Friday, February 22nd, 2019

‘Bangabandhu globalised Bangla by delivering first Bangla speech at UN’

Published 10:00 pm | February 22, 2019

“Bangabandhu was the first Bangalee who made history by delivering the first Bangla speech at the United Nations (UN) and thus internationalising Bangla Language,” said Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Saida Muna Tasneem at a high profile commemorative programme on Bangla Language Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day-2019, organised by Bangladesh High Commission in London.

The high commissioner said that it was also the historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu in Bangla, not in English that was included as a documentary heritage in the Memory of the world International Register of UNESCO.

Tasneem added that following the footsteps of her father, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been championing Bangla by calling upon the United Nations to declare it as one of its official languages.

“The prime minister has also been particularly praised for establishing the International Mother Language Institute in Dhaka for preserving 8000 mother languages of the world,” she said.

Bangladesh High Commission on Thursday observed the “Amar Ekushey” (Immortal Ekushe), dedicating the historic day to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and upholding multilingualism, friendship and peace amongst nations.

The day’s programme began at 11 am with hoisting the national flag at half-mast by the High Commissioner at the chancery premises in presence of the mission’s officers and officials and senior community members.

Messages from President Md Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister Dr A. K. Abdul Momen, MP, and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, MP, were read out.

Special prayer in memory of the language martyrs, Bangabandhu and his family members who were brutally killed in 1975 and for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was also offered.

The High Commission organised the programme at Millennium Gloucester Hotel under the theme of this year’s International Mother Language Day – ‘Indigenous Language Matters’ in partnership with UK National Commission for UNESCO with active support from 11 other Embassies, High Commissions, UK Institutions and the Commonwealth.

This was the first of its kind a joint collaboration truly upholding the spirit of Bangladesh-UK bilateral cultural cooperation as well as diversity and multiculturalism in London.

Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chair Tom Tugendhat, MP, Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions Rt Stephen Timms MP, Member of Parliament Rt Keith Vaz, Member of the European Parliament for London Jean Lambert, Commonwealth Secretary General Rt Patricia Scotland, QC, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization Kitack Lim, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the UK National Commission for UNESCO James Bridge, eminent journalist, columnist and lyricist of the theme song for Amar Ekushey Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, Professor of Linguistics, Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics of University of Oxford Aditi Lahiri, UK representative from the British-Bangladeshi Community Sultan Mahmud Sharif and representative from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Dan Pasha spoke on the occasion.

The speakers highlighted the history and the spirit of the Bangla language movement and observed that coordinated approach and efforts would strengthen further the cultural relations across nationalities.

Diplomats from Morocco, Sudan, Indonesia, Bahrain, Nepal, Bahamas, Belarus, Myanmar, Dominican Republic, Iraq, Jordan, South Korea, and Tunisia attended the programme.

A documentary on the language movement was screened at the event and artists from different nationalities performed songs and dances in a multi-lingual colourful cultural soirée.

Artistes from Cyprus, Costa Rica, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Sri Lanka, Wales (UK) and host country Bangladesh participated in the cultural event. More than 600 guests from different nationalities, including British-Bangladeshis enjoyed the hour long event with much enthusiasm.

Earlier at one-minute past mid-night on 21 February, the High Commissioner along with Tower Hamlet Mayor John Biggs laid the wreathes at the Shaheed Minar at the Shaheed Altab Ali Park in East London. They were followed by different organisations, institutions and leaders, and brothers and sisters from British-Bangladesh community.


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