Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina accused the anti-Bangla and anti-Bangladesh conspiracy of the BNP-war criminal alliance of trying their best to distort history after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.
"The contribution of Bangabandhu in the Language Movement and the great Liberation War was erased. But no one can erase the truth.
"We will continue our efforts to establish our mother tongue, our language, literature, and culture at the international level. I believe we will succeed in that endeavor as well," she said while virtually attending the presentation ceremony of Ekushey Padak, the second-highest civilian award in Bangladesh.
Highlighting the commemoration of February 21 as International Mother Language Day, she added: "This is something to which we all need to pay special attention. February 21 is not just for us. We must strive to honour those who loved their mother tongue and sacrificed their lives for it while finding and preserving any lost mother tongues."
The Awami League chief also paid tribute to the martyrs of the Language Movement in 1952 and vowed not to let sacrifices go in vain.
"Everything we have been able to achieve is through great sacrifice. That is what Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman used to say and even in his writings, he noted that great sacrifices are required for great achievements."
Sheikh Hasina also stressed the need to uphold the values of the country's independence struggle, the path to which was paved by the Language Movement.
She underscored the role of the Awami League in "preventing the distortion of history", noting that the declaration of February 21 as Martyrs' Day was also first made when her party formed the government.
She added that her government is actively engaging in efforts to further elevate the status of the Bangla language and Bengali culture in the international sphere.
Liberation War Affairs Minister A.K.M. Mozammel Haque, on behalf of Hasina, handed over the award to the winners and their representatives at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the Sunday event.
Congratulating the winners of the Ekushey Padak, the Prime Minister said: "Bangladesh is moving forward and will continue to do so. These distinguished people are leading the way. Their contributions in various fields are the reason for our progress."