, she paid her deep homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Prime Minister recalled with gratitude the four national leaders and three million martyrs, who sacrificed their lives and two lakhs women who lost their innocence for the cause of our independence.
The Bangalee nation got prepared for independence waging the Language Movement of 1952, the Education Movement of 1962, the 6-point Demand of 1966, 11-point Movement and the Mass Upsurge of 1969 under the undaunted and firm leadership of the Father of the Nation, she added.
“Awami League earned an overwhelming majority in the general elections of 1970 through which Bangalee nation’s aspiration for independence got legal basis. Bangabandhu realised that the oppression, persecution and deprivation meted out to the Bangalee nation would not be ended without achieving the independence,” Sheikh Hasina said.
Ultimately, on the historic 7th March of 1971, she said, Bangabandhu in front of a million of people at the then Race Course Maidan declared that, “This time the struggle is for our freedom, this time the struggle is for-the independence”.
Sheikh Hasina said, “Virtually, from that day, the final chapter had been started for achieving an independent Bangladesh, the country-wide non-cooperation movement had begun at the directives of Bangabandhu as part of the final preparations of the liberation War.
On the fateful night of 25 March of 1971, she said, the Pakistani occupation forces launched a brutal onslaught and committed genocide on the innocent and unarmed Bangalees. The Father of the Nation declared independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of the 26 March of 1971 resulting in the formal War of Independence, she added.
“On the 10 April of 1971, the proclamation of independence was announced by the elected people’s representatives and the first Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was formed with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, as the President, Syed Nazrul Islam as Vice-President and Tajuddin Ahmed as Prime Minister,” she added.
“This government was sworn-in on the 17 April of 1971 at the historic Mujibnagar in Meherpur and led the war of independence. Under the leadership of this government, the liberation war had gained momentum,” she said adding the heroic freedom fighters with the help of the allied forces earned the victory on the 16 December of 1971 by defeating Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators Rajakars, Al-Badrs and Al-Shams.
“The nation ultimately earned an independent country, own national flag and national anthem. The heroism and patriotism of the Bangalee nation created a new history in the world,” she added.
As Bangabandhu had engaged himself in the struggle to build a “Golden Bengal” reconstructing the war-ravaged country, the anti-liberation forces in collusion with the war criminals assassinated Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib along with most of his family members, Sheikh Hasina added.
Through the heinous killings of the 15 August 1975, they initiated the politics of killings, coup and conspiracy and obstructed the process to try the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib through promulgating Indemnity Ordinance, she added.
“They ruined the democracy by declaring Martial Law and formed an illegal government. They distorted the glorious history of our independence. They defaced the Constitution and gagged the press freedom. The BNP-Jaraat alliance government had followed the paths of their predecessors,” she said.
“The Bangalee nation reestablished the democracy in 1996 through a long struggle and sacrifice. Our government’s 1996-2001 tenure will always be manifested as a glorious period in our national history. The Bangalee nation reestablished democracy and rights of the people in 2008 through a long struggle. The nation overwhelmingly voted in favour of Awami League, the party that led the War of Liberation, in the much-awaited parliamentary elections,” she added.
The Awami League-led Grand Alliance Government ensured the franchise of the people by bringing the 15th amendment to the Constitution which prohibited usurpation of the state power, she said adding the people of Bangladesh again made Awami League victorious in the 5 January elections in 2014 and thereby preserved the continuation of the constitutional process.
“Our government has relentlessly been working for the development of the country and its people as per its election pledges,” the Prime Minister added.
“Our government has been taking forward the country with immense developments in all sectors, including economy, agriculture, education, transport and communication, 1CT, infrastructure, power generation, rural economy and diplomatic relation and cooperation during the last 10 years,” Sheikh Hasina said.
“We have also joined the elite club of the satellite technology as the 57th nation through the launching of Bangabandhu Satellite-1. Our GDP growth rate is now 7.86 percent, the highest in our history. The poverty rate has now declined to 21.8 percent and the hardcore poverty rate stands 11.3 percent. The per capita income has been raised to USD 1751,” she added.
“The students are getting free textbooks. The literacy rate is now over 73 percent. 90 percent people of the country have come under the electricity coverage. The healthcare facilities are being provided to the doorsteps of the people,” she added.
“The life expectancy has risen to 72 years. Digital Bangladesh is now a reality. Lots of projects have been implementing for the development in road, rail, highways, bridges, flyover, elevated express-ways, under-pass, waterways and overall communication infrastructures etc across the country. The construction of metro rail has been going on fast,” she said.
The Prime Minister said, “Our government is working with ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy to eliminate militancy, terrorism and drug-menace. For the first time in the world, we have formulated a hundred year plan named ‘Delta Plan 2100’. Bangladesh is one of the five top countries in the world in economic development. 90 percent of development work is done by self finance.”
“We have executed the verdict of the trial of the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman establishing the rule of law. The verdicts of the trials of the war criminals are also being executed. The trials of war criminals will be continued as per our pledges to the nation. Due to the continuation of Awami League government for 10 years, grassroots people are now getting the dividend of the development. Bangladesh is moving forward and it will continue. The next generation will get a prosperous Bangladesh,” she added.
She said, “The historic 7th March Speech of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been included in the international memory of the world register as World Documentary Heritage by UNESCO. This recognition of the 7th March Speech has made the whole nation proud once again.”
“We have peacefully resolved the land boundary problem 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,” she said.
“The world is now acclaiming Bangladesh for attaining remarkable progress in socio-economic fronts. All these were possible through continuation of the constitutional and democratic process,” she added.
The Prime Minister said “We have been working relentlessly to build a hunger and poverty-free and a peaceful middle-income Bangladesh by 2021 and a developed and prosperous one by 2041. We are hopeful of building a Golden Bangladesh as dreamt by the Father of the Nation through implementing the Visions 2021 and 2041.” (source: BSS)