Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed her firm conviction that no evil force would be able to suppress the Bengali nation.
She said this while addressing a discussion organised by Awami League, marking Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day at Krishibid Institute Bangladesh.
The premier said Awami League, with full support of people, came to power for the third consecutive term. “We have to work to uphold the confidence of people through continuing the pace of development and taking the country forward,” she said.
At the event, a one-minute silence was observed in memory of the martyrs of Language Movement, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, martyrs of August 15, 1975, Liberation War heroes and those who died in the fire incident in Chawkbazar on Wednesday night.
Hasina expressed profound shock at the loss of lives in the fire. She prayed for the eternal peace of the departed souls and conveyed sympathy to the bereaved family members.
In her speech, the prime minister said country's development is visible as the AL government carried out massive works over the last 10 years. Bangladesh is now free from hunger. But the country needs to be freed from poverty further, she said.
Bangladesh would celebrate birth centenary of Bangabandhu in 2020 and golden jubilee of independence in 2021 as a poverty-free nation, she said.
In 2041, Bangladesh would emerge as a developed and prosperous nation in South Asia and proceed with a 100-year delta plan to ensure sustainable development and prosperous future of the people.
Focusing on history of the Language Movement, Hasina said the movement for mother language began much earlier.
Sheikh Hasina also said it was Awami League which included the provision of making Bangla a state language after its win in the general election in 1956.
The AL government had declared February 21 as the Language Martyrs' Day, she added.
She said Bangladesh, as the hub of Language Movement, has shouldered a great responsibility to protect languages now on the verge of extinction.
International Mother Language Institute has been constituted for research and to give support to protect languages of different ethnicities and small groups, she said.
Hasina, the AL president, presided over the meeting while its general secretary Obaidul Quader gave welcome address.
Awami League advisory council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, presidium members Matia Chowdhury and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, noted litterateur Imdadul Haque Milon and AL joint secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak addressed the meeting, among others.
AL publicity secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud and deputy publicity secretary Aminul Islam conducted the meeting.
Awami League central committee member Akhteruzzaman, president and general secretary of Dhaka north chapter AL AKM Rahmatullah and Sadek Khan respectively, and AL central committee member Merina Khan Kabita also spoke on the occasion.