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Several world leaders, including Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and heads of state and government from India, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives, are set to visit Bangladesh later this month to participate in the grand celebrations to mark the golden jubilee of the country’s independence from Pakistan.

The golden jubilee celebrations to be held from March 17-27 to mark the country’s independence from Pakistan after the 1971 Liberation War also coincides with the birth centenary of Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa and four heads of state and government from India, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives will be among the distinguished foreign guests to join the celebrations under separate schedules, Bangladesh government’s principal information officer Surath Kumar Sarkar told.

Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will be the first top foreign dignitary to arrive on a three-day tour on March 17, followed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who will arrive on March 19 on a two-day tour. Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari will be in Dhaka on a two-day tour from March 22 while Bhutanese premier Lotay Tshering will be in the country from March 24 to March 25. Prime Minister Modi will arrive on March 26 on a two-day visit and will join the main Independence Day celebrations that also marks 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations.

The foreign dignitaries will visit Bangabandhu Museum to mark the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation.

According to the schedule, the world leaders would also visit the national memorial on the outskirts of the capital to pay homage to the Independence martyrs of 1971 Liberation War, watch special military parades, join state banquets and visit the Bangabandhu Museum.

Bangladesh had originally planned grand celebrations for the 50th years of Independence and Bangabandhu’s birth centenary but the coronavirus pandemic forced the country to revise the plan on health grounds.

Source: ET