A woman walks past a large cutout of Bangladesh's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the nation marks his 101th birthday in Dhaka Photograph:( AFP )
Indian Prime Minister Modi will visit Bangladesh for a two-day visit on March 26 and will join the main Independence Day celebrations that also marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries
Bangladesh on Wednesday kickstarted the golden jubilee celebrations of independence from Pakistan, along with the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation 'Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The South Asian nation is organising a 10-day programme till March 26 to mark its liberation from Pakistan after the 1971 war.
The high-profile celebrations will be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the heads of state and government from Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, under separate schedules in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several other world leaders and dignitaries have sent video messages to mark the golden jubilee celebrations.
Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday welcomed his Maldivian counterpart Ibrahim Mohamed Solih as he arrived on a three-day visit to the country to join the celebrations.
Solih was escorted to the National Memorial on the outskirts of Dhaka to pay homage to the 1971 martyrs. He offered wreaths, planted a sapling and signed the visitors' book.
The Maldivian president also visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, originally the Bangladesh founder's private residence where he was gunned down in a military coup on August 15, 1975, along with most of his family members, the youngest of them being 10-year-old Sheikh Russell.
Today, I was immensely honoured & touched to accompany President @ibusolih during his visit to the #Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhaka and pay tribute to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Father of the Nation of #Bangladesh. pic.twitter.com/f8jrJqiGx7— Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) March 17, 2021
Hamid, along with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, paid homage to Bangladesh's founder's portrait at Bangabandhu Memorial museum early in the morning in a sombre ceremony, while military bugles played the last post as they placed wreaths on his portrait.
Hasina, who is the elder daughter of Bangabandhu, in a statement urged the nation to join hands to take Bangladesh to higher heights in the international arena.
''Let us take a vow to transform Bangladesh into a safe and peaceful home for our next generation,'' she said.
The premier said her government was working tirelessly to build a hunger-and poverty-free developed and prosperous Bangladesh as envisioned by the Father of the Nation by formulating and implementing 'Vision-2021', 'Vision-2041' and 'Delta Plan-2100'.
Indian Prime Minister Modi will visit Bangladesh for a two-day visit on March 26 and will join the main Independence Day celebrations that also marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
My heartfelt homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a champion of human rights and freedom, on his birth anniversary. He is a hero for all Indians too. It will be my honour to visit Bangladesh later this month for the historic #MujibBorsho celebrations.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 17, 2021
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh, was born on March 17, 1920.
Bangladesh had originally planned grand celebrations for the 50th years of Independence and Bangabandhu's birth centenary but the coronavirus pandemic forced the country to revise the plan on health grounds.