CA hands over Independence Award | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 26, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 26, 2008

CA hands over Independence Award

Talks of change in political culture

Recipients of Independence Award-2008 pose with Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed at the award giving ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city yesterday. From left are Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof SMA Faiz, Sabina Zoha Khan, Prof Rehman Sobhan, Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed, Director General of BDR Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed and Havilder Md Zahirul Islam. Sabina received the award on behalf of her father Shaheed Dr Shamsuzzoha while Prof SMA Faiz received it on behalf of Dr Gobinda Chandra Dev.Photo: PID

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the present caretaker government and the Election Commission are giving much importance to bringing about a qualitative change in the country's political culture ahead of the next general elections.
He made it clear that election and democracy are not synonymous, but introduction of democratic process begins through election.
The head of the caretaker government made the remarks while addressing the Independence Award 2008 giving ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital.
“It is unfortunate but true that a democratic and exploitation-free society for which people from all walks of life of this country joined Liberation War in 1971 has not yet been achieved,” he told his audience.
The CA said the present caretaker government took the responsibility of governing the country against the backdrop of a critical and unstable situation. And since then, they have invested all-out strength in the matters of holding a free, fair and neutral election to consolidate the democratic process in the country.
At the same time, he said, the government has taken a number of steps to establish good governance and to create a congenial atmosphere for election.
The CA noted that the Election Commission has taken a long way forward the activities of preparing voter list with photograph and ID card to hold a fair and neutral election.
He mentioned in this regard that discussion between the Election Commission and civil society, and political parties on electoral rules and reforms has set up a firm foundation.
This year the government decided to give the Independence Award to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), Shaheed Dr Mohammad Shamsuzzoha and Shaheed Dr Gobinda Chandra Dev in recognition of their contributions to the independence and the Liberation War while to Prof Rehman Sobhan for his glorious and excellent contribution to research and training.
The CA distributed the award to the recipient, representatives and family member of the recipients at the function organised by the Cabinet Division.
Sabina Zoha Khan, daughter of Shaheed Dr Shamsuzzoha, received the award on behalf of her father, Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof ASMA Faiz received the award for Dr GC Dev on behalf of the university while Director General of BDR Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed and gallantry award holder Havilder Md Zahirul Islam received the award on behalf of the BDR from the chief adviser. Each award carries a gold medal, Tk 1 lakh and a certificate.
Cabinet Secretary Ali Imam Majumdar conducted the programme.
Addressing the function on behalf of the award recipients, Prof Rehman Sobhan stressed the need for establishing a moderate, democratic and equitable society dreamt by the people when they joined the War of Independence.
Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, the deputy speaker, advisers to the caretaker government, special assistants to the chief adviser, judges, chiefs of the three services, diplomats, high civil and military officials, dignitaries and cultural personalities were present at the function.
The CA in his address mentioned some of the reforms and steps taken by the caretaker government, including separation of the judiciary from the executive, reform and strengthening of the Election Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Public Service Commission and University Grants Commission.
He said the government has taken initiative to strengthen the local government system and informed that an independent local government commission would be formed soon.
He said Better Business Forum and Regulatory Reforms Commission have already been constituted to improve the business environment as well as to ensure good governance.
He further said the government has also taken initiative to introduce the culture of consultation with common people and civil society in the process of adopting decision.
On prices of essential commodities, the CA said despite all-out efforts of the government against the backdrop of adverse impact of international market to contain the prices of food items, the sufferings of the people of limited-income-group are undeniable.
He said the government has launched OMS operation since January 9 last in each town of the country to keep the prices of food items stable.
Besides, he mentioned sale of food items at fair price by BDR in Dhaka, introduction of six lakh VGF cards for those who live below poverty line in poverty-prone districts apart from 26 lakh VGF cards in cyclone Sdir-hit areas as well as necessary allocation for food-for-work programme and test relief.
The CA noted that there is no alternative to increasing agricultural production to keep the prices of food items stable. And so the government is giving priority to the agriculture sector.
He saluted the courageous sons of the soil who presented the nation an independent and sovereign country in 1971.
“The responsibility of the present generation of us is to invest all their strength in accelerating the advancement of the nation and implement the dream of martyrs by completing their unfinished tasks,” he said.
In separate messages issued on the occasion of the Independence and National Day, President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed greeted all citizens of the country and urged them to work together for building a forward-looking developed Bangladesh based on an equitable society.
In his message, the president paid profound respect and gratitude to the valiant freedom fighters, organisers of the Liberation War and people from all walks of life who had rendered their dedicated efforts and extended support that expedited the achievement of the long-cherished independence.
He also paid homage to the martyrs of the Liberation War.
“One of the prime objectives of our hard-earned independence was to build a happy, prosperous and self- reliant Bangladesh. Keeping that in mind, our untiring efforts have been advancing to that direction,” the president said.
The chief adviser in his message hoped that a benevolent government and a meaningful democratic system would be established through a free, fair, impartial and acceptable national election.
“To fulfil this aspiration, I urge all citizens irrespective of their affiliation to any group and opinion for united and committed effort,” he said.
The head of caretaker government stressed the need for establishing social justice and good governance and improving the living conditions of the people.
He further said establishing a modern, progressive and exploitation-free democratic country is the demand of the day. “To achieve this, we should play due role from our respective positions with dedication, sincerity and honesty, imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War and patriotism.”

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