British MP-Ministers pay homage to Bangabandhu on Independence Day
London, March 31: In a diplomatic reception given by Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Saida Muna Tasneem, to mark the great Independence Day, the British Ministers and senior Members of Parliament (MPs) paid their deep respects to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
At the same time, they lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's outstanding leadership in achieving economic growth, tackling the risks of climate change, strengthening democracy and regional security.
Oliver Dowden, chairman of the Conservative Party and cabinet minister, was the chief guest at the colourful reception held at the Great Hall of the traditional Methodist Church Convention Center in London, next to the British Parliament in Westminster.
The guest of honour was Lord Tariq Ahmad, Minister for South and Central Asia, North Africa, the United Nations and the Commonwealth at the British Foreign and Development Office (FCDO). UK Defence Secretary Jeremy Quinn MP and London and Small Business, Consumer and Labour Markets Minister Paul Scully MP spoke as special guests at the event.
Other speakers included Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lamy MP, Labour leader Sam Terry MP and Scottish MP Faisal Chowdhury.
Also present at the event were Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, International Maritime Organization Secretary-General Kitak Lim, MPs from various parties in the British Parliament, Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Gayatri Isar Kumar, ambassadors of more than 50 countries, leaders of business associations, academics and eminent members of the British-Bangladeshi community.
On the occasion, Oliver Dowden recalled Bangabandhu's first visit to London as President of Bangladesh on January 8, 1972 and his meeting with the then Prime Minister of the Conservative Party, Sir Edward Heath.
He said the historic meeting at 10 Downing Street was not only a powerful symbol of Bangladesh's independence, it was the foundation of a deep and lasting bilateral relationship between the United Kingdom and Bangladesh. Over time, we have forged stronger ties with Bangladesh, bound by mutual cooperation, cultural ties and values.
The FCDO Minister of the United Kingdom, Lord Tariq Ahmad, lauded the strong leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in building a self-reliant, secular and inclusive Bangladesh, upholding the spirit and values of Bangabandhu.
One of the highlights of the reception was an exhibition of paintings titled 'Bangabandhu and Britain' dedicated to Bangabandhu's special relationship with the United Kingdom. Documentary on the remarkable development of Bangladesh in the last decade under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and colorful cultural performances by the artists of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy from Dhaka under the leadership of Culture Secretary Md. Abul Mansur.