Bangladesh High Commission Ottawa celebrated Independence and National Day Reception 2024.

Bangladesh High Commission, Ottawa, Canada hosted a Reception at the Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Downtown on 18 April 2024, to celebrate the Independence and National Day of Bangladesh 2024. The Honorable Robert Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, attended as the chief guest of the event on behalf of the Government of Canada. The event welcomed around 200 guests, including Senators, Members of Parliament, Heads of diplomatic missions in Ottawa and community members. All the officers and officials along with their spouses also attended the event. The ceremony began with the playing of the national anthems of Canada and Bangladesh.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Khalilur Rahman, High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Canada, honored the memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and highlighted Bangabandhu’s vision for an independent, democratic and secular Bangladesh. He also paid tribute to the three million martyrs and the two hundred thousand brave women who were violated during the 1971 war of liberation. His Excellency the High Commissioner highlighted the strong and growing partnership between Bangladesh and Canada, which spans trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges. He extolled the contribution of over 100,000 Canadians of Bangladeshi origin to the social, cultural, and economic fabrics of both countries. He also highlighted the socio-economic strides Bangladesh has made, especially in the last 15 years, under the visionary leadership of  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Dr. Khalilur Rahman expressed satisfaction at the achievements in connection with strengthening of Bangladesh-Canada relations through various diplomatic initiatives during his tenure. He maintained that the commencement of direct Bangladesh Biman flights between Dhaka and Toronto have bolstered trade and mobility. He also mentioned ongoing discussions to further strengthen and expand commercial ties between the two countries. He welcomed the upcoming trade and investment mission led by Canada’s Indo-Pacific Trade Representative to Dhaka. He also mentioned that Bangladesh’s recent proposal to start the technical negotiation of a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA) would bolster the confidence of Canadian investors to invest more in Bangladesh.

The High Commissioner expressed hope that Canada would resolve the sole irritant in otherwise excellent bilateral relations by deporting Killer Nur Chowdhury, convicted assassin of Bangladesh’s Founding Father, through mutual understanding and agreement as soon as possible.

The Chief Guest of the event,  Robert Oliphant

The Chief Guest of the event,  Robert Oliphant, emphasized the significance of the bilateral relationship between Canada and Bangladesh, noting its roots in Canada’s support during Bangladesh’s war of liberation and its subsequent recognition of Bangladesh as a sovereign nation. He praised Bangladesh’s upcoming graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) category in 2026 and commended the ongoing advancements in various socio-economic indicators under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He also said that many of Bangladesh’s development activities serve as the model for other countries for poverty alleviation and human development. Furthermore, he expressed gratitude towards Bangladesh for sheltering 1.3 million Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMN). The Hon’ble Robert Oliphant affirmed Canada’s commitment to work with Bangladesh, including in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), to pave the pathway towards safe and sustainable repatriation of these persecuted people to their homeland in Myanmar. The Parliamentary Secretary also acknowledged the contribution of Bangladeshi-Canadians to the economic and social milieu of Canada. The Honorable Robert Oliphant thanked His Excellency the High Commissioner for his works and contributions during his tenure to strengthen and expand Bangladesh-Canada ties.

Members of the Canada-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship Group (CBPFG)

Among others, Members of the Canada-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship Group (CBPFG), including its chairs, spoke at the event. They commended the leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and hoped to work together to further strengthen and expand Bangladesh-Canada bilateral relations. They also thanked His Excellency the High Commissioner for facilitating the group during his tenure.


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