Dhaka – Thousands of city dwellers have enjoyed colourful cultural show and laser light display in Dhaka’s Bangabandhu Stadium to rejoice Bangladesh’s graduation to developing nations from the group of Least Developed Countries.
Local artists sang and dance on the stage to celebrate the achievement while the colours of laser light show attracted the visitors at the National Stadium.
Artistes, players, eminent personalities and dignitaries joined the processions with colorful banners and festoons in their hands while groups of musicians in their traditional attire were playing patriotic songs.
The event was mostly attended by the public office bearers who in the late afternoon entered the venue parading the streets from different city points.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her cabinet colleagues, lawmakers, diplomats and members of the civil society also joined the event.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was earlier accorded a reception at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, gave credit to the people for the achievement.
She also called the people to keep hold of the achievements to turn Bangladesh into a developed nation by 2041.
“The path was not that easy, the nation had to cross many hurdles to come to this point,” said Hasina recalling the contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect of independent Bangladesh.
She said Bangabandhu wanted to turn Bangladesh into Sonar Bangla (Golden Bangla), but he could not see the prosperity of Bangladesh as the assassins wanted otherwise.
In her emotion chocked speech she said the door of the opportunities has been opened now.
“We cannot afford to lose the achievement in any way,” Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu who has been leading the country since 2009 as Prime Minister, told the gathering.
Expressing her gratitude to the almighty Allah for the achievement, Sheikh Hasina said she had to face repeated death attempts on her life, including the August 21 grisly grenade attack. “I never scared to death and don’t scare it,” she said.
The UN Committee for Development Policy last week said Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar met the graduation criteria for the first time “but would need to do so for a second time to be eligible for consideration”.
With more than 160 million population, Bangladesh attained all three criteria to become eligible for the graduation from LDC as its Gross National Income per capital rose to 1,274 US dollars against the minimum requirement of 1,230 dollars.
Students at various schools across Bangladesh brought out processions in other parts of the country. They held placards, festoons and banners inscribed with slogans on Bangladesh’s development.
The country scored 72.9 on Human Asset Index, higher than required 66, and 24.8 on Economic Vulnerability index against a required of less than 30, according to UN statistics.
In the morning Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed floral wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu Museum in Dhaka to begin the day’s celebration.
Entered in the LDC group four years after independence from Pakistan in 1971, Bangladesh passed through many political turbulences with at least 15 staggered years of military dictatorship.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed by a group of disgruntled army officers on August 15, 1975. Then the military rule continued and the country returned to parliamentary democracy in 1991.