Bangladesh sets emblem of religious harmony in world: PM

Publish: 6:33 PM, May 25, 2024 | Update: 6:33 PM, May 25, 2024

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangladesh set an instance of religious harmony in the world as her government wants to pull the country forward taking the people of all religious faiths.

“We want our country to move forward. In Bangladesh, our journey for advancement is with the people of different religious faiths,” she said.

The premier said while exchanging pleasantries with the country’s Buddhist religious leaders and eminent personalities of Buddhist community on the Buddha Purnima, the biggest religious festival of the Buddhist community, at Ganabhaban here.  

Buddha Purnima marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has set an example in the whole world by observing all festivals of the different religions together and building the country in a non-communal spirit.

She said many people tried to take Bangladesh to a different path but they couldn’t.

“Bangladeshi people are very generous. We love to walk together. That’s how we go ahead,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina mentioned that her government wants to pull the country ahead further.

She said, “We want to build our country. There is no such thing as religions or castes here. We work for people. We work for the socio-economic development of people as well as overall development.”

She said her government also works for the development of the Buddhist people in the other parts of the country along with the Chattogram Hill Tracts.

She also said there is a separate fund in the Prime Minister’s Office and from there, special assistance is given to the people of other religious faiths not only for religious activities but also for other cultural activities and development as well.

The prime minister also referred to setting up of place of worships for different religious faiths apart from Muslim in the country.

She said, “Actually we need applied education for livelihood. . . Everyone can take religious education from the beginning. Sitting in the place of religious worship, they can also practice religious ritual and learn applied necessity. We have taken step for it.”

Sheikh Hasina said the basic principle of every religion, which Gautama Buddha also said, is welfare of the human beings that can make the world people happy.

Mentioning that the government has an agreement with Nepal’s Lumbini Development Trust, the premier said they will build a Buddha temple there on behalf of Bangladesh because “we want to keep a symbol of Bangladesh at the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha”.

The birthplace of Lord Buddha in Lumbini, one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is the abode of peace and an ultimate pilgrimage to the Buddhist devotees and peace lovers from around the world. Lord Buddha was born there in 623 BC and preached the universal message of peace and compassion; therefore, it is regarded one of the most sacred places for people who believe in Buddhism.

Religious Affairs Minister Faridul Haque Khan, State Minister of CHT Affairs Kujendra Lal Tripura, Religious Affair Secretary Md A Hamid Jamadder, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Barrister Biplab Barua, Ekushey Padak Winner Professor Dr Jinabodhi Bhikku, Bhadanta Shilabodra Bhikku and Buddhist Religion Welfare Trust Vice Chairman Supta Bhushan Barua, among others, also spoke.