Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday reiterated her firm optimism that the country will advance again and the people will get rid of the ongoing crisis by combating the novel coronavirus.

“Though the coronavirus has temporarily halted the country’s advancement, we hope the people will be free from it and we’ll move forward again,” she said while inaugurating the distribution and plantation of 10 million saplings across the country marking the Mujib Borsho (Mujib Year).

Sheikh Hasina also inaugurated the National Tree Plantation Campaign 2020 through the same event held on her official Ganabhaban residence premises in the capital this morning.

The prime minister said coronavirus is not a problem for Bangladesh alone, rather a worldwide problem. “We pray for all of the globe so that they get rid of the pandemic.”

I learnt from Bangabandhu to face any situation and overcome adversities staying on the path of honesty
Sheikh Hasina

Talking about her imprisonment day today, Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, said today is a special day as the caretaker government arrested her on this day in 2007 by filing false cases.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates the distribution and plantation of 10 million saplings across the country marking the Mujib Borsho planting three saplings on the premises of her official Ganabhaban residence, Dhaka on 16 July 2020
PID

“I express my gratitude to the people of Bangladesh, expatriate Bangladeshis and the world leaders as well as thank millions of leaders and workers of Awami League and its associate bodies for their protest against my imprisonment,” she said.

She mentioned that Dhaka city Awami League collected 2.5 million people’s signatures demanding her release and submitted those to the caretaker government.

The prime minister said the caretaker government was forced to release her due to the protests of the people and pressure from the national and international levels.

Sheikh Hasina said 12 false cases were lodged against her by the BNP-Jamaat government while the caretaker government filed another five.

“At that time, I said every case will have to be investigated and that was done. By the grace of Allah, I was acquitted from all the cases following their probe,” she said.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates the distribution and plantation of 10 million saplings across the country marking the Mujib Borsho planting three saplings on the premises of her official Ganabhaban residence, Dhaka on 16 July 2020
PID

Expressing her heartfelt gratitude to the people, the prime minister said she got release on 11 June in 2008 due to their overwhelming support.

Pointing out that working for the country and the nation is her responsibility, Sheikh Hasina said she learnt it from Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“I learnt from Bangabandhu to face any situation and overcome adversities staying on the path of honest,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina, also elder daughter of Bangabandhu, renewed her vow to build a hunger-and-poverty-free Bangladesh as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates the distribution and plantation of 10 million saplings across the country marking the Mujib Borsho planting three saplings on the premises of her official Ganabhaban residence, Dhaka on 16 July 2020
PID

“Bangabandhu brought independence of the country and we want to build a hunger-and-poverty-free country following his ideology… we believe that we can do it, Insha Allah,” she said.

Earlier, the prime minister launched the distribution and plantation of 10 million saplings across the country by planting three trees -- ‘chalta’, ‘tentul’ and ‘chhatiyan’ -- on the Ganabhaban premises.