|By Ansar Ahmed Ullah:|
As part of the Belgian Awami League’s continuous programme to showcase the achievements of Bangladesh an exhibition, film screening and a seminar titled ‘Bangladesh on the way to development & the challenges of democracy’ was held at the International Press Center, Residence Palace in the Capital of Brussels on 28 November.
At the beginning of the event the chief guests and others inaugurated photo gallery depicting development of Bangladesh including women empowerment, achievement in health, education & literacy rate, self sufficiency, refuge to Rohingyas and images of atrocities carried out by Jamaat killing hundreds of people including children, women with petrol bombs. Following the exhibition, a documentary was screened on Bangladesh covering its history since the birth in 1971.
The speakers said that Bangladesh is the fast growing economy of South Asia moving forward with sustainable economic growth coupled with plural democracy, equality and justice. Bangladesh has been praised by the UN, World Bank, EU and other international organisations for its rapid growth in socio economic developments encapsulated by real GDP growth.
Jahangir Chowdhury, General Secretary of the organisation conducted the event in the presence of the Chief Guest of the ceremony Mohammed Shahadat Hossain, Bangladesh’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU. The chief speakers were South Asia Democratic Forum’s Executive Director, former Portuguese MEP Paulo Casaca, President of European Bangladesh Forum Ansar Ahmed Ullah, Vice President of European Bangladesh Forum Bikash Chowdhury Barua, South Asia Democratic Forum’s Research Dr Siegfried Wolf, Research Assistant Susan Guarda and UK-based research organisation, Study Circle’s coordinator Jamal Khan.
Mr. Paulo Casaca praised Bangladesh on the development and its successes. He also praised Bangladesh for giving refuge to the Rohingyas which he said was a lesson to the whole world. He said the European sentiment about the next election is that we believe the government is moving towards a fair and impartial election in Bangladesh. He also added that Jamaat is not only a threat to Bangladesh but a threat to the peace and prosperity of the whole world. South Asia Democratic Forum’s Research Assistant Susan Guarda, who had recently visited Bangladesh was fascinated by the success of the country and the extraordinary hospitality of the people of Bangladesh.
Amongst others who were present were Akshay Sharma, University of Poland, Manager Stephen Lampe of South Asia Democratic Forum, Babu Bidhan Dev, Vice President of Belgium Awami League, Joint Secretary Dawood Khan Sohel, Publicity Secretary Akhtaruzzaman Akhter, Finance Secretary Rubel Khan, Women Affairs secretary Mrs. Rabeya Zaman, Office Secretary Raisul Islam Russell, Belgium Jubo League President Khaled Minhaj, Jubo League Women Affairs Secretary Sadia Sharmin Rimu, Khokon Sharif, MM Morshed and many others. Finally, the President of Belgium Awami League, Shohidul Hoque, in his speech gave vote of thanks to all who attended.