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Awami League General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday raised questions about the justification of Grameen Bank founder Prof Muhammad Yunus getting the Nobel Peace Prize.

“His [Prof Yunus] basic subject is economics and he introduced microcredit programme, but did not get Nobel Prize in economics,” Ashraful said launching a blistering attack on Prof Yunus, known as the “banker for the poor”.

He was addressing a programme for farmers of cooperative society, organised by the Rural Development and Cooperatives Division, at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.

Ashraful said, “He [Prof Yunus] got Nobel Prize for Peace. But which war has he stopped with his activities and in which continent has he established peace through his microcredit programme?

“These days many of us know how one gets Nobel Prize. There are some countries in the world and a person's popularity increases once one has chips, sandwiches and white wine in those countries.

“Even Nobel Peace Prize can be achieved with time,” he said.

Ashraful said, “Two women of Ireland formed a peace organisation titled 'Motherland Peace' and within two months they got Nobel Peace Prize. But the two ladies engaged in a fight over the prize money and in the third month the matter went to the court and peace did not prevail anymore.”

Continuing his swipe at the country's lone Nobel laureate, the Awami League spokesperson also re-launched his sharp criticism on Prof Yunus' microcredit programme appreciated worldwide. He said it would take more than 1,000 years to develop Bangladesh through microcredit activities.

“There's no instance that any country in the world has developed through NGOs and microcredit activities… we too won't be able to achieve progress in the next one thousand years through NGOs and microcredit activities,” he said.

ADDA CRITICISED
Ashraful also criticised US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's programme with youths titled “Adda with Bangladesh” during her May 5-6 visit to Dhaka.

He said, “This was the Town Hall type programme. She [Hillary] held talks with some so-called youths of the country, and a private TV channel aired it.

“But during her [Hillary] visit to Kolkata, she also held a similar programme and it was aired by a TV channel and ads of this programme were being aired three days ahead,” Ashraful added.

“But in our country we didn't know about it even prior to the day of the programme,” he said.

In the Kolkata programme, there were no questions regarding the internal matters of India. “They talked about international politics and Iran issue,” he said.

“But here the moderator [head of news, ATN News, Munni Saha] fixed the people who would ask questions prior to the programme and rehearsals also took place,” he claimed.

He alleged that there was an attempt to undermine Bangladesh in that programme, which is very shameful.

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I checked the list of all Nobel Peace prize recipients from 1901 through 2011 on the official website of the Nobel Prize. I could not find any recipient called Motherland Peace of Ireland. In addition, I googled for Motherland Peaceť and there is no organization with that name. The minister should tell us where he got the information from and the reasons for providing such false information and the related story to the public. If he was trying to fool the people of Bangladesh, he should note that there is an appropriate quote from Abraham Lincoln, which is: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

: Truth Teller

It is highly unpatriotic and unbecoming of a self-respecting individual to even criticise nation's sole noble person, especially for narrow political interests. It only reveals the deficits in AL's understanding of the national prestige. Why is our own countrymen criticising the merit of the nobel prize, instead of welcoming it? Of course economic success results in reduction of conflicts, hence the peace prize.

: Roni Rahman

Comments

  • GR
    Friday, May 11, 2012 01:18 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Please do not make our country's politics as a joke. Give us a break. God please save us and our country from these uneducated ministers.

  • A Bangalee
    Friday, May 11, 2012 12:53 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Give Ashraful Islam a Nobel Peace Prize !

  • SHEIKH MONIRUL ISLAM, OPEE
    Friday, May 11, 2012 12:53 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    All I can say that he has lost all the rationality, decency and norms of all kind; it is hard to believe that our Mujib Nagars first president Syed Nazrul Islam was his father? It is a total loss of sophistication in a very general sense. May God save this country.

  • shohel
    Friday, May 11, 2012 12:54 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Yunus is one of the few bengalis who acts as an inspiration and makes us proud in the international arena.

  • shibli
    Friday, May 11, 2012 08:29 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Simply disappoint by such speech by Ashraf. Only I can say Mr. Yunus borned in a wrong country .

  • NI Karim
    Friday, May 11, 2012 02:56 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Very sad story, AL government seems on top of the world. They have no sense of responsibility. Wake up, the so called civil society in Bangladesh. AL Govt is crossing the line and they became very good in misuse of power.

  • Masud
    Friday, May 11, 2012 03:41 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    What a pity and shame!

  • Shoaib U.S.A.
    Friday, May 11, 2012 04:08 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    What made him jump up at the nobel laureate out of the blue is puzzling? His actions are outrageous. He is undermining the nation. He is questioning Nobel peace committee for their decisions.

  • Shahid
    Friday, May 11, 2012 01:19 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Ashraf does not have the idea how micro-credit links with economics and peace and stability of a country. