Hakikul Islam Khokan,Senior Correspondedt:US keen to deepen partnership with Bangladesh, says US Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Urbom The Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC observed “Mohan Shahid Dibosh” and the International Mother Language Day on Wednesday (21 February) by recalling the supreme sacrifice of the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement. To commemorate the historic day, the Embassy arranged a daylong program by paying glowing tributes to the language heroes who laid down their lives in Dhaka 72 years ago to establish Bangla as the state language. As part of the program, a colorful function was held at the auditorium of the Mission in the evening in the presence of ambassadors, diplomats from various countries, senior officials of the US government and the members of Bangladeshi diaspora. Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States Mr. Muhammad Imran delivered the welcome remarks, while Mr. Scott Urbom, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, the US Department of State, spoke at the function as the Guest of Honour. In his remarks, Ambassador Imran paid deepest homage to the martyrs of the great Language Movement and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He described the spirit of great Language Movement as like a ‘lighthouse’ for Bengali nation and said that the rich Bangla language earned through the bloodshed of language heroes could be a proper diplomatic tool to project Bangladesh in the international arena. Holding the spirit of the great Language Movement and the War of Liberation, Bangladesh is marching forward fast with tremendous economic performance under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said. The Ambassador called upon the Bangladeshi diaspora in the USA to encourage the new generations to learn more about the rich Bangla language, culture and heritage. Speaking at the function, Mr Scott Urbom said Bangladesh has been an important partner of the USA for over 50 years, investing billions of dollar in Bangladesh’s health, education and other sectors. “We look forward to deepening the partnership with Bangladesh in the next 50 years and beyond,” he said. He said the Mother Language Day holds special place in the hearts of not only the people of Bangladesh, also the people of all over the world. He also mentioned the sacrifice of those heroes who shed blood to establish the nation of Bangladesh and preserve the Bangla language.Mr. Scott Urbom said today Bangla ranks one of the most well-spoken languages in the world, and it is the testament to Bangla language’s influence and importance of connecting Bengali speakers around the world. Later, a spectacular cultural function was held where the Embassy Family, officials of the Foreign Service Institute, the US Department of State, as well as artistes from India, Nepal, Japan and Sri Lanka and a Bangladeshi cultural group performed captivating the audience with songs, group dance and reciting poems at the packed Bangabandu Auditorium. Later the Ambassador handed over prizes among the winner of essay competition organized by the Embassy. Earlier in the morning, a discussion session highlighting the significance of the glorious day was held at the Bangabandhu Auditorium in the morning. Ambassador Muhammad Imran and Defence Attache Brigadier General Md Shahedul Islam took part in the discussion. The program of the day commenced with the placing of a floral wreath at the altar of the Shaheed Minar by Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States Muhammad Imran on the embassy premises and bringing out a ‘Probhat Ferry’ with the participation of the officers, employees and their family members at one-minute past zero hour. Other program of the day included ceremonial hoisting of the national flag at half-mast by the Ambassador in front of the Chancery and placing of a floral wreath at the bust of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the presence of the Embassy officials and employees, screening of a documentary and holding a special prayer.The messages issued on the occasion by the Hon’ble President, the Hon’ble Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister were read out by Minister (Economic) Md Fazle Rabbi, Minister (Political) Md Rashedujjaman and First Secretary Wahiduzzaman Noor. Counselor and Head of Chancery Shamima Yeasmin Smriti, First Secretary (Passport & Visa Wing) Muhammad Abdul Hye Milton and First Secretary Md Ataur Rahman conducted the daylong program.