The nation is celebrating its 45th Independence Day and paying homage to the war martyrs by placing floral wreaths at the National Memorial at Savar and other monuments across the country.
The sun of liberation rose over the horizon on this day in 1971 with the formal declaration of Bangladesh’s independence when the Bengalis took up arms against the Pakistani occupation army who committed one of the worst genocide in modern history during the nine-month war.
The day has been being celebrated as Independence Day since 1971 and in 1980, the government decided to observe it as a National Day as well.
A pre-dawn, 31-gun salute heralded the Independence Day celebrations.
People are flocking to the National Memorial at Savar to pay homage to the martyrs of the war of independence.
The president, Abdul Hamid, laid wreaths at the National Memorial at first at 5:57am and was followed by the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina. They stood in solemn silence as bugles sounded the Last Post.
Later, flanked by senior leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, laid another wreath at the National Memorial on behalf of her party.
President Hamid signed the visitor’s book on the memorial premises.
The leader of the opposition in the parliament, Raushan Ershad, the chief justice, the speaker, ministers, lawmakers, chiefs of three services, diplomats, civil and military officials, freedom fighters and other dignitaries, different political parties, professional groups and socio-cultural organisations also paid tributes to the war martyrs by placing flowers there.
Meanwhile, after returning from National Memorial, Sheikh Hasina, paid homage to the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the capital, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha reports.
After placing the wreath, she stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory of the great leader.
Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the elder daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman laid another wreath at the portrait on behalf of her party.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, did not turn up at the National Memorial while the party standing committee members – Moyeen Khan and Mahbubur Rahman – paid homage on behalf of the party at around 8:00am.
Moyeen Khan told reporters that the democratic environment is not prevailing in the country for which people had fought.
‘BNP chief Khaleda Zia did not come at the memorial since the democratic atmosphere is not present (in the country),’ he told reporters.
Thousands, many donned in green and red dresses and carrying miniatures of the national flag, went to the National Memorial.
The president will host a reception at Bangabhaban in the afternoon marking the day.
The day is a public holiday.
The national flag has been flown atop government, semi-government and private buildings. Government and private establishments will be illuminated. Improved food will be served in hospitals, jails, orphanages, vagrant homes, Muktijoddha Kendra and charity homes.
All major political parties, socio-cultural and professional organisations and educational institutions are holding programmes marking the occasion.
Newspapers brought out special supplements and state-run and private television channels and radio stations are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
The government has tightened security across the country especially in the capital and its suburbs to foil any attempts at subversion.
Source: New Age