Dr Yunus found innocent by Bangladesh Bank’s Review Committee Report

The Review Committee Report submitted to the finance ministry by the Bangladesh Bank on April 25 does not contain any allegations of corruption or misuse of funds by Grameen Bank, Professor Yunus or anyone working within Grameen Bank. In addition, the Report does not contain any objection or statement that Professor Muhammad Yunus, any member of his family or any other person involved in the activities related to Grameen has personally benefitted either financially or in any other way.

The Report confirms that there was no wrongdoing with regard to NORAD funds. The Report recognises that GB’s interest rate is the lowest among microfinance organisations in Bangladesh including government run microfinance programmes.

The Committee has reached the conclusion that Grameen Bank and its sister organisations have had a profoundly positive impact on the socio-economic condition of Bangladesh.

The report does not contain any objections of wrongdoing or lack of transparency of any kind with regard to Grameen Bank’s management of its overall loan, savings, insurance and other programmes.

The Report records that in 1976 Professor Muhammad Yunus experimented with the idea of bringing rural landless people under a credit programme, which led to the creation of Grameen Bank. The Bank has empowered the landless and asset-less people, more specifically women, in rural areas across Bangladesh.

The Review Committee mentions in its report that Grameen Bank and its officers cooperated completely and in good faith with the Committee and it conveys its sincere thanks and gratitude to all at Grameen Bank.

However, even though the Report recognised the positive impact of the work of Grameen Bank, it is clear that the Committee did not have an accurate and clear understanding of the information presented to them. This has resulted in a number of issues that have not been presented correctly in the Report. Below are our responses to these inaccuracies presented in the Review Committee Report.

1. Grameen Bank is a Statutory Public Authority and Professor Yunus and his colleagues are ‘Public Servants.’

Grameen Bank (GB):

Grameen Bank is not a government bank. It is a specialised bank created to serve the rural poor. Grameen Bank was created by a law, i.e., under the Grameen Bank Ordinance 1983, but the majority owners of the bank are poor citizens. In the case of Grameen Bank, the Board of the Bank, not the government, is the competent decision-making body. Nine of the thirteen directors of the Board are elected from among the borrowers. Grameen Bank is not, therefore, expected to conduct its operations in the same manner as nationalised or other government-owned banks, to which their own specific laws apply.

Moreover, according to the Grameen Bank Ordinance, 25% of Grameen Bank’s ownership belongs to the government and 75% belongs to the borrowers of the Bank. To date, the government of Bangladesh has directly or indirectly put up Tk.1.8 crore in paid-up capital; however the borrowers have increased their share of the paid up capital to Tk.53 crore. As a result, the government’s paid-up share of capital is now only 3.3% and the remaining 96.7% of the paid up equity of the Bank belongs to the borrowers. In these circumstances, there is no scope for the Bank to be classified as a government bank.

In terms of legal status, Grameen Bank’s status is similar to that of the Asian University for Women (AUW), located at Chittagong. AUW is an independent international private university created by a special law. However, it is not a government organisation. This should make it clear that an organisation does not become a government organisation just because it is created under a special law.

Grameen Bank’s Board operates independently, with powers vested upon it by law. Its managing director is appointed by the Board, and the majority of the members of the Board are private citizens. Just as Grameen Bank is not a government bank, the managing director and his colleagues are not public servants either. The managing director of Grameen Bank is the managing director of a private bank. By comparison, the vice-chancellor and faculty of AUW are also not public servants for the same reason.

A public servant is defined as someone who draws a salary from the government budget. Grameen Bank does not draw any money from government budget nor does Professor Yunus, or his colleagues, receive their salary from the government.

There is no scope to interpret the Grameen Bank Ordinance as setting up Grameen Bank as a government bank or Professor Yunus and his colleagues as public servants. If anyone insists on such an interpretation, then it would have to be said that he is not familiar with the Grameen Bank Ordinance 1983 or ordinary rules of interpretation.

It was mentioned in one section of the Review Committee report that, “the board members nominated by the government worked with a misconception about the nature of Grameen Bank. They are considering a Statutory Public Authority as a private bank.”

It may be mentioned that the chairman of the Board of Grameen Bank and two of its members have been officials of the rank of secretary to the government, and there are nine private citizens. They all appear to have understood Grameen Bank’s legal status correctly. It is the Review Committee which has misinterpreted the issue of Grameen Bank’s legal status.

