Bangladesh Embassy in Tokyo today organized a day-long program at the Embassy premises on the occasion of the 59th birth anniversary of Sheikh Russel, the youngest son of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 'Sheikh Russel Day 2023 ', including a discussion meeting and special prayer.
The invited guests including Japanese dignitaries, Bangladeshi expatriates in Japan and the Embassy officials led by Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan, Shahabuddin Ahmed, laid floral wreaths on the portrait of Sheikh Russel. A special prayer was also offered for the salvation of the departed souls of Bangabandhu and his martyred family members.
After that the messages of the President and Prime Minister on Sheikh Russel Day was read out.
During the discussion session, Ambassador Shahabuddin Ahmad discussed various aspects of Shaheed Sheikh Russel's short life. He said, since childhood, Sheikh Russel was polite and very well-mannered in behavior. Despite his father being the Prime Minister of the country, Sheikh Russel lived a very simple life like other members of his family. The Ambassador recalled the visit of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Japan in 1973 and said that the day Bangabandhu stepped foot on Japanese soil as the first Prime Minister of independent Bangladesh was on October 18, 1973, that was Sheikh Russel's birthday. Russel also came to Japan with his father that day. In a video of Bangabandhu's visit to Japan, Sheikh Russel was seen very lively and smiling. He enjoyed watching fishes by the pond and was also seen enjoying Japanese dance and music wearing traditional Japanese clothes - 'Yukatta'.
Ambassador Shahabuddin said that on August 15, 1975, with the other members of his family, Sheikh Russel became victim of the most brutal massacre in the human history perpetrated by a group of killers with the direct and indirect connivance of anti-liberation forces from home and abroad. That day we lost all the world's love and compassion, humanity was exiled and stunned. He said that there have been political assassinations and military coups in many countries in the history of the world to seize power or to achieve political goals. But the way Bangabandhu was killed along with his entire family, including his wife and infant son Russel, is rare in world history. Therefore, this brutal killing is a burning example of gross violation of child rights and human rights.
A significant number of Japanese dignitaries, JOCV volunteers, Representatives from Japanese NGO and media houses, human rights activists and members of the expatriate Bangladeshi community were present at the event .
Renowned Human Rights Activists and member of UN Child Rights Committee (CRC) Dr. Mikiko Otani of Japan sent a special message on Sheikh Russel Day. In her message Dr. Otani said, Tragedy of Sheikh Russel reminds us of our collective duty to protect children from all forms of violence. The violence Sheikh Russel experienced took an extreme form – killing him at the age of ten, with his parents and family members.
Former Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh and president of The Japan-Bangladesh Society Masato Watanabe also took part in the discussion. Ambassador Watanabe in his speech recalled his visit to Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmandi 32 and pays profound respect to the memory of Bangabandhu and his family members martyred on 15 August 1975.
The invited guests from various Japanese organizations and members of the Bangladeshi community living in Japan participated in the discussion session. They paid their respect to Sheikh Russel's memory and thanked the Embassy for organizing the event. Later a documentary on the life of Sheikh Russel was screened.
Later in the evening, a wonderful cultural program was organized in the presence of children and the parents. Ambassador Shahabuddin Ahmed cut the cake with the guests and children on that occasion