Red carpet rolled out as Bhutanese PM arrives


Dhaka, April 12: A red carpet was rolled out as Bhutanese Premier Dr Lotay Tshering arrived in Dhaka on Friday morning on a three-day official visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

A special aircraft of Royal Bhutan Airlines (Druk Air) carrying the Bhutanese premier, his spouse and entourage members landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 8.08 am.

A 19-gun salute heralded the arrival of Dr Lotay.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received the Bhutanese premier at the VVIP Terminal of the airport, while two tiny tots presented bouquets to the Bhutanese premier.

Later, the Bhutanese premier was given a guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent drawn from the army, navy and air force. The national anthems of the two countries were played on the occasion.

Later, the Bangladesh prime minister introduced her cabinet colleagues and other dignitaries to the Bhutanese premier.

The Bhutanese prime minister also introduced his entourage members to the Bangladesh premier.

Ministers, the cabinet secretary, the chiefs of three services, secretaries concerned to the prime minister, the dean of the diplomatic corps and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.

After the warm welcome at the airport, a ceremonial motorcade escorted the Bhutanese prime minister to Hotel Intercontinental, where he will be staying during his visit to Bangladesh.

Dr Lotay will begin his visit by paying tributes to liberation war martyrs at National Memorial at Savar and to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at his portrait at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi.

On the first day of his visit, Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen will call on the Bhutanese premier at his place of residence this afternoon.

Later, the Bhutanese premier will hold a business meeting with the leaders of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) at Hotel Intercontinental.

On Saturday, the Bhutanese premier will hold official talks with his Bangladesh counterpart at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) here.

After the meeting, a number of bilateral instruments regarding cooperation on inland waterways for cargo transportation, health and agriculture sectors are expected to be signed by the two sides.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque and State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury are scheduled to call on Dr Lotay separately in the afternoon at Hotel Intercontinental.

Later, the Bhutanese prime minister will meet President M Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban in the evening.

He will join a banquet to be hosted by the Bangladesh prime minister at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel.

On April 14, the first day of the Bengali New Year, he will attend a new year celebrating cultural function to be organised by Surer Dhara at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.

On the same day, the Bhutanese prime minister, an alumnus of Mymensingh Medical College, will fly to Mymensingh to visit his alma mater. He will address a students’ gathering there.

Dr Lotay will return to Dhaka on the same day and Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi will call on him in the afternoon.

During the tour, he is also scheduled to visit BIMSTEC Secretariat and Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons in the city.

Wrapping up her visit, the Bhutanese prime minister is scheduled to leave Dhaka on April 15 morning.