2. Tendency of not following the rules and regulations of Grameen Bank.

GB:

This is a baseless allegation. This kind of conclusion was arrived at through an incorrect understanding of and misconceptions about Grameen Bank and the relevant rules and regulations applicable to it. Firstly, the Review Committee has assumed that Grameen Bank is a governmental organisation. Thus, wherever they have found any deviation from the practice of governmental organisations, they have come to the conclusion that Grameen Bank has “not followed the law.” In reality, Grameen Bank is a private bank, albeit established by statute, with private citizens comprising the majority of its Board members and its shareholders. If the Review Committee had seen the matter in this light, they could not have reached their conclusions about alleged breaches of the law.

Grameen Bank is a specialided bank created under Grameen Bank Ordinance 1983. From its inception, Grameen Bank has implemented all its programmes by following the provisions laid out in its Ordinance. In carrying out its programmes and activities, Grameen Bank has never violated, as the Report has purported to find, the rules and regulations laid out in the Ordinance. It has also followed rules and regulations it has developed in conformity with the Ordinance, as follows: (1) Grameen Bank Rules Year (2) Grameen Bank loan policies (3) Board Members Election Regulations (4) Grameen Bank Employment Rules (4) Guidelines related to Savings (5) Grameen Bank Purchase Policy and Accounts Policy.

Grameen Bank has not violated any law in carrying out its programmes as the Report has alleged that it has. Since 1997, Bangladesh Bank has carried out annual inspections and has been submitting detailed inspection reports on Grameen Bank. Grameen Bank has duly been complying with the observations in the said inspection reports of Bangladesh Bank, and the reports of previous years do not point to any outstanding or unresolved issues to date with Grameen Bank.

In these circumstances we can state with confidence that Grameen Bank’s transactions (e.g. all transactions with members, savers, workers, associated organisations) have, to the best of our knowledge, been in conformity with the existing legal framework of the country, the Grameen Bank Ordinance, and in line with the rules and regulations applicable to the Bank.

3. There has been no regulator for Grameen Bank since its inception.

GB:

As stated above, Bangladesh Bank has been exercising its power of inspection of Grameen Bank under Section 44 of the Banking Companies Act, 1991 since 1997, and as such Grameen Bank has been carrying out its activities under the supervision of the Bangladesh Bank. Grameen Bank has to obtain licence from Bangladesh Bank to open a branch. As the supervisory body of Grameen Bank, the Bangladesh Bank collects all kinds of information from Grameen Bank on a regular basis in prescribed formats with a view to closely monitoring the activities of Grameen Bank. In addition, Bangladesh Bank carries out on-site inspection visits of Grameen Bank, and makes recommendations related to the Bank’s management.

4. The creation of associated companies is beyond the authority of Grameen Bank Ordinance.

GB:

Grameen Bank has not created a single company. Grameen Bank is not the owner of any company. It does not own shares in any company. It does not control any other organisation. On the basis of a misunderstanding of Grameen Bank, the review committee has come up with some incorrect decisions and recommendations in this respect.

The review committee was under the impression that all the companies with the Grameen name, and with which Professor Yunus is associated, are legally connected to Grameen Bank. This is completely inaccurate. There is no control over the name “Grameen.” “Grameen” is not a registered trade name or trade mark. There is no reason to assume that an organisation carrying the “Grameen” name would be legally connected to Grameen Bank. There may be business and financial relationships between Grameen companies. However, there is no legal or institutional link between Grameen Bank and these companies.

Since Grameen Bank did not create these companies, there is no question of violating the Grameen Bank Ordinance in the creation of these companies. It is precisely because it would go against the Grameen Bank Ordinance that Grameen Bank did not create any company. In the report, there is even a recommendation to dissolve some of these companies, which are registered under company law as independent companies, and convert them as departments of Grameen Bank. Grameen Bank does not have the legal authority to undertake any such step.

5. Grameen Bank did not have the authority to transfer funds to sister organisation.

GB:

Grameen Bank has not transferred funds to sister organisations without the legal authority to do so. All fund transfers took place in line with agreements between the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and donor agencies. In the same way the Social Advancement Fund, a fund that was created on the terms and conditions set out by donors and meant to be used for the welfare of Grameen Bank members and employees, was transferred to Grameen Kalyan (GK) so that GK could undertake those activities which creates welfare for Grameen Bank members and employees.

