Kissinger, Bhutto visit Dhaka before Bangabandhu’s assassination

The US secretary of state Henry Kissinger made a whirlwind visit to Bangladesh before the assassination of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He came to Dhaka on October 30, 1974 while met with Bangabandhu for a couple of hours at the Gonobhaban and later appeared at a three-minute press conference in which he refused to say why he had sent the USS Enterprise into the Bay of Bengal in 1971.
Notably, Kissinger visited Dhaka only after four months of the visit of the Pakistani Premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who came here on June 24 in 1974 and stayed for three days. His huge entourage included 107 persons. On the day of his arrival, local newspapers were full of file-photos of the barbarity of the Pakistan army in 1971.
About the Kissinger’s visit, renowned US journalist Lawrence Lifschultz in his “Bangladesh: The Unfinished Revolution” writes: Within a month of Kissinger’s visit the US Embassy in Dhaka had become a bee-hive of activity.
After his meeting with Bangabandhu, Kissinger told journalists that he would not have realised that it is possible for human being to reach that height if he would not see Bangabandhu.
Lifschultz in his book further writes: “Those who were aware of Kissinger’s plans felt that the US diplomat’s comments were kind of satirical.
The different attitude of the then US authorities to Bangabandhu was also evident at that time. For instance, when a foreign head of government goes to the United Nations on a maiden tour, he is usually honored with an invitation to the White House. But despite repeated queries from the Bangladesh foreign ministry there was no clear response from the White House, in this case.
Later, when it was clear that, whatever the circumstances, Bangabandhu would visit Washington D.C., anyway, to visit old friends, the State Department hurriedly arranged a 15-minute meeting with the US president.
But the entire ambience of the meeting was cold. Kissinger did not even have the courtesy to meet Bangabandhu while he was in Washington. But it is true that Kissinger met Bangabandhu at the United Nations’ headquarters, a few days back.
Therefore, Lifschultz says, Kissinger’s effusive remarks about Bangabandhu were all verbiage. Referring to the role of Kissinger during the War of Liberation in 1971, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith told a recent discussion meeting held in Dhaka that the US diplomat should be tried for war crime.

Unusual night parade before Bangabandhu’s assassination

bangabandhu-the man
An unusual parade was organised on the night of August 14 in 1975 that continued for over four hours and ended only few hours before killing Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members.
The parade began at 8 at night on August 14 and continued till 2:30 am on August 15, the darkest night of the country’s history, according to the statement of a public witness (PW) of the brutal murder case of the Father of the Nation.
The witness, who was a member of armed forces, in his deposition stated that generally parade is not held with live ammunitions, but for that parade the army personnel were asked to carry arms and ammunitions.
SDM (Squad Designated Marksman) Bashir gave the directive for the parade where the witness saw Major Farook Rahman, Major Mohiuddin, Major Ahmed Shariful Islam, Lieutenant Kismat, Lieutenant Nazmul Hussain Answer and some other persons in civil dress.
The witness (PW 14 in the Bangabandhu Murder Case), said that he also saw Major Rashid and some other officers of Rashid’s unit while Major Farook ordered them to fall in and told them that they were asked to fall in because of a very urgent task. Thereafter, Farook introduced Major Dalim and Major Shahriar who were also in civil dress.
Major Farook asked the troops to obey their directives and said that the tank commanders would know where the tanks would be deployed. The major also asked the troops to be ready to move within half an hour.
“At about 4 in the morning, Major Farook directed them to move”, the witness said, adding that Farook himself was commanding a tank while Lt Kismat was the commander of another tank.
Major Shariful Hossian directed the witness to go to the radio station, and when they reached at the station at around 4 in the early morning, Hossain ordered the gateman of the radio station to remain where they were.
The witness saw Major Dalim came to the radio station at around 5:30 am in an open jeep fitted with a machine gun and guarded with a sepoy. Dalim had a talk with Hossian before entering the radio station. Hossain then checked the army officers and civilians who came there.
The statement of the witness proved that the troops and the tanks were prepared at the parade ground with arms and ammunitions and at 4 in the morning the tank commanders moved out of the cantonment towards the city.

