‘Our quest is to build a Bangladesh free of hunger, poverty and illiteracy’

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Royal Palace in Riyadh on Oct. 17, 2018. (Supplied)
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Royal Palace in Riyadh on Oct. 17, 2018. (Supplied)
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Updated 26 March 2021

‘Our quest is to build a Bangladesh free of hunger, poverty and illiteracy’

‘Our quest is to build a Bangladesh free of hunger, poverty and illiteracy’

Today is March 26, our great Independence Day. Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of independence today. I extend my heartiest greetings to the countrymen and expatriate Bangladeshis on the  occasion of the golden jubilee of great independence.

On this Independence Day, I recall with deep gratitude the greatest Bengali of all time, father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, under whose undisputed leadership we have earned our independence.

I pay my tributes to four national leaders, 3 million martyrs and two hundred thousand dishonored 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 had lost their near and dear ones during the Liberation War. I also recall with gratitude our foreign friends who had extended their support during the war.

Bangabandhu, which means “Friend of Bengal,” and was a popular title of Sheikh Rahman, won the absolute majority in the general elections in 1970. But the Pakistani rulers adopted repressive measures instead of handing over power to the majority party representatives. Calling for independence on March 7, 1971, Bangabandhu declared, “The struggle this time is the struggle for our emancipation; the struggle this time is the struggle for independence, Joi Bangla.”

Bangabandhu formally proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh at the first hour on March 26, 1971. The first government of Bangladesh took an oath on April 17, 1971, in Mujibnagar with Sheikh Rahman as president.

The resistance war against the occupying forces began. But under his able leadership, Bangladesh achieved its independence through a nine-month armed struggle.

In just three-and-a-half years of his government, Bangabandhu rebuilt the war-ravaged country. In 1975, the GDP growth rate exceeded 7 percent. Bangladesh gained recognition from 116 countries and got the memberships of 27 international organizations.

While Bangabandhu was building a democratic government and overcoming all obstacles, the anti-liberation forces brutally killed him along with most of his family members on August 15, 1975.

Forming a government in 2009 in consecutive three-year terms, the Bangladesh Awami League has relentlessly been working to improve the fate of the people inspired by the spirit of the great Liberation War. We are implementing the unfinished works of the father of the nation.

Today, Bangladesh is self-reliant in food production. Over the past 12 years, the poverty rate has come down from 42.5 percent to 20.5 percent. Our sovereign rights over a vast area in the Bay of Bengal have been established through the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes with Myanmar and India. The implemenwwwwwwwwwtation of the Bangladesh-India Land Boundary Agreement has put an end to the protracted inhuman life of the enclave people. The nation has become free from stigma by executing the verdict of the Bangabandhu murder case. The trial of war criminals continues and the verdict is being executed.

We have formulated the Second Perspective Plan for 2021-41 and adopted the eighth Five-Year Plan. We have started the implementation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. Today, the benefits of “Digital Bangladesh” have been expanded from urban areas to a remote village level. To offset the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have so far announced 23 stimulus packages that are worth 4.4 percent of our GDP.

The persistent efforts of the past 12 years of the Bangladesh Awami League government have brought the final recommendations for Bangladesh to become a dignified developing country on the eve of the golden jubilee of independence.

FASTFACT

The persistent efforts of the past 12 years of the Bangladesh Awami League government have brought the final recommendations for Bangladesh to become a dignified developing country on the eve of the golden jubilee of independence.

This is a huge achievement for us. I firmly believe that if this trend of development continues, Bangladesh will soon be established as a developed, prosperous country in the world.

The independence earned through the supreme sacrifices of millions of people is the greatest achievement of the Bengali nation. To ensure that the achievement remains meaningful, all have to know the true history of our great Liberation War and respect the spirit of independence. The spirit of the Liberation War has to be propagated from generation to generation.

Let us take oath on this auspicious occasion of the golden jubilee of independence. Imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War, we all together will build a golden Bangladesh free of hunger, poverty and illiteracy as dreamt by the father of the nation.

May Bangladesh Live Forever.

 

Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister of Bangladesh


Saudi air defenses destroy Houthi drone targeting Abha airport

Saudi air defenses destroy Houthi drone targeting Abha airport
Updated 23 sec ago

Saudi air defenses destroy Houthi drone targeting Abha airport

Saudi air defenses destroy Houthi drone targeting Abha airport

Arab News

RIYADH: Saudi air defenses destroyed an explosive drone targeting Abha Airport in southern Saudi Arabia.
The militia has continued to target the Kingdom on a near daily basis, often selecting civilian targets in the south of the country.
Houthi attempts to target civilians has been labeled as war crimes by the Kingdom.
The militia has attacked civilian infrastructure in the past including the international airports in Abha and Jazan in southern Saudi Arabia.
The Arab coalition has been supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government regain full control of the country after the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.
In March, Saudi Arabia announced a roadmap called the Riyadh Initiative to halt fighting in Yemen and reopen Sanaa airport, as well as continuing talks to find a solution to the conflict. The proposal was seen as a welcome step internationally, but has been rejected by Houthi leadership.
Fighting in Marib province has claimed thousands of lives, among both government and Houthi forces. The resource-rich region has been heavily contested as the militia seek to strengthen their control of northern Yemen.
Saudi relief agency, KSrelief, has poured billions of dollars worth of aid into Yemen and has hundreds of projects focusing on food and health.
In July, The World Food Programme welcomed Saudi contributions to the fund saying humanitarian action in Yemen could not be sustained without it.