In the 1980’s Grameen Bank undertook the Studies, Innovation, Development and Experimentation (SIDE) project. SIDE was undertaken to experiment, invent and design new technologies applicable in rural Bangladesh, and prepare and create new business opportunities and places of work. Various donor agencies granted aid monies for financing of the SIDE project. Donor agencies advised that a separate fund should be formed with this fund. Therefore, on the basis of the advice of donor agencies, the fund received as grant was used to set up a separate fund, known as Social Venture Capital Fund (SVCF). All of these experimental projects were considered risky. In order to protect Grameen Bank from financial losses, donors asked the Bank to keep the accounts of SVCF separate from Grameen Bank account, and that this separation should be made permanent by setting up a separate company out of the SVCF fund, which would then take responsibilities of all SIDE projects. This is detailed in the Annual Review Mission Final Report, dated November, 1990: “The recommendation for a formal legal separation is still important, as it would reduce the risk to the bank. The principle of close-end funding would prevent any further funding from Grameen Bank.”

To enable this to take place, an agreement between the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and donor agencies was signed and, in addition, a subsidiary agreement between the government and Grameen Bank was signed.

Accordingly, on January 17th, 1994 a new company was set up in accordance with the Companies Act, called “Grameen Fund” (GF) and started its operations. GF was set up as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

Once GF was established, the entire SVCF fund, which was set up for the SIDE project, was loaned to GF.

Grameen Bank did not transfer funds to this sister organisation without the legal authority to do so.

6. Grameen Bank’s managing director and other employees serving in sister organisations as chairman/directors is beyond jurisdiction.

GB:

The review committee assumes that, Grameen Bank’s managing director and other employees are “Public Servant.” That is why they conclude that this issue was not handled in accordance with law. As Grameen Bank’s managing director and other employees are not public servants, and their respective terms and conditions of service do not contain any such restriction, hence there is no legal bar against them serving as chairman/ director in different organisations on a completely voluntary basis. The chairman and director of these organisations take their duty as a social responsibility. They do not take any remuneration or honorarium for performing their duties. As a citizen, any individual can serve as un-paid board member in any organisation committed to social goals.

7. The creation of organisations with the personal guarantee of Grameen Bank’s managing director and other employees of the Bank is beyond their

jurisdiction.

GB:

According to the Company Law, when companies that are limited by guarantee are created, the board members of that company have to give a personal guarantee of a specified amount of money. If the company becomes bankrupt, the board members will be personally liable for that specified amount.

Twelve companies with the “Grameen” name have been registered with the provision of such guarantee. The review committee report states that the managing director and other employees of Grameen Bank have given guarantees without prior permission of Grameen Bank’s board. The report states further that it is beyond the jurisdiction for them (managing directors and GB employees) to be involved with the creation of new organisations, and provide guarantee to them. It does not mention in what way and for what reason this is beyond their jurisdiction.

Since no guarantee was given on behalf of Grameen Bank, therefore no liability has been created on Grameen Bank. It is not unlawful or beyond jurisdiction for the individuals to give guarantee on a personal basis. This is a personal decision of individual citizens. There is no relationship at all of this with the Grameen Bank. There is therefore no reason for this to be beyond the jurisdiction of Professor Yunus and his colleagues in Grameen Bank.

8. Grameen Krishi Foundation’s Tk.9.30 crore loan waived.

GB:

In 1987-88, Grameen Bank started a project for running agricultural activities, named Rangpur Dinajpur Krishi (agriculture) Project, at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture. This project was operated under Grameen Bank’s SIDE programme. To finance the SIDE projects, a separate fund called SVCF was created with the consent of the donors, with donor money. The Rangpur Dinajpur Krishi (agriculture) Project was given loan from the SVCF fund like other SIDE projects. Later on, in 1991 the Rangpur Dinajpur Krishi (agriculture) Project came into being as a legal entity named Grameen Krishi Foundation. As Grameen Krishi Foundation was formulated as a separate organisation, the loan given to Rangpur Dinajpur Krishi (agriculture) Project from the SVCF fund was transferred to Grameen Krishi Foundation.

To bring the SVCF fund created to finance the SIDE projects, under a separate legal framework, in January 17, 1994, a separate legal organisation was created, named Grameen Fund, in accordance with the advice of the donors. The entire fund of SVCF (including the amount owed to SIDE projects) was given to Grameen Fund as a loan. Grameen Krishi Foundation sent a proposal in 1996 requesting to write off a loan of Tk.11.8 crore.

