Home » National » More

Former enclave people “newly-bloomed flowers”

২০১৫ অক্টোবর ১৫ ১৭:৪০:১৩
Former enclave people “newly-bloomed flowers”

Thereport24.com Desk:

A new era has been heralded in the history and life of the inhabitants of now-defunct enclaves as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday visited Dashiarchhara in Fulbari upazila, Kurigram, a northern frontier district of Bangladesh.

This was the first-ever visit of any head of the state or government of Bangladesh to this remote area, about five kilometers off the upazila headquarters, reports BSS.

Addressing a mammoth gathering at Kalirhat Girls School Ground here, the Prime Minister described the people of the former enclaves as the "newly-bloomed flowers" and mentioned their getting the state identity as a journey towards light.

“Your night of sorrow has gone as your journey towards light has started .I hope that this travel would continue," she said.

“You are no more the inhabitants of enclaves.I have come to Fulbari today and you are the newly-bloomed flowers of Fulbari. We have got a bouquet of newly- bloomed flowers and you are that flower...we mean it and you are our people and part of our everything. Your 68-year ordeal is now over," she added.

In this connection, the Prime Minister said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman long ago took initiatives to solve this problem. "Had he been alive, the long- standing problem would have been solved much earlier and you would have got the address as well as the dignity of your state identity," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said all the former enclave dwellers are the near and dear ones of the people of Bangladesh. "There would be your equal rights as enjoyed by every citizen of Bangladesh since the former enclaves have already been incorporated in the development programmes of all ministries. There is nothing to be worried," she said.

The Prime Minister said her government has undertaken various programmes for the development of the former enclave people. "The programmes would be implemented in phases. we want that all will get a better life, scope for education and eat up to their hearts' content," she said.

Assuring that her government would do everything necessary for the welfare of the former enclave people, Sheikh Hasina said she was very much happy with her visit to Dashiarchhara, where she was eager to come much earlier. "But you know it better that where I will go as you have no identity," she said.

Life in these hitherto isolated enclaves were getting harder for decades and the people stricken by intense poverty were in a frantic search for a fresh start in their living condition. For around 68 years, the reality was very different in these small enclaves with a stressful life.

Only recently, the people witnessed a strange change overnight in their life as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has brought a new ray of hope for them to live more worthily like those in the mainland of Bangladesh.

Thus a new chapter has been added to the history of Bangladesh after all the enclaves so far surrounded by India have joined the sovereign landscape of Bangladesh following the implementation of the historic Mujib-Indira pact under the joint initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Referring to the background of the historic Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), the Prime Minister said Bangabandhu and Indira Gandhi signed the agreement named as Mujib-Indira pact in 1974 to settle the land boundary disputes between the two friendly countries.

After the assassination of Bangandhu, she said, the governments of Zia, Ershad and Khaleda Zia did not dare discussing the issue of implementing the LBA with India.

After long 21 years, Sheikh Hasina said, her government taking office in 1996 took the initiative to settle the dispute discussing the issue with the Indian government.

She said the government of Awami League again took steps after coming to power in 2009 and signed a protocol with the then Manmohan Singh government of India in 2010 and took initiatives to identify boundary and counting inhabitants in the enclaves.

Talking about the ratification of the LBA in the Indian Parliament, Sheikh Hasina said the parliament members from all parties in India voted in favour of the ratification of the LBA.

In this regard, the Prime Minister thanked Modi government and all members of the Indian parliament for their unanimous support as well as state governments of the West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya for their cooperation.

Referring to taking massive development activities in the now-defunct enclaves, Sheikh Hasina said activities of police stations and community clinics have begun while roads, educational institutions are being constructed there.

To ensure food security, she said, rice and other food assistance are being provided to the poor people, while steps have been taken to create job opportunity for the former enclave people.

"Our government has begun to work by taking responsibility of the people of the then enclaves so that they never get deprived," she said.

Prime Minister's Adviser on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Dr Towfik-e-Ealhi Chowdhury, Chief Whip of the Opposition in Parliament Tajul Islam Chowdhury and PM's Principal Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad, General Secretary of Fulbari Upazila Awami League Golam Rabbani Srakar, Deputy Commissioner of Kurigram Khan Mohammad Nurul Amin and Haimonti Shukla, a resident of Dashiarchhara, also spoke on the occasion.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu, State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Moshiur Rahman Ranga, Deputy Speaker Fazley rabbi Mia, eminet writer Syed Shamsul Haque and AL Joint Secretary Dr Dipu Moni were present on the occasion.

Earlier on arrival at Dashiarchhara, the Prime Minister inaugurated the power connection distribution programme under the National Grild Line Power System.

Under the programme, a total of 2, 561 families from Kurigram, Nilphamari and Panchagarh would be brought under the National Grid System by December next.

On the occasion, Sheikh Hasina handed over solar home systems among the people under the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) programme.

Ends/thereport24.com/S/Oct 15, 2015