Work to further brighten country’s dignity: PM

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Chattogram | Updated at 12:54am on December 23, 2019

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Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inspects a parade from a moving jeep at the Bangladesh Naval Academy in Chattogram on Sunday during the President Parade of the passing out naval cadets. — BSS photo

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday called upon the Navy personnel to work with honesty, sincerity and integrity for further brightening the country’s honour and dignity being imbued with the spirit of sacrifice.

‘You people who are going to join your jobs after completion of the training, should bear in mind that you would have to work with honesty, utmost sincerity and integrity for further brightening the country’s honour and dignity being imbued with the spirit of sacrifice,’ she said.

She said this while addressing a ceremony at the parade ground of the Bangladesh Naval Academy in Chattogram marking the President Parade 2019 of the passing out cadets of Midshipman-2017 AAlfa and Direct Entry Officer-2019 Bravo courses arranged by the Bangladesh Naval Academy.

The prime minister reminded the navy personnel that they have taken oath to do so.

In this context, Sheikh Hasina recalled the historic directives to the navy cadets that Sheikh Mujib spelled out at the celebration of Bangladesh Navy Day on December 10, 1974.

She quoted Sheikh Mujib as saying, ‘My country people have performed my directives and thus Bangladesh has become an independent state. If you are bound to my deeds, if you do follow the discipline, if you keep faith upon the God, stand against the unlawful activities, and be honest, Insha-Allah, you will see ‘Sonar Bangla’ will be the ‘Sonar Bangla’.’

The prime minister said, ‘There are huge potential of the sea areas and we have to tap around the potential of marine resources in the country’s economy.’

She earlier distributed various prizes among 72 young officers including 61 midshipmen of 2017/A batch and 11 direct entry officers of 2019/B batch who are stepping out of the academy and entering into naval career after successful completion of the courses. Seven of them are women and two midshipmen are from the Maldives.

Midshipman Raiyan Rahman of the 2017/A batch has been awarded Sword of Honour as he has achieved the highest standard in all sector.

Besides, Midshipman Md Saidis Sacline Miran has got the second highest award Navy Chief Gold Medal and Acting Sub-Lieutenant Md Kamruzzaman from 2019/B batch of direct entry officers got the third highest award Bir Shrestha Ruhul Amin Gold Medal for outstanding performance.

She greeted the navy officers and said, ‘You will be the future leaders of this navy to safeguard our motherland.’

Bangladesh Navy arranged a parade marking the occasion which the prime minister inspected from an open jeep.

Information minister and newly elected joint general secretary of the Awami League Hasan Mahmud, land minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, Chattogram City Corporation mayor AJM Nasir Uddin, AL presidium member Mosharraf Hossain, retired Major General Mohammad Shubid Ali Bhuiyan and deputy minister of education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury, among others were present on the occasion.

Chief of army staff General Aziz Ahmed, chief of naval staff Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury, chief of air staff Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat, PMO secretary Sajjadul Hassan, PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim and, civil and military officials were present on the occasion.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has taken various pragmatic steps for development of naval infrastructure, procurement of modern warships and boosting of operational efficiency of existing fleets to transform the navy into a modern and time-befitting force after assuming office in 1996.

She added, ‘Considering the context of the regional and geo-political realities, our government has been working relentlessly to enrich navy into a technology-based efficient force to cope with the challenges of the century.’

She also said that her government has formulated a perspective plan called Forces Goal 2030 in light with the Defence Policy formulated by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974 and started the implementation accordingly.

Noting that 27 ships were added to Bangladesh Navy as her government has been elected for consecutive three terms, she said, ‘We have established the navy’s special commando wing called Special Warfare, Diving and Salvage Command and the navy’s aviation wing under the name of Naval Aviation.’

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Navy has been transformed into a full-fledged three-dimensional force with inclusion of two submarines in the force in 2017.

The prime minister said Khulna Shipyard Limited has established a milestone in naval-vessel building by fabrication of five patrol crafts and two large patrol crafts under patronisation of the Awami League government and administered by the expert management of the Bangladesh Navy.

She informed that building of additional five patrol crafts is currently under progress while decision has been taken to build another six well-equipped large frigates at BN administered Chattogram Dry Dock Limited.

The prime minister said, ‘Navy is also making Identification of Friend and Foe systems for the three forces. It is expected that, through all these projects Bangladesh Navy will be able to be a commercial manufacturer of warships in the days to come.’

In this contest she said, it will flourish the home grown technologies by which Bangladesh may earn foreign currencies and thus create employment.

The prime minister said a new base named BNS Sheikh Mujib has recently been commissioned at Khilkhet in Dhaka while construction of two large bases, BNS Sher-E-Bangla and submarine base BNS Sheikh Hasina is progressing faster.

Besides, with a view to develop training facilities and living standard, 22 multi-storeyed buildings in different naval areas and Navy Township project in Savar have been inaugurated, she said.

The prime minister greeted the navy for their role in promotion of women empowerment, construction of accommodation for forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals, and expansion of blue economy which has a notable impact in the country’s security and economic development as well.

She also recalled the bravery and sacrifice of naval commandos and martyrs including Bir Shrestha Ruhul Amin during the War of Independence and the Operation Jackpot and various points including Chattogram-Mongla seaports and Chandpur-Narayanganj river port areas in which a number of Pakistani war vessels were destroyed during the war.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Navy began its official journey with two patrol crafts procured on Sheikh Mujib’s personal initiative.

‘The adoption of the Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974 is a testimony of the visionary leadership of Bangabandhu for which, it has become easier to acquire a huge maritime zone in our time,’ she added.

Noting that it was a dream cherished by Sheikh Mujib to establish international standard military academies to develop ideal military leadership from the young people of the country, she said, ‘To materialise that dream, ‘Bangabandhu Complex’ was inaugurated on March 21, 2018, featuring all modern training facilities. With this complex the training facilities in Bangladesh Naval Academy has attained international standard.’

Mentioning that there are practices of cooperation between armed forces and civil administration in rescue operation and rehabilitation works during natural disasters in the coastal region and also in the national emergency, she said, ‘For sake of the nation, I would urge you to come forward with a mind-set of cooperation.’

Sheikh Hasina said her government has been working to turn Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous one in the South Asia by 2041 maintaining the status of a developing country.

To materialise the dream of Sheikh Mujib to build a hunger and poverty-free Sonar Bangla, the prime minister said her government has taken 100-year programme styled Delta Plan-2100 as generation after generation will get a prosperous and developed country.

Noting that Sheikh Mujib wanted to develop the country as a developed and prosperous one, the prime minister said, ‘Bangladesh is advancing politically with establishment of democracy alongside marching forward economically.’

She added that Bangladesh is set to celebrate the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujib in 2020 and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence in 2021 and 2020-2021 has been declared as the Mujib Borsho.

‘Insha Allah, Bangladesh will definitely be prosperous free from poverty and hunger dreamt by the Father of the Nation, ‘she added.

The prime minister later planted sapling of a tree on the premises of Bangladesh Naval Academy and joined in a photo session with the fresh navy officers.

She also joined an epaulette wearing ceremony and witnessed warships anchored on the Bay of Bengal beside the naval academy through binocular and being briefed of the ships.

The prime minister lastly cut a cake on the occasion.