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Bangladesh Freedom Fighters salute Sir Frank Peters

1971 War of LiberationIt’s an occasion Sir Frank Peters said he will never forget and an award he’ll always treasure.

The lone crusader, who campaigned tirelessly for almost five years against corporal punishment in Bangladesh school, has had his efforts recognised by the Freedom Fighters of Bangladesh who this week presented him with a special Certificate of Appreciation – the first of its kind.

In part the certificate text reads:

“We thank you for the significant and worthwhile contribution made by you towards the welfare and better interests of Bangladeshi Freedom Fighters and their families during the aftermath of the 1971 War of Liberation.

“Words alone cannot express the gratitude felt in the hearts and minds of those who benefitted from your kind and noble deeds, but no doubt Almighty Allah, the most loving, the most merciful, who sees all, will one day duly reward you as you justly deserve.”

The certificate is signed by former most senior government secretary Muhammad Musa and Secretary-General of BCS the Freedom Fighter and Mujibanagar Officers and Employees Association of Bangladesh.

“Sir Frank’s fund-raising efforts to support the families of the Freedom Fighters in 1971 is well documented, but for reasons unknown he’s never been thanked officially,” said Muhammad Musa.

“We also felt his tenacious one-man crusade to protect our children from the ill effects of corporal punishment in our schools deserved special recognition and appreciation.”

The certificate goes on to say:  “You are indeed a true friend of Bangladesh and may Almighty Allah protect you and those whom you love for eternity.”

In response, Sir Frank thanked Muhammad Musa and the Freedom Fighters of Bangladesh for their “kind and thoughtful gesture”, but respectfully declined to accept the honour exclusively.

“Without the help of the print and on-line news media, my campaign would have been a non-starter, a complete fizzler,” he said. ”With the exception of two English-language newspapers that never printed a single word against the horrors of corporal punishment that is damaging the children of the nation (they know who they are) the rest contributed professionally, generously, responsibly, and caringly towards their future readers, and for the overall benefit of Bangladesh.

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid MP and Education Secretary Dr. Kamal Naser Chowdhury also deserve an ovation, but the loudest applause of should go to Justices Md. Imman Ali and Md. Sheikh Hasan Arif who outlawed corporal punishment in Bangladesh schools and madrassas on January 13, 2011.

“Moreover, due credit and the deepest appreciation must be given to the educated and informed Headmasters and teachers throughout Bangladesh who abide by the law, show respect for those in their charge and never resort to corporal punishment. To those, as-well-as the Freedom Fighters of Bangladesh, I especially thank, respect, and salute,” he said.

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