30 May 2023

Navy needs to be strengthened further to protect sea areas: PM

File photo - Photo Desk

Mentioning that Bangladesh doesn’t prefer war rather want peace, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangladesh Navy needs to be further strengthened with modern technology based knowledge to protect the country’s vast sea area and its resources.

“We have a vast sea area—we need to strengthen our naval force further to defend the sea areas and its resources,” she said while commissioning a ship of Bangladesh Navy “BNS Sangram” from her official residence Ganabhaban here through a video conference this morning, reports state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.

The premier simultaneously said that her government has attached priority on protecting the sea areas and utilizing its huge resources in Bangladesh’s economy.

Mentioning that Bangladesh doesn’t want war as it prefers peace, she said, “It is true that we want peace but at the same time we have to remain well prepared to face any attack.

So, we want to build modern technology based organizations to cope with the modern age. We have been tirelessly working to build our army, navy and air forces to be equipped with modern knowledge.”

She also said her government has formulated a perspective plan called “Forces Goal 2030” in light with the “Defence Policy” adopted by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974 and started faster implementation accordingly to make the armed forces time worthy.

“We have already purchased many modern equipment including frigate and ships for Bangladesh Navy.

I first handed over the Khulna Shipyard to the navy.

I also handed over two dry docks of Narayanganj and Chattogram to the navy,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Navy has been transformed into a full-fledged three-dimensional force with inclusion two submarines in the force.

She hoped that the navy personnel would discharge their duties to safeguard the country’s sea areas with utmost sincerity.

The prime minister said that Bangladesh has achieved its rights in its vast sea areas after winning legal battles in the International Court against its two neighbours India and Myanmar with maintaining friendly relations with them.

She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman first taken the initiative of establishing legal rights of Bangladesh in its sea areas soon after the independence, but the 1975 post governments did nothing to this end.

After assuming office in 1996 after 21 years, the Awami League government collected necessary data and information regarding the matter and took legal measures after coming to power for second time, she continued.

Bangladesh Navy Chief Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury formally handed over the ‘commissioning forman’ of the ship to Captain Arifur Rahman on behalf of the prime minister at BNS Issa Khan Naval Base, Chattogram.

A video documentary on the BNS Sangram was screened on the occasion.

The BNS Sangram will leave Bangladesh for Lebanon on June 19 (Friday) to take part in the peacekeeping mission.

The prime minister urged Bangladesh Navy personnel to carry out their duties with utmost sincerity and professionalism in the peace keeping mission in Lebanon, saying, “Perform your duties accordingly. I request all to be safe and protected and don’t take unnecessary risks.”

She also recalled the glorious contribution of the navy personnel to the Liberation War of 1971.

The premier said the Father of the Nation launched the journey of Bangladesh Navy with brining two ships from the neighbouring India after the independence, adding Bangabandhu had built every institution including the armed forces in only three and a half years.

Spelling out the measures for the overall development of the shipbuilding industries, she said, “We have started building ships on limited scale in our country. We are also working on their maintenance. We have been doing whatever necessary with the friendly countries.”

But she said, “We should bear in mind that we have to learn the technology and to be prepared so that we could build the ships of our own and export those.”

Turning to coronavirus situation, the premier said the entire world, the economy and the communication everything have been stagnant due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Panic has been created in every sphere (of lives) including in maintaining the social communications, she added.

She went on saying that none irrespective of rich and poor countries could do anything against the invisible evil force as everyone has reached a similar position in the fight against it.

The premier renewed her call to the countrymen to follow the health codes accordingly as a best defense to fight the virus effectively, saying, “Protect yourselves and your families from the COVID-19 by maintaining the health directives properly.”

Noting Bangladesh also suffered immensely due to coronavirus at a time when it has reduced its poverty rate to 20 percent from 40 percent and increased GDP to 8.1 percent, the premier hoped that Bangladesh as well as the world would get relief from the virus.

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