To mark the contribution of late presidents Ziaur Rahman and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, especially during the Bangladesh War of Liberation, the Dhaka University named two of its new dormitories (halls of residence) after their name. The "Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall" and "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall" were formally inaugurated on 1 June 1988.
Dr. Rahim B. Talukdar acted as the Project Director whilst A. F. M. Khodadad Khan, Professor in the Department of Mathematics, acted as its first Provost - a university administrator of high rank - and Professor Dr. Syed Abul Kalam Azad acted as the first senior House Tutor of the Hall.
In 5 December 2004 the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs in Bangladesh gave the go-ahead to build a heritage park called "Shaheed Zia Smriti Complex" (Martyred Zia Memorial Complex) at Bangladesh Betar Transmission Center (BBTC) at Kalurghat, Chotrogram, where Ziaur Rahman gave the famous proclamation of the country's Independence from Kalurghat Radio Transmission Center during the 1971 Swadhinata Juddho.
Visitors to the complex get a chance of enjoying mini replicas of the the country's many historical, archeological and architectural structures and sites of importance. These include:
For this reason the complex is also known as 'Mini Bangladesh'.
The complex cost Tk 64 crore to implement and is spread over 17 acres near Kalurghat radio station. It was inaugurated in xxxx by Khaleda Zia, then Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
After inaugurating the complex, the government had leased operations to a private company, Concord Amusement Company Limited, for five years, which lasted till January 2010. http://theindependentbd.com/paper-edition/metropolitan/others/7350-renamed-new-avatar-of-zia-complex-to-open-in-chittagong-after-eid.html Concord were responsible for the construction and engineering of many of Bangladesh's monument and theme parks including the Jatiyo Smriti Shudho (National Memorial Monument) in Savar and Fantasy Kingdom - Bangladesh's equivalent of Disneyland - in Jamgora, Ashulia near Dhaka.
Interestingly, Concord operated Zia Memorial Complex as ‘Ananda Bhaban’, and all tickets and documents were printed under that name.
A number of rides for the children, including cable car and electric train, also have been set up in the complex, in addition to a still-under-construction 52-meter-high watchtower, which will house a revolving restaurant and provide a breathtaking view of the city.For entertainment, there are the Paris wheel, circus swing, bumper car, a toy train, among others. A 71-feet tower with a glass-enclosed movable restaurant, the only of its kind, also adds to its charm.
I think both the political parties – Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) - failed to establish the desired image of it.
There was no need for BNP to spend crores of Taka to build a revolving tower which is being used for marriage and other occasions; rather amounts should have been spent to make the radio station a kind of war museum so that our generation could get to know the importance and role of ‘Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendro’.
I think this [Awami League] government ignores this matter intentionally because Ziaur Rahman’s name is related to it
In February 2010 the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs decided to rename the Shaheed Zia Smirti Complex to "Swadhinata Park" following recommendation from the then Chittagong city's Mayor Alhaj ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury of the Awami League party. This follows the Dhaka High Court’s controversial verdict to declare the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, including Ziaur Rahman's ruling, 'illegal'.
The contract with Concord had also expired and responsibilities were passed onto the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC). The CCC were given the tender to operate Swadhinata Park for the next five years (i.e. until 2015), at a cost of Tk 1.75 crore.
Surprisingly, the rename was not undone even after the BNP candidate, Mohammad Manjur Alam, became the Mayor of Chittagong on 18 June 2010 after defeating ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury by the largest ever margin (95,528) in the corporation's history.PROFILE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._B._M._Mohiuddin_Chowdhury Mohiuddin was the first elected mayor of the port city, who has been in the post for 17 years. Outgoing mayor Mohiuddin Chowdhury, also the existing president of AL's Chittagong City unit, became the first elected mayor of the city defeating BNP nominated Mir Mohammad Nasir Uddin by some 17,000 votes in the first CCC election in 1994. He was elected the mayor for the second time in 2000 amid a boycott by BNP, and for the third consecutive time defeating Mir Nasir again by a margin of 91,480 votes in 2005 during the last BNP regime.
