NewAge, November 2, 2007. Dhaka, Bangladesh
Leaders of left-leaning parties and a group of eminent citizens, in a statement on Thursday, protested against the World Bank president Robert Zoellick’s scheduled visit to Bangladesh, which will begin tomorrow.
Terming the lending agency’s activities ‘imperialist’ and detrimental to the interests of the Bangladeshi people, they said the WB chief’s arrival was unwanted and demanded cancellation of the visit.
‘The lives and livelihoods of the people of Bangladesh and elsewhere are now at stake as a result of the so-called free market economy policy prescribed by the World Bank,’ they said in a resolution taken after a meeting on Green Road.
Presided over by the president of the Jatiya Mukti Council, Badruddin Omar, the meeting was also attended by Mujahidul Islam Selim of the Communist Party of Bangladesh, Bimal Biswas of the Workers Party of Bangladesh, Khaliquzzaman of Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal, retired judge Mohammad Golam Rabbani, Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah, Akbar Hossain and Salimullah Khan.
They criticised the World Bank for ‘ruining’ Bangladesh’s jute, sugar and farming industries and also the banking sector by prescribing various programmes that were contrary to the public interest.
They also blamed the successive governments of Bangladesh for implementing such programmes.
The leaders and citizens further demanded an investigation into the impacts of the policies of the World Bank and other financial institutions, publication of a white paper on the findings of the investigation as well as compensation for causing damage to the economy and suffering to the masses.