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She congratulated the armed forces members for always standing beside the
people with all sincerity and responsibility in their needs particularly
during the natural disasters in addition to their role in protecting the
country’s independence and sovereignty.

“The people will always remember their services with respect,” she said
also acclaiming the armed forces stance to support the forcibly displaced
people of Myanmar.

The prime minister said with the aim of strengthening the defense forces,
efforts were being made to equip the army, navy and air force with high-tech
combat equipment and better training at home and abroad.

She said the Forces Goal-2030 was formulated in the light of the Defense
Policy made by the Father of the Nation and under the goals “activities of
reconstruction and modernization of the three forces are being implemented

At the beginning of her speech the prime minister paid her rich tributes
to the greatest Bangalee of all time Bangabandhu, the four national leaders,
three million Liberation War martyrs, two lakh mothers and sisters who were
killed and lost their honour to liberate the country.

Sheikh Hasina said the Armed Forces Day has a special position in the
country’s history as on this day in 1971 Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising
army, navy and air force was formed to reinforce attacks on occupation forces
to expedite the Liberation War victory.

“Amidst fierce attack of the armed forces we have achieved independent and
sovereign Bangladesh. The nation with great reverence always remembers the
great sacrifice and valor of the members of the Armed Forces in the war of
independence,” the prime minister said.

Pointing out the long history and struggle in the background of the
country’s independence the prime minister said we have got the independent
state “at the cost of the blood of millions of martyrs and life-long struggle
of our great leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”.

Standing on the strong foundation laid-down by Bangabandhu, she said, the
reputation of the professionalism and competence of the Bangladesh Armed
Forces was transcended across the globe.

PM’s security advisor Major General Tarique Ahmed Siddik (retd) and chiefs
of three services stood beside the premier as she addressed the reception.

It was joined by Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Syed
Mahmud Hossain, former president Dr Badrudowza Chowdhury, opposition alliance
leader Dr Kamal Hossain, Leader of the Opposition Begum Rowshan Ershad, Chief
Election Commissioner K M Nurul Huda, cabinet members, leaders of different
political parties including BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam
Alamgir, foreign diplomats, leading figures representing different
professions, editors, senior civil and military officials and their spouses
joined the reception.

The premier later exchanged pleasantries with the army officials and their
family members, diplomats and other guests.

BSS/AKH/AR/ 2110 hrs