Diplomats from seven countries have paid tribute to hundreds of soldiers, who were buried at Mainamati War Cemetery in Cumilla following their death in the World War II.
The diplomats, led by British High Commissioner in Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson, included high commissioners, ambassadors and representatives from the United States, Canada, Australia, European Union, Japan, India and Pakistan.
US Ambassador Peter D Haas, Canadian High Commissioner Lilly Nicholls, Japanese Ambassador Naoki Ito, Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer, Pksitan’s Deputy High Commissioner Qamar Abbas Khokhar, Indian High Commission’s representative Brigadier MS Sabarwal and the European Union representative were present.
On their arrival around 11:00am, tight security measures were taken at the cemetery in Cumilla Cantonment area. They were accorded a guard of honour. Then the high commissioners, ambassadors and represenatives remembered the deceased soldiers placing wreaths on the Holy Cross of Mainamati War Cemetery. Afterward, the representatives from the Commonwealth countries visited the graveyards and offered one minute’s silence standing there. Later, the high commissioners explained the significance of the day to different mass media representatives.
At the beginning of paying tributes, recitation from the Holy Quran and Holy Bible were held. Then Father Patrick moderated the tribute paying ceremony. The ceremony began through the address of welcome by British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson.
On behalf of Bangladesh, Cumilla Cantonment’s 33 Artilery Brigade Commander Brigadier General Md Rabbi Ahsan ndc, psc; on behalf of Cumilla district administration, Additional District Magistrate Shiuli Rahman Tinni and on behalf of Cumilla District Police, Additional Police Super (DSB) Md Afzal Hossain paid tributes on the Holy Cross of the graveyard.
It may be mentioned that a total of 738 soldiers who died during World War II from 1941 to 1945 had been buried at the Mainamati War Cemetery. There are now the graves of 737 soldiers after the soil of a grave including remains of the body of a soldier was taken to the United States in 1962.
Among the 737 soldiers from 13 countries of the world, 172 were Muslims, 24 Buddhists, two Hindus, and the rests were Christians. Of them, 567 were sailors, 166 pilots, and three soldiers. Among them, the graves of 357 soldiers are from the United Kingdom, 12 from Canada, 12 from Australia, four from New Zealand, one from South Africa, 171 from Undivided India, three from Rhodesia, 56 from East Africa, 86 from West Africa, one from Burma, one from Belgium, 24 from Japan, and one from Poland.
Commonwealth War Graveyard Commission look after the war cemetery. Every year, the high commissioners, ambassadors and representatives from Commonwealth nations remember the deceased soldiers placing wreaths on their graves.