The government proposes to amend the 'Bangladesh National Anthem, Flag and Emblem Order, 1972' with a fresh provision of four years imprisonment and a Tk 5,000 fine for showing disrespect to the National flag and the National anthem.
A proposal to this effect is likely to be placed before the cabinet very soon.
"If any body disrespects the flag and use as it indiscriminately, he will be punished," a high official of the cabinet division yesterday told The Independent on condition of anonymity.
"The national flag cannot be kept at half-mast excepting at the national mourning day, international mother language day and any other national day declared by the government," he said.
"People can use the national flag on their vehicles only on the occasion of the national day, and not generally," the official added.
Explaining the background, cabinet secretary M Abdul Aziz yesterday told this reporter that a need had arisen as people were not showing adequate respect to the flag and anthem.
"There was no provision for punishment in the existing law for showing disrespect to the flag and anthem," he said.
According to the sources, in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 5 of the Bangladesh National Anthem, Flag and Emblem Order, 1972 (P.O. no. 130 of 1972): the National Anthem shall be played on such occasions, to such extent and at such places as may be determined by the Government from time to time.
In case a foreign mission in Bangladesh wishes to play its National Anthem at a public function in Bangladesh, prior permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be necessary. If permission is accorded, the National Anthem of Bangladesh shall also be played in that function before the foreign National Anthem is played.
When the National Anthem is being played on the arrival of a dignitary or at the ceremonial hoisting of the Bangladesh Flag, all ranks in uniform, not being under the orders of the Officer Commanding a parade, shall stand to attention; and all Officers, including spectator officers in uniform, Junior Commissioned Officers, Warrant officers and Non-Commissioned Officers shall stand to attention saluting at the first note of the Anthem and shall keep in that position until the last note of the National Anthem has been played.
When the National Anthem is played and the National flag is displayed, all present shall face the flag; when the flag is not displayed, all present shall face the musicians/ band; civilians in Western head dress shall uncover their heads and civilians in any other head dress shall stand to attention.
from The Independent
(Posted on 03. Jul, 2010)