50 foreign nationals, orgs to be honoured
The government will accord honour to 50 distinguished foreign nationals including heads of states and governments and five international organisations on the 40th anniversary of Independence on March 26.
The government has decided to honour the personalities and organisations in recognition of their contribution in Bangladesh's Liberation War in 1971.
With Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, the cabinet yesterday approved the proposal, PM's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad informed the reporters after the cabinet meeting at the Secretariat.
Earlier, a national committee, headed by Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, finalised the draft list of the nominees which was placed at the cabinet meeting for approval.
The prime minister is expected to distribute certificates and crests among them in the programme.
The foreign friends who were enlisted for according honour include 17 from India, nine from the US, seven from Britain, four Russians, three Japanese and one each from Australia, Bhutan, Germany, Ireland, France, Nepal, the Netherlands and Sweden, sources said.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, British Broadcasting Corporation and Indian Radio Akashbani are among the organisations.
Former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, former Indian chief of army staff field marshal Manekshaw and eastern commander of Indian army Gen Aurora, are among the Indians.
The Indian soldiers killed in the military operation against the Pakistan occupation forces will collectively be honoured.
Senator Edward Kennedy, known as friend of Bangladesh, is one of the eight Americans to be honoured by the government.
The four Russians are Yakov Alexandrovich Malik, former Soviet ambassador to the UN, Rear Admiral Sergey Pavlovich Zuenko, Alexei Nikolayevich Kosygin, chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers and Nikolai Viktorovich Podgorny, chairman of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
The US nationals are Edward Kennedy, Senator William Frank Church, Senator William Saxbe, Archer Kent Blood, singer Joan Baez, poet Allen Ginsberg, Layer Levin, Father Richard W Timm CSC and Father Evans CSC.
The British nationals included in the list are singer George Harrison, Edward Heath, Bruce Douglous Mann, Harold Wilson, Julian Francis, Peter Shore and Simon Dring. Three Japanese are Takashi Hayakawa, Takamasa Suzuki and Nawaki Usui.
Besides, BP Koirala of Nepal Andre Malraux of France, former Bhutanese foreign minister Ugyen Tshering Shaun Maxbride of Ireland, William AS Quaderland, Bir Protik of Australia Kinten Watt Bagey of the Netherlands, Lars Leijonborg MP of Sweden and Sunil Das Gupta of Germany are in the list.