Bangladesh will confer awards on 65 more foreign friends in the fourth phase on December 15 for their outstanding contributions to the country's Liberation War 41 years ago.
The foreign friends' support came when Bangalees stood up against the atrocities and genocide and contributed to the eventful emergence of sovereign Bangladesh through a nine-month war.
President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will ceremonially hand over "Muktijuddho Moitri Sammanana" (Friends of Liberation War Honour) to them at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
This was announced by Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Capt (retd) AB Tajul Islam at a joint press briefing at the foreign ministry yesterday.
Dipu Moni said sixty-three personalities and two organisations from 10 countries will receive the award on December 15. Among them, 49 are from India and the rest are from the USA, Russia, France, Australia, UK, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.
The recipients include politicians, journalists, artists, physicians, and litterateurs.
Among the prominent figures are Illa Mitra, Prof Satyen Bose, singer Hemanta Kumar Mukhapadhay, Ritwik Ghatak, Sunil Gangopadhyay, singer Manna Dey, litterateur Tara Sankar Bandyopadhyay.
Speaking at the press briefing, AB Tajul Islam said it was not correctly reported that Indian President Pranab Mukherjee would receive the award on December 15.
The government, he said, invited him to receive the award at his convenient time. The date of his visit will be confirmed by the two foreign ministries, he added.
Tajul also said this time the invited foreign friends will attend the programmes of the martyred intellectuals' day (December 14) and the Victory Day (December 16).
Asked whether any individual from Pakistan will come to receive the award this time, Dipu Moni said their names would be on the list in the next phase.
This will be the fourth time of awarding foreign friends since the government first conferred "Bangladesh Liberation War Honour" posthumously on Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
She was the first of the foreign friends to get the honour. Her daughter-in-law and Congress President Sonia Gandhi received the award on her behalf on July 25, 2011.
In the second phase, Bangladesh awarded 83 with "Bangladesh Liberation War Honour" and "Friends of Liberation War Honour" on March 27 and 61 more in the third phase on October 20 this year.