By Sumi Khan
Dhaka, March 14 (IANS) Bangladesh is all set to welcome world leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to take part in the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the country’s independence and also the birth centenary of Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The celebrations, which will take place from March 17-27, will also be attended by Presidents Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Bidya Devi Bhandari of Maldives and Nepal, respectively, as well as Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
While, Modi, Solih and Rajapaksa will meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bhandari and her counterpart Md Abdul Hamid will hold bilateral talks.
Bangladesh government has chalked out elaborate programmes to be held at National Parade Square in the capital,.
All the four leaders will deliver separate speeches from the National Parade Ground, which will be live streamed.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Kamal Khan on Saturday morning told IANS that they will avoid large-scale public gatherings in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added that there will be strict security measures in place during the programmes.
The invited guests at the in-person events have to undergo Covid-19 testing and carry a negative report to attend. The certificate of the test will remain valid for 48 hours.
About 500 guests from home and abroad will be invited to the National Parade Ground event.
The invitees will attend the programme in-person for four days, while the events of the other six days will be broadcast live.
Special arrangements will be made for the heads of state and governments attending the celebrations.
As per the schedule, Solih will be in Bangladesh from March 17-18, Rajapaksa from March 19-20, Bhandari from March 22-23 and Modi from March 26-27.
High officials at the Prime Ministers’ Office and the Foreign Ministry said Bangladesh has been in close contact with the governments of the four nations on signing instruments on various issues.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the US, Canada, China, France and several other high-profile dignitaries are expected to send video messages to mark the occasion.
Prime Minister of Bhutan also expressed his desire to join the celebrations, Foreign Ministry officials said. China wishes to send a top ranking leader, who will carry the message of President Xi Jinping on the occasion.
Prime Minister of Canada and President of France will also send messages.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl Miller during a meeting with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said a high-level dignitary from the Washington government is likely to visit Bangladesh in the near future to join the year-long celebrations.
By Sumi Khan