Bangladesh resents US remarks on Yunus` removal

The US is "troubled" by the removal of Muhammad Yunus as MD of Grameen Bank.

Dhaka: Bangladesh has expressed reservations over the US’ criticism of Dhaka`s decision to remove Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus from the post of managing director of Grameen Bank and said "law of the land will prevail".

"Laws of the land and the rule of law do not depend on anyone`s happiness and unhappiness," Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said on Saturday, responding to the remarks of Robert O Blake, US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs.

In an interview with the Financial Times on March 07, Blake had said the US was "troubled" by the recent decision that saw Yunus removed as managing director of the Grameen Bank.

Moni was quoted as saying by The Daily Star, "Our friends outside may or may not be happy but we will take action in accordance with our law. The rule of law in our country does not depend on others` happiness.

"Of course we want good relations with all our friends, but we must be respectful to our laws in our country," she said before leaving for Egypt to oversee repatriation of Bangladeshis fleeing strife-torn Libya.

"We will do whatever is necessary in the interest of the country and a renowned institution," the minister said.

She declined further comment on the grounds that the matter was sub judice.

Yunus, 70, was removed as managing director of the Grameen Bank that he founded over three decades ago by an order of the Bangladesh Bank, the country`s central bank.

Yunus lost his appeal before the high court and a fresh appeal is pending before the Supreme Court.

The removal of Yunus has drawn flak from several quarters.

Blake said that Yunus "enjoys great respect in the US for all his work to help the poor in Bangladesh".

Asked if the US was "interfering" in Bangladesh`s affairs, Blake said: "I don`t want to make it sound like we`re interfering too much. We have made it known that we support a resolution of the situation to preserve the integrity and the independence and the effectiveness of Grameen Bank, but we have not sought to try to prescribe what that solution should be.”

"It`s really up to the government of Bangladesh and Grameen to work that out and we hope they can do so in an amicable and mutually acceptable manner."

The European Union has said the issue was Bangladesh`s internal matter.

Meanwhile, the Nelson Mandela Foundation in a letter to Yunus on March 09 has expressed its support to him and the Grameen Bank.


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