Bangladesh observed its Independence Day on Thursday but this year all programmes were cancelled as part of measures to curb the possible transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
On March 26, 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Bangladesh's independence following the crackdown on unarmed Bangalees on the midnight of March 25 by Pakistani occupation forces.
Bangladesh finally emerged as an independent country on December 16, 1971, after a nine-month Liberation War in which three million people sacrificed their lives and 200,000 women were dishonoured.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages extending heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to the people of the country at home and abroad.
President Hamid, in his message, urged everyone to be imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War and resolve in 'Mujib Year' to turn our country into 'Sonar Bangla' by completing the unfinished tasks of Bangabandhu.
“The golden jubilee of our independence will be observed in 2021 with great enthusiasm. Bangladesh will enter a new chapter - a new horizon. With the concerted efforts of all, let our beloved motherland be a poverty-free developed one; it is my expectation on Independence Day,” he said.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said the government has been implementing ‘Vision-2021’, ‘Vision-2041’ and ‘Delta Plan-2100’ and working tirelessly to build a Bangladesh envisioned by the Father of the Nation.
“Let us unite in the spirit of the great War of Liberation and maintain the continuation of development and democracy by facing any sort of conspiracy. Let us transform Bangladesh into a safe and peaceful home for our next generation. This should be our firm commitment on the Independence Day,” she said.
The day was a public holiday.
National dailies brought out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels aired special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Different political parties as well as socio-cultural and professional organisations have also suspended all programmes to avoid public gathering and maintain social distancing following the directives of the government as well as the World Health Organization.