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19 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Genocide Corner opens at Shugandha

Diplomatic Correspondent, Dhaka
Genocide Corner opens at Shugandha

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen yesterday opened ‘Genocide Corner’ at historic building Shugandha as part of preserving country’s legacy of liberation war. “As part of preserving our historic legacy of the glorious Liberation War, we have created a corner in this historic building at Shugandha for remembering the three million victims of genocide of 1971, the second worst genocide since World War II,” he said.

The minister opened the ‘genocide corner’ on the occasion of marking the Foreign Service Day at Shugandha in the capital. Among others Prime Minister's Political Adviser HT Imam, former finance minister AMA Muhith, state minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam, education minister Dipu Moni and Awami League advisory council member Amir Hossain Amu, and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

About the choosing Shugandha for Genocide Corner, foreign minister said, “We carefully chose this building to house the Genocide Corner in a historic room. This building was built in 1960 and Queen Elizabeth II stayed in this house. After her departure, this house became the President’s House. After independence on December 16, 1971, this house became ‘Ganabhaban’ (People’s House), Prime Minister’s Office.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the visionary leader and founder of Bangladesh discharged his duties for nearly two years from this office (1972-74).  However, the Prime Minister’s Office was moved to the newly constructed Ganabhaban in Sher-e Bangla Nagar in 1974.

He also said a book as been placed at the Genocide Corner for the visitors to make comments. About the Foreign Service Day, Momen said, “On this day in 1971, 48 years ago from today (Thursday), Bangladeshi diplomats and staff stationed in Calcutta defying the oppressive and occupation regime of Pakistan took over the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner’s Office and hoisted the Bangladesh national flag atop and thus established the first Bangladesh Mission abroad. Therefore, this day is very significant for the independent and sovereign country of Bangladesh.”

He also called the day “Kutnoitik Uttaran Dibash”.  

He also said on 17 April 1971, the Bangladesh government was officially established in Mujib Nagar and on the following day, a group of Bangladeshi diplomats and officials led by Deputy High Commissioner Md. Hosen Ali and Third Secretary Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, declared their allegiance to Bangladesh government, and took possession of the premise of the Pakistani Deputy High Commission in Calcutta, India, and declared it ‘Bangladesh Diplomatic Mission’, which later became ‘Bangladesh Foreign Office’ in Kolkata.  

The other officers who also defected in Calcutta on 18th April 1971 were Third Secretary Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Assistant Press Attaché Maksud Ali, he added.

The minister also mentioned that prior to 18 April, to be specific, on 6 April 1971, two brave Bangladeshi diplomats, Second Secretary K. M. Shehabuddin and Assistant Press Attaché of the then Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi Amzadul Haq defected and declared their allegiance to Bangladesh and opened the Diplomatic Front of the glorious Liberation War even before the establishment of the Mujib Nagar Government on 17 April.

“Following them A H Mahmood Ali, my predecessor as Foreign Minister then Vice Consul at the Pakistan Consulate in New York resigned from the Pakistan Foreign Service and transferred his allegiance to Bangladesh government on 26 April, 1971 thus became the first diplomat in USA to express his allegiance to Bangladesh government,” he added.

“Following him, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on 6 June and another 22 diplomats in Washington DC on August 1 expressed their allegiance to Bangladesh government,” he continued.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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