Though Grameen Krishi Foundation is a losing enterprise, its wide-ranging activities have made a contribution on the national economy. It has contributed immensely to creating a structure for further investment. By considering Grameen Krishi Foundation’s appeal, Grameen Bank’s Board in their 52nd Board Meeting wrote off Grameen Krishi Foundation’s loan of Tk.9.30 crore.

Grameen Krishi Foundation was not given a loan from Grameen Bank’s own fund. Grameen Krishi Foundation was given a loan from SVCF fund, which was created with donor money. The donors gave money to invest in such risky projects and that money was invested as such. While creating SVCF, it was assumed that all projects of this venture fund may not be successful, since it was a venture fund. The fund was created to take this risk. As the money was not invested from Grameen Bank’s own funds, the shareholders’ interests were not hampered through writing-off the loan.

Bangladesh rejects UN help for Rohingya

Dhaka has rejected a proposed $US33 million UN project to alleviate poverty in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazaar where several hundred thousand Rohingya refugees have sought asylum.

The impoverished region lies close the border with Burma’s western Arakan state, from where hundreds of thousands of the persecuted Muslim minority have fled.

But the issue of aid to this region has been locked in battle over assistance to the Rohingya. An unnamed Bangladeshi official quoted by the Express newspaper said: “The finance ministry has rejected the scheme because the actual aim of the UN initiative is to rehabilitate refugees in Cox’s Bazar district under the pretext of poverty reduction for locals.”

Chris Lewa, from The Arakan Project, which monitors human rights abuses against the Rohingya, says however that “the four UN agencies joined together to raise funds and support activities to alleviate poverty for both the communities”, but that the Bangladesh “government does not want any assistance to go to the Rohingya.”

Dhaka has been keen to not encourage the steady flow of Rohingya out of Arakan state. Lewa says “they [Bangladesh government] think it would create a pull factor” to Cox’s Bazaar.

The UN project was supposed to be a done by UNICEF, the World Food Programme, UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

The Rohingya have fled Burma in recent decades because of alleged discrimination by the government. The situation has become so bad that Refugees International claimed in a recent report that they are “one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.”

The majority of Rohingya in Bangladesh live in makeshift camps, and largely as a result of Bangladeshi policy, receive little international assistance. Lewa says the recent refusal of UN aid is not a new phenomenon. Only 26,000 are officially registered whilst unregistered refugees are thought to number as many as 500,000.

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries on earth, as well as being one of the most impoverished. Lewa confirms that the area where the majority of Rohingya seek asylum, Teknaf, is “identified as one of the poorest [areas] in the whole of Bangladesh.”

The Bangladeshi government official further told the Express that “Instead of helping cut poverty in the region, the UN project would only increase tension between the Rohingyas and the locals. No doubt, it will infuriate the local people”.

But Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, alleges that “the intention I believe is to make Bangladesh an inhospitable spot for the Rohingya to reside”.

He continues that the Bangladeshi government tolerates hostile “highway robbery” against the Rohingya, against whom “they have declared open season”.

The Burmese government recently appointed a new ambassador to Bangladesh, U Hla Win. He reportedly told Bangladeshi President M. Zillur Rahman that the Burmese government wanted to resolve the Rohingya issue through dialogue and discussion.

Lewa told DVB however that the situation was “deteriorating further”. She alleges that instances of forced labour and arbitrary arrests by the Burmese border security force, known as Nasaka, are increasing.

Relations between the two countries appear be warmer than they have been for a number of years, with Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reporting that the country would be Burmese President Thein Sein’s first port of call since taking office in March.

Bangladesh has already played host to Burma’s airforce chief, Lt General Myat Hein, who arrived on the 23 April in what was the first high-level official visit of a Burmese official to the country since 2008.

