Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday witnessed Bangladesh Army’s winter exercise, “Operation Bijoy Gourab”, at Swarnadweep, an island in Hatia Upazila here.
The 66 Infantry Division of Bangladesh Army arranged the exercise under the overall management of 33 Infantry Division.
The Navy and Air Force units also joined the hour-long exercise to demonstrate coordinated operations of the three armed forces at Swarna Dweep, formerly known as Jahaizzarchar.
Modern warfare, including tanks, APCs, MiG fighter planes, MI helicopters of the three armed forces took part in the hour-long exercise where a mock war between the Bangladesh Armed Forces and an ‘enemy force’ was staged.
The drill ended with the victory of the Bangladesh Armed Forces.
Brigade Commander of 222 Infantry Brigade Group Brigadier General Mahbub informed the victory of the armed forces to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who later congratulated the Bangladesh Armed Forces on their victory.
The chiefs of the three services, local MPs, high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Earlier on her arrival at the island, the Prime Minister was received by Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed, General Officer of Commanding (GOC) of 66 Infantry Division Major General Nazrul Islam and GOC of 33 Infantry Division Major General Ahmed Tabrej Shams Chowdhury.
Bangladesh Army’s Quarter Master General Lt General Md Shamsul Haque and Engineer Chief Major General Ibn Fazal Shaekhuzzaman briefed the Prime Minister about the development of the island.
Sheikh Hasina inaugurated three multipurpose cyclone shelters, the planned afforestation project and one megawatt solar power plant constructed and implemented by the Bangladesh Army at the island.
The Prime Minister said the name of Swarna Deep once was ‘Jahaizzarchar’ when it was under the grip of pirates. Various incidents like killings and clashes used to take place there frequently, she said.
“At that time I told the army that I want to give a big char land and make arrangements for its development and exercise. Later, we handed over the area to the army and also changed its name,” she said and thanked all concerned of the army, including the 33 and 66 divisions, to turn the island into truly a Swarna Dweep.
She said her government is doing whatever necessary for the development of the island.
Highlighting Bangladesh’s tremendous development in various sectors, she said, “We want Bangladesh to move ahead further. We’re implementing 90 percent development works with our own finance… we don’t need to beg to others,” she said.
The Prime Minister said her government brought down the poverty rate to 20 percent. “We hope we could cut the rate by at least 1.5 or two percent further in the Mujib Borsho,” she said.
“We’ve been working keeping it in mind that no part of society is left behind and our all development works reach rural people,” she said.
She also distributed warm clothes among the people of the island.