Chinese embassy 'regrets' sending gift to Khaleda on her 'fake' birthday

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The Chinese embassy in Dhaka has regretted sending gifts to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on her ‘fake’ birthday, mentioning that it was a ‘mistake’ on their part, says an informed source on Sunday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) raised the issue with the Chinese embassy in Dhaka when they came to know about it, the source told UNB.

A diplomatic source said the Chinese embassy informed the MoFA that it was a ‘mistake on their part’ because they did not do any research on it and did not understand the sensitivity of the matter.

The Chinese embassy expressed ‘apology’ for it and assured that they will take care of it, said the source.

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The Chinese embassy informed the MoFA that they have a national policy of reaching out to all leaders of various political parties and they have been doing it for years.

Their office had been sending it to the BNP chairperson ‘routinely’ and they were not aware of this ‘fake birthday’.

They usually send flowers to all leaders, said the diplomatic source.

Khaleda Zia's birthday is a matter of controversy in Bangladesh as there were four birth dates: 5 August, 1944; 19 August, 1947; 5 September, 1946 and 15 August, 1946 - appeared in the media on various occasions.

There were criticisms that the Chinese embassy sent flowers to Khaleda on her ‘fake’ birthday when the nation was observing the National Mourning Day.

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On 15 August, the National Mourning Day was observed with due respect and solemnity, marking the 45th anniversary of assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – the architect of the country’s independence -- was assassinated along with most of his family members at the crack of dawn on 15 August, 1975 by a cabal of heinous army personnel under a deep-rooted conspiracy against the country and its independence.

His two daughters -- Sheikh Hasina, now the prime minister, and Sheikh Rehana -- survived the massacre as they were abroad at that time.

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