The first-ever Shaheed Minar in the Netherlands has been inaugurated at the Zuider Park of The Hague.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal along with Deputy Mayor of The Hague Saskia Bruines inaugurated the monument on Thursday.
Head of missions of India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Russian Federation, Indonesia, Brazil, Kenya, Yemen and Vietnam, high officials of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Netherlands, and members of The Hague-based diplomatic corps and Bangladesh community living in the Netherlands were present.
Following the sustained efforts of the Embassy of Bangladesh, The Hague Municipality, a city known as the ‘City of Peace and Justice’, allocated a piece of land in the Zuider Park, a heritage park of The Hague for the construction of the Shaheed Minar, said the Bangladesh Embassy on Friday.
The government of Bangladesh has financed the physical construction while The Hague Municipality financed the design of the monument as part of joint collaboration between Bangladesh and the Netherlands to promote culture of peace and multilingualism.
The inaugural ceremony began with observing a one-minute silence for eternal peace of the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement and loss of lives in Chawkbazar fire.
In his welcome address at the inaugural ceremony, Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal paid tributes to the language martyrs and expressed gratitude to The Hague municipal authorities for their support and cooperation for the construction of the Shaheed Minar.
He recalled the contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the Language Movement and his charismatic leadership in liberating Bangladesh following the inspiration and solidarity of the Language Movement.
The Deputy Mayor of The Hague congratulated both Bangladesh Embassy and The Hague Municipality for the successful completion of the project.
She mentioned that in the Netherlands there are 20 languages, all languages are important. “Every language should be heard likewise every person is seen in the society.”
Saskia Bruines observed that the language monument in the Zuider Park would not only enhance the dignity of The Hague but also remain as ever inspiration for the future generations to preserve and promote the mother tongue.
Rabin Baldewsingh, former Deputy Mayor of The Hague, who played a vital role in allocating land for the Shaheed Minar, highlighted that the message of multilingualism and multiculturalism encouraged them to extent cooperation to have the International Language Monument in The Hague.
After the formal inauguration of the Shaheed Minar, Ambassador of Bangladesh, Deputy Mayor of The Hague, Ambassadors and members of diplomatic corps along with the Embassy officials and the members of Bangladesh community living in the Netherlands placed wreaths at the newly built Shaheed Minar.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque laid the foundation stone of this Shaheed Minar on February 19, 2017. unb