Tributes for Mujib, but no national holiday


Dhaka : Bangladesh’s current leadership will pay tributes to the country’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Wednesday, the anniversary of his assassination in 1975. But it won’t be a national holiday as that is an issue to be decided by a court of law.

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President Iajuddin Ahmed, Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed and three chiefs of the armed forces will visit Mujib’s grave at his village Tungipara in Gopalganj district, a spokesman for the president said.

Law Advisor Mainul Hosein, however, told that declaring the day a public holiday was the subject of a case before the High Court that must adjudicate on the matter first, New Age said Monday.

The interim government has said it plans to declare Mujib the “father of the nation”, but will also give similar respect to Ziaur Rahman, the military strongman who was also assassinated, in 1991.

The issue has been tossed among the political parties representing the opposing legacies of Mujib and Ziaur Rahman.

On assumption of power in 1996, the Awami League that Mujib founded declared Aug 15 a national holiday. But the government of Khaleda Zia, Ziaur Rahman’s widow, scrapped the holiday after coming to power in 2001.

The High Court on Aug 5 asked the government to explain why Aug 15 should not be declared a government holiday again.

The Awami league has announced subdued plans for Wednesday in the absence of its present chief and Mujib’s daughter, Sheikh Hasina, who is in jail on extortion charges slapped on her by the present regime.