Onlanka News – By Janaka Alahapperuma
(Pix by: Sudath Silva)
President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is on a three day official tour in Bangladesh visited the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhaka on Tuesday morning 19 April. The President paid a floral tribute to the Bangladesh founding leader, the late Bangabandhu Sheik Mujibur Rahuman’s statue erected in the museum, the house where the Father of the Bangladesh Nation lived most of his life until he was assassinated in a predawn military coup in 1975.
When President Rajapaksa reached the historic House, Number 32 at Dhanmondi, Dhaka in the morning he went straight to the portrait of Bangabandhu, stood in solemn silence and placed wreaths on the image as he looked twice with deep respect to the picture of Bangladesh’s founding father.
Minister in Waiting Dipankar Talukder, who is the state minister for CHT affairs, took President Rajapaksa and his wife to the ground floor of the two-storey ordinary house and showed them the rare pictures of Bangabandhu, his young leadership, hard struggle for independence and meeting with statesmen from all over the world, including Russian President Leonid Brezhnev, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Libyan President Mummer Gaddafi and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Seeing all the pictures on the ground floor, Rajapaksa walked to the 1st floor and saw the simple living style of a statesman, who not only placed Bangladesh as an independent state in the world map, but also earned high laurel from all over the world. The President also signed the visitors’ book.
The President and the delegation then visited the international Buddhist centre in Merul Badda and participated in religious observances. President Mahinda Rajapaksa also took part in the foundation stone laying ceremony and unveiled the commemoration plaque to build the International Buddhist Center in Merul Badda Temple in Dhaka.
Venerable Maha Sangha and large number of devotees representing Bangladesh Buddhist Federation, Merul Badda, Dhaka, International Buddhist Monastery, Merul Badda, Gulshan, Dhaka, National Buddhist Federation – Bangladesh, Merul Badda, Gulshan and Sandesh Barua – International Buddhist Monastery, Merul Badda, Dhaka participated the historic ceremony graced by the Sri Lankan President.
President held cordial talks with the public gathered at the temple after he took part in the religious observances. Large number of Sri Lankans living in Dhaka also participated the event.The First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Minister Professor G.L. Peiris, A.H.M. Azwer M.P. also participated.
President Rajapaksa had talks with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office on Monday 18 April. He is expected to meet his Bangladeshi Counterpart, President Zillur Rahman this evening. President Rajapaksa participates in several programmes taking the close friendly relation between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to a new era.