Vol. 5 Num 868 Mon. November 06, 2006  
Front Page

Be tough, proactive
Nobel hero Yunus urges chief adviser at Bangabhaban reception

Nobel Peace Laureate Prof Mohammad Yunus yesterday urged the president and chief of the caretaker government to be tough and proactive in running the country.

“You will have to be very tough, otherwise the nation will plunge into darkness. But you must be tough on all, not only on some particular ones,” he said speaking at a grand reception accorded by President Iajuddin Ahmed for winning Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

“It's a hard time for the nation and the people want to see an active and courageous leadership,” he observed.

“Set a precedent dealing with at least one area of massive corruption facing the nation during the tenure of the caretaker government,” he added.

He then described power situation, price of essentials, Chittagong port, and law and order as the areas most prone to crisis.

He also urged the president to listen to everyone but take decision on the basis of his own reasoning. Yunus called on the advisers of the caretaker government also to set at least one example of ridding a sector of corruption.

Held at the Darbar Hall of the Bangabhaban amid tumultuous applause at intervals, the maiden state reception was attended by caretaker government advisers, former ministers, secretaries, diplomats, political leaders, artists, literati, and civil and military officials.

Yunus won the peace prize on August 13.

He advised the president to leave the trivial jobs with others and focus on how to conduct the upcoming national election in a peaceful and fair manner.

President and Chief Adviser Iajuddin Ahmed in his address stressed the importance of creating an atmosphere conducive to holding a free and fair election. “The peaceful atmosphere brought about by the winning of Nobel peace prize must continue,” he said adding, “We will have to be careful so that the peace is not hampered.”

Iajuddin observed, “As a small and developing nation, Bangladesh received a lot from the developed world while in return it gave the concept of microcredit.”

He said he hopes that all discord, division and conflicts would be resolved through peaceful means.

He underscored the need for continuing the democratic progress and giving it an institutional shape. "Only then we can build a happy and prosperous country for the future generations," the president added.

He termed winning of the Nobel peace prize by Yunus as one of the greatest events in Bangladesh since independence. "Winning of the peace prize by Dr Yunus heralded a new era in the history of Bangladesh," the president said adding, "I was impressed hearing the news and immediately phoned him and invited him to Bangabhaban."

He also thanked the Nobel committee for choosing Dr Mohammad Yunus and Grameen Bank for this year's peace prize.

Yunus observed that the activities of the caretaker government should be made public through the media so that there remains no room for rumours or controversies.

He requested the interim government to be proactive, rather than reactive.

“You will have to take a tough line ignoring the criticism and prove your point right.”

The first Nobel laureate of the country regretted that the enthusiasm created among the people after liberation of the country was not used properly.

He said, "We will have to use the power of enthusiasm this time and be careful so that the peace is never hampered. The whole nation is looking forward to the next election and the people do not want disorder."

Prof Yunus attributed the winning of the Nobel Peace Prize to the 67-lakh clientele of the Grameen Bank.

In his half-an-hour speech, Prof Yunus described the background of Grameen Bank and its difference from other banks. The Grameen Bank has changed the very concept of banking system as it provides loans to its clients without any mortgage while other banks provide loans only to those who have money and assets. Besides, Grameen Bank gives priority to women for giving the loans.

"There is hardly any country in the world now, which is yet to introduce the concept of microcredit pioneered by Grameen Bank," Prof Yunus said. Referring to his recent visit to China, he said the Asian giant has also decided to allow Grameen Bank's activities there.

Among the dignitaries who attended the reception include Chief Justice Syed JR Mudassir Husain, Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and his wife Roushan Ershad, former chief adviser to a caretaker government Justice Habibur Rahman, former ministers Moudud Ahmed, Abdul Moyeen Khan, KM Obaidur Rahman, Kazi Zafar Ahmed, JP Secretary General Ruhul Amin Howlader, former caretaker government advisers Rokia Afzal Rahman, Dr Wahiduddin Mahmud and Monjur Elahi. None of the top leaders from the 14-party combine was, however, seen at the function.

President and Chief Adviser Iajuddin Ahmed hands over a crest to Prof Muhammad Yunus at a reception accorded last night in honour of the microcredit guru who won this year¿s Nobel Peace Prize. PHOTO: PID