First-ever Shaheed Minar in the Netherlands inaugurated
The Hague: The first-ever Shaheed Minar was inaugurated at the Zuider Park of The Hague on 21 February 2019. Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal, along with Deputy Mayor of The Hague Saskia Bruines, inaugurated the monument in the presence of Ambassadors of India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Russian Federation, Indonesia, Brazil, Kenya, Yemen, Vietnam, High Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands, the members of The Hague based diplomatic corps and members of Bangladesh community living in the Netherlands.
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. 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 inauguration programme began with observing one minute silence for eternal peace of the martyrs of our language movement in 1952 and the unfortunate souls who lost their lives in Dhaka last night in an accidental fire break. In his welcome address at the inauguration ceremony, Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal paid tribute to the language martyrs and expressed gratitude to The Hague municipal authority for their support and cooperation for the construction of the Shaheed Minar. Ambassador Belal recalled the contribution of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the language movement and his charismatic leadership in liberating Bangladesh following the inspiration and solidarity of the language movement in 1952.
The Deputy Mayor of the Hague, in her address 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. She 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 multi-culturalism 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 flower wreath at the newly built Shaheed Minar. It is mentionable, the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, Md. Shahidul Haque laid the foundation stone of this Shaheed Minar on 19 February 2017.