On Tuesday March 26th 2019, Scarborough Southwest MPP Doly Begum delivered the following Member's Statement to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to mark Bangladeshi Independence Day and Bangladesh Heritage Month in Ontario:
"It was my honour to join leaders of the Bangladeshi-Canadian community outside the Legislature today to raise the Bangladeshi flag.
March 26 is the Independence Day of Bangladesh.
As a proud representative of the diverse riding of Scarborough Southwest, home to many Bangladeshi Canadians - including myself - it is an honour to stand today and recognize the over 70,000 Ontarians of Bangladeshi origin and their contributions to this province.
The community has worked hard and integrated well in Canada.
They contribute to our economy, enrich our society in many ways, from local businesses, entrepreneurs to the arts and culture, you will find Bangladeshi-Canadians thriving in every sector.
Forty-eight years ago, on March 7th, one great leader stood, and in Bengali declared:
“ebarer shongram, amader muktir shongram, ebarer shongram amader shadhonar shongram” - this fight is for our liberation and this fight is for our freedom.
These words were from the father of the nation of Bangladesh, Bongobondu Sheikh Mujibhur Rahman.
And on March 26, another brave man, Major Ziaur Rahman, made the declaration on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The nine-month-long War for Liberation cost 3 million lives. Many were displaced, and hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi women were systematically raped - it was one of the most brutal genocides in history.
But the people of Bangladesh took up arms to fight for their freedom, and in December 1971, Bangladesh got its independence.
We also recognize March as Bangladeshi Heritage Month. Andrea Horwath and I look forward to hosting community leaders here at Queen’s Park on Thursday to celebrate the vibrant culture of Ontario’s Bangladeshi community."