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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Friday, December 21, 2012
Letters

Getting out of denial mode

The whole world - including all the NGOs, charities and government agencies active in this dear country and millions of Bangladeshis themselves - want Bangladesh to be able to run its own affairs independently. Before I came here, in 1999, I taught schoolchildren about aid to poor countries and helped an international charity by door-to-door collections and by shaking tins outside supermarkets. When 'Bangladesh' is mentioned, hands go into pockets! Hence, the frustration at how responsibility for problems is ignored or avoided by blaming 'conspiracies', 'sabotage' and the 'forces of evil'. Now, it seems the terrible garment factory fire was because FOREIGN CUSTOMERS signed contracts with the owners to produce goods at a price too low for the 'poor owners' to afford the necessary safety requirements! Whose fault was THAT? Now, some countries are being told to change trading arrangements to give greater priority to 'poor Bangladesh' …. Yet the fact is that Bangladesh is rolling in money! The Bangladesh Bank declared that there are 23,212 multi-millionaires in Bangladesh and the National Board of Revenue say that the number of people paying more than 100,000 taka as personal income tax in the 2011-2012 taxation year did not go over a thousand!

Again and again, people wonder how they can help those who, so often, refuse to be helped. Bangladesh, stop breaking the hearts of those who want to help you! Join the rest of the world at the feet of a merciful God, owning up to the many mistakes we all make, and rejoice to see the doors flying open to freedom to do the right thing through all that God sends to help us. Happy Christmas!

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