The prime minister said the 21st February has now been recognised as the
International Mother Language Day. This has also been materialised by Awami
League government.

She recalled the effort by Bangladeshi expatriates in Canada late Rafiqul
Islam, Abdus Salam and others to achieve UNESCO recognition.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has established an International Mother
Language Institute in Dhaka for developing, fostering, preserving and
restoring mother languages of different language groups and communities.

The prime minister said this year Bangalee people will celebrate the
anniversaries of the Mass Upsurge of 1969 and the conferring of the
‘Bangabandhu’ title on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will complete 50 years this

“There is a close link between the two events and the independence of
Bangladesh. The aspiration of independence of Bangalee was materialised
through the events like the Language Movement of 1952, Mass Upsurge of 1969
and absolute Victory in the 1970 election.

Sheikh Hasina said she is pleased to know that Bangla Academy has arranged
seminars commemorating the two historic events.

Praising the Bangla Academy’s efforts in making the Ekushey Book Fair as
the longest book fair in the world, the prime minister said now Bangla
Academy is significant not only as a centre for selling and purchasing books,
but also deeply associated with the national spirit of Bangalee nation.

On the occasion of the fair, the Bangalees living across the globe not only
turn back home but the foreigners also come here to see how deeply Bengalis
cherish love for books, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman promoted the dignity
and glory of the Bengali language by delivering speech in Bangla in the
United Nations National General Assembly (UNGA). Following the footprint of
Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina said she also has been delivering speeches every
year in Bangla in the UNGA.

Laying importance on exchanging literature and knowledge with other
countries, the prime minister said her government always encourages
translation of literature as well as studies of literature and culture.

The government has set an example by handing over millions of textbooks to
students on the very first day of the every academic year, she said.

“As a result, our young generation starts their new year with new books
which is a unique occasion in the history of education,” she added. The prime
minister expressed delight that Bangla Academy has taken initiatives for
translating our literary classics. She hoped that this programme will be more
extended in future to introduce glorious works on Bangla language and
literature to the people of the world.

Sheikh Hasina said to cope with the digital publications; her government
is effectively running many programs for launching e-books.

The prime minister said the nation will celebrate Mujib Year in 2020-2021
along with the Golden Jubilee of the Independence in 2021. She expressed her
firm resolve to take the country to a new height marking these three great

“We want to establish a golden Bangladesh free from hunger, poverty,
illiteracy, militancy, terrorism, corruption and irregularities,” she said
hoping that the countrymen will be with her government in achieving these

BSS/AKH/RY/1832 hrs