President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have paid tribute to the members of Bangladesh Armed Forces martyred during the Liberation War to mark Armed Forces Day.
Bangladesh observes Nov 21 as Armed Forces Day, signifying the day in 1971 when the army, the navy and the air force launched a coordinated offensive against invading Pakistani forces.
Hamid, commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, and Hasina, also the defence minister, arrived at the Dhaka Cantonment on Monday morning and were welcomed by the chiefs of the three forces and the principal staff officer of the Armed Forces Division.
After the president, Hasina, who is the head of the government, laid a wreath at the ‘Shikha Anirban’ or Eternal Flame and spent several moments in silence to honour the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Bangladesh’s liberation. She was given a guard of honour. Later, she also signed the visitor’s book.
Afterwards, Hasina visited the Armed Forces Division, where her security adviser and the three chiefs of the armed forces paid her a courtesy call.
The prime minister will accord a reception to the heirs of the recipients of ‘Bir Shrestha’ award and titled freedom fighters and their heirs at Cantonment's Army Multipurpose Complex.
Four army, two navy and two air force personnel will be honoured with peacetime awards in 2021-22 by Hasina.
Several dignitaries will be present during the ceremony, including the minister of liberation war affairs and chief of army staff.
The prime minister is also scheduled to participate in a reception ceremony at the Senakunja in the Dhaka Cantonment at 4 pm.
The reception will be televised live on BTV.
According to the Inter Services Public Relations Directorate, the three chiefs will give receptions to the decorated freedom fighters of their respective forces and their successors.
Receptions will also be arranged in Barishal, Cox's Bazar, Bogura, Sylhet, Ghatail, Chattogram, Jashore, Rangpur and Khulna cantonments and bases under the management of their respective area headquarters.
Various programmes will also be held at army garrisons, naval ships and installations, and air force bases outside Dhaka.
Specially decorated navy ships will be anchored in Dhaka, Khulna, Chandpur, Barishal and Chattogram from 2 pm to sunset for visitors.
BTV will highlight the significance of Armed Forces Day in a programme arranged by the armed forces after the Bangla news at 8 pm. Bangladesh Betar will broadcast a 'Special Durbar' programme at 7:30 pm.