Bangladesh Pres­i­dent ad­dresses the Par­lia­ment

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The Pres­i­dent of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Bangladesh, Mr. Md. Ab­dul Hamid ad­dressed the joint sit­ting of Par­lia­ment on last Mon­day.

The Speaker of the Na­tional Assem­bly Ly­onpo Jigme Zangpo, wel­comed The Pres­i­dent on be­half the par­lia­ment. The speaker shared that the visit makes an event in the his­tory of Bhutan. The speaker also said that Bhutan and Bangladesh share a com­mon cul­tural and spir­i­tual her­itage dat­ing back to an­cient times since the in­de­pen­dence of Bangladesh.

The speaker fur­ther added that the par­lia­ment and peo­ple of Bhutan was shocked to hear about the at­tack by the mis­cre­ants in Dhaka. He con­demned such a cruel act and of­fered prayers to the peo­ple of Bangladesh. The speaker also said that Bangladesh be­came an im­por­tant coun­try for the Bhutanese stu­dents to pur­suit their higher ed­u­ca­tion.

Dur­ing his ad­dress to the joint sit­ting of the par­lia­ment, The Pres­i­dent of Bangladesh ac­knowl­edged the over­whelm­ing hos­pi­tal­ity ex­tended by His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo and the gov­ern­ment, “I would like to express my grat­i­tude to His Majesty the King Jigme Kh­e­sar Nam­gyel Wangchuck for his kind ges­ture in ac­cord­ing state wel­come to me. From our touch down at Paro, ev­ery­where, we have been show­ered with over­whelm­ing hos­pi­tal­ity, which Bhutanese have al­ways been known for.” He fur­ther added that, “I am grat­i­fied by the gra­cious pres­ence of the Hon’ble Prime Min­is­ter, Hon’ble Chair­man of Na­tional Coun­cil an, dis­tin­guished Mem­bers of both the Houses, and other es­teemed guests here to­day.”

The pres­i­dent spoke about the July 1st ter­ror at­tacks in Dhaka where 22 in­no­cent lives were lost and many in­jured, “I am sad­dened to­day in the wake of un­for­tu­nate deaths of some in­no­cent peo­ple in Dhaka who were mer­ci­lessly killed by a group of mis­cre­ants.” he said. He also said that, “I am grate­ful to His Majesty the King, the Royal Bhutanese Gov­ern­ment and peo­ple of Bhutan for show­ing sol­i­dar­ity with us in ex­press­ing deep sor­row for th­ese un­for­tu­nate deaths.”

The pres­i­dent also of­fered good­will to His Majesty the King and the mem­ber of Royal fam­ily, “We are de­lighted about the birth of His Royal High­ness Prince Jigme Nam­gyel Wangchuck. All our bless­ings are for the Gyalsey. I also wish prosperity, long life, and hap­pi­ness for all the mem­bers of the Royal fam­ily,” he said.

Dur­ing his stay n Bhutan, His Ex­cel­lency in­formed that he had very fruit­ful en­gage­ments with Bhutanese lead­ers and ob­served that pris­tine beauty of Bhutan, Bud­dhist land­marks, rich and her­itage that sym­bol­ize the Bhutanese peo­ple’s quest for peace and hap­pi­ness not only for them­selves but also for the en­tire hu­mankind.

Bhutanese peo­ple while be­ing very dy­namic and en­tre­pre­neur­ial have re­tained its val­ues, ethos as well as cul­tural di­ver­sity, rich­ness and her­itage. The Pres­i­dent said, “Bhutan’s dis­play of its dis­tinc­tive­ness is a strong as­ser­tion of its sovereignty.”

His Ex­cel­lency, Ab­dul Hamid cited that His Majesty the 4th Druk Gyalpo has played in an im­por­tant role in trans­form­ing the monar­chy into par­lia­men­tary democ­racy for a mod­ern na­tion­hood, “This is a rare ex­am­ple in the his­tory of democ­racy. The Hon’ble Prime Min­is­ter and his cab­i­net are ju­di­ciously steer­ing the state of af­fairs. I am con­fi­dent this prag­matic, col­lec­tive and benev­o­lent lead­er­ship would en­sure the peo­ple of this king­dom their best pos­si­ble fu­ture,” he said.

His Ex­cel­lency also said that Bhutan oc­cu­pies spe­cial place in the heart of the peo­ple of Bangladesh as Bhutan was the first na­tion to rec­og­nize Bangladesh’s in­de­pen­dence on 06 De­cem­ber 1971. Hence, he said the re­la­tions have grown in depth and di­men­sion based on mu­tual re­spect.

The Pres­i­dent also men­tioned that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Bangladesh and Bhutan is mul­ti­fac­eted, en­com­pass­ing a whole range of ar­eas in­clud­ing hy­dro-power, wa­ter re­sources man­age­ment, con­nec­tiv­ity, trade and com­merce, ed­u­ca­tion, cul­tural ex­change and tourism.

The Pres­i­dent said hy­dro-power co­op­er­a­tion is one of the sec­tors which hold the great­est po­ten­tial for our bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion, “We need to take more tar­get-ori­ented ac­tions for achiev­ing tan­gi­ble re­sults in this area. I am happy to know that there has been some no­table progress in hy­dropower co­op­er­a­tion in the form of a tri-na­tion project among three friendly neigh­bor­ing coun­tries.”

An­other area of co­op­er­a­tion that holds huge po­ten­tial is re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity, “I am happy to know that the Na­tional Assem­bly of Bhutan, on 21 June 2016, passed the bill re­lated to the BBIN Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles Agree­ment. I hope this would go a long way in es­tab­lish­ing seam­less con­nec­tiv­ity in this sub- re­gion.” he said.

The Pres­i­dent said, “In Bangladesh, the Par­lia­ment is the cen­tre of demo­cratic prac­tices, we believe that an in­de­pen­dent par­lia­men­tary sys­tem holds to so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. With sim­i­lar­i­ties in demo­cratic out­look, our two coun­tries can part­ner in strength­en­ing the foun­da­tions of demo­cratic gov­er­nance.”

Con­clud­ing the ad­dress, His Ex­cel­lency said that Bhutan’s pi­o­neer­ing con­cept of Gross Na­tional hap­pi­ness (GNH), a unique phi­los­o­phy to meet global chal­lenges is getting more and more ac­cep­tance and if this sim­ple con­cept be our guide as vi­sion de­scribed by His Majesty the Fourth King, fur­ther gen­er­a­tions will live in a world be pros­per­ous, more se­cure and peace­ful and more mean­ing­ful.

He said that the two coun­tries must forge stronger part­ner­ship to work the wel­fare and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the na­tions, “Let it be our stead­fast en­deavor. Long live His Majesty the King. Long live Bangladesh-Bhutan friend­ship.” he con­cluded his ad­dress.

The Pres­i­dent left the coun­try on last Mon­day af­ter con­clud­ing his four days of­fi­cial visit and was seen off by Ly­onchen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay and the other of­fi­cials.

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