Venue: National Defence College, Mirpur Cantonment, Dhaka.
Respected Commandant, National Defence College,
Respected Faculties, Staff Officers,
Respected Course Members of National Defence Course-2013 and
Armed Forces War Course -2013,
Respected Ladies and Gentleman,
I am delighted to be present here at National Defence College on the occasion of graduation ceremony of National Defence Course-2013 and Armed Forces War Course-2013. I extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the NDC authority for inviting me.
Forty Two years ago, in this month, Bangladesh finally achieved its independence after a nine month long war of liberation. During this war we lost three million lives, two hundred thousand women sacrificed their sanctity; ten million people fled the atrocities of the occupying forces. With great humility, I recall their highest sacrifices and struggles. This is the month for celebration of victory and introspection about our national experience of the last Forty Two years. The struggle for liberation was waged to establish democracy, social justice and secularism. In spite of much opposition and great hurdles, we are on our way to institutionalize these principles in our politics, economics and governance. We will continue our struggle to realize the dreams of the Father of Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Respected Course Members,
Please accept my sincere congratulations on the eve of successful completion of the hectic and challenging National Defence Course and Armed Forces War Course. I am very happy to know that you learned different aspects of a state, including socio-political culture, economy, international relations and national security. You have also studied problems of governance and different solutions to this problem. We live in a globalized multi-polar world. Continuously improving technologies are increasing connections among all the people, providing solutions and sometimes naturally creating adverse effects also. We have ensured legitimate safeguards in light of national security concerns but also successfully encouraged effective use of technology. We are living in a more prosperous and connected world which is also now more vulnerable to events that cannot be anticipated. The country resolved to diversity and strengthen their econimies. I am happy to say that we see the beginning of the implementation of that vision. In last five years, this region has seen great improvement in security situation because of Bangladesh’s policies and the region is more stable now. Bangladesh is located between the two largest growing economies of the world, India and China. Bangladesh’s strategic location makes us a very important actor. Bangladesh is playing a major role in promoting regional integration. Still there remain serious challenges in ensuring continuing growth and development. I believe with your just completed courses you will be better prepared to tackle these challenges.
Respected Foreign Friends,
During your year long stay in Bangladesh you have gained valuable experience and understanding. You have lived, worked and made friends among Bangladeshis and foreign officials. I hope you are satisfied with the traditional Bangladeshi hospitality. I know that Bangladeshi officials have learned a lot from your diverse experiences, political and cultural heritage. You have added colour and wider perspectives to the strategic issues. I am sure we have also benefitted greatly from your participation in the course. I hope that you have gained empathy and appreciation for Bangladesh and will act as our valuable ambassadors at your respective positions.
National Defence College plays two important functions as a platform for high level military diplomacy and promotion of civil-military relations. I am happy to know that the college is actively promoting democratic values of constitutionalism, rule of law, political control and human rights among the course members from the militaries and the bureaucracies. Exchange of ideas and growing empathies among you during the last one year will make things clear to you. We are all human beings and we are all alike. We can prevail by defeating the forces of division, prejudice and jealousy and win by promoting our common interests and building friendships. I hope, you will work to spread the same cooperation across our country and also among our friendly countries.
Respected Members of the Armed Forces,
Bangladesh is proud of its Armed Forces. Our armed forces were born during the war of liberation. The freedom fighters fought under severe limitations. Even with rudimentary equipment and training they fought with exceptional courage and indomitable will. We have ensured that our Armed Forces will have access to latest technologies and equipment. Adequate training facilities have been established and operationalised. The Armed Forces members have always worked with integrity, commitment and diligence to help the people in times of natural and other calamities and disasters; they have implemented strategic infrastructure projects and worked generally at very high standards at both home and abroad. They have earned very good reputation internally as well as internationally. I hope this partnership between the people and the Armed Forces will gather strength with the passage of time. I am confident that the Armed Forces will continue to maintain its high standards in its efforts, efficiency and professionalism.
I am happy to note that the National Defence College is dedicated to train the operational and strategic level leaders from home and abroad, from militaries to civil services to the policy makers from democratic and constitutional perspectives. They are contributing to the promotion of a culture of accountability and transparency. The officials have been carrying out high responsibilities in their respective services. It is hoped that with their knowledge, will and commitment they will usher in stability, development and empowerment of the people. I hope through your actions our goal of attaining global peace and security will be greatly extended. National Defence College has to work continuously to upgrade and develop. I thank the Commandant, faculties and all Staff for their excellent standard of professionalism. I wish you good luck for the success of this institution and pledge our full support for all time to come.
Khoda Hafez, Bangladesh Chirojibi Hok.
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