Sentinel of Peace, Saviour of People
Sheikh Hasina was conferred Doctoral degree of Law by the Boston University, USA on 6 February 1997, Honorary Doctor of Law by the Waseda University of Japan on 4 July 1997, an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Liberal Arts by University of Abertay Dundee of the United Kingdom on 25 October 1997 and Desikottama (Honorary) degree of Doctor of Literature by Visva-Bharati of India on 28 January 1999.
She was also conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, for her distinguished creative contributions in the service of society by the Australian National University on 20 October 1999. Dhaka University conferred Honorary 'Doctor of Laws' degree to Sheikh Hasina on 18 December, 1999 for her outstanding contribution towards peace and democracy.
The world famous Catholic University of Brussels, Belgium conferred Honorary Doctorate degree (Doctor Honoris Causa) on Sheikh Hasina on 4 February, 2000 for her decisive role in establishing democracy, protecting human rights and peace. Sheikh Hasina has been conferred Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the Bridgeport University, USA on 5 September, 2000. Sheikh Hasina has been awarded UNESCO's Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize for 1998 for her outstanding contribution in Bringing peace through ending the 25 years of conflict in Chittagong Hill Tracts with political courage and statesmanship.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received prestigious Pearl S. Buck award '99 on 9 April 2000 in recognition of her vision, courage, achievements in political economic and humanitarian fields by Randolph Macon Women's College of USA. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has been awarded the prestigious 'CERES' medal to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in recognition to her fight against hunger on 02 August, 1999.
Sheikh Hasina was named Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. She was also given Medal of Distinction in 1996-97 and 1998-99 and Head of State Medial in 1996-97 by the International Association of Lions Clubs.
She All India Peace Council announced on 12 April 1998 that Sheikh Hasina has been given 'Mother Teresa Award".
She was awarded Personality of Asia 2000 by the Afro-Asian Lawyers Federation for Human Rights along with the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was awarded the same for Africa.
Sheikh Hasina has been awarded M K Gandhi Award for 1998 for her contribution towards promotion of communal understanding, non- violent religious harmony and growth of grass-roots democracy in Bangladesh. The Mahatma M K Gandhi Foundation of Oslo, Norway gives the award. The Foundation is named after Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the great Indian leader, statesman and philosopher, known the world over for promotion of human right and non-violence. Previous winners of the Award include President Jimmy Carter of the United States; President Mikhail Gorbachev of the former Soviet Union; President Nelson Mandela of South Africa (Nobel laureate for peace) and Professor John Galfung of Norway, known for his work for peace science.
Very few politicians in Bangladesh now can match the inherent talent and wide vision the former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has. One can conclude that these virtues have made her the most beloved and most honoured leader. She is certainly a soldier who has long waged a war against autocracy, poverty, terrorism and corruption. She is again a politician who envisioned a land of affluence so every citizen gets his/her fair share of the wealth of his/her nation. She always reiterates that state power to her is only a means to serve the people and not to subjugate them. That is the principal reason why she is closer to the people than any other politician of her time irrespective of the fact that she is in or out of power. That does not really matter much.
After years of struggle that pitted her against the military dictators and autocrats and disguised fundamentalists she proved her credentials to the people and her country more than anything else. Let every human society know that Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, and oppose any foe to assure the survival and the ultimate success of liberty.