DHAKA, Dec 12: The cabinet, on Monday, approved a list of 124 foreign dignitaries, to confer the country's state honour, for their outstanding contribution to the War of Liberation in 1971.
The approval came in the weekly cabinet meeting held at the secretariat, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
AB Tajul Islam, state minister for the Liberation War, told The Independent that the foreign heroes would be honoured in an auspicious day between January 10 to March 26 this year, at the south or north plaza of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.
Some of the Indian recipients include former chief minister of West Bengal, Jyoti Basu; former foreign ministers – Sardar Swaran Singh and VK Krishna Menon; former chief minister of Tripura, Sachindra Lal Singh; former defence minister, Jagjivan Ram; former diplomats DP Dhar and PN Dhar; former Prime Minister IK Gujral; finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw; Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora; Pandit Ravi Shankar; Satyajit Ray; singers Manna Dey and Mohmmad Rafi; artist Makbul Fida Hussain; and poet Bishnu Dey.Pakistani recipients of the award include GM Sayeed (nationalist leader of Sindh), Sheikh Ayaz, Master Khan Gul, and Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo.
As many as 83 US nationals, including including senator Edward M Kennedy and Edmond Mulky, diplomat Archer Kent Blood (consul general of the US embassy in Dhaka in 1971), singer Joan Baez, poet Allen Ginsberg, and filmmaker Lear Levin, have been selected for the award.
Russel Johnston, Bruce Douglas-Mann, John Stonehouse and Tom Williams are among the 14 UK politicians on the list, while journalists from that country include Sir Mark Tully, Simon Dring, Nicholas Tomalin and Clare Hollingworth. Singer George Harrison, Donald Chesworth, Paul Connel, Marietta Procope will also be honoured.
There will be five recipients from Australia – political leader William AS Ouderland (who was awarded the Bir Protik), Les Johnson, WA Waderland, Penny Tweedie and physician Dr Geoffrey Davis.
French recipients include former French foreign minister Andre Vumik, André Malraux, Lucien Bigeault and Prof. Alexandre Minkowski.
Former King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Bhutanese foreign minister Ugyen Tshering, and foreign secretary Dasho Karma Dorjee are also on the list.
Takashi Hayakawa, Setsurei Tsurushina and Hajima Katsube are among 13 Japanese nationals to be honoured. Nepalese leaders BP Koirala, GP Koirala, Sushil Koirala and Ram Baran Yadav have been selected by the committee. As many as 24 international organisations, including Red Cross, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Indian radio broadcaster Akash Bani, Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, World Health Organisation, and International Labour Organisation, will receive the honour.