World leaders recall Bangabandhu as a great visionary statesman

Leaders of different states, including heads of the government, have remembered the uncompromising and charismatic leadership of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with ‘deep respect’, calling Mujib a great visionary statesman of international stature.
The world leaders, during their visit to Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in capital’s Dhanmondi area at different times, said Sheikh Mujib was a leader of the masses and he made his supreme sacrifice for the people.
They made their comments in the “Visitors’ Comment Book” at Dhanmondi Bangabandhu Bhaban, where the Father of the Nation and most of his family members were assassinated in an orchestrated conspiracy of reactionary forces and by a section of disgruntled and ambitious army personnel to reverse the reasons and the values of our War of Liberation so they could achieve their vicious ambitions.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee remembered Bangladesh’s founding President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a trailblazer who fought for establishing people’s rights and dignity in one of the most profound struggles for liberation in the twentieth century.
“With utmost respects, I pay homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The title of Bangabandhu bestowed on him reflects the extraordinary love that this patriot had for the people of his country,” the Indian President wrote it in the visitors’ comment book after a visit here on March 4 in 2013.
He added: “I salute this great visionary and international statesman, who worked for friendship between the people of our countries. He was a leader of the masses and made the ultimate sacrifice in their service.”
Former President of the Federal Republic of Germany Christian Wulff also called Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman a great statesman, expressing his great esteem for him as “the architect and Father of the Bangladesh nation”.
“This memorial reminds us of a great statesman who fought for the rights and dignity of his people and was steadfastly committed to independence and national unity,” Wuff wrote in the book.
Former Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who visited the museum on September 7 in 2011, paid homage to Bangabandhu calling him a great visionary and statesman who laid a firm foundation for an independent, strong and proud Bangladesh.
“Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led his people in their struggle for liberation through his inspired and courageous leadership,” Dr Singh added.
Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi visited the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum on July 25 in 2011 as the Chairperson of the National Advisory Council of India.
She put her comment on the visitors’ book saying, “I pay my homage to a visionary leader and statesman Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who demonstrated ‘resolute courage’ in the face of adversity, enduring hardships and indisposition in the quest for freedom.”
She mentioned that Bangabandhu sought to empower his people in many ways and his sacrifice and struggle for the country’s independence and people’s cherished destination would always be honoured forever.
Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, former Prime Minister of Kingdom of Thailand, paid her rich tribute to the memory of the Father of the Nation. She visited the museum on December 22 in 2012.
Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, India, recalled the contributions of Bangabandhu to uphold the dignity of Bengali language as a mother tongue in the world arena.
Commenting on the visitors’ book of the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, Mamata said he was an inspiration of all freedom-loving people in the sub-continent.
“Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the supreme commander of the Liberation War, architect and founding father of People’s Republic of Bangladesh. I pay deep respect to the memory of the great leader,” she mentioned.
By Abu Syed

President, PM pay homage to Bangabandhu at Tungipara

17-03-16-President_PM_Tongipara-3#bangabandhu – President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina here this morning paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of the 97th birthday of the great leader. The President and the Premier paid the homage by placing wreaths at the mazar of Bangabandhu here. President Abdul Hamid first laid a wreath at the mazar of Bangabandhu followed by the Prime Minister.

After placing the wreaths, they stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory of the Father of the Nation as the bugle played the last post. A smartly turned out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force gave an honour guard on the occasion. Abdul Hamid and Sheikh Hasina offered Fateha and joined a munajat seeking eternal peace of the departed soul of Bangabandhu as well as other martyrs of the August 15 carnage.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Awami League Presidium Member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Minister for Public Administration Syed Ashraful Islam, Land Minister Shamsur Rahman Sharif Dilu, AL Presidium Member Kazi Zafarullah, Deputy Speaker Fazley Rabbi Mia, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki, Chief Whip ASM Feroz and AL Organizing Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim were present on the occasion.

Besides, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam, Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Mohammad Shafiul Haque, Chief of Naval Staff Vice-Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Abu Esrar, President’s Press Secretary Joynul Abedin, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim and senior AL leaders and high civil and military officials were present.

Later, the President signed the visitor’s book kept on the mazar premises. Earlier on his arrival on the mazar premises, President Abdul Hamid was received by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and AL Presidium Member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim. Flanked by senior leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami  League preident, placed another wreath at the mazar of Bangabandhu on behalf of AL.