Maldives to hire experts, workers from Bangladesh

The Maldives wants to hire Bangladeshi experts in public procurement to optimise the benefits of development support extended by the Climate Change Fund.
It also wants to recruit about 20,000 more Bangladeshi workers in readymade garments factories, tourism, housing and other infrastructure development sectors, official sources said in Dhaka yesterday.
“The Maldives has proposed to utilise the public procurement experiences and guidelines of Bangladesh. It also wants to hire experts from Bangladesh, as the tiny South Asian country has received commitment for huge amounts of Climate Change Fund. But they can’t utilise them properly due to procurement compliance issues,” said Bangladesh High Commissioner to the Maldives, Rear Admiral Abu Saeed Mohamed Abdul Awal, in a letter to the foreign ministry in Dhaka.
In his letter, Awal also said the Maldivian government is planning to build 10,000 houses.
He added that it is eager to establish inter-island connectivity among its 1,019 islands, where they would require a large number of construction workers and engineers.
The Bangladesh High Commissioner quoted Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed as saying: “Bangladesh has valuable experience in procurement procedures of international donor agencies, and we want to hire it.”
The World Bank has recently appreciated Bangladesh’s efforts to follow the public procurement guideline, estimating that the country would save substantially on approximate annual procurement worth $3bn in goods, work and services.
Currently, 60,000 Bangladeshi workers are engaged in readymade garments and tourism sectors in the Maldives, while the two country’s trade volume has increased to $80mn in 2010.
The ambassador said the Maldives has huge demand for Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals, chemicals, ready-made garments and leather products. He said trade relation between the two countries could be expedited by forming government to government (G2G) collaboration, with private sector business to business (B2B) development.
Awal said Bangladesh is working very closely with the Maldivian government to ensure that expatriates can work under proper conditions.
“A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on manpower is in its final stages of preparation. Signing of the MoU will bring expatriates’ employment under greater regulatory approval,” he added.
The Maldives has recently graduated from the UN’s definition of a Less Developed Country (LDC) to a Middle Income Country. This has been one of the goals of Bangladesh, and close ties with Maldives would enable the country to gather experience in this regard.
Public procurement reform is a key element in strengthening governance, public sector management and accountability in Bangladesh, said Awal, while presenting a paper at a seminar in the Maldives.

Govt to form National Committee for Finalising Coal Pol.!!

The government of Bangladesh will form a National Committee to reach consensus on coal extraction method to expedite the process of using country’s coal commercially.
“The committee will be formed to incorporate different stakeholders’ views on coal policy as the energy ministry got poor response on it,” a senior official of the energy ministry said.

Aimed at reaching a decision on the method of coal extraction from Barapukuria and Phulbari coal fields the government asked for opinion of all quarters on October 24, 2010.

According to the energy ministry, the government wants to start work on coal mining as early as possible after finalising the draft coal policy and that is why the draft policy has been kept on the website for public opinions.

“We received less than 20 opinion through website,” energy ministry sources said.

The energy ministry has drafted the coal policy recommending formation of “Khoni-Bangla”, a management body to oversee the country’s mineral resources including coal, hardrock, lime stone, silica sand and others.

The draft policy incorporated both open pit and underground mining method for coal extraction.

The government wants to extract maximum quantity of coal to meet the country’s energy demand for supporting power plants and other industries in proper manner.

The proposed coal policy underwent revisions for seven times and was placed before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in October last.

Bangladesh Power demand and Solar business senario!!

Bangladesh has a serious power problem. Nearly half of its 162-million population does not have access to electricity.

Light can change lives, which is why the residents of this small village are beaming about one project that is harnessing the power of the sun.

Grameen Shakti a non-profit company in Bangladesh is introducing solar power, borrowing power, and girl power to the villagers all at the same time.

The program trains village women to install and repair solar panels and electrical outlets on homes and businesses.

“This kind of job will help the women and they will be able to contribute financially to their family. It will be good if this kind of job opportunity expands,” Trainee Monowara said after coming down from installing a solar panel on the roof of a villager’s house.

While increasing her own family’s income she says her work is also changing the lives of her neighbors.

This kind of job will help the women and they will be able to contribute financially to their family.

–Monowara, trainee solar installer

Gallery: Bangladesh solar project For 40-year-old Fatima Begum it means she will have electricity in her home for the first time in her life.

“I used kerosene lamp for the light but it blackened my house with soot,” she said.

Now Begum and her family can breathe easier and have appliances in their home.

But the panels don’t come cheap. They cost about $300 dollars — around half of what Bangladeshi’s earn per year on average.

“You know the first barrier was high up on the cost of the solar system. We’ve overcome that problem by introducing micro-credit tools. The people, when they buy a solar home system they don’t have to pay all the money at a time,” Grameen Shakti Senior Manager Fazley Rabbi said.

And the solar power program is self-sustaining — the cost of the panels pays for the training of the local technicians.

