September 05, 2004


The global movement against the World Bank is aimed at making the institution accountable to people as well as to their clients, the government that are recipients of their aid. But the present coalition government of Bangladesh has been surprisingly helping them doing the opposite. Farhad Mazhar writes in The New Age:

On 4 July this year, the cabinet decided that the sovereignty of the World Bank is over and above the sovereignty, constitution and the legal regime and procedures of Bangladesh. The four-party alliance government has decided to offer this precious gift to the World Bank: legal immunity, but only Allah knows in return for what.

Providing legal immunity implies that no aggrieved person or party, including the government itself, can take the institution to court, even in cases of explicit evidence of responsibility for corruption, destruction of national resources, environment and ecology and consequently the livelihood of people.

The World Bank impeded a legal process (one suit against them by one of its ex emplyees) of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh by claiming it enjoys legal immunity.

The World Bank and IMF policies have been breeding poverty and widening the gap between rich and poor and similarly causing a polarization among nations, which has in turn bred terrorism, violence and war. They are aware of these misdeeds and instead of having a positive reform they are trying to hide their wrongdoings in that immunity.

Our political oppositions are surprisingly silence about this issue because they are more concentrated on clinching back their power rather than doing good to the society. Mazhar concludes:

While as a citizen we must condemn the role of our own government, we should not fail to see how the World Bank has systematically demolished the capacity of a country to develop a strong and independent judiciary by manipulating our judiciary and the executive organs of the state.

Rightfully so and I echo with this editorial in the Daily Star:

Less foreign aid/loan and more foreign investment is the direction in which the country should be moving.

Related article:
WB immunity will infringe on sovereignty


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