The EMK Center has chalked out numerous programmes until this year's Victory Day to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Independence.
Acting Director of the centre Asif Uddin Ahmed made the announcement at a virtual programme on Thursday. The programme shed light on the contributions of United States (US) Senator Edward M Kennedy during Bangladesh's Liberation War, and highlighted interactions of Bangladeshi youths with US policies and culture through the centre.
In the opening speech, Asif Uddin Ahmed spoke about the EMK Center's history and services.
On the eve of the 50 years of freedom, he pointed out the tremendous resilience of the country which has helped the nation navigate and thrive from 1971 to the present, even amid the pandemic.
EMK Center Programme Coordinator Aaqib Md Shatil recalled the role of Senator Edward M Kennedy during the Liberation War.
Shatil said the US senator was the first who informed the senate, in April 1971, about the military crackdown on unarmed Bengalis. In May, Edward M Kennedy also moved to the United Nations seeking measures on the genocide in Bangladesh.
Apart from announcing $25 lakh in aid, the senator visited Bengalis who took shelter in refugee camps in India. With the first-hand accounts of the refugees, Edward M Kennedy wrote the article "Mosaic of Misery" which was published in the "Testimony of Sixty" – a collection of eye-witness accounts of the tragic situation in Bengal at that time.
After returning home, he presented the collection before the senate. Further, the senator held a press briefing while he was in India and briefed the international media on the atrocities committed against Bengalis.
After its independence, Senator Edward M Kennedy visited war-torn Bangladesh in 1972, and spoke before thousands of jubilant students on the Dhaka University campus.
Senator Kennedy planted a new banyan tree in front of the university's Arts Building – which is now widely known as the Bot Tola.
Referring to that tree as the growing partnership between Bangladesh and US, EMK Center Programme Coordinator Shatil said, "As the EMK Center adopted the banyan tree as its logo, let us live and thrive for the next 50 years like the shade tree."
US Embassy Dhaka official Faroha Suhrawardi also spoke at the programme.