Bangladesh steps up public diplomacy with Meghalaya

Bangladesh has celebrated its Independence Day for the first time in Shillong in an effort to step up public diplomacy with the India’s northeast state of Meghalaya.

Published : 26 March 2019, 08:06 PM
Updated : 26 March 2019, 08:07 PM

It was one of the first places with Bangladesh border to launch joint military attack against the Pakistan occupation force in the 1971 war of independence.

The Bangladesh government opened a new mission in Guwahati in March 2017 with consular jurisdiction over Meghalaya to enhance connectivity, people-to-people contact and trade between the northeast states of India.

The Assistant High Commission said the number of tourists from Bangladesh to Meghalaya “remarkably increased” recently.

The government of Meghalaya has also lifted obstacles for Bangladeshi tourists to visit different places of scenic beauty.

Through different check points of Meghalaya and Assam Bangladesh imports items worth 1300 crore rupee and exports items to the tune of 700 crore rupee.

Bangladesh’s commercial ties with Meghalaya have been expanding over the years. The government imports coal, limestone, boulders and rock from the state.

The Assistant High Commission said Governor of Meghalaya Tathagata Roy was among the guests at the first-ever programme in the city marking the 48th Anniversary of the Independence and National Day.

A number of high officials of the government of Meghalaya attended the ceremony.

Former MP and Trustee of Asian Confluence Centre Professor Dr BB Dutta, who was one of the recipients of the ‘Friends of Bangladesh’ award, was also present at the event held at Asian Confluence Center located at the heart of Shillong.

Indian Bengali families of Meghalaya who contributed during the war of independence of Bangladesh were also present along with the senior government officials of the state.

Assistant High Commissioner Shah Mohammad Tanvir Monsur chronicled the role of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in architecting the road to independence.

He also highlighted the recent initiatives of Bangladesh government to enhance connectivity with Meghalaya.

Governor Roy recalled the unprecedented genocide in border areas near Tripura, Assam, and Meghalaya in 1971.

He also lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership and asked the government of Bangladesh to make land and river routes accessible for economic benefits of both the countries.

The discussion programme was followed by a cultural show and a dinner where all the mouthwatering Bangladeshi cuisines were served.

A group of Bengali-origin Indian professional artists presented ballads on the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore.

Door Darshan, India’s national broadcasting organisation, telecast the programme.