Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering has said the future ahead is very bright for Bangladesh and Bangladeshis.
He made the remarks while addressing the eighth-day function of the 10-day gala programmes to celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence as the guest of honour at the National Parade Ground in the capital on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s always a delight to return to Bangladesh, which I call my second home. But this time the reason is even more compelling. I’m here to celebrate two very special occasions,” the Bhutanese premier said.
“I strongly believe that all of us, all human beings, and for that matter all the nations in the world, must have a story to share. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has given Bangladesh a very good story to share with the global population,” he said
Lotay Tshering said, “I’m so proud today that I get the seat next to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to listen to the story. I’m so proud because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is an inspiring leader, a mother-like figure for me,” he said.
He said such significant occasions uplift the spirit not just the people of Bangladesh but all the people in the world, especially at this times when Covid-19 has claimed numerous precious lives and disrupted the livelihoods of millions of people around the world.
Speaking about his virtual conversation with Sheikh Hasina, the Bhutanese Prime Minister said, “I fondly recall the virtual interactions with Sheikh Hasina and the words of encouragement and support that I received from Her Excellency.”
“And even at a distance I could sense so much care and concern in her for the people of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is truly blessed to have her as the leader,” he said, adding, “I’m sure Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is very proud of Bangladesh and proud of his daughter Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina.”
Lotay Tshering lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her team for managing the Covid-19 situation successfully and expressed gratitude to her and people of Bangladesh for extending support during the extraordinary times.
“I’m a firm believer that only those leaders who centred their principles on humanity and compassion can bring about the desired peace and stability in the world,” he said.
While paying homage to Bangabandhu, the Bhutanese premier quoted a poem by Annada Shankar Ray in Bangla.
He said, “We have many bilateral engagements. I’ve seized the opportunity to visit Bangladesh this time with the sole intention to pay tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his historic legacies that led strong foundations for peaceful, progressive and prosperous Bangladesh.”
“I’ve come here to pay respects to a daughter who has developed deep commitments to realise her father’s dream of Sonar Bangla,” Lotay Tshering said adding, “Like I mentioned earlier she is one such leader who places the freedom and happiness of her people before everything.”
He said, “Bangladesh has progressed at all levels. The improvements are so visible each time I visit the country. Especially, in the last one decade the stride that is made by Bangladesh in economic front is commendable.”
“Despite the pandemic you have able to retain one of the highest GDP growths in this continent. Congratulations for that,” the Bhutanese Prime Minister added.
About Bangladesh’s impressive development forecast, he said, “We’re proud of the progress that is being made by Bangladesh because we know the strong economy of Bangladesh will be an impetus for Bhutan and the region.”
“This year is also very special as we’ve enjoyed last 50 years of bilateral relations between the two countries. As we strive to secure more success and achievements we’ll definitely be working closer at different levels,” Lotay Tshering said.
Earlier, Sheikh Hasina received Lotay Tshering when he reached the programme venue at 5pm.
The programme began with the chorus presentation of Bangladesh’s national anthem.
The recitation from the holy religious books, Mujib Year theme song and an audio visual presentation on the theme of today’s programme ‘Pioneer of Peace, Freedom and Humanity’ were presented.
Video messages sent by Pope Francis and President of Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi were played on the occasion.
Prior to their message, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen delivered the welcome speech and former Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and noted political scientist Prof Dr Rounaq Jahan also addressed the function.
Later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina delivered her speech as the chairperson of the programme.