PM asks navy to safeguard country’s sovereignty, sea resources

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Dhaka, Nov 05: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked the Bangladesh Navy to remain prepared to safeguard the country’s independence and sovereignty alongside protecting its marine resources as the government has been working to tap potentiality of the blue economy.

“We always want not only to protect sea areas, but also to use marine resources for our economical development. So, we have to work on it. We have already got the concept paper of the blue economy and working on it,” she said while commissioning five ships inculiding three warships through a video conference from her official Ganabhaban residence here.

The PM said her government has attached priority to extracting the huge marine resources and utilizing those to give the country’s economy a strong footing as it has a huge potentiality, adding, “Our only aim is to use the marine resources in the country’s development and we are working on it.”

Referring to the vast resources in Bangladesh’s maritime areas, the PM said the navy would have to play a major role in protecting those.

Sheikh Hasina said her government wants to strengthen and modernize the navy further to safeguard the country’s independence and sovereignty alongside the sea and its resources.

Mentioning that Bangladesh believes in the foreign policy “Friendship to all, malice to none” adopted by the Father of the Nation, she said, “We do not want war with anyone. But, we want to achieve the capability to counter if Bangladesh is attacked by any external force.”

After commissioning the ships she said, “I firmly believe that the newly commissioned ships will further strengthen the capability of Bangladesh Navy to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and help enhance professional efficiency of its personnel.”

Of the ships, two frigates equipped with modern war weapons and one corvette were exported from China while two modern survey ships were made by the Khulna Shipyard, she added.

“Building ships at our own yard will help boost our confidence,” she said, hoping that Bangladesh could achieve the capability of building ships for others in the days to come.

With the newly commissioned three warships, Bangladesh Navy has so far 21 warships.

On behalf of the Prime Minister, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal formally handed over the “commissioning forman (decree)” of the ships to the respective captains through a ceremony from the Naval Berth-1, Chattogram.

An audio-visual presentation was screened on the five ships that included two frigates –BNS Umar Farooq and BNS Abu Ubaidah, one corvette –BNS Prottasha – and two survey ships – BNS Darshak and BNS Tallashi.