Macron to visit Dhanmondi Lake, enjoy folk music
While French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Bangladesh may feature signing of important business deals and discussions on geopolitical issues, he wants to witness the beauty of the country and experience its culture.
The president is scheduled to visitthe Dhanmondi Lake in the capital and meet Joler Gaan (music of water), an independent folk band from Dhaka, to enjoy its music.
Macron is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka tomorrow after attending the G20 summit in New Delhi. He will meet Joler Gaan lyricist Rahul Anand at his workshop in the evening.
"France is a country that is famous for arts and culture. Also, Bangladesh and France have a very strong cultural cooperation. I think this visit of President Macron is part of that cultural cooperation as well as people-to-people contacts," a diplomatic source told The Daily Star yesterday.
Joler Gaan has won fame both at home and abroad, and the French president is also aware of it, said the source familiar with the events.
The folk band uses the lyrics based on human stories and sometimes customises foreign ones.
Apart from home, the band has performed at musical events in various parts of the world. In 2006, it participated in the World Sufi Festival, Glasgow, Scotland.
According to the latest schedule of Macron's two-day visit to Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will welcome him upon his arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport tomorrow evening.
From the airport, Macron will go to Hotel InterContinental. There, he will attend an official dinner to be hosted by Hasina.
The French president will then go to the Dhanmondi Lakeand then meet the Joler Gaan band and enjoy its music.
On September 11 morning, he will pay homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at Bangabandhu's portrait and then visit the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi.
Macron will hold a bilateral meeting with Hasina at the Prime Minister's Office.
There, France and Bangladesh may sign several deals, including one on buying planes from Airbus, a European plane manufacturing company, said another diplomatic source.
Earlier, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told reporters that during Hasina's visit to France in November last year, Bangladesh agreed to buy 10 planes, including two cargo carriers, from Airbus.
The two countries may also discuss purchasing of the second satellite -- Bangabandhu Satellite-2 -- from France and setting up of a satellite manufacturing plant in Bangladesh as proposed by France last year, Momen said.
Climate change and the Rohingya crisis will be two other major issues for discussion during the meeting, said foreign ministry officials.
"France played a major role in formulating the Loss and Damage initiative. So, the countries like Bangladesh that are affected by climate change need funding for making up part of the damage," an official said.
Therefore, Dhaka will call on the French president to play a more active role in operationalising the fund of the Loss and Damage initiative, he told this correspondent.