Bangladesh High Commission, London has unveiled the first-ever translations of Bangabandhu's 7 March, 1971 speech in Irish, Scottish and Welsh languages in a special publication titled "A call for freedom in languages".
Language experts of Trinity College, Dublin, Herriot-Watt University, Scotland and University of Wales Trinity Saint David accomplished the translations in their respective languages following an initiative taken by Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland Saida Muna Tasneem.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen graced the high-profile commemorative event as the chief guest and virtually unveiled the special publication where ministers, MPs, academics, language experts and eminent community members from England, Wales, Scotland and Republic of Ireland joined to pay their highest tribute to Bangladesh's Founding Father and his historic speech.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh KM Khalid, MP, Minister for Europe and Prime Minister's Office of the Irish Foreign Ministry Thomas Byrne, MP and First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford MS were the guests of honour at the event held on Monday.
Chaired by High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem, the commemorative event was also attended and addressed by Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Former Director, Julian Knight, MP, UK's House of Commons Select Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Chairman, Joanna Cherry QC and MP, Sarah Boyack, MSP, Dr Sanjukta Ghosh, Artistic Director at SOAS South Asia Institute, Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor and Professor Menna Elfyn of University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Professor Sir Geoff Palmer of Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, Dr Eoin Mac Cárthaigh, Head of the Department of Irish, Celtic Studies, and Professor Juliette Hussey, Vice President for Global Relations of Trinity College Dublin, Dr. Duncan Stewart Sneddon, an expert in Scottish Language and History, Sultan Mahmud Shariff, British-Bangladeshi senior community member and Noim Uddin Riaz.
Unveiling the translations, Foreign Minister Dr Momen said this special publication would certainly bring the history of Bangladesh's independence and the charismatic oratory of Bangabandhu closer to the Irish, Scottish and Welsh people and deepen our cultural heritage, linguistic linkages and human connectivity.
While recalling his presence at Dhaka Racecourse, the Foreign Minister commented that the 7th March speech by Bangabandhu does not only tell the story of struggles for freedom of the oppressed Bengali nation but as a UNESCO Documentary Heritage of Mankind, it remains an everlasting inspiration for all oppressed and freedom-loving people around the world, wherever their homeland is, whatever language they speak.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh KM Khalid said that the translation of Bangabandhu's historic 7 March Speech in three European and British languages is a commendable initiative by the Bangladesh High Commission of London which will encourage further research and studies on Bangabandhu and Bangladesh at the European and UK universities.
High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem said, "We take great pride that the historic 7 March Speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the first Bengali language document translated into Scottish, Irish and Welsh, which will take Bangabandhu's epic speech closer to the people of Scotland, Ireland and Welsh."
Noting that the translation of the historic 7 March Speech into three more European languages will take the total foreign language translations to 17, the High Commissioner reaffirmed that the London High Commission would be working closely with the University of Edinburgh, Trinity St David's and the Trinity College of Dublin for commissioning further research on the political significance of this UNESCO World Documentary heritage speech.
Minister for Europe and Prime Minister's Office of the Irish Foreign Ministry Thomas Byrne said, "With its translation in Irish language, people of Ireland will now understand the importance of the speech of Bangladesh's Founding Father and the precious words of this historic speech would bring the Irish people closer to the spirit of Bangladesh as mentioned by Bangabandhu".
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford MS said, "The translation of historic 7 March Speech of the Bangabandhu in Welsh will help people of Wales learn more about the history of Bangladesh's independence while it will continue to motivate all freedom-loving people across the globe.