US ‘troubled’ by ouster of Yunus as Grameen Bank head

PTI Washington | Updated on March 09, 2011

The US has said it was “troubled” by the developments in Bangladesh concerning Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus’ status as the head of the pioneering Grameen Bank he founded nearly three decades ago.

The Secretary of State, Ms Hillary Clinton, spoke with Mr Yunus over phone on Tuesday and she has also raised the issue with the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Ms Sheikh Hasina, during their telephonic conversation recently, the State Department spokesman, Mr P.J. Crowley said.

“We are troubled by the letter that the Bangladesh Bank sent to the Grameen Bank concerning Dr Yunus’s status as managing director of the Grameen Bank. We continue to follow the developments closely and await clarification from the Government of Bangladesh and Grameen Bank,” Mr Crowley said.

Dr Yunus was scheduled to meet Ms Clinton at the State Department today but later cancelled his trip because of the legal challenge he filed in courts regarding his position at Grameen Bank, he said.

“We hope that a mutually satisfactory compromise can be achieved that will ensure Grameen Bank’s autonomy and effectiveness.

“He is a Nobel Prize winner, Medal of Freedom winner, Congressional Gold Medal winner. His public service is widely recognised and respected, and civil society organisations such as the bank play an important role in Bangladesh’s development and democracy,” the official said.

Mr Crowley said it was both to show support for his ongoing efforts and the efforts of the Grameen Bank and also to express America’s concern about the developments in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh’s High Court on Tuesday upheld the sacking of Dr Yunus, holding he had been continuing in his job with “no legal basis’’.

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Published on March 09, 2011
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