Bangladesh High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria observed “Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day (IMLD)” in a befitting manner. The national flag was hoisted at half-mast in the morning of February 21, 2019 in the premises of the High Commission. Messages from the Hon’ble President, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Hon’ble Foreign Minister and Hon’ble State Minister for Foreign Affairs were read out. A special prayer was offered for the salvation of the departed souls of those who laid down their lives during the language movement in 1952 and War of Independence in 1971 and also seeking divine blessings for the continued peace, progress and prosperity of the country.
A discussion meeting alongwith a colourful multi-lingual cultural event was organized at the auditorium of the High Commission on Thursday, 28 February, 2019. At the outset of the discussion meeting, one minute silence was observed as a respect to the martyrs as well as for the victims in the recent devastating fire incident in Chawlkbazar, Dhaka. A documentary on the International Mother Language Day was screened. At the discussion segment, while paying rich tribute to the language martyrs, Mr. Md. Shameem Ahsan,ndc, High Commissioner in his welcome remarks said that International Mother Language Day has now become a day of celebration of linguistic diversity around the world. In this context, he recalled the contribution of language martyrs including leadership role of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the historic language movement as well as his speech in Bangla at the UN General Assembly in 1974. He also underlined the significance of the language movement in the evolution of the national history culminating into the independence of Bangladesh.
Mrs. Adele Nibona, Officer in Charge for the Regional Director of UNESCO, Abuja was present as a Guest. While discussing on the IMLD, she highlighted the sacrifices of the Bangladeshis during the language movement in 1952 and also mentioned the global significance of UNESCO’s Declaration of the day as International Mother Language Day. Mr. Nura Abba Rimi, Director (Asia and Pacific Division) of the Nigerian Foreign Ministry also took part in the discussion. While highlighting on the importance of the day, Mr. Rimi touched on the potential role it can play in bringing peace and harmony among various language groups and creating better understanding. Mr. Abhay Thakur, High Commissioner of India to Nigeria warmly congratulated Bangladesh for the recognition of the day by the UNESCO following rare sacrifices made by the sons of the country.
The discussion segment was rounded off with a colorful multi-lingual cultural programme. The stellar performance by the artists from Bangladesh, Czech Republic, India, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria-representing African Euroba and English, High Commission family and alongwith Bangladesh community, enthralled the audience and manifested a unique harmony of the nations for the protection of linguistic diversity. Nigerian Government Officials, Ambassador/High Commissioners of India, Korea, Kenya, Charge d’Affaires of Iraq, diplomats, civil society members, representatives from social and cultural organizations, a large number of the expatriate members of West Bengal and members of the Bangladesh Diaspora attended alongwith their families. Performance by diplomats from Iran and Malaysia added colour to the event.
At the end, the High Commissioner and his wife Mrs. PendoraChowdhury distributed gifts to all artists.
The guests were served with traditional Bangladeshi cuisine.