50th Anniversary of Bangladesh-India Friendship (“Maitri Diwas”) observed in Canberra
Bangladesh Special Correspondent Anowarul Hoque Bhuiyan
Canberra, 06 December 2021:
Friendship Day (Moitree Dibosh) and Golden Jubilee of Independence of Bangladesh have been jointly observed by Bangladesh High Commission and Indian High Commission in Canberra on 06 December 2021. On this historic day in 1971, India recognized Bangladesh as a sovereign and independent state and such has been designated as Bangladesh-India Friendship Day (Moitree Dibosh).
At the outset, the guests observed one-minute silence in honor of all Martyred who sacrificed their lives in the liberation war in 1971. A video clip on Bangladesh’s heritage as well as social, economic, and cultural linkages between Bangladesh and India was also screened. There was a small cultural segment staging two dance performances by two members of the Bangladesh and Indian diaspora.
After the formal reception guests were invited to the photo exhibition that displayed more than eighty photographs on Bangladesh-India relations. The exhibition captured themes such as Bangladesh’s struggle for emancipation, genocidal crimes in 1971, Indian assistance, freedom fighters, coverage of the war in media, recognition for Bangladesh’s independence, attainment of victory, foundation of an enduring friendship and consolidation of friendship between Bangladesh and India.
Paying homage to the martyrs of the liberation war and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh High Commissioner Mohammad Sufiur Rahman highlighted Indian invaluable support during the liberation war and foundation laying of durable friendships by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujiburr Rahman and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Terming the Bangladesh-India relations as ‘role model’ for good neighborliness, he mentioned how recent engagements between two countries contribute to the socio-economic development of both of the countries under the stewardship of two Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi.
Offering tribute to Bangabandhu, Indian High Commissioner Manpreet Vohra recalled the plight of Bangladeshi people during the liberation war and mentioned that India was proud to extend support during that difficult time. The Indian High Commissioner highly applauded the impressive economic growth and social advancement of Bangladesh and mentioned Bangladesh as a potential key partner in the Indo-Pacific region.
Representative of DFAT, Deputy Secretary Harinder Sidhu recalled Indian humanitarian support to Bangladesh during 1971. She also mentioned Australian efforts to support Bangladesh’s cause during the war and the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country. She acknowledged Bangladesh’s generosity to shelter Rohingya refugees. Mentioning both Bangladesh and India as close friends she stated that Australia would look forward to strive together for peace, security, and prosperity in the region.
The reception was attended by 130 guests including more than 30 Heads of Missions, Minister and MP of the ACT Legislative Assembly, representatives of Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and other Federal Departments, academics and media personals, members of diplomatic corps, members of Bangladesh and India family.