Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has given Bangladesh a very good story to share with the world, visiting Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said on Wednesday.
Speaking as the guest of honour on the 8th day of 10-day "The Eternal Mujib" celebration, Tshering added, "I strongly believe that all of us, all human beings, and for that matter, every nation in the world must have a story to share.
"I am so proud today [Wednesday] that I got to sit next to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and listen to this story."
The Bhutanese prime minister on Wednesday became the fourth world leader to attend the celebrations marking Bangabandhu's Birth Centenary and the Golden Jubilee of Independent Bangladesh at the National Parade Square in Dhaka.
The theme of the day's celebration was "Pioneer of Peace, Freedom and Humanity."
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the event, where video messages of Pope Francis and Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi were screened. Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen delivered the welcome speech, while eminent political scientist Dr Rounaq Jahan presented the keynote.
Lotay Tshering said at the event, "While we have many bilateral engagements, I got the opportunity to visit Bangladesh at this time with the sole intention of paying tribute to Bangabandhu, and his historic legacy that laid the strong foundation of a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Bangladesh.
"I have come here to pay respect to her daughter, who has realised his father's dream of a Sonar Bangla."
Praising the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, he said, "I am very proud because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is an inspiring leader and a mother-like figure to me. Bangladesh is truly blessed to have her as the leader.
"I am sure Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is very proud of Bangladesh, and of his daughter Sheikh Hasina."
Mentioning the ongoing progress of Bangladesh, the Bhutanese prime minister said, "Bangladesh has progressed at all levels. The improvements are very visible in the last decade." He also termed Bangladesh as his second home.
As the chair of the event, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the regional leaders to work together to build a prosperous South Asia.
"At this auspicious moment of celebrating the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and the Golden Jubilee of our Independence, I call upon the political leaders and policymakers of South Asia to work hand in hand to build a peaceful and prosperous South Asia," she said.
"We can easily improve the fate of the people of South Asia by utilising the resources we have been endowed through exhibiting mutual cooperation. If we work together for the betterment of our people, South Asia will surely flourish as one of the most prosperous regions in the world," she added.
Pope Francis said in his video message, "Bangladesh – the Golden Bengal – is a country of unique natural beauty and a modern nation that strives to join the unity of language and culture with respect for different traditions and communities within it.
"This is one of the legacies which Sheikh Mujibur Rahman left behind for all Bangladeshis."
He added, "He [Bangabandhu] promoted a culture of encounter and dialogue marked by wisdom, insight and breadth of vision. He knew that it is only in such a pluralistic and inclusive society in which every person could live in freedom, peace and security."
The pope said Bangladesh is a young state and it has always had a special place in the heart of the popes, who from the start have expressed solidarity with its people, sought to accompany them in overcoming initial adversities, and supported them in the demanding task of nation building and development.
Sonia Gandhi in her message said Bangladesh's social development and economic growth in the last five decades have been very impressive. She also expressed her greetings to the people of Bangladesh on the occasion of the golden jubilee.