Bangla Parliament mourn Basu's death; Hasina pays tribute



Dhaka: Describing Marxist veteran Jyoti Basu as a long-standing friend of Bangladesh, the country's Parliament and cabinet have mourned his death, with premier Sheikh Hasina saying that she has lost a "guardian".

"The legendary figure of the left-leaning politics will be remembered in the politics of the sub-continent for his extra-ordinary sacrifice and struggle," said a resolution passed today by a meeting of cabinet chaired by Hasina.

The resolution said "Bangladesh lost a long-standing friend at his death" and the people of the country would particularly recall "with gratitude" his contribution in ensuring Bangladesh's justified share in the Ganges water.

The cabinet resolution came after Parliament last evening adopted a unanimous resolution also recalling Basu's contribution to the 1971 Liberation War.

"Jyoti Basu was not a name for South Asia, he was an institution ... a guardian in politics in the sub-continent," Hasina told the House as it passed the resolution after nearly an hour of discussion on the condolence motion.

"India lost a great leader and great politician on his death. Bangladesh lost a well-wisher and I personally lost a guardian," Hasina said in an emotion-choked voice.

She also recalled Basu's role in Bangladesh government's move to bring back thousands of refugees from India after signing the landmark 1997 Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Treaty inked during her previous 1996-2001 tenure.

PTI