B’desh honours foreign friends
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 28, 2012
Nepalese Ambassador in Dhaka, on behalf of his country’s President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, receiving crest from President Mohammad Zillur Rahman at a ceremony in the city Tuesday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni are seen beside the President. — PID
A grateful Bangladesh Tuesday honoured foreign friends, who extended their unflinching support and made invaluable contributions to the liberation war of the country in 1971, report agencies.
Around 83 foreign friends, who came themselves or sent their representatives, received ‘Liberation War Honour’ and ‘Friends of Liberation War Honour’ at a programme at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.
President Mohammad Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave them gold-plated silver metallic plaques bearing replica of the National Memorial and a citation on silk cloth. At first, the Nepali ambassador in Dhaka, on behalf of his country’s president Dr Ram Baran Yadav, received the Liberation War Honour from the president. Then, representatives of heads of state or government of eight countries received the Liberation War Honour from him.
Bangladesh, then the eastern wing of Pakistan, gained independence through a nine-month bloody war that ended on December 16 after thousands of Pakistani soldiers surrendered in Dhaka.
While India was the main backer of the struggle, many foreign politicians, diplomats, artistes, authors, journalists and students from across the world came forward to support Bangladesh’s freedom struggle. Cabinet Division secretary Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain Bhuyian introduced the foreign friends and spoke about the role they played during the war. Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni and State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Capt (retd) AB Tajul Islam also spoke at the function. Liberation War Affairs Secretary Mizanur Rahman gave the vote of thanks.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni helped the president and the prime minister give the awards. On behalf of the people of India, the country’s high commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj Saran received the friends’ award while Indian junior defence minister Mallipudi Mangapathi Pallam Raju received the honour as representative of the Muktibahini (liberation force).
Lt Gen Jack Frederick Ralph Jacob of India gave a salute to the audience after receiving the award. He, then, shouted ‘Joy Bangla’, in reply to the same slogan chanted by the audience.