Foreign friends get honours for war role today | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 27, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 27, 2012

Foreign friends get honours for war role today

Bangladesh will present awards to its foreign friends today for their outstanding contributions to the country's Liberation War 41 years ago.
The foreign friends' support came at a juncture when the Bangalees stood up against barbaric atrocities and the worst ever genocide in the world history and contributed to the eventful emergence of sovereign Bangladesh through a nine-month war.
The cabinet had earlier approved a list of 132 individuals and organisations, but the government finally invited 110 friends. Of them, 76 friends or their representatives have already arrived in Dhaka to receive the awards.
Twenty-one friends of Bangladesh will receive the awards themselves and representatives of 55, who have either expired or are too old to travel to Dhaka, will take it on behalf of them.
President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will present the awards at a state ceremony at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at 10:00am. The programme will continue till 1:00pm.
The awards will be given in two categories considering importance of the roles of the foreign friends. The categories are "Friends of Liberation War Honour" and "Bangladesh Liberation War Honour".
The awardees each will receive a gold-plated silver metallic plaque in which replica of the national mausoleum has been engraved and a citation on silk cloth, sources in the foreign ministry said.
This will be the second phase of awarding foreign nationals and organisations after conferring "Bangladesh Freedom Honour", posthumously on former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi on July 25 last year.
Sonia Gandhi, chief of India's Congress party, received the award on behalf of her late mother-in-law at a function at Bangabhaban in the capital.
The recipients are from Argentina, Australia, Bhutan, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the USA, Vietnam, and former Yugoslavia.
The prominent individuals include: late Field Marshal SAM Manekshaw, Lt Gen (retd) Jack Frederick Ralph Jacob, Moharani Bibhu Kumari Devi of Tripura and Chief Minister of Tripura Manik Sarkar, late Sree Jyoti Basu, late Rawshan Ara Begum Sangma (mother of Mukul Sangma, chief minister of Meghalaya), Pundit Ravi Shankar, Bharat Ratna, Ambassador Arundhati Ghose, late Sachindra Lal Singh, late Siddhartha Shankar Ray, late Sursamrat Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, late Justice Syed Sadat Abul Masud and late Debdulal Bandyopadhaya from India.
Late Prof Vladimir Stanis and late Rear Admiral Sergey Pavlovich Zuenko and his team are from Russia.
Richard K Taylor, Anna Braun Taylor, Lear Levin, late Archer K Blood and Father Richard William Timm, late Dr Joseph Garst, late Prof Edward C Dimock Jr, David Weisbrod and William B Saxbe are from the USA.
Simon Dring, late Peter Shore, Michael Barnes, Julian Francis and Biman Mullick are from the UK.
Prof Tsuyoshi Nara, Takashi Hayakawa and Takamasa Suzuki are from Japan.
Marshal Josip Broz Tito is from former Yugoslavia, Father Mario Veronice from Italy, Dr Kirsten Westergaard from Denmark, Barbara Dasgupta and Sunil Dasgupta from Germany, late Sean MacBride and Nora Shariff from Ireland and late Prof Gunnar Myrdal is from Sweden.
Prominent institutions and organisations including the Mitra Bahini, Red Cross, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), BBC, Akashbani (All India Radio), Kolkata Bishwabiddaloy Shahayak Shamiti and Oxfam will receive the awards for their contributions during the Liberation War.
Meanwhile, the honourees yesterday paid tribute to the Liberation War martyrs at the National Mausoleum. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni hosted lunch in honour of the honourees and later they attended the Independence Day reception at Bangabhaban hosted by President Zillur Rahman.
After the award giving ceremony, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will host a dinner in honour of the awardees which will be followed by a cultural show at the Ball Room of Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon.

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