President, PM, Bhutanese King pay homage to Liberation War martyrs

President Mohammed Shahabuddin, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and visiting Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck place wreaths at the National Martyrs' Memorial on 26 March

President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the Liberation War martyrs by placing wreaths at the National Martyrs' Memorial here on the outskirts of the capital early this morning, marking the 54th Independence and National Day.

Besides, the visiting Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who is now on a four-day official visit to Bangladesh at the special invitation of Bangladesh President Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the 54th Independence Day celebrations, also paid respect to the Liberation War heroes by placing wreath at 5:57 am.

As part of marking the day, the President first placed the wreath at the altar of the memorial at about 5:56 am, followed by the Prime Minister and the Bhutanese King.

Bhutan was the first country to recognize Bangladesh as an Independent state on 6 December, 1971. After long 11 years, Wangchuck along with his wife came to Dhaka to attend the Independence Day function of Bangladesh.

Earlier, the king and queen visited Bangladesh in 2013.

After laying the wreaths, the President, the Premier and the King stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of the Great War of Liberation in 1971.

A smartly turned-out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force presented a state salute at that time while the bugles played the last post.

The Head of the State, the Head of the Government and the Bhutanese King and Queen Jetsun Pema also signed the visitors' book kept on the memorial premises.

Flanked by her party leaders, Sheikh Hasina, also the President of the Bangladesh Awami League, paid glowing tributes to the Liberation War martyrs by placing another wreath at the National Memorial on behalf of her party.

Representative of parliament Speaker, chief justice, ministers, advisers, senior politicians, leaders of AL-led 14-party alliance, members of parliament, valiant freedom fighters, chiefs of the three services, diplomats, representatives of different development partners and high civil and military officials, among others, were present there.

Every year, the 26 March brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history's blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night of 25 March, 1971, achieving the long-cherished independence on 16 December the same year at the cost of a sea of blood.

In the wake of the military crackdown by the then Pakistan occupation force, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman proclaimed the Independence of Bangladesh through the then EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) wireless at 00-30 hours on 26 March (the night following 25 March) in 1971 at his historic Road-32 residence at Dhanmondi here.

The day is very auspicious and precious to the Bengali Nation.