No festivity in Bangladesh on Independence Day amid coronavirus fear

Staff Correspondent | Published: 15:52, Mar 26,2020 | Updated: 21:10, Mar 26,2020


The 50th Independence Day of Bangladesh is being celebrated across the country without any festivity amid global coronavirus pandemic.

The government cancelled all the celebrations marking the day this year to avoid public gathering amid coronavirus fear.

To mark the day, national dailies brought out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, and the other television channels are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.

Today is a public holiday.

Usually, on the day, president Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths early in the morning to pay tribute to the martyrs of the Liberation War. The programmes were cancelled.

All the political parties, as well as socio-cultural and professional organisations, also suspended all the festivities to put off public gatherings to maintain social distancing at directives of the government as well as the World Health Organisation.

Paying tributes to the martyrs and veterans of the War of Liberation at the National Martyrs Memorial at Savar has been suspended to prevent the possibility of coronavirus infection that already killed five people and infected a total of 39 so far with the first case was detected in Bangladesh on March 8 after its outbreak in China in December 2019.

The sun of Independence rose over the horizon of Bangladesh on March 26, 1971, with the proclamation of the independence inspiring  75 million  Bengalis to take up arms against the Pakistani occupation military who committed one of the worst genocides in modern history during the nine-month Liberation War.

Bangladeshi people clinched victory against the marauding Pakistani occupation army on December 16, 1971. But the killing of over three million Bengalis and crimes against over two hundred thousand women and forcing 10 million people to take refuge in neighbouring India left a deep scar.

The day has been celebrated as Independence Day since 1971. In 1980, the government decided to celebrate it as the National Day as well.

President M Abdul Hamid, prime minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir felicitated the countrymen in separate messages.

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