Message from the Prime Minister

December 16 is the Great Victory Day. It's a unique day for the nation, as on this day, responding to the clarion call of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangali nation earned ultimate victory in 1971, after 23 years of intense political struggle and a 9-month bloody war against the Pakistani occupation forces. I extend my sincere greetings and warm felicitations to the country's people on the occasion of 49th Victory Day.

I pay deep homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. I recall with gratitude the four national leaders, three million martyrs, two hundred thousand dishonored women and the bravest sons of the soil – our freedom fighters, who earned our long-cherished freedom and independent Bangladesh.

Under the undaunted leadership of Bangabandhu, the Bangali nation got prepared for independence through Language Movement of 1952, Education Movement of 1962, 6-Point Demand of 1966, and 11-point Movement and Mass Upsurge of 1969. The Awami League secured an absolute majority in the general elections of 1970. However, Pakistanis prevented Bangali from assuming the power.

Father of the Nation realised that the oppression, persecution and deprivation meted out to the Bangali nation would not end without achieving the independence. Accordingly, on the historic March 7 of 1971, he, in front of a million of people at the then Race Course Maidan firmly pronounced – 'The struggle this time is a struggle for emancipation, the struggle this time is a struggle for independence.' The country-wide non-cooperation movement started at the directives of Bangabandhu and preparations for waging armed struggle also begun as part of the Liberation War.

On the fateful night of March 25, 1971, Pakistani occupation forces launched a brutal onslaught and committed genocide on the innocent and unarmed Bangalis. Bangabandhu declared independence of Bangladesh at the early hours of March 26, 1971 resulting in the formal War of Independence. The first government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh was formed with Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as President, Syed Nazrul Islam as Vice-President and Tajuddin Ahmed as Prime Minister who were sworn-in on April 17, 1971 at the historic Mujibnagar and later led the Liberation War. The valiant freedom fighters earned victory on December 16, 1971 by defeating Pakistani oc cupation forces and their local collaborators- rajakars, albadars and alshams. We achieved an independent sovereign country. Holding the red-green flag high, the victorious Bangalis marched forward on the progressive path.

When the Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujib had fully engaged himself in the struggle to reconstructing the war-ravaged country, the anti-liberation forces in collusion with the war criminals assassinated him along with most of his family members on August 15, 1975.

They initiated the politics of killings, coup and conspiracy, and obstructed the process to bring the killers of Bangabandhu to book through promulgating Indemnity Ordinance. They ruined the democracy by declaring Martial Law and distorted the glorious history of our independence. They defaced the constitution and suppressed the press freedom. Later, the BNP-Jamat alliance government kept on doing so.

The Awami League, after a long 21 years of struggle and sacrifice, assumed the responsibility of running the government in 1996.

Our party has been in government for last three consecutive terms since 2009 and relentlessly been working for upliftment of the people. Bangladesh, one of the top five countries in the world in economic growth, is a 'Role Model' for development. We are the first in the world to start the implementation of 'Delta Plan-21 00'.

In the last fiscal, we achieved record 8.13 percent GDP growth. The poverty rate has now decreased to 21 percent. Our per capita income has risen to US$1,909 and literacy rate is 73.9 percent. Country's 95 percent people are under electricity coverage. The average life expectancy of the people has jumped to 72 years. We are implementing a number of mega infrastructure development projects such as Padma Bridge, metro-rail, elevated express-ways, rail, and waterways across the country.

Our government is working with adherence to 'zero tolerance policy' against militancy, terrorism and drug menace. We have established the rule of law in the country and executed the verdict of the trial of the killers of the Father of the Nation and trial of the war criminals. We have peacefully resolved the land boundary issue with India. Disputes with India and Myanmar on maritime boundary have also been resolved. Bangladesh's contribution to various international forums for establishing global peace has been lauded. We have also joined the elite club of the satellite technology as the 57th nation of the world by launching Bangabandhu Satellite-!.

Bangladesh and UNESCO will jointly celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu next year. We have been working to make Bangladesh a middle income country by 2021, and a developed-prosperous one by 2041. Bangladesh is moving ahead; it will keep on doing so.

On the eve of the golden jubilee of our independence, I would like to call upon all to play their due role from their respective positions to accelerate the development, uphold democratic polity and establish good governance frustrating all sorts of conspiracy against democracy and the government being imbued with the spirit of liberation war.

Joi Bangia, Joi Bangabandhu

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