Many had expected the new BNP-backed mayor, Alhaj M Manjur Alam, who thumped three-time mayor and Awami League candidate ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury by a historic margin, would put a spanner in the rechristening of Zia Memorial Complex, but Manjur Alam decided against interfering.
"The CCC will take charge of Swadhinota Park’s management,” M Manjur Alam said. "We will not change the name and violate the government’s decision."
...According to sources, the park was the brainchild of the then BNP-led alliance government as an aleventh-hour decision
In 1992 the Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College (SZMC) was established as a public (governmental) medical college in Bogra town, Rajshahi, where President Zia was born. The college offered 5-year medical education course leading to MBBS, and was initially affiliated with the local Mohammad Ali Hospital - named after the prominent diplomat Mohammad Ali 'Bogra'.
However, on 31 August 2006 the college was shifted to a newly constructed campus on the outskirts of Bogra, beside the Dhaka-Rangpur highway. The new campus contained a brand new hospital with 91,922 square meters of floor space and 500 beds (with extra 200-300 beds spacing available if required) http://www.szmcbd.org/. Previously about 50 students http://www.banglapedia.org/httpdocs/HT/S_0265.HTM were admitted into the college every year after passing the government medical admission test . From 2005, the numbers increased to about 150 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaheed_Ziaur_Rahman_Medical_College.
The whole campus (including the hospital) have been built on 40 acres of land at a cost of more than Tk 234 crore http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/09/01/d60901060184.htm. It contains indoor and outdoor facilities, including an academic building, two hostels for students and two hostels for interns.
The college is located in south-western part of the district town, Bogra, just beside the Dhaka-Rangpur national highway, about 80 km from Bangabondhu Jamuna bridge, where it is connected with other highways viz. to Rajshahi, Naogoan and Joypurhat-Hili. With the most convenient roads and railway communications, Bogra stands at the centre of Rajshahi division in the map having fluorescencent cultural, historical and archeological heritage. The once mighty river Korotoa, said to have carried the the legendary craft of Behula-Lakshindar, flows through the eastern edge of the town. Mohasthangarh, the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh is 15 km north of the college and Paharpur Buddhist Monastery is somewhat 50 km to the west.
The campus has become well known for its beautifully designed interior, great architectural view and well-planned residential accommodations. Having Play grounds, gymnasium, mosque, kindergarten school, botanical and floral gardens, the campus have become popular for harmonious inhabitation by the students, teachers and other staffs.
One-year internship after graduation is compulsory for all graduates. The college is affiliated to the University of Rajshahi, and the degree is recognised by the Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council. The SZMC also has its own official journal known simply as the 'Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical college Journal' which is published quarterly.
I was shocked and deeply grieved to learn of the assassination of President Ziaur Rahman. The United States - indeed the world - had come to respect President Zia's profound and compassionate commitment to a better life for his people and his dedication to the rule of law. His wisdom in international affairs will be sorely missed.
I am confident that the people of Bangladesh are united in their determination to assure that the stability and progress of recent years will survive this tragedy. Please extend to Begum Zia and her children my sincere condolences on this sad occasion.
Ex-USA president Ronald Reagan’s message to President Abdus Sattar a day after Zia’s murder on 30 May 1981
Zia has gone through an almost Darwinian process of selection through the war with Pakistan and coups in Bangladesh. He has never denigrated politicians as a class – which is itself typical of the present day military rulers of many third-world countries. On the contrary, he has shown adroit political skills in bringing together diverse political groups and accumulating political power though coalition-building.
Prof Talukdar Maniruzzaman, author of "The Bangladesh Revolution and its aftermath"
If there are worse places than Bangladesh these days, much credit goes to Ziaur Rahman. From his rise to power in 1975 until his assassination last weekend, General Zia instilled new motivation in the New England-sized nation of 92 million people to produce more food and fewer children. His murder by army rivals raised fears in Dacca of another period of political instability and bloodshed like the one that occurred after the army overthrew Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh's first President, in 1975.
