(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 25, 2010
MANIK SARKAR IN
A Visit Tinged with Heartfelt Emotions
TRIPURA and its capital
Agartala are very much a part of the struggle that led to the emergence
Therefore, it was quite
natural that Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkarís visit to
As soon as Sarkar reached
The Tripura chief ministerís
discussion with Dr Dipu Moni centred on the issue of how the two
countries can forge mutual cooperation in the economic, commercial and
spheres. Expressing gratitude for the sincere support rendered to the
Bangladesh by the people of Tripura and India during the liberation
war, she said
in order to carry forward our friendly relations, Bangladesh aspires to
mutual cooperation ahead with the people of Tripura and North East as
the neighbouring countries in the region, viz Nepal, Bhutan etc in
She stressed on speedy implementation of the bipartite treaty and
understanding signed during Sheikh Hasinaís
Sarkar pointed out that eight
issues related to Tripura featured in the joint memorandum signed
Promising to consider the Tripura chief ministerís proposal, Dr Dipu Moni said without mutual cooperation the aspiration of both the countries for speedy progress cannot be crowned with success. She also accepted the invitation for Tripura visit.
Later on, the two dignitaries
a joint press conference. Sarkar told newsmen that both the countries
work together for gradual improvement of relations. He expressed
On March 26 afternoon, Sarkar met President Jillur Rehman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a state reception at Banga Bhavan, hosted by the president Jillur Rehman. Here the Tripura chief minister was the only foreign guest among a few thousand invitees and was seated beside the president and the prime minister. In reception, the president said he was highly elated that the Tripura chief minister had joined the reception ceremony. He also had taken shelter in Tripura during the 1971 liberation war, the president informed. Several cabinet ministers including home minister Sahara Khatun, finance minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhit, the prime ministerís advisers Gauhar Rijvi and H T Imam also met Sarkar.
In the evening, Sarkar called
on Sheikh Hasina at the prime ministerís secretariat, Gana Bhavan.
meeting was scheduled for half an hour, the discussion continued for
one hour. He was grateful to the
Regarding Sheikh Hasinaís India visit last January, he said her historic visit had paved the way for extension of bipartite relations between the two countries. He extended an invitation to the prime minister to visit Tripura at a convenient time on the occasion of the liberation war friendship ceremony, for inauguration of a park associated with the memory of the liberation war and for the Tripura University programme of conferring D Litt upon her. The prime minister expressed gratitude to the Tripura government and its people for sheltering the Bangladesh refugees during the 1971 liberation war. She also accepted the invitation to come to Tripura.
The two dignitaries held discussions on development of bipartite commercial relations and various other issues of mutual interest. The Tripura government had decided to allot building for establishment of Bangladesh trade centre in Agartala, Sarkar informed. Tripura is also interested in importing several commodities including fertilisers from Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina informed the Tripura chief minister that Bangladesh would have no objection to India building a bridge on river Pheni between Subroom and Ramgarh in order to use the Chittagong port. She urged the chief minister to supply 200 MW of power from the Palatana plant. She also informed Sarkar that her Government had allocated necessary fund for upgradation of the road link between Bramhanbaria and Akhaura.
The prime minister said a joint struggle of South Asian countries is necessary for eradication of poverty and common social evils of the region. Dr Dipu Mani, advisor Gauhar Rizvi, secretary to the prime minister and also the Indian high commissioner Rajeet Mitter were present during the discussion.
Parliament member and left-wing Workersí Party president Rasheed Khan Menon hosted a dinner in the honour of chief minister Manik Sarkar on March 26 night. Besides the Workers Party leadership, Bangladesh Communist Party president Manjurul Hassan Khan and general secretary Mujahidul Islam Selim as well as other left, secular and democratic leaders were also present. In response to this felicitation, Sarkar said there was no question of the people of Tripura refusing assistance to the Bangladesh liberation war. The people of India, including those of Tripura, deem it as their moral duty to stand by a freedom struggle. The people of Tripura take pride that they were privileged to actively assist the Bangladesh liberation war. A history of this war cannot be written without mentioning Tripura. The people of Tripura sheltered the Bangladesh refugees at that time on purely humanitarian grounds and contributed to their war. It can never be forgotten that a number of citizens of Tripura, alongside Indian troops, had sacrificed their lives in this war.
The CPI(M)ís Tripura state secretariat member Gautam Das accompanied Manik Sarkar at the banquet held by the Workersí Party.
On March 27 morning, Sarkar paid floral tribute to the martyred liberation warriors as well as Indian soldiers at Savar.
On March 27 midday, he met the top ranking industrialists and businessmen of Bangladesh for an exchange of opinion under the auspices of Indo-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the meeting presided over by the chamberís chief Abdul Mutlab, H T Imam advisor to the Bangladesh prime minister mentioned his and his compatriotsí stay in Agartala in 1971. a former Bangladesh cabinet secretary, Imam said the helping hand extended by the people of Tripura at the time is unparalleled in world history. He opined that the all-out endeavour launched by the Bangladesh government under Sheikh Hasinaís leadership for the peopleís emancipation from hunger, poverty and illiteracy cannot be crowned with success unilaterally. The only way is to forge ahead together with the neighbours.
The Tripura chief minister said that the joint Indo-Bangladesh memorandum had flung open the gateway of the solution of outstanding bilateral problems and now the time has come for speedy advancement. He urged the Bangladesh industrialists and businessmen to avail of the Tripura governmentís and the Indian governmentís incentives package for investment in Tripura.
On March 27 afternoon, on the eve of the chief ministerís return to Tripura, a delegation of intellectuals, led by Kamal Lohani, director general of Bangladesh Fine Arts Academy, came to meet him. They sought his support for conducting the Indo-Bangladesh liberation war friendship ceremony on a regular basis in order to strengthen the friendly relations of the people of two countries.
Bangladesh minister for liberation war affairs, A B Tajul Islam, too made a courtesy call on the chief minister.
The Tripura chief ministerís brief Bangladesh tour has undoubtedly made a positive contribution to the deepening of Indo-Bangladesh and especially Tripura-Bangladesh relation of amity and friendship.
It may be mentioned here that the Sheikh Hasina government accorded sanction to the construction of a bridge over Feni river within a week after Manik Sarkarís Bangladesh visit.