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Bangabandhu put his people first and we must do the same: Trudeau

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-03-17 22:02:29 BdST


Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman put his people first and everyone must do the same, says Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He greeted his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina and Bengalis on the birth centenary of her father Bangabandhu in a video message played at the celebrations on the twin occasions of Bangabandhu’s birth anniversary and the golden jubilee of independence on Wednesday.   

“I also want to congratulate everyone on 50 years of an independent Bangladesh, something that we are able to celebrate today because of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s vision of an independent and democratic country – one that was built on his love for its people,” he said.

“My friends, today is a time for reflection and celebration. We reflect upon the legacy of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – 100 years after his birth – and celebrate 50 years of independence. And in so doing, we are reminded of the power that individuals bring to creating lasting changes.

“Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s vision became a reality because he put his people first. And as we face some of the greatest challenges of our lifetime, we – as leaders and citizens – must do the same,” he added.

Trudeau recalled his 1983 visit to Bangladesh when he was a child with his father and former prime minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau.    

“At that time my father and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had already forged a strong relationship – one that was rooted in Canada’s early support for an independent Bangladesh. And since then our two countries have maintained a lasting bond based on strong people-to-people ties and common interests,” he said.   

Bangladesh is “much different” today than he first visited the country as it has made incredible progress over the past 50 years, Trudeau said.  

“You have spurred economic growth, reduced poverty increased access to education and health resources, and have built new opportunities for your people.”

“Bangladesh has gone through a remarkable economic and social transformation. And Canada has been there as a partner every step of the way,” Trudeau said.

He noted the support Canada provided to Bangladesh’s women empowerment, child health, education and other sectors. “We are committed to continuing that work,” he said, adding that the support will extend to ensure everyone’s access to COVID-19 vaccine and to tackle climate change.