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Bangladesh liberation speech granted UNESCO listing

The 1971 March 7th speech of Bangabandhu, given by Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a rallying call for the nation’s independence from Pakistan, has entered UNESCO’s world’s documentary heritage, announced the Bangladesh Embassy in Seoul.

The speech was delivered in front of 2 million people at Ramna Race Course in Dhaka, and called on the Bengali people of modern-day Bangladesh to prepare for a war of independence amid widespread reports of armed mobilization by erstwhile West Pakistan.

Bangladesh became an internationally recognized sovereign state in 1972 after a bitter war with Pakistan, which sought to control its eastern territory after the two geographically separated nations broke away from India in 1947 and formed the Pakistani Federation.

The decision by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Oct. 30 to include the speech in the Memory of the World International Register, a list of the world’s important documentary heritage, was welcomed by the Bangladesh government.

“The world will now get to know more about our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and our glorious Liberation War,” said Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali. “The March 7th speech provided inspiration to the Bengali people in their quest for freedom and emancipation. The speech also energized the entire nation and prepared the people for the forthcoming liberation struggle.”

Bangabandhu’s speech is played throughout the country during various national occasions and continues to reverberate in the hearts and minds of the Bengali people, he added.

The Memory of the World Register now includes a total of 427 documents and collections from different countries.

By Joel Lee (
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Korea Herald daum