December 16 is our victory day, a glorious and memorable one in the history of the Bangalee nation. On this very day in 1971, we achieved ultimate victory through a nine-month long war of liberation. On this occasion, I extend my sincere felicitations and warmth congratulations to my fellow countrymen living at home and abroad.
The undisputed leader of the Bangalee, the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the historic independence on 26 March in 1971 and it came true through a nine-month long armed struggle. Today, I recall with profound respect the greatest Bangalee of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose boundless sacrifices and uncompromising and charismatic leadership contributed to the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign State in world atlas. I pay my deep homage to the valiant freedom fighters who made supreme sacrifice in the war of liberation for the cause of country’s independence. I also extend my deep gratitude to the organizers and supporters and the people from all strata who directly and indirectly made meaningful contributions to our war of liberation.
The importance and significance of great victory day is boundless in our national history. On the one hand victory has given us our own identity and on the other hand it has elevated us to world arena as an independent nation. But it is an irony that the path of development and the practice of democratic norms were not functioning smoothly all the time. The emergence of military autocracy and undemocratic government came into being after the assassination of Father of the Nation on 15 August in 1975 that hindered the flourishing of democratic pluralism. Democratic government has now been established in the country through a long struggle and various ups and downs. The country is now marching towards development and progress. With the formulation of appropriate planning and making its best implementation, Bangladesh has achieved manifold successes both at home and abroad. The rate of poverty has become down. The mega project of Padma Bridge is underway by our own resources. It is heartening to note that Bangladesh is now being considered as a role-model in the world community for flourishing democracy, empowering women, expansion of women education, strengthening local government, development of agriculture, health and education; ensuring food security, developing power and energy, thriving information technology and ICT etc. The government has successfully attained the targets of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and now providing its continued efforts to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Our foreign policy is being exercised in accordance with the principle "Friendship to all, malice towards none" as adopted by the Father of the Nation. It is my firm conviction that, in light of this policy, our bilateral and multilateral relations with other nations would be further deepened and widened in the days to come. Along with establishing world peace, Bangladesh’s efforts in mitigating negative impact of Global Climate Change and thriving Information Technology are being acclaimed by the world community transcending domestic boundary. It is a matter of pride that our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been awarded with ‘Planet 50-50 Champion’ and ‘Agent of Change’ this year by the respective UN bodies for her outstanding contributions in empowering women. I believe that it is also a great achievement for the Banglaee Nation.
We have to work together to make our hard-earned independence more meaningful. The Government has set ‘Vision 2021’ and ‘Vision 2041’ for transforming Bangladesh into a developed country. I am hopeful that we would be able to materialize the vision within the stipulated time by utilizing our huge human resources and information technology, Inshallah. On the eve of our great victory day, I call upon my fellow countrymen irrespective of party affiliation; let us contribute to the nation from our respective positions to realize the spirit of war of liberation.
On the occasion of great victory day, I hope that the coordinated efforts of everybody will turn Bangladesh into a hunger and poverty free prosperous ‘Sonar Bangla’ (Golden Bangla) as dreamt by Bangabandhu, is my expectation.
Khoda Hafez, May Bangladesh Live Forever.