Vol. 5 Num 294 Fri. March 25, 2005  

Get united to protect independence: PM
Mujibul Huq, ICDDR,B representative receive Independence Award 2005

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday called upon the people to remain vigilant and get united to protect independence of the country saying unprotected freedom is like dependence.

"National disarray, division, confusion and indiscipline are the real enemies of independence. So all have to remain conscious and aware of all these stuffs", she said.

Khaleda was speaking as the chief guest at the Independence Award 2005 giving ceremony at Osmani auditorium in the city. Cabinet Secretary Dr Saadat Hussain also spoke on the occasion.

The members of the cabinet, judges, diplomats and high government and non-government officials were present.

This year's Independence Award goes to the chairman of the National Pay Commission Mujibul Huq and International Centre for Diarrhoea Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B). ICDDRB's executive director received the award on behalf of the institution.

Khaleda said freedom is needed for a successful and meaningful life. Independence is as difficult to protect as to achieve. It is also very difficult to make lives of people glorious and noteworthy properly utilising the opportunities created by independence.

She said since the liberation a vested quarter has been trying to put the country under their absolute grip. Some of them became very rich plundering wealth of the majority people.

"Demand for justice had fallen into deaf ear, independence turned into mockery but people changed the situation through a fresh struggle" she added.

Describing poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, malnutrition, over population, environment pollution and diseases as enemies of independence, she said backward position of various groups of people including women are the main reasons of the country's under-development. These barriers must be overcome to make independence fruitful.

Khaleda said that there is a move to resist the initiatives taken by the government to make freedom fruitful. All moves against the social and political stability will be foiled, she said calling upon the people to overcome all these problems through a coordinated effort.

Recipients of Independence Awards 2005 pose for photograph with Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. PHOTO: PID