International

Int’l Mountain Day tomorrow: President, PM issue messages

The International Mountain Day-2023 will be observed tomorrow in the country like elsewhere across the world aiming to increase attention to the importance of mountains.This year’s theme of the day is ‘Restoring mountain ecosystems’.

The day is being observed since 2003 after the UN declaration of International Year of Mountains came in 2002 under the phenomenon that unfortunately mountains are under threat from climate change and over exploitation.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages on the eve of the day.

In his message, the President said, “I welcome the initiative of the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs to celebrate ‘International Mountain Day’ with due dignity like every time.”

Due to the negative effects of global climate change and unplanned land use by humans, unfavorable conditions are being created in mountainous areas worldwide, the head of the state said.

Besides, due to heavy rains, droughts, storms and destruction of trees, the natural balance is being destroyed in the hilly areas, he said.

To deal with this situation, it is important to take various initiatives to protect the environment of the mountainous areas, including raising awareness, the president added.

“Observance of Mountain Day is a commendable activity for the protection and sustainable use of the soil and people of hilly areas,” he said.

In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League (AL)-led government has continued various development activities with the aim of preserving the mountains and biodiversity of the hilly areas, its sustainable use and reaching equal benefits to all the beneficiaries.

The greatest Bangalee of all times, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the first to bring back the backward hilly people who were excluded from the touch of modernity to the mainstream of development and took multifaceted programs to improve the living standards of the hill-dwellers, the premier added.

Side by side regional development, he took measures to provide equal opportunities to the hilly students in the field of education, she said.
In June 1973, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave instructions to reserve specific seats for hilly students in colleges, universities and technical institutions, Sheikh Hasina continued.

She said the AL-led government executed a peace accord on December 2, 1997 with the aim of establishing permanent peace and sustainable development in Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT).

As a result of the implementation of this agreement, the long-standing conflict in the mountainous region has come to an end, she said, adding that the hill dwellers are now living with mutual sympathy, sincerity and peace.

“We have been working relentlessly for the overall development of the hill region for the last 15 years in the light of the peace agreement,” she said, adding that as a result of which, massive development has been achieved in the education, health, communication and power sectors of the hilly areas.

With the combined efforts of everyone, the premier hoped that all will be able to fully implement the Chattogram Hill Tracts Peace Accord and build a hunger, poverty-free, happy, prosperous and peaceful “Golden Bangladesh” as dreamt by the father of the nation through the socio-economic development of the people of CHT.

Both the president and the premier wished all programs undertaken on the occasion of ‘International Mountain Day’ a success.

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