In recognition for his support and contribution to its Independence War of 1971
Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering Foreign minister Ugyen Tshering was awarded ‘Friends of Liberation War Honour’ by the government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh yesterday in Thimphu.
The honour presented by Bangladesh Ambassador to Bhutan, Mr Imtiaz Ahmed, was awarded as recognition of Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering’s support and contribution to Bangladesh’s Independence War of 1971.
“I’m happy receiving this award. It means a lot both to me and my wife,” said a tearful and overwhelmed Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering.
“I was involved, for about three to four weeks, as a volunteer in a camp registering refugees,” he said. “I did that faithfully, and also played an active part building camps.”
Human suffering, he said, was strong, but it’s more difficult for children. “The experience in Bangladesh taught me to commit to peace,” he said.
Ambassador Imtiaz Ahmed said Bangladesh has honoured over 60 dignitaries for their contributions to 1971 Liberation War. “It’s a great honour for our country to pay tribute to those without whom this day couldn’t have been possible,” he said. “Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering had helped us in all possible modes, and it’s never too late to pay tribute and salute him for his support to the achievements since independence and before.”
Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering was presented with a certificate and a replica of the national mausoleum, a monument built in honour of the people, who participated in the independence war of Bangladesh.
A similar award was conferred on former secretary of ministry of economic affairs, Dasho Karma Dorjee, on December 15 last year.
Bhutan was the first country to recognise the newly independent state on December 6, 1971. The founder and first President of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman visited Bhutan to attend the coronation of fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck in June 1974.
Diplomatic relations were officially established in 1973 and, in 1980, both opened embassies in their respective capitals.
In terms of trade, Bhutan and Bangladesh signed a bilateral trade agreement in 1980, granting each other the “most favoured nation” preferential status for development of trade.
Bangladesh’s total imports from Bhutan in 2009-10 stood at USD 25M, while its exports to Bhutan accounted for USD 3M.
In 2008 during the official visit of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, the agreement was renewed with Bangladesh, providing free access to 18 major categories of import items from Bhutan.
By Passang Norbu