Call for quick trial of war criminals | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 27, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 27, 2010

Call for quick trial of war criminals

Nation celebrates Independence Day


Yesterday was the 40th Independence Day of Bangladesh. Flowers at the National Mausoleum, the pride and symbol of country's independence, seem to bloom in honour of the Liberation War martyrs. People pay tribute to the war heroes by placing wreaths here and remember the war with joy and sadness. Photo: Amran Hossain

The nation paid tribute to its Liberation War martyrs yesterday celebrating the 40th Independence Day, with citizens of all walks of life expressing their expectation that the government will soon start fair and expeditious trials of war criminals.
Hundreds of thousands of people of different generations thronged Liberation War memorials across the country all through the day.
Amid the jubilant celebration of independence and solemn remembrance of the martyrs a feeling of resurgence of the spirit of the Liberation War permeated the country.
This year Independence Day was observed at a time when the government had initiated the process for trying the war criminals by forming a tribunal, an investigation agency, and a prosecution team.
On March 26, 1971 valiant Bangalees of the then East Pakistan, on declaration of independence by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, picked up arms to resist Pakistani occupation forces, who had unleashed a genocide on the Bangalees the night before.
Victory was finally achieved on December 16 after a nine-month long struggle, and Bangladesh was born.
Yesterday began with 31 gun salutes at dawn in the capital, while President Zillur Rahman, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid wreaths at the National Memorial in Savar, and stood in solemn silence for a few moments paying their respects to the martyrs. A smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces stood at salute while the last post was played on bugles.
Speaker Abdul Hamid, the chief justice, cabinet members, parliament members, senior leaders of ruling Awami League, chiefs of the armed forces, diplomats, civil and military officials, freedom fighters, and other dignitaries were also present at the National Memorial on the occasion.
The premier then went to Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the capital's Dhanmondi, and placed a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Later she joined the Rally of Children and Youths at Bangabandhu National Stadium organised by the district administration.
Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia, accompanied by senior leaders of her party BNP, laid a wreath at the National Memorial as well. Later, she visited the mausoleum of late president Ziaur Rahman, and offered prayers for his departed soul.
In the evening, President Zillur Rahman hosted a reception in Bangabhaban for wounded freedom fighters, dignitaries, noted citizens, and diplomats, which was also attended by the prime minister.
Afterwards the president exchanged greetings with the family members of Birsreshthas in Bangabhaban.
The day was a public holiday. The national flag was hoisted at government buildings, corporate offices, banks, leading business houses, and at private residents.
A combined parade of Bangladesh Army, Air Force, Navy, Bangladesh Rifles, Police, National Cadet Corps, Rapid Action Battalion, President's Guard Regiment, and freedom fighters was held at the National Parade Square in the capital in the morning. President Zillur Rahman received salutes at the march past.
The National Memorial resonated with slogans, patriotic songs, and processions all day long. People of all walks of life, and different organisations also placed wreaths at Shikha Chirantan in Suhrawardy Uddyan of the capital.
Major political, social, and cultural organisations also observed the day through elaborate programmes.
Many cultural programmes were organised all over the country where the historic March 7 speech by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and patriotic songs were played on loud speakers.
State owned Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private television channels aired special programmes throughout the day, and newspapers brought out special supplements.
Special meals were served in hospitals, prisons, orphanages, and homeless shelters.
The president, prime minister, and the leader of the opposition issued messages on the eve of the day.

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