Bangladesh to honor its 61 foreign friends, orgs Saturday

Bangladesh will honor its 61 foreign friends and organisations with awards today(Saturday) for their wholehearted support to its Liberation War in 1971, 41 years ago.

“It’s an ongoing process and we’ll hopefully arrange another similar programme this year (Dec) and a few more next year,” Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni told reporters at a press conference.

Responding to a question, the Foreign Minister said the government wants to complete the process as soon as possible. “We don’t want to make the process lengthy.”

Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes was, among others, present at the press conference held at the Foreign Ministry in the morning.

President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally confer the awards on the 61 individuals and organisations at a function to be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, Dipu Moni said.

Of the recipients, two individuals will be honored with ‘Bangladesh Mukhtijuddha Sommamona’ and 57 individuals and two organisations will be honored with ‘Mukhtijuddha Moitree Sommamona’.

The number of country-wise recipients is from India, 52, Nepal 1, UK 2, Vietnam 1, the USA 2, Sweden 2 and Italy 1, the Foreign Minister said.

A total of 150 individuals and organisations were nominated for the third phase programme, and many of them have already passed away and others turn senior citizens (aged), she said.

During their stay here, the honorees will visit National Martyrs’ Memorial at Savar, pay homage and place wreaths there. They also visit Suhrawardy Uddayan, Ramna, Liberation War Museum, Rayer Bazar Killing Fields Memorial and Shikha Chirantan.

The Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the State Minister for Liberation War Affairs will host dinners separately for the foreign friends during their three-day stay here.

On March 27, Bangladesh honored 83 -- 75 individuals, six organisations, Mitra Bahini (allied forces) and the people of India expressing its deep debt of gratitude for their outstanding contributions to the country’s Liberation War.

President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina conferred the awards on the nation’s foreign friends at a special ceremony at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.

In July last year, Bangladesh government honoured a number of foreign friends for the first time.

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