Vol. 4 Num 259 Wed. February 18, 2004  
Front Page

PM calls for nat'l unity to face global competition
Ekushey Padak awarded

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday called for unwavering national unity to face the highly competitive global system of the 21st century.

She said in a democratic society it is natural to have differences of opinion, but at times they turn into undesired conflict and confrontation.

Khaleda said the worthy sons of the soil-- the intellectuals -- can rise as national conscience and play a non-partisan role.

"You can give the nation right direction in every national crisis and in times of need," she told the intellectuals while addressing a function organised by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to give away the 'Ekushey Padak' 2004 to 10 personalities at Osmany Memorial Hall in the capital.

They awardees are Prof Mohammad Muniruzzaman Miah (education), Prof Wakil Ahmed (research), Farida Hossain (literature), Nilufar Yasmin (music, posthumously), Moniruzzaman Miah (music), Mustafa Monwar (fine arts), Nawab Faizunessa (social work, posthumously), Zobaida Hannan (social work), AZM Enayetullah Khan (journalism) and Chashi Nazrul Islam (films).

The prime minister handed over the awards that carried a gold medal, Tk 40,000 in cash and a certificate to the recipients or to the near ones of those deceased.

Ministers, MPs, elite, diplomats, intellectuals, poets, writers, educationists, artists, professionals from various fields, and senior civil and military officials were present.

State Minister for Cultural Affairs Selima Rahman and Cabinet Secretary Saadat Hossein also addressed the function.

She called for a march forward with the glory of the language movement and not to lag behind clinging to the history only.

"Sorrows of Ekushey should be transformed into a strength to move forward and the path should be enlightened with education, knowledge, talent and creativity."

Recipients of 'Ekushey Padak 2004' pose with Prime Minister Khaleda Zia after the awarding ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka yesterday. PHOTO: PID