The Prime Minister flew to Tungipara after placing wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road No 32 in the capital. The birthday of Bangabandhu is being observed across the country today as the National Children’s Day.

Know real history of Liberation War: PM to children

17-03-16-President_PM_Tongipara-7#bangabandhu -Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon the children to know the real history of victory in the Liberation War and the long struggle for the country’s independence alongside grooming themselves as “good citizens” following the ideals of Bangabandhu.

“After the tragic assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975, the spirit of the War of Liberation was foiled and the people of the country were deprived of knowing the true history of independence for 21 years and that there was something for which they could feel proud,” she said.

The Premier said but days have changed today. “The children of the country now know and see the true history of the Liberation War as we after coming to power again are projecting it before them,” she added.

She said: “We want that the children would develop themselves with such a mindset that they would know that we are a victorious nation and Bangabandhu gave us the flag of that victory.”

The Prime Minister said this while addressing a children’s rally marking the 97th birthday of Father of the Nation and National Children’s Day today on Bangabandhu Mausoleum Complex here. The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Gopalganj district administration jointly organized the rally joined by schoolchildren of different educational institutions of Tungipara, the birthplace of Bangabandhu. Rafiatur Zaman, a student of a local school, presided over the function while State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki was present as the special guest. Rittik Zidan, also a student, gave the welcome address.

Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Nasima Begum, Dhaka Divisional Commissioner Zillar Rahman and Deputy Commissioner of Gopalganj Khalilur Rahman were present on the dais. Ministers, parliament members, cabinet secretary, chiefs of the three services, political leaders, senior civil and military officials were also present at the function. Sheikh Hasina also advised the children to follow the guidelines of their teachers, parents and guardians as well as maintain discipline in all spheres of life to make their future meaningful. Mentioning the education as the most “valuable asset” in life, the Prime Minister said none could ever snatch this wealth.

“That is why, her government has created better opportunity for the children’s education to flourish their latent talent and merit,” she said. In this regard, she urged the children to be more dedicated and attentive in their regular academic studies, sports and cultural activities to develop themselves as worthy citizens. Urging the children to follow the ideals of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu, the greatest Bangalee of all time, always had special affection and love for the children and juveniles.

The Prime Minister said Bangabandhu was the leader of the exploited and deprived people across the world and he used to help his poor classmates and distressed people from his boyhood. She said Bangabandhu had proved through his sacrifice that how much love he (Bangabandhu) had for the people. “As his children, we feel proud as he brought the self-identity and success for the nation,” she said. She said Bangabandhu established Bangalees as a victorious nation and there is nothing to be prouder than it. But the evil forces whom we defeated in 1971 took revenge by carrying out the 15th August massacre in 1975.

“The defeated forces of 71 along with their collaborators assassinated the Father of the Nation, his family members including minor children like Russell and Babu to take revenge of their defeat,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said the killers and their collaborators diverted Bangladesh towards opposite direction from the path of the spirit of the great War of Liberation. The Premier said Bangabandhu, who endowed the Bangalee nation with the freedom and independence through his 23-year-long struggles, gave priority to education to build a dignified nation before the world.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu soon after liberation, made the primary education free of cost to allow every child to have access to education for building up future generation and leadership. Following in the footprint of the great leader, she said, her government also nationalized over 26 thousand primary schools and formulated the National Children Policy 2011 to ensure their welfare. She said the verdicts of the trial of killers of Bangabandhu have been executed while the trial of war criminals for their crimes against humanity like killing, rape and looting is progressing.

“That is why, the country is being freed from the curse and advancing towards development and prosperity,” Sheikh Hasina said. In this connection, the Premier said the conspiracies of the anti-liberation forces are still on. “But the plots could not misguide the people,” she said. The Prime Minister said Bangabandhu had dreamt of building Bangladesh as a peaceful country in the world free from hunger and poverty. “We are working tirelessly to materialize that dream,” she said.

Later, Sheikh Hasina distributed prizes among the children who participated in literary, cultural and art competition organized marking the 97th birthday of the Father of the Nation and the National Children’s Day. She also handed over sewing machines among some distressed women and inaugurated a book fair on the mausoleum complex.