President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday paid rich tributes to Shaheed Sheikh Russel, the youngest son of Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on his 59th birthday to be observed on Tuesday (October 18).
On the eve of the day, they issued separate messages recalling the memories of Shaheed Sheikh Russel with due respect.
They also prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul of Sheikh Russel.
The President, in his message, said Sheikh Russel, also youngest brother of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was born on October 18 in 1964 at the historic Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi and the name 'Russel' was given by Bangabandhu himself.
He said that Sheikh Russel was assassinated by the killers on August 15 in 1975.
Russel was brutally killed along with most of his family members including his father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman when he was a student of class four of University Laboratory School, said the head of the state.
Bangabandhu loved children very much, Abdul Hamid said, adding that Bangabandhu knew that in order to build a happy and prosperous 'Sonar Bangla', the new generation had to be built as worthy citizens.
For this, it is necessary to flourish their good qualities from childhood and they (new generation) have to be nurtured with the spirit of honesty, patriotism and devotion, he said.
"On the auspicious occasion of the birthday of Shaheed Sheikh Russel, the youngest son of Bangabandhu, I pay my deep respects to the memory of Russel," said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message.
In order to properly highlight the life of Sheikh Russel before the children, 'Sheikh Russel Day' is observed every year, she said.
Bangabandhu's favorite author was the famous philosopher and Nobel Prize winner author Bertrand Russell and that is why Bangabandhu and Bangamata had named their little boy 'Russel', she added.
"The first picture that comes to mind when you hear the name Russel is the playful childhood of a smiling and lively little child, she said, adding that the child's eyes were full of joy. A beautiful face with messy hair filling the head, that face is filled with love and affection," she recalled.
His birthday is declared as 'Sheikh Russel Day' so that every year, children and teenagers could learn about the life of the child Russel, she said.
She lauded this year's theme of 'Sheikh Russel Day' which is 'Sheikh Russel Nirmalar Protik Duranta Pranbanta Nirvik'.
The prime minister said August 15 of 1975 is a fateful night as Father of the Nation Bangabandhu and 18 members of his family embraced martyrdom by conspirators, betrayers and anti-liberation elements on that black night. Tiny Sheikh Russel was not spared by the killers, she said, adding, "Russel wanted to live, appealed to the killers for his life, told them of going to his mother but the killers, assuring Russel of taking him to his mother, killed the little boy brutally."
"Sheikh Russel is no more among us but there is his sacred memory . . . I roam around searching Russel in every child and we have to build these children with the spirit of Russel for building the golden Bengal as dreamt by father of the nation Bangabandhu," added the premier.
Both the president and the prime minister wished all the success for the programmes taken for the birthday celebration of Russel.