November 11, 2016 is the 12th death anniversary of the great global leader Yasser Arafat, who was the very best friend of Bangladesh. This life-time fighting Palestinian Liberation Organisation leader left the world in 2004 in a Paris hospital at the age of 75. Thousands of Palestinians attended a rally in the West Bank to remember the man who guided Palestinian aspirations for four decades. Yasser Arafat is one of the greatest world leaders who are always remembered by history. The legendary Palestinian leader was not only for a freedom and an independent state for the Palestine, but also was the symbol of liberty for the rest of the world. It’s been more than a decade since his death but he is still alive in the heart and mind of every Palestinian.
The relation between Palestine and Bangladesh started since the birth of this country. Since the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, Yasser Afarat has been regarded as a great friend of the people of Bangladesh. Like any other Muslim nation, Bangladesh has always been supporting the independent state of Palestine with its capital in Jerusalem. Those who came to power in the state of Bangladesh, have always maintained a warm friendly relationship with Palestine. Yasser Arafat was one of the best friends of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In the later periods, Hussain Muhammad Ershad, Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina have kept up their constant support for Yasser Arafat during and even after their reign. Amongst the 134 countries that have recognised the independent state of Palestine, Bangladesh is one of them. Yasser Arafat paid several state visit to Bangladesh and had a number of stopovers at the then Dhaka International Airport. In 1997, he came to Dhaka as per special invitation of the then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of independence of Bangladesh. On that particular occasion, there were also world renowned global leaders like Nelson Mandela and Turkish President Suleiman Demerol, among others.
In the remembrance of this great leader print, online and broadcast media will highlight the day. The Embassy of the state of Palestine, Dhaka is going to arrange some special programmes on the occasion. According the Embassy sources, the former Ambassador of Palestine to Dhaka is on a visit to Bangladesh at this moment. Also, the one & only Bangladeshi Palestinian, the freedom fighter in the Liberation War, Captain (rtd.) Sayeed Ahmed is also currently here in the country. Palestinians are getting ready to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat, their iconic leader who even in death embodies their struggle for independence and statehood. Palestinians organise prayers to mark the day of Arafat’s death.
Conspiracy theories that he was poisoned despite doctors finding no trace of toxins, piling yet more mystery on the life and legacy of a man who shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. Accused of fomenting violence and branded as an obstacle to peace with Israel and Washington by Israeli leaders, Arafat’s passing has done little to reignite the stagnant Middle East peace process.
Yasser Arafat’s grave in the courtyard of the Muqataa, the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah, will also come into focus in the official commemoration of his death anniversary.
Our deepest respect to this great leader!
The writer is a Freelance Journalist, the Daily Sun, Dhaka Bangladesh and CEO of Ra’dia Inc. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.