DHAKA, Dec 24, 2018 : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today exchanged Christmas greetings with the Christian community, saying that people of all faiths in Bangladesh have a freedom of performing their respective religion.
“An excellent environment now exists in Bangladesh for performing religions freely by the people of all faiths, and everybody honours others’ religion like their own religion,” she said while exchanging X-mass greetings with the Christian community at her official Ganabhaban residence here this afternoon.
Sheikh Hasina added: “We believe that those who are born on the soil of this country and who are its children will perform their respective religions freely.”
The premier said the people irrespective of caste, creed and religion in Bangladesh celebrate all festivals jointly. “We celebrate the Pahela Boishakh, the first day Bangla New Year, together … Religion is for individual and festival is for all and we believe this principle at heart and soul,” she said.
In this connection, the prime minister recalled Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, saying that he turned Bangladesh into a secular country. “Bangabandhu wanted that the people of all faiths will perform their respective religion freely,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina renewed her determination to build Bangladesh as a peaceful country where there will be no room for militancy, terrorism and narcotics.
“We want everybody to live with peace in Bangladesh where there will be no place for militancy, terrorism and narcotics … we want to establish Bangladesh as a peaceful country and the people will earn livelihood peacefully,” she said.
The premier added: “Our aim is to build Bangladesh with that thought and spirit with which Bangabandhu brought independence for the nation … we want Bangladesh to be established as a hunger and poverty-free developed and prosperous country as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.”
Bangladesh Christian Association President Nirmal Rozario, Bangladesh Awami League central committee member Remon Areng and Bangladesh Christian League General Secretary Daniel D’ Costa, Jewel Areng, MP, also spoke on the occasion.
At the outset of her speech, the prime minister extended her greetings to the members of the Christian community across the world, saying that Jesus Christ always worked for the humanity. “He (Jesus) taught us love for human beings and their welfare,” she said.
Like Jesus, she said, Bangabandhu dedicated his whole life to the welfare of the people being imbued with the love for human beings and loving Bangladesh.
Elaborating her government’s successes in various fields, Sheikh Hasina said the government has brought down poverty rate to 21 percent. “We will be able to cut the rate by 4/5 percent more Insha Allah and there will not be any extreme poor in the country if we’re reelected,” she said.
The prime minister said: “Our aim is to ensure welfare of all irrespective of caste, creed and religion and we’re working to achieve this goal.”
Sheikh Hasina said a dignity of Bangladesh has been established in the global stage. “We want the country advances further with this dignity,” she said.
The prime minister said once Bangladesh was recognized as a country of hungry people, cyclone and famine. “But we’ve been able to remove this ill-repute by making massive development in the country,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government announced ‘Din Badaler Sanad’ (charter for change. “A massive change in the life of the people has been made as we implemented the charter for change,” she said.
The premier said the first goal of her government was ensuring food security of the people. “There is no food crisis in the country and Monga has vanished from the northern region due to various steps of our government,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is working tirelessly for the welfare of the people. “Our goal is that the people lead a better life,” she said.
The prime minister said Bangladesh has graduated to a developing country from a least developed one due to its successes in various sectors. “We’ve to uphold this dignity,” she said.
Later, she cut an X-Mass Day cake in presence of members of the Christian community.
At the function, Christmas carols and other patriotic songs were performed by the members of the Christian community.