- Why Bangla is an official language in Sierra Leone
Tribune Online Report
Bangla is currently an official language in Sierra Leone.
The language Bangla and its speakers in Bangladesh have been pioneer in bringing one’s love for mother-tongue and linguistic identity to a global platform in 1952.
On February 21, 1952, six young men sacrificed their lives to stand up for their rights to speak in their mother-tongue – Bangla.
These men have been noted in history as language martyrs and the day is now observed as the “International Mother Language Day” by the United Nations.
About half a century later, Bangla has come to be celebrated once again.
In 2002, Bangla was announced as one of the official languages in Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa.
Between 1991 and 2002, Sierra Leone had suffered a long time of internal conflicts, during which the Bangladeshi peacekeepers, who were the largest part of the force deployed by the UN played a significant role in confining the conflict and in restoring peace.
So, after peace was restored in 2002, in recognition and appreciation to the contribution made by the Bangladeshi peacemakers, the country’s president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah announced that Bangla would be considered an official language in Sierra Leone.