PEN Bangladesh celebrated Bangla New Year and welcomed its new members at a programme at Bishwa Sahitya Kendra auditorium Saturday afternoon.
PEN Bangladesh Centre President Farida Hossain, Advisor Kazi Anis Ahmed, Vice President Sakib Lohani and General Secretary Farida Begum were present at the programme, among other new and old members of the organisation, reports Bangla Tribune.
PEN Bangladesh, the local chapter of PEN International, promotes and upholds literature and freedom of expression in the country.
Its General Secretary Farida Begum delivered the welcome speech and elaborated on Pen Bangladesh’s activities in recent years.
She also said PEN Bangladesh would work to alleviate the threat on bloggers and encourage people to ensure security and safety for bloggers.
Advisor Kazi Anis Ahmed highlighted the scope and activities Pen International’s Bangladesh wing.
Founded in 1921, PEN International, a non-political organisation, has a global community of writers that now spans more than 100 countries.
Welcoming the new members, Kazi Anis said: “There are enormous opportunities for litterateurs and writers in the international arena.”
He highlighted the history of PEN International. He also discussed the current crisis of writers in Bangladesh and assured that Pen Bangladesh would be beside all to overcome it, including the murder of bloggers.
“PEN International is associated with Unesco. So, it’s part of PEN’s job to rehabilitate the writers,” he added.
“PEN went forward to help Bangladeshi publisher Ahmedur Rashid Tutul, who was a victim of militant attack,” Dr Anis further said, while talking about PEN’s activities. “PEN is a large platform which opens the door to creativity and promotes a violence-free society.”
In her speech, PEN Bangladesh President Farida Hossain highlighted the organisation’s history and past activities. She also honoured PEN Bangladesh’s founding president Syed Ali Ahsan and others related to its journey.
Vice President Sakib Lohani said: “Presenting our country’s literature before the world is another important responsibility of Pen. And that is only possible through translation.”
Later he highlighted the activities of Dhaka Translation Centre.
After the discussion and welcome speech, a poetry recitation session followed.