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Saying that her government wants the future generations to get the benefits of hard-earned independence and language, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called for protecting and practising the country’s rich culture, language and heritage with due honour. - A home for your website

“It’s the responsibility of all to save our independence, the right to (mother) language and culture and give due honour to them being imbued with the spirit of Ekushey,” she said while distributing the Ekushey Padak-2019, the second highest civilian award, at a ceremony at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.

Sheikh Hasina said: “We earned independence, mother language and our rich culture and heritage through a huge struggle. So it’s our responsibility to practise and advance those and create a beautiful environment for the future generations.”

State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid chaired the function organised by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Acting Secretary of the ministry Dr Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal delivered the welcome address, while Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam conducted the award-giving part of the function and read out the citations of the awardees.

Cabinet members, the PM’s advisors, judges, parliament members, foreign diplomats, litterateurs, poets, academics, writers, poets, journalists, Ekushey Award laureates of previous years and high civil and military officials attended the function.

This year’s winners of the awards are: Late Prof Halima Khatun (posthumous), Advocate Golam Arif Tipu and Prof Monwara Islam for Language Movement; Subir Nandi, late Azam Khan (posthumous) and Khairul Anam Shakil for music; Lucky Inam, Suborna Mostafa and Liakat Ali Lucky for acting; Sayeda Khanam for arts; Jamal Uddin Ahmed for fine arts; Khitindra Chandra Bioshya for Liberation War; Dr Biswajit Ghosh and Dr Mahbubul Haque for research; Dr Pronab Kumar Barua for education; and Rizia Rahman, Imdadul Haque Milon, Asim Saha, Anwara Syed Haque, Mainul Ahsan Saber and Hori Shankor Joldas for language and literature.

Expressing hope that the people of Bangladesh will always move raising their head, the prime minister said the Ekushey has taught them not to bowing head.

“Ekushey has taught us how existence and mother tongue could be protected,” she said, adding that the country’s rich culture, education and heritage will have to be protected and given due honour alongside the mother language.

Congratulating this year’s Ekushey Padak recipients, Sheikh Hasina called upon the future generations to follow them to build themselves as worthy citizens of the country.

“Those who received Ekushey Padak today are eminent persons and they demonstrated their talents in their respective fields and we always remember their contributions,” she said.

“I think that the future generations will build themselves as worthy citizens of the country by following them (awardees),” she added.

Mentioning that the aim of her government is to put Bangladesh on a dignified position in the world, Sheikh Hasina said the government is working tirelessly to achieve the goal.

“We’re Bangalee nation, Bangladesh is our country and Bangla is our language. We want to build the country in such a way that it’s put on a dignified position in the world and the Bangalee nation could move keeping its head high,” she said.

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