Saudi-French relationship rich, long-standing and based on trust, says envoy

Saudi-French relationship rich, long-standing and based on trust, says envoy
Updated 39 min 40 sec ago

Saudi-French relationship rich, long-standing and based on trust, says envoy

Saudi-French relationship rich, long-standing and based on trust, says envoy

The deep relationship between France and Saudi Arabia is rich, long-standing and based on trust, Ludovic Pouille, the French ambassador to the Kingdom, said on Tuesday. The nations have forged partnerships at all levels based on mutual interests and a common view of international issues, he added. “We feel the energy in all our partnerships that revive French-Saudi cooperation in all fields included in the Saudi Vision 2030,” Pouille said. On the opening day of the fifth Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, the ambassador said the event has become a benchmark for assessing the quality of other investment forums worldwide. He added that its international scale has contributed to the opening up and promotion of the Saudi economy to a global audience of international investors in a bid to achieve the objectives Saudi Vision 2030.


Saudi authorities foil port drug-smuggling bid

Saudi authorities foil port drug-smuggling bid
Updated 26 October 2021

Saudi authorities foil port drug-smuggling bid

Saudi authorities foil port drug-smuggling bid

RIYADH: Saudi authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle 5,246,000 amphetamine tablets through Jeddah’s Islamic Port.

Maj. Raed Al-Najidi, spokesperson for the Saudi General Directorate of Narcotics Control, said the pills had been hidden inside crates of grapes intended for distribution throughout the Kingdom.

A Syrian and two Jordanians were arrested in connection with the incident.

The drugs seizure was carried out as part of a coordinated operation between the directorate and the Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority.

Saudi border patrols in Jazan, Najran, and Asir recently thwarted attempts to sneak more than one ton of cannabis and 66 tons of qat into the Kingdom.

And in May, Saudi authorities foiled a plot to smuggle almost 1,000 kilograms of hashish into the country through its southern borders. Twenty-four people — 18 Ethiopians, four Yemenis, and two Saudis — were arrested.


Saudi foreign ministers discuss relations with UK, US counterparts

Saudi foreign ministers discuss relations with UK, US counterparts
Updated 24 min 46 sec ago

Saudi foreign ministers discuss relations with UK, US counterparts

Saudi foreign ministers discuss relations with UK, US counterparts
  • They reviewed the strong and historical bilateral relations, and opportunities to strengthen them in all fields

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan made a phone call on Tuesday to his British counterpart Liz Truss.
During the call, they reviewed the strong and historical Saudi-British relations, and opportunities to strengthen them in all fields, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said. 
The two sides also discussed Saudi-British efforts to lay the foundations for peace, security and stability in the Middle East and the world.
Truss recently concluded a visit to the Kingdom aimed at boosting economic and security ties.
Meanwhile, Prince Faisal also made a phone call to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, where they reviewed the strategic relations between their two countries and ways to enhance them in all fields, in addition to discussing the most prominent developments in the region.


Saudi Arabia reiterates call for restraint, calm in Sudan: Cabinet

The Council of Ministers holds its weekly meeting, chaired by King Salman remotely from NEOM on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (SPA)
The Council of Ministers holds its weekly meeting, chaired by King Salman remotely from NEOM on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (SPA)
Updated 26 October 2021

Saudi Arabia reiterates call for restraint, calm in Sudan: Cabinet

The Council of Ministers holds its weekly meeting, chaired by King Salman remotely from NEOM on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (SPA)
  • Ministers welcomed a UN Security Council statement condemning the Iran-backed Houthi militia’s attacks on the Kingdom
  • The Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom’s firm position in support of the Palestinian cause

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet reiterated its call for calm, de-escalation and preserving political and economic gains, and said it was following up on the latest developments in Sudan.
Sudanese military leader General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan dissolved the government and the Sovereign Council on Monday and the prime minister and other ministers have been detained.
The Kingdom said it “supports everything that aims to protect unity among all political components, and emphasized its continued support for the Sudanese people for security, stability, growth and prosperity.”
The statement came following a weekly Council of Ministers meeting that was chaired virtually by King Salman from NEOM.
At the beginning of the session, the king briefed the ministers on the content of a letter he received from Bahrain’s King Hamad, the letter he sent to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, and the phone call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The Cabinet hailed the success of the Saudi Green Initiative Forum and the Middle East Green Initiative Summit in presenting a package of qualitative initiatives to protect the environment, face the challenges of climate change, reduce its negative effects, create the necessary infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions, and strengthening the level of regional coordination in this field.
The Council of Ministers reviewed a number of topics and regional and international developments during the meeting.
The ministers welcomed a UN Security Council statement condemning the Iran-backed Houthi militia’s attacks on the Kingdom’s territory and civilian facilities, and said it was an important boost to the Kingdom’s efforts to successfully end the Yemeni crisis and reach a comprehensive political solution.

The Council of Ministers holds its weekly meeting, chaired by King Salman remotely from NEOM on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (SPA)

The Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom’s firm position in support of the Palestinian cause and finding a just solution that secures the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. It also reiterated a call to the UN Economic and Financial Committee of the necessity to compel Israel to comply with international resolutions and laws, end the occupation and complete a withdrawal from Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The ministers also discussed the Kingdom’s statement at an international ministerial conference on supporting the stability of Libya, which was held in the capital, Tripoli, about its support for international efforts to preserve its unity and the security of its territories. Saudi Arabia praised the steps taken by the Libyan authority toward achieving a unified sovereign state that enjoys security, stability and development.
The Cabinet authorized the sports minister to sign a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Qatar, the minister of Islamic affairs to sign an agreement with Greece, and the tourism minister to sign an MoU with the UK.
It also authorized the minister of environment, water and agriculture to sign a draft cooperation agreement with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, and approved a license for Oman’s Sohar International Bank to open a branch in the Kingdom.