April 14, 2021

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The London High Commission was criticized for taking credit

The Bangladesh High Commission in the United Kingdom has come under fire for claiming the credit for several programs organized in London on the occasion of the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.

On March 26 and 29, the Tower Hamlets Council in East London and another organization called BBPI 100 took separate initiatives to provide red-green lighting in several buildings in London. The flag of Bangladesh was hoisted. Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Saida Muna Tasneem was present as a guest in these programs. But the High Commission later claimed in a notification that at least two of these events were directly its own program. The rest of the arrangements are written in the notification in such a way that it seems that they are the programs of the High Commission. The names of the actual organizers were not mentioned in the notification.

Apart from this, their responsibility has also been questioned as fake pictures were spread from the official Twitter account of the High Commission on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Independence. The High Commission published the fake photo three days before it was illuminated in a building in Canary Wharf, London’s elite commercial center.

Concerned people said that at the request of local expatriate Bangladeshis and councilors, the executive mayor of Tower Hamlets Council, John Biggs, organized various 9-month celebrations to coincide with the period of Bangladesh’s independence struggle. These programs were announced at a press conference on March 16. For this, 50,000 pounds was allocated from the council’s fund, which is about 56 lakh rupees in Bangladeshi currency.

The flag of Bangladesh was hoisted on March 26 at the premises of Shaheed Minar in Altab Ali Park, East London on the initiative of Tower Hamlets. Apart from this, the flag of Bangladesh was hoisted on the same day at the Council Office or Tower Hamlets Town. The local Bromley Town Hall is illuminated with red-green lighting.

Outside of that there were two events. One is organized by the organization called ‘British Bangladeshi Power and Inspiration 100’ or ‘BBPI 100’. At their initiative, lighting was arranged on 26 March at the London Eye, an aesthetic monument in the United Kingdom. The other is the red-green lighting in the One Canada Square, the second tallest building in the United Kingdom in Canary Wharf. Mohammad Ahbab Hossain, Speaker of Tower Hamlets Council, organized the event on March 29.

Concerned people say that High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem was invited as the representative of Bangladesh in these events. But on 31 March the Bangladesh High Commission sent a notification to London. The flag was hoisted at Westminster Abbey, Tower Hamlets Mayor’s Office Town Hall and Bromley Public Hall at the initiative of the London High Commission.

The lighting of Canary Wharf is part of the London High Commission’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence, which began on March 26. On the same day, the famous London Eye was illuminated on the occasion of the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence. On March 26, the High Commissioner along with the Mayor and Speaker of Tower Hamlets inaugurated the 9-month-long program to mark the golden jubilee of independence by hoisting the Bangladeshi flag for the first time at Altab Ali Park in East London.

Prothom Alo was asked on April 1 not to mention the actual organizers anywhere in the notification. The next day a revised notification was sent by the High Commission. The Bangladesh High Commission referred to the lighting in the Canary Wharf building as a joint effort of the Council Speaker’s Office, Canary Work Group and the Bangladesh High Commission at the initiative of Tower Hamlets Speaker Mohammad Ahbab Hossain.

No explanation has been given as to why the earlier notification was canceled and the amended notification was issued. In response to Prothom Alo’s question, the Bangladesh High Commission said that they are joint ventures in all the events of Tower Hamlets Council. Regarding the publication of fake pictures on Twitter, they said that the incident happened by mistake. Picture removed.

Meanwhile, the press conference held from Tower Hamlets on March 16 to mark the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and the subsequent press release did not mention any joint venture with the Bangladesh High Commission. The High Commission itself did not mention the joint venture in the press release issued on March 31. The revised press release sent on April 2 also did not mention joint ventures.

Several councilors of Tower Hamlets have criticized the Bangladesh High Commission’s claim for credit. On condition of anonymity, they told Prothom Alo that the Tower Hamlets Council is not celebrating the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence for the recognition or applause of the Bangladesh High Commission. The High Commission should not acknowledge the real entrepreneurs, on what grounds did they claim their own credit? The matter has been reported to the administration of Tower Hamlets Council. Such actions of the High Commission have humiliated the British of Bangladeshi descent.

Councilor Abdal Ullah, the founding councilor of BBPI100, said that if the High Commission had thanked the real organizers for organizing the Golden Jubilee celebrations, Bangladesh and the Bangladesh High Commission would have been honored.

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