“We’ll maintain friendly relations with all. We don’t want war rather want peace. But, we have to achieve ability to counter attack on our sovereignty. So we need preparations and all armed forces members have to realize it,” she said.
She was addressing virtually the graduation ceremony of the National Defence Course-2020 and Armed Forces War Course-2020 at Sheikh Hasina Complex in Mirpur cantonment from her official Ganabhaban residence here.
Mentioning that over 10 lakh Myanmar nationals have taken shelter in Bangladesh, the prime minister said, “We have never been engaged in conflict with them. We have been trying to solve it with holding discussions”.
In this regard she referred to discussions with Myanmar to find a peaceful solution over repatriation of its over one million Rohingya people.
“Bangladesh has appealed to the international community to move effectively to solve the issue quickly which is now being considered as a big burden for us”, she said.
So, the armed forces of Bangladesh would have to remain always prepared to safeguard the security of the country and to establish peace in the international arena, she continued.
The premier said her government has been maintaining friendly relations following the country’s foreign policy, “Friendship to all, malice to none” adopted by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
She said, “The most important thing is to develop country which requires investments. We have been trying to build our country with taking necessary assistance and technological supports from others by keeping friendly relations. All should have it in mind.”
The prime minister said her government wanted to build the armed forces as a modern knowledge and technology based ones as it has been contributing to the UN peacekeeping missions.
Briefly spelling out the measures for overall development of the armed forces, she said the Awami League government has made huge development of the armed forces since it assumed office in 1996.
In this regard, she said she herself established the National Defence College with only Taka two crore which is now acclaimed international reputation due to its world standard curriculum.
She added that her government has been implementing the Forces Goal-2030 formulated in accordance with the Defence Policy of 1974 adopted by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The premier later distributed certificates among the graduates of the NDC and AFWC courses of 2020.
National Defence College commandant Lt Gen Ataul Hakim Sarwar Hasan also spoke at the programme.
Referring to the COVID-19 situation in the country, Sheikh Hasina expressed her farm belief that the good days would come soon when the students could go to their schools again and restart their normal educational activities as usual.
“We hope that good days may come in future, when our children can go to their schools and resume their studies normally. We are taking preparations in the regard,” she said.
The prime minister said when her government was preparing to open the schools, the Covid-19 has started its surge afresh and forced the government to remain the educational institutions closed but classes are being taken through online and televisions.
She came up with the opinion that a psychological pressure is being made on the children as they could not go to their schools.
The premier requested all to follow the health guidelines accordingly to tackle further spread of the Covid-19 and ensure their protection from being infected with the lethal virus.
She urged the NDC and AFWC graduates to work for advancing the nation toward stability, self-reliance and sustainable development, expressing her hope that the graduates will take the nation forward.
Calling the foreign military officials graduated from NDC as good-will ambassadors, the premier said, “I hope, you enjoyed your stay with deep rooted tradition of Bangladeshi hospitality and you grown respect for Bangladesh and her people in your hearts”.
Aspiring that the graduated foreign military officials will act as Bangladesh’s good-will ambassadors from their respective positions, she wished their success in days to come.
Thanking the Armed Forces personnel for standing beside the people by risking their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic, the prime minister called upon them to work for the people being inspired with patriotism established during the Liberation War.
She said her government has been working to reach the fruit of the Liberation War at doorstep of every people.
She went on saying that the government has been working to bring every household under electricity coverage with providing houses to every landless and homeless people prior to the golden jubilee of independence in 2021.