Dhaka: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh began
his visit to Bangladesh by paying rich tributes to the martyrs
of the 1971 Liberation War at the national memorial here, his
first stop in the Bangladeshi capital.
Singh, who arrived here on a two-day visit on Tuesday, drove
straight to Savar, 35km from Dhaka, where he offered floral
tributes to those who laid down their lives in fighting for
Bangladesh`s independence from Pakistani occupation in 1971.
"I pay homage all the brave heroes whose fearless struggle
and sacrifice led to birth of a great nation, Bangladesh,"
Singh wrote in the visitors` book at the memorial.
Army bugles played the last post as the national flag was
unfurled, lowered to half mast and then unfurled again as part
of the ceremonial mourning during which Singh stood in solemn
He offered wreaths on the altar of the structure to pay
homage to the fighters of the Liberation War, who were backed
by India 40 years ago.
Singh also planted a sapling of carambola, a fruit bearing
tree, at the memorial premises where he was accompanied by
minister in waiting, food minister Abdur Razzak, state
minister for Liberation War Affairs Tajul Islam and state
minister for works Abdul Mannan.
Parliamentarians Benjir Ahmed and Murad Jang received
Singh along with army commander of the area Major General
Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur were earlier
accorded a grand welcome at the airport where they were warmly
received by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before two
children presented bouquets to him.
Singh was then presented a guard of honour by the three
contingents of Bangladesh Army, Air Force and Navy.