New York Times (1981)
In 1971 I met Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who became the first president of Bangladesh. I went to see him when I was still in Calcutta, he was just taking over. A delightful chap, a delightful rogue, but he was really a chaotic administrator.
Everything went downhill and he got assassinated, sadly. When I went back there in 1978, as High Commissioner, there was General Ziaur Rahman in charge. He had taken over in a coup but he was not a dictator in any way. He gave extremely good government, very easy to talk to. We had our second biggest aid programme in the world there. We were making some progress. The difficult problem was immigration to the UK. We had a large team of immigration officers who tried to decide whether families and children of Bangladeshis who, years back, had emigrated to England should join their menfolk. It is terribly difficult to decide who are not bogus. My officers thought that about 40% percent of the applications were bogus.
Sadly then, after I had left, in the typical Bengali fashion, Ziaur Rahman was assassinated by a jealous general. I won't go into the later history but they are still not terribly stable. Of course, they are among the poorest countries in the world. We tried to help them with aid, but they have had these enormous problems of floods every year due to the cutting down of the trees in the Himalayas and rivers get out of control and this enormous rise in population all the time. It is a very difficult situation.
[On Sheikh Mujib's inability to run country] I wasn’t there at that time. I, personally, can’t give any example of his inability to administer the country but it goes back to his cronyism and they were incompetent. Many politicians put their hands in the till. This went on in an unsatisfactory way till the coup by General Ziaur Rahman. He did bring in a new attitude and did demand not to engage in corruption and set a good example for his ministers and politicians to declare their wealth. For the time I was there for two years, there was a good administration. He was elected through parliament. At that time there was still one of Sheikh Mujib’s friends, a very old politician and a good friend of ours. He was one of the more moderate and more sensible and well educated and he did become the chief minister of East Pakistan at that time and he was still there when we went back in 1978. He was asked by Ziaur Rahman to become his prime minister. He said he was too old for it and didn't want to do it.
Frank Stephen Miles, British Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata, India (1970-74) and High Commissioner in Dhaka, Bangladesh (1978 – 1979)
When President Ziaur Rahman was killed in 1981, he was only 45. But within this short lifespan he contributed enormously to Bangladesh. Even after so many years of his death, he is still subject to criticism by his adversaries and the Awami league. It is about time that, for the sake of the youth of our country and the future generation, all the politicians and civil society gave due respect and honour to each and everyone who contributed to the liberation war and the birth and development of this country.
Much of our political problems and mudslinging will stop if we as a nation stop fabricating and falsifying history and give everyone their dues. The country will benefit greatly if we accept history the way it happened and move on towards the development of the country.
Shaheed Zia’s ideas, his visions and his philosophies are as relevant today as it was during his time. If we try to read his earlier speeches, they will appear timely and pertinent. His vision defining Bangladeshi nationalism remains the most inclusive and the most successful vision of our nationhood that was ever articulated by a Bangladeshi leader. Even today, after 32 years after his death, changes in Bangladesh constitutional framework initiated by him remain the basis of governance in Bangladesh. After his death, the Time magazine, in its June 8, 1981 issue, published a full-page report. The report comprised of these sentences: "The slain Zia had been one of South Asia’s most promising leaders, a man who lived modestly while others chose corruption, who searched tirelessly for solutions to his country's awesome poverty".
Shama Obaed, Central Committee member of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and president of Jatiyatabadi Muktijuddher Projonmo
It's a great pleasure for me this afternoon to welcome to the White House and to our Nation, President Ziaur, the very fine leader of Bangladesh. Since their war of independence in 1971, tremendous progress has been made under his leadership. And with the courage and determination of the people of his great country, with a population of about 90 million, and with tremendous opportunities for economic improvement, President Ziaur has been in the forefront of making the lives of the Bangladesh citizens better each year.
...President Ziaur, we're delighted to have you with us. It's an honor for our country to have you here, and we share with you the basic principles in a completely compatible way as we face the future together. And I'm very honored that you would come here to pay me this visit.
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