৬ই আগস্ট ২০২১ খ্রিস্টাব্দ | ২২শে শ্রাবণ ১৪২৮ বঙ্গাব্দ
প্রকাশিত: ১০:০২ পূর্বাহ্ণ, জুলাই ২১, ২০২১
Eminent British journalist and friend of Bangladesh Simon Dring died on Friday while undergoing an abdominal surgery at a London hospital. He was former Managing Director Ekushey TV .
President Abdul Hamid condoled the demise of Simon Dring.
“Simon Dring made immense contribution in informing the world about the genocide in Bangladesh and the struggle of the people through his coverage of our Liberation War. With his demise, Bangladesh lost a time-tested friend,” President Hamid said in a condolence message.
He prayed for eternal peace of the noted journalist’s departed soul and extended his condolences to the bereaved family.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
In a condolence message, she recalled the courageous role of Dring during the Liberation War.
“He revealed the information and report of the devastating genocide carried out by the Pakistani forces on March 25, 1971 in front of the world,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that he played a role to create public opinion in the global arena in favour of the Liberation War.
She said that he also contributed in developing mass media in independent Bangladesh and in operating the first ever private TV channel of the country, Ekushey Television.
She prayed for the eternal salvation of the departed soul and expressed sympathy to the bereaved family.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque expressed his shock over the death of the British journalist, who was conferred with the Friends of Liberation War Honour by Bangladesh government in 2012 for standing by Bangladesh during its War of Independence.
In his condolence message, the minister said Simon Dring covered the brutality of the Pakistani occupation force in 1971, risking his life, and revealed it before the world. Thanks to him, the world came to know about the mass killing of unarmed Bangalees in Bangladesh, he said.
“He will be always remembered as a true friend of Bangladesh,” he added.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in a condolence message said, “Simon Dring was a man of commitment, an upright man of high moral, ethical standard and values, who reported the massacre in Dhaka in 1971 with objectivity and courage.”
“He trained a group of young journalists of Bangladesh at ETV that dynamically changed the TV journalism in Bangladesh,” Momen also said.
“We salute him again and again,” the minister added.
Information Minister Hasan Mahmud also expressed his condolences, terming Simon Dring “a true friend of Bangladesh” who “witnessed the sacrifices of the people of this country and shook the conscience of the international community with his reportage by putting own life at stake.”
The minister also prayed for eternal peace of his departed soul.
Ambassador Mosud Mannan ndc of Bangladesh, Tashkent in a condolence message said,
“My deepest condolences and sincere respect. I came to know him personally when he got seriously involved in the process of establishing Ekushey TV under the patronage of A S Mahmud, the then DCCI President. He was a wonderful person who played a unique role during our War of Liberation in 1971 being the first journalist to report about the massacre in Dhaka on 25 March 1971. Bangladesh and its Media World will always remember him with deep gratitude and admiration.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
How Simon connect with Bangladesh
Simon Dring reported for the BBC from many conflict zones in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.
He covered the horrors of Bangladesh’s war for independence from Pakistan in 1971.
The 27-year-old Simon Dring found himself hiding in the lobby, the kitchen and the rooftop at Dhaka’s Intercontinental Hotel during Operation Searchlight on March 25, 1971.
The 32 hours of risking his life had him noting down reports of crackdown, travel Dhaka in a baker’s van once the curfew was lifted on March 27 to collect some evidences of genocide that, till this day, remain as one of the most gruesome and merciless acts committed by a military. In his own words, Dring described the aftermath of Operation Searchlight to The Daily Star, which serves harrowing images even to this day: “I found the bodies of students who had been shot to death in their dormitories and outside on the campus grounds; the rickshaw pullers, bullet-ridden and bloodied, lying by the roadside; whole families burnt alive in their homes when their street had been sealed off and the houses torched; bazaars in the old city burnt to the ground.”
Dring managed to escape the military and board a flight to Bangkok, from where he sent his report “Tanks Crush Revolt in Pakistan”, which appeared in the front page of The Daily Telegraph on March 30, 1971.
In 1997, Dring joined partners in Bangladesh to develop, license, and build Ekushey Television, the first private, commercial terrestrial/satellite TV channel in Bangladesh.
Soumitra Dev : Editor in chief , redtimes