Remarks by Excellency Dr Mohamed Waheed at the function to mark the Independence Day and National Day of Bangladesh
26 March 2013, Ref: PRO/RMW/2013/34

بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم

اَلحَمْـدُ لِلّـهِ رَبّ العَـالَمِـين‘ وَالصّـلاة وَالسّلام علـى محـمَّدٍ‘ وعلى آلـه وصحبـه أجمعـين.

Your Excellency Rear Admiral Abu Sayed Mohammad Abdul Awal, the High Commissioner of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the Maldives;

Excellencies, Distinguished guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

It is my honour and privilege to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the people of Bangladesh, especially those who are residing in the Maldives, and to the leadership of Bangladesh, on this occasion of the Forty Second Independence and National Day of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 34 years back, Maldives and Bangladesh have shared a close bilateral relationship, based on close ties of friendship and mutual respect. The strong and cordial relation at diplomatic level is only one aspect of the enduring ties between our two countries. In fact, relations between the Maldives and Bangladesh can be defined more accurately in terms of people to people contact. The governments of the two countries can and will nurture and consolidate those ties.

Bangladesh accounts for the largest group of expatriate workforce in the Maldives. By hosting such a large number of Bangladeshi expatriates, the Maldives makes a small contribution to the economy of Bangladesh. But contrary to that, Bangladeshis make a huge contribution to the economic growth and development of the Maldives.

Let me reiterate here the government’s unfailing commitment to ensure the rights of the expatriate workers in the Maldives are fully protected in accordance with the relevant laws of the Maldives. I think it is important, on this auspicious occasion, to reflect on the conditions of expatriate workers, especially our Bangladeshi brothers and sisters in the Maldives. I take this opportunity to appeal to my compatriots in the Maldives to reflect on this current condition and do everything possible to improve the working conditions of our brothers and sisters and to ensure that their rights are always guaranteed.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;

I take this opportunity to pray for the late President Zillur Rahman who will no doubt be remembered as a distinguished Bangladeshi statesman who played a very prominent role is fostering the values of democracy and human rights in Bangladesh.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

The independence of Bangladesh is one of the strongest symbols of human beings’ innate desire to be free from oppression, and their strong determination to let the will of the people to prevail. Bôngobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman struggled to secure dignity and freedom for the people in Bangladesh. For all freedom loving people it is an inspiration, and a lesson to be learnt. We must follow the democratic experience of Bangladesh, and other developing countries, especially Muslim countries, aspire to become modern democracies and learn from their experience.

I would also like to take this opportunity to particularly thank the government of Bangladesh, especially Her Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and Her Excellency Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs, for the unwavering support they continue to provide to the Maldives, particularly in the international arena.

May Almighty Allah grant continued peace and prosperity to the people of Bangladesh and strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation between our two countries.

Thank you.

والسّـلام عليـكم.

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