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Independence Day Celebrated PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 28 March 2008

This year independence day was observed in a way that adds importance. This was characterized by lighting of candles. Such national resolve to uphold the principles of the War of Liberation surely augurs well for our future. We note here the rekindling of the old wartime spirit in recent weeks among the people of Bangladesh by such bodies as the Sector Commanders' Forum. Other organisations have also been active in shaping public opinion on such issues as preventing war criminals from taking part in politics and so recreating the ambience in which we waged our war for freedom in 1971. All these bodies, the patriotic men and women behind them, certainly deserve our collective gratitude for the awareness of history they have caused among all of us again. It is thanks to them that today public consciousness of the spirit of the War of Liberation is resurgent. We now build on the momentum to forge ahead. In a very large sense, the growing public demand for a trial of war criminals of 1971 is but a reiteration of the national emphasis on justice and the rule of law. There may be a good number of cynics out there wondering why such a movement was not initiated in earlier years. The point, however, is that at present a momentum towards steering the country back to its original principles is on and it should be every Bengali's responsibility to carry it to its logical conclusion. What we notice today against the background of our Independence Day celebrations is a developing national consciousness on the priorities before us. Obviously, the issue of the trial of war criminals is a foremost priority.  We are encouraged by the army chief's remarks that the government will surely consider the growing demand for such a trial. We believe that things can and should go forward from here. We realise, of course, that the caretaker government may not be in a position to see the trials of the war criminals through to a definitive end. But, as we have said on an earlier occasion, it can set the ball rolling by giving practical shape to a legal framework for such trials to get underway. For good measure, it can also establish contact with such bodies as the UN and consult renowned international jurists over the foolproof ways of initiating such trials.

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