Prime Minister’s Message on the occasion of the Genocide Day

March 25, 2023 7:47 am
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given the following Message on the occasion of the Genocide Day :  “Today is Genocide Day. On this day in 1971, the invading forces of Pakistan carried out the most barbaric crackdown in Bangladesh. I remember with a heavy heart all martyrs who sacrificed their lives on the night of March 25. 1971, whose fresh blood inspired the brave Bengalis to be spirited to take up arms and fight for independence.

The greatest Bengali of all time, Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, sacrificed his whole life liberating the Bengali nation shackled for thousands of years. He was first arrested and imprisoned on March 11, 1948, while protesting to protect the dignity of the Bengali language. Since then, he led all the movements, including the language movement of ’52, the twenty-one point of ’54, the anti-Ayub movement of ’62, the six points of ’66, and the mass upsurge of ’69 with great foresight. After the mass uprising of 1969, on December 5, on the death anniversary of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, he declared, ‘From today, the name of this eastern part of Pakistan will be solely Bangladesh, instead of East Pakistan.’ He left the Minister’s portfolio, organized and strengthened the party, and prepared the nation for independence. The Awami League, led by the Father of the Nation, won a single majority in the National Assembly in the ’70 elections. However, the Pak-military junta started delaying the transfer of power. By procrastinating in the name of the meeting, they launched a secret conspiracy to kill the unarmed Bengalis. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib called for a non-cooperation movement from March 2; in his historic speech on March 7, he clearly outlined the goal of overcoming the long 23-year rule and exploitation and called for compliance with the 35-point directive from March 15. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s instructions were followed verbatim throughout East Bengal. Not only that, Bangladesh’s administrative, political, and economic activities are being carried out as he prescribed. Yahya’s rule became utterly obsolete. Yahya-Bhutto repeatedly offered to compromise. But the undisputed leader of Bangladesh gave up the lure of power and remains steadfast for the freedom-loving people of this country. On March 23, Pakistan Day, the flag emblazoned with the map of Bangladesh was hoisted all over the country.

On the evening of March 25, Yahya left Dhaka secretly during the non-cooperation movement. At midnight, Pakistani troops launched ‘Operation Search Light’ with armored tanks and started killing unarmed Bengalis, Dhaka University, Pilkhana, and Rajarbag were attacked, and students, teachers, Bengali police, and military personnel were killed. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib was arrested at an early hour on March 26. Immediately before, the Father of the Nation wrote the final declaration of independence – ‘This may be my last message, from today Bangladesh is independent —your fight must go until final victory is achieved, ‘- which was first broadcast on EPR’s wireless and then spread across the country through leaders and activists of the Awami League and Chhatra League. The Pakistanis tortured Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib by imprisoning him in Mianwali prison in Pakistan and tried to kill him. On June 13, Anthony Mascarenhas, a Pakistani journalist, published a detailed article on the front page of The Sunday Times in the United Kingdom, entitled ‘GENOCIDE,’ based on a realistic picture of the Pakistanis’ brutality against Bengalis that accelerated the creation of world voice in favor of Bangladesh. Three million people were martyred in 9 months long armed war, two hundred thousand mothers and sisters lost their dignity, and the whole country went under the rubble. Finally, with the victory on December 16, the independent sovereign Bangladesh was established.

President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of the Bengali nation, was released from solitary confinement in Pakistan, returned to his beloved independent motherland on January 10, 1972, and devoted himself to rebuilding the war-torn country. With the help of the allies, though there was an empty treasury, he rehabilitated the displaced people, restored and developed the infrastructure, and put the production sector and the economy on a solid foundation. In just three and a half years, the UN recognized the country as a Least Developed Country. But our misfortune is that the defeated anti-independence clique of ’71 continues to conspire against him. On another mourning night on August 15, 1975, the incumbent President, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was martyred by brutal bullets along with his family members. The murderous Mostaq-Zia and their successors illegally seized power and established a dictatorship in the country. The BNP tarnished the proud history of the Bengali nation by placing the perpetrators of the infernal massacre on March 25, criminals against humanity and war criminals, and murderers of the Father of the Nation, in the government.

Awami League formed the government after being elected by popular mandate in 1996 after a long 21-year struggle. On October 5, 1998, we accessed the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In 1997, we proposed a resolution on the Culture of Peace at the UN General Assembly, which was adopted in 1999. Accordingly, United Nations declared 2000 as the ‘International Year for the Culture of Peace’ and 2001-2010 as the ‘International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence.’ We have been working tirelessly for more than fourteen years since 2008 to transform the fate of the people with their unwavering support in all elections. In the meantime, we tried the perpetrators of crimes against humanity and war criminals by establishing the International Crimes Tribunal. We ensured the people’s right to vote through the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which also barred the illegal seizure of power. A book titled ‘The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide’ was published in 2013, where the brutality of genocide carried out by Pakistanis in Bangladesh was described as reported by Mr. Archer K. Blood, the then American Consul General in Dhaka to the State Department. We have recognized March 25 as ‘Genocide Day. We have sheltered more than 1.1 million displaced Rohingya people who escaped with their lives from genocide in neighboring Myanmar. We are working on the principle of ‘Zero Tolerance’ to eradicate militancy and terrorism. We have already made Bangladesh a developing country Bangladesh in 2041 will be ‘Smart Bangladesh.’ We are formulating and implementing the ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100’: Future generations will be able to implement this plan with the amendment of their need.

We do not want war and conflict; killing men, women, and children dipped us in demise. We believe in peace. If sustainable peace prevails, the overall development of the country accelerates. We follow Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s peace policy in running the country. I appeal to the country’s people and the global people to build a society based on equality and free from all kinds of discrimination and sectarianism.

I wish successes to all the programs on the ‘Genocide Day’.

Joi Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu

         May Bangladesh Live Forever.”