Victory Day is celebrated on December 16 to commemorate the victory of allied forces over Pakistani forces in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. In 1971, Bangladesh fought against Pakistan to become an independent country, which resulted in the secession of East Pakistan from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and established the sovereign nation called Bangladesh.
On March 7, 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh, gave a speech at the Ramna Race Course in Dhaka to a gathering of over one million people. It was delivered during a period of escalating tensions between East Pakistan and the powerful political and military establishment of West Pakistan.
In the speech, Bangabandhu proclaimed: “This time the struggle is for our freedom. This time the struggle is for our independence.” The speech inspired the Bengali people to prepare for a war of independence amid widespread reports of armed mobilisation by West Pakistan. On October 30, 2017, UNESCO added the speech in the Memory of the World Register as a documentary heritage.
On the night of March 25, 1971 the Pakistan Armed Forces launched Operation Searchlight in the capital of East Pakistan. Tanks rolled out on the streets of Dhaka.The troops massacred students and intellectuals in Dhaka University, as well as many civilians in other parts of the city. It set major cities ablaze and crushed resistance from the police and the East Pakistan Rifles (EPR).
Just before his arrest on the night of March 25, 1971 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman sent a message about attacks on EPR and police barracks in Dhaka, and declared the independence of Bangladesh. This message was broadcast from Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendro (Independent Bangla Radio Centre) on March 26, 1971, and was widely reported in newspapers all around the world.
The war pitted East Pakistan and later India against West Pakistan, and lasted for a duration of nine months. The war was one of the most violent wars of the 20th century; it witnessed large-scale atrocities, the exodus of 10 million refugees and the killing of 3 million people by the Pakistani armed forces. After nine months of bloody war, Bangladesh was liberated on December 16, 1971.
The celebration of Victory Day has been taking place since 1972. The Bangladesh Liberation War became a topic of great importance in cinema, literature, history lessons at school, the mass media, and the arts in Bangladesh. The ritual of the celebration gradually obtained a distinctive character with a number of similar elements: Military parade by the Bangladesh Armed Forces at the National Parade Ground, ceremonial meetings, speeches, lectures, receptions and fireworks displays.
Victory Day in Bangladesh is a joyous celebration in which popular culture plays a great role. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs. The main streets are decorated with national flags. Different political parties and socioeconomic organizations undertake programs to mark the day in a befitting manner, including the paying of respects at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, the national memorial at Savar in Dhaka District.
The day’s highlight is the national holiday parade on Dhaka’s National Parade Ground, hosted by the Bangladesh Armed Forces and involves personnel from paramilitary forces such as the Bangladesh Police, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Jail and Bangladesh Ansar and also freedom fighters. The parade is reviewed by the President of Bangladesh in his capacity as Commander in Chief.
Kuwait recognized Bangladesh on November 4, 1973. Since then, the two friendly countries have been maintaining excellent bilateral relations in the field of trade and economic cooperation, export and import, education and cultural cooperation, labour market and defence cooperation. We deeply acknowledge the contribution of Kuwait in the natural calamities and making socioeconomic development in Bangladesh through Kuwait Fund and hosting around 350,000 migrant workers.
Similarly, whenever situation demanded, Bangladesh stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our time-tested friend Kuwait. Participation of Bangladesh Army as a part of coalition forces during liberation of Kuwait in 1990, presence of Bangladesh Military Contingent since 1991, sending of a 100-man emergency medical team during this COVID-19 period are worth mentioning.
On this joyous Victory Day, we convey our best regards and gratitude to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the beautiful people of Kuwait. May Bangladesh and Kuwait friendship live long. – Embassy of Bangladesh