1351Published on April 28, 2018
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government began works to formulate plans and action programmes to transform Bangladesh into a developed country during a set timeframe from 2021 to 2041.
"We have started to devise the plan how we want to develop Bangladesh and how we want to look Bangladesh from 2021 to 2041," she told a reception hosted in her honour by the Bangladeshi community on Saturday.
Sheikh Hasina said implementation of various short, mid and long-term development plans kept Bangladesh on a process of rapid advancement earning the country's eligibility to become a developing country.
Bangladesh, she said, by now achieved its development targets required for next six years to keep its status as a developing country and "now we are engaged in devising our plans to become a developed country by 2041".
"Bangladesh would be a developed and prosperous country by 2041 and we are taking all steps and plans to materialize the vision," the premier said.
Awami League's Australia chapter organized the reception at Sydney's Sofitel Hotel this evening marking the visit of Sheikh Hasina, also the party president, to join the Global Women's Summit-2018 which conferred her Global Women's Leadership Award for the year as well.
The premier urged everybody to remain careful so the war criminals, killers and the forces having no faith in country's development could never come to power and nothing could dislodge Bangladesh from its ongoing development process.
Sheikh Hasina urged the expatriate Bangladeshis to always remain careful about the country's dignity saying "Wherever you live, you have to work with patriotism to uphold the country's honour which we have earned at the cost of blood".
"We have to pay homage to millions of martyrs through materializing the dream of the Father of the Nation Bangabandbhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to build a hunger and poverty free Bangladesh," she said.
Bangabandhu's younger daughter and premier's sister Sheikh Rehana was present at the reception while Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and state minister for women and children affairs Meher Afroj Chumki also spoke on the occasion.
Professor RMIT University of Australia Dr Shamsu Rahman, Awami League leaders Dr. Milton Hasnat, Gama Abdul Kadir, Anisur Rahman Ritu, Pradyut Singh Chunnu and Sirajul Islam addressed, among others, on behalf of the expatriates while reception committee convener Sheikh Shamimul Haque was in the chair.
Leaders of different chapters of Australian Awami League as well as professional and cultural organizations greeted Sheikh Hasina with flowers at the beginning of the event.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh could have been attained the status of a developing country in ten years after independence if Bangabandhu was alive.
"Bangabandhu had taken steps to stamp out poverty and presented people a prosperous life. But the post-1975 rulers pushed the country towards destruction as they had no faith in country's independence," she said.
She said Bangabandhu during his three-and-a-half years tenure had
shaped well the country's economy, reconstructing the war-ravaged Bangladesh. "It surprises us when we think about the huge task he had done for the country during his short period in office. After his assassination Bangladesh had gone backward in all areas," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Ziaur Rahman was the first ruler responsible for destroying the spirit of liberation war and creating an elite and corrupt group to cling to power. As a result Bangladesh was turned into a nation of beggars, she said, adding all other illegal and military rulers followed his footsteps, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said unbridled corruption of Khaleda Zia for five consecutive years made Bangladesh a corrupt country. American and Singaporean intelligence agencies unearthed the corruption, she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh Awami League is an organization, established by Bangabandhu, liberated the country. But, Zia and his wife left no stone unturned to erase the name of Bangabandhu, Awami League, historic March 7 speech and all documents and symbols of independence, she added.
"But, nobody can suppress the truth and recognition of UNESCO to Bangabandhu's historic speech on March 7, 1971 was a glaring example," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said she returned home in 1981 after six years in exile at a time when people of Bangladesh was passing through a difficult period and the county was reeling under the reign of killers.
Unequivocal support of the countrymen and enormous sacrifices of leaders and workers of Awami League made it possible for her to come back home despite repeated attempts on her life, she said.
"I was never afraid of their threats and I continued my work for the welfare of the people by building Bangladesh in line with the spirit of the liberation war," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh witnessed a massive development in 1996 when Awami League came to power after 21 years of Bangabandhu's killing.
"Today the country is reaping the benefits of development works being implemented since 2008", she said.
Listing the successes of Bangladesh in different socioeconomic areas, the Prime Minister said combating terrorism was the foremost task on which her government had attached priority to make a fair society.
Criticizing BNP, the Prime Minister said BNP ruled the country like Pakistani rulers after coming to power in 2001. The party had established a reign of terror resorting to killings and corruption, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said BNP didn't take part in the 2014 election and preferred destroying country's democratic system. In the name of movement they went on a rampage and destruction all over the country, killing and injuring innocent people through arson attacks, she added.
Expressing her government's steadfast stand against corruption, the Prime Minister said the corruption allegation against the Padma Bridge project as raised by the World Bank proved false and fabricated in the Canadian court.
"World Bank's ill motive to brand us as corrupt guided us not to take a single Taka from them and build the mega project with our own finance," she said adding that none thought that the project could be implemented without World Bank's money.
Sheikh Hasina said she joined politics to serve the people, not to make fortune.
"My father liberated the country and made sacrifice throughout his whole life for the people of this country..... My duty is to build Bangladesh in a way Bangabandhu showed us," she said.
She thanked common people and expatriate citizens of Bangladesh for their overwhelming support to her government to build the Padma Bridge with its own finance.
Sheikh Hasina highly appreciated Australia's role in development of Bangladesh saying many political leaders of Australia had given immense support to our liberation war and it was the first developed country acknowledged Bangladesh as an independent state on January 31, 1972.
Australia also played a great contribution to rebuild war-ravaged Bangladesh, including extending food support and others, she said adding that Bangladesh is enjoying an excellent relation with Australia since its independence.