By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Feature Editor Soh Sung-soo
Ambassador M. Delwar Hossain of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Seoul said, “Bangladesh Armed Forces have become a brand name in international peacekeeping and it is contributing to global peace by actively participating in UN peacekeeping and peace support initiatives all over the world.” Speaking at a reception hosted by the Embassy of Bangladesh in Korea at the Mondrian Seoul Itaewon Hotel in Dongbingo-dong, Seoul in celebration of the 50th Bangladesh Armed Forces Day on Nov. 21, 2021, Ambassador Hossain then added that to date Bangladesh has deployed more than 0.15 million of its peacekeepers in 54 missions spread across 40 different countries and that Bangladesh is the first country to send all women peacekeeping contingent to Haiti in 2013. (See details of the speech at toward the end of this report.)
The impressive speech of Ambassador Hossain was followed by one by Defense Attaché Air Commodore A F M Shamimul Islam.
He said, in part: “On this day, our Armed Forces were officially united for a combine operation through which we got our Independence. It was possible for the inevitable call by our great leader, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Raman for an Independent Country.” Then he said, “This day reminds us of the supreme sacrifices of the members of the Armed Forces who fought along with the common people of the country to free our Motherland.” (See further details at the end of this report.)
At the reception hosted by Defense Attaché Air Commodore A F M Shamimul Islam, a large number of Defense Attaché of many different embassies in Seoul were present and listened to the speeches made by Ambassador Hossain and Defense Attaché Air Commodore A F M Shamimul Islam, who introduced the Bangladesh Armed Forces Day.
This year, Bangladesh is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of her independence and the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The birth centenary of Bangabandhu coincides this year with the 50th anniversary of her glorious independence.
Bangladesh has recently been uplifted to the status of a lower middle-income country in the World Bank Index and at present the country is moving forward confidently to become a developed country by 2041--overcoming the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.
Attending the reception, among the Korean dignitaries, were Director General Kim Sangjin of the Ministry of National Defense (MND), Director Park Min-Ho of the MND for Multilateral Security Division, Chairman Oh Kyung-in of the Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce in Korea, and CEO M.U. Kim of Red Pumpkin Holdings. From the Korean media circles came a number of media representatives who included Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media with Business Editor Soh Sung-soo.
On that day in Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on the Armed Forces of Bangladesh to serve the nation and people with devotion, patriotism and professionalism.
She expressed hope that members of the Armed Forces will continue to contribute to the security and development of Bangladesh with the utmost honesty, devotion, patriotism and professionalism.
Hasina extended greetings to the people of Bangladesh, including members of the Armed Forces, pointing out that it was not possible to organize a reception in Senakunja this year due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Bangladesh observes the 21st day of November as her Armed Forces Day signifying the day in 1971, when the three armed forces (army, navy and air force) launched a coordinated offensive against the invading Pakistani forces.
Prime Minister Hasina noted that this day occupies a special place in the history of the Liberation War, one which the nation always remembers with great respect in light of the heroism and sacrifices made by members of the Armed Forces in the country's struggle for independence.
Emphasizing Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's motto of 'friendship to all, malice to none', which continues to guide Bangladesh's foreign policy, she said: "We believe in peaceful coexistence with all neighboring countries. However, we are always ready and determined to protect the sovereignty of the country from any aggressor."
Then she said, “In keeping with this outlook, the government has formulated the Forces Goal-2030, based on Bangabandhu's Defense policy of 1974, which was formulated as the Father of the Nation realized the need for an advanced and professional Armed Forces.”
Excerpt from the Speech of Ambassador Delwar Hossain:
‘Our Armed Forces were founded on this day fifty years back in 1971 while the people of Bangladesh were still fighting against the occupation forces to liberate the country under the great leadership of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Armed Forces played a crucial role in our victory in the nine-month long blood-spattered Liberation War.
On this auspicious day, I pay deep homage to the memory of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who steered the nation to independence and freed the people from subjugation and exploitation. I pay tribute to the martyred heroes including members of the Armed Forces who made supreme sacrifices in defending the motherland. I sincerely pray for the eternal peace of all departed souls. I also remember with profound respect the invaluable contributions of the valiant freedom fighters including the members of the Armed Forces in achieving the ultimate victory at the War of Liberation. I convey deep sympathy to the family members of the martyred military officials who sacrificed their lives for the country.
Our Armed Forces started its journey in a special circumstance and context. Being imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War, the members of the armed forces have been discharging their duties with utmost patriotism, professionalism, and higher degree of morality. Apart from safeguarding the independence and sovereignty of the country, the Armed Forces are playing a crucial role in various national initiatives alongside the civilian administration. Bangladesh Armed Forces earned reputation for its robust participation at humanitarian operations during disaster and emergency situation. It has commendable contributions in counter-terrorism.
Bangladesh Armed Forces have become a brand name in international peacekeeping. It is contributing to global peace by actively participating in UN peacekeeping and peace support initiatives all over the world. Till date, Bangladesh has deployed more than 0.15 million of its peacekeepers in 54 missions spread across 40 different countries. Bangladesh is the first country to send all women peacekeeping contingent to Haiti in 2013.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Founding Father Bangabandhu laid a solid foundation for the Armed Forces along with his numerous initiatives for the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country. The present Prime Minister and the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Hasina has been relentlessly working for further modernization of the Armed Forces in line with the “Forces Goal 2030” to meet the existing and emerging security challenges and thereby contribute to global peace and security.
Bangladesh seeks to foster deeper cooperation with its friends and partners in her pursuit of the global peace and security through a highly professional and capable armed forces.
The Republic of Korea remains a key partner for Bangladesh and our bilateral relationship witnessed tremendous growth since establishment of diplomatic relationship in 1973. We are keen to further strengthen our bilateral defense collaboration with the Republic of Korea with a view to materializing our common aspiration of development and progress in peace. We are looking forward to more robust defense cooperation between our two friendly nations in the coming days.’
Excerpt from the Speech of Defense Attaché Air Commodore A F M Shamimul Islam:
“Each year we celebrate this day with a sense of great honor and dignity. On this day our Armed Forces were officially united for a combine operation through which we got our Independence. It was possible for the inevitable call by our great leader, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Raman for an Independent Country. This day reminds us of the supreme sacrifices of the members of the Armed Forces who fought along with the common people of the country to free our Motherland.”