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Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday put utmost importance on learning mother language which protects the history and tradition.

"We have to learn international communication medium. We have to learn our mother tongue too," she said.

The PM said this while inaugurating a four-day programme at the International Mother Language Institute at Shegunbagicha on the occasion of the Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day 2021.

She joined the programme virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.

The PM mentioned that all the attempts to demeaning Bangla language were resisted through struggle. "And following the path of this struggle, we attained our independence," she said.

Sheikh Hasina briefly described the attachment of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu in the Language Movement.

She said that Bangabandhu was sent to jail for the initiating the language movement to make Bangla as one of the state languages of Pakistan.

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International Mother Language Award distributed

At the outset of the programme, a minute's silence was observed to show respect to the language martyrs.

The PM distributed International Mother Language Award among three individuals and an international organisation for their contributions towards the practise or preservation of mother tongue.

This is the first iteration of the biennial award, which recognised four recipients - two national and two at the international level.

At the national level, the awardees are national professor Rafiqul Islam and Mathura Bikash Tripura, executive director of Khagrachhari's Jabarang Kalyan Samiti.

Internationally, the recipients are Uzbekistani researcher Islaimov Gulom Mirzaevich and The Activismo Lenguan, a Bolivia-based organisation.

Education minister Dipu Moni handed over the awards among the recipients on behalf of the PM.

Bangla Academy director general Habibullah Siraji presented the keynote speech.

Education minister Dipu Moni and UNESCO representative to Bangladesh Beatrice Kaldun and and education ministry secretary Mahbub Hossain also spoke, among others, on the occasion.

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