Solar power isn’t just being used in homes here in fact nearly every single business along this street is using it and some are making much bigger profits because of it.

Tailor, Ekabaar Ali, says the solar light means more time to sew and sell his clothes.

“We could not work much before we got the solar power. We had to stop work before sun set. But now we can work until 10 in the night so it boosts my income. It’s good,” He said.

His boss, the shop owner, said his profits have nearly doubled since the solar panel was installed.

The solar power program has also sparked an entrepreneurial spirit in the village.

“They’re using the energy in different ways so they can earn more money. One business is they’re renting the light to others.” Grameen Shakti’s Fazley Rabbi said.

Another moneymaking venture is linked to the popularity and cheap cost of cell phones.

One solar powered shop in the village offers a charging station for a few cents per charge. After all what good is a cell-phone if the battery is dead?

Grameen Shakti technicians have installed 550,000 home solar systems in 40,000 villages since the program began in 1996.

Bangladesh’s abundance of sunlight is being harnessed on a massive scale to try and improve the lives of its impoverished residents.

India – Bangladesh Cultural Cooperation -

During the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in Jan 2010, both the Prime Ministers had agreed for a joint celebration of Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary in 2011-12 in a manner befitting his vision and spirit.
Subsequently, a Committee under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a National Implementation Committee under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had been constituted to facilitate the process.
The National Committee, in its meeting held on May 20, decided that special emphasis be given to the Joint Indo-Bangladesh celebrations. Continue reading India – Bangladesh Cultural Cooperation -

Ethnic Minority Drama Festival 2011

Curtain came down on the four-day long Ethnic Minority Drama Festival 2011, organised by Khudra Nri Goshthi Cell [Cell for ethnic minority groups] of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), at the National Theatre Hall, BSA 2nd April .

The festival was a part of BSA’s endeavours to facilitate the practice of languages, culture, and heritage of ethnic minority groups. The programme was an opportunity for the ethnic groups as well as Bengalis to celebrate the rich diversity of the country. At the discussions, issues relating to nationality, religion and prospects for linguistic diversity were focused.

At the festival, theatre troupes representing ethnic groups from Rajshahi, Khagrachari, Dinajpur, and Rangamati staged their plays. Continue reading Ethnic Minority Drama Festival 2011

For Just :civil service law bars officials from making decision in matters involving close relatives

Move to rein in misuse of power ,Draft civil service law bars officials from making decision in matters involving close relatives No civil service officer is allowed to exercise powers in matters of interest of their close relatives or their organisations, according to the draft civil service act.

The officer has to place the matter to a superior official for consideration, it says.

The preamble to the draft reads the law will be enacted to prevent misuse of power and ensure accountability and transparency in the civil administration. Continue reading For Just :civil service law bars officials from making decision in matters involving close relatives

Bangladesh to greater naval exchanges with India

 Aiming to enhance defence ties with Bangladesh, Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma is on a five-day visit to the Bangladesh .
Bangladesh has sought greater training facilities for its naval officers and sailors in India and exchange of visits that would increase the professional skills of the personnel of both countries.

President Mohammed Zillur Rahman made this point while receiving visiting Indian Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma here.

The president, as also Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, recalled India’s “great contribution” in Bangladesh’s war of libration in 1971, United News of Banghladesh (UNB) news agency reported.

Verma expressed his happiness at visiting Bangladesh’s naval bases, including that in Chittagong. Continue reading Bangladesh to greater naval exchanges with India

The conflict in Libya Vs Govt & Bangladeshi migrant workers

sources-As the conflict in Libya continues, it becomes more urgent than ever to evacuate the migrant workers – a vast majority of whom are Bangladeshi – who are trapped in the country, at the borders and have also fled into neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.
The International Organization for Migration has been taking this situation in hand before open conflict began. Prior to the air strikes that began on March 19, the IOM urgently requested funds from the international community to help the migrants by arranging flights home and setting up tents at the borders where many migrants were stranded without food, water or sanitation.

Full Interview “This crisis took everyone by surprise”

IOM regional representative Rabab Fatima spoke to bdnews24.com’s Sanam Amin about the ongoing efforts to raise funds, help migrants get out of a war zone and the role they intend to play hand-in-hand with the government to reintegrate the returnees once they are back home. Continue reading The conflict in Libya Vs Govt & Bangladeshi migrant workers