Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has extended her heartiest greetings to her countrymen and expatriate Bangladeshis on the occasion of the Great Independence and National Day of Bangladesh.
“March 26 is a day of establishing our nation’s self-identity.
“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 lakh 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 lost their near and dear ones, and were subjected to brutal torture during the War of Liberation. I recall with gratitude our foreign friends who extended their whole-hearted support and co-operation for the cause of our liberation.
“The Bangalee nation fought against oppression and deprivation from Pakistani rulers for long 23 years under Bangabandhu. Calling for the independence at the then Racecourse Ground on March 7, 1971, 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 March 25, 1971.
“The Father of the Nation formally proclaimed the Independence of Bangladesh at the first hour of March 26, 1971.
“Under the brave and dauntless leadership of Bangabandhu, the ultimate victory was attained on December 16, 1971 after a nine-month bloody war.
“Bangladesh has achieved outstanding socio-economic progress in the last 11 years.
“It has fulfilled the requirements for graduating from a least developed country to a developing one.
“Our government is maintaining a ‘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 top five countries in the world in economic development. Ninety per cent of development work is financed from our own resources.
“By establishing the rule of law, we have executed the verdict of the trial of the killers of Bangabandhu and the trials of war criminals are going on with verdicts being executed.
“People are now getting benefits of the development as Awami League has continuously been in power for third consecutive time.
“Today, we have become a self-respecting country in the world holding our heads high.
“By implementing our ‘Vision-202l’, ‘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 transform Bangladesh into a safe and peaceful home for our next generation – this should be our firm commitment on this Independence Day.
“Joi Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu. May Bangladesh live forever.”