Remarks by High Commissioner at the Tree Plantation Event on Genocide Day
[Bangabhaban; March 25, 2017; 1400 hrs]
E. Mr Md. Abdul Hamid,
Hon’ble President of Bangladesh;
Mr. Shahriar Kabir,
President, Forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971;
[Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee]
Good Afternoon to you all!
I am feeling honoured to be present here on the occasion of planting of 25 trees to mark the first “National Genocide Day” of Bangladesh.
I thank Ekattor-er Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee for inviting me here. Their relentless campaign against fundamentalism and communalism has strengthened the multi-cultural, inclusive and secular ethos of Bangladeshi society.
Ekattor-er Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee was at the forefront of the movement demanding March 25 to be declared as the Genocide Day. The Government of Bangladesh’s decision has fulfilled one of the long standing demands of civil society of Bangladesh.
His Excellency President himself is a Muktijoddha. Excellency took part in the Liberation War of Bangladesh and commandeered a sub sector of Mujib Bahini. Excellency also acted as the Chairman of recruiting camp in Meghalaya in India. Excellency, we will be very happy if you visit Meghalaya again.
The observation of Genocide Day will help the country solemnly remember the gravity of the crimes committed against humanity by the occupying forces during the Liberation war of Bangladesh.
India and Bangladesh share history. In 1971, inspired by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Bangladeshi Muktijoddhas and Indian soldiers fought together for the Liberation of Bangladesh. This was a moment of pride for all Indians.
Today, Bangladesh has firmly rejected extremist ideas and achieved success as a vibrant society.
This occasion reminds us that we must stand by each other in good times and in time of crisis as we have done in the past. We must live in peace and hormony as good neighbours as our forefathers did for millennia.
Today, India and Bangladesh have excellent relations under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Here I recall the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he had said during his visit to Dhaka in June 2015 - ‘Hum Sath Sath Hai’.
I wish to reiterate that India has always been and will always be with Bangladesh in its development process. We have inextricable linkages of common civilization, history and culture. It is impossible to see both the countries separate from each other. India grows as Bangladesh grows and vice versa.
In the end, I would like to convey my sincere thanks to Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee for this inaugural programme to plant 30 million+ trees in Bangladesh, India and other countries of the world in remembrance of the 3 million martyrs of Bangladesh liberation war.
This noble effort of commemorating the supreme sacrifice of unsung heroes of freedom struggle will also spread awareness about the major threat our planet is facing from environment degradation and climate change.
Today, I am honoured to plant a tree in the name of Param Vir Chakra Lance Naik Albert Ekka. He was also been conferred with the highest national award ‘Friends of Liberation War Honour’ by the government of Bangladesh. His contribution to the Liberation War of Bangladesh is well beyond words. People of India and Bangladesh will always remember him and take inspiration from him to work for the cause of friendly relations between both the ountries.