Singapore has lauded the 50 years of India-Bangladesh ties. Calling it a “precious achievement” Singapore's Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh underlined the need for all the countries to live in harmony with their neighbours.
“Singapore has a very good relation with both Bangladesh and India. So, we are happy to join in this celebration,” Koh said at a function jointly organised by the High Commissions of India and Bangladesh at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hall in Singapore to celebrate Maitri Diwas on Monday.
Koh added that a lot of trouble in the world is caused by conflict and quarrels between neighbouring countries. “If all countries can live in harmony with their neighbours, it would be a major contribution towards peace,” Koh said.
Koh also noted that common culture including the Bengali language, literature and songs have served as a binding force.
Incidentally, Nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore and his works are celebrated with equal fervour in India and Bangladesh. The national anthems of both nations have been composed by Tagore.
“Tagore won the Nobel Prize for literature at a time when India was not divided, so I can say he belonged to both Bangladesh and India,” Koh said.
Not just Singapore. Several other countries including Belgium, Canada, Russia, Egypt, Indonesia, Qatar, the UK, France, Australia, Japan and Saudi Arabia among others also observed the Maitri Diwas.
Meanwhile, speaking to India Narrative earlier, Nazneen Ahmed, Senior Research Fellow, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) said that the two countries need to focus on the commonalities and issues of convergence to boost ties.
“An environment of trust and camaraderie must be built between the two countries and one of the ways is to further expand bilateral trade both locally across the border region through border haats and also at a macro level,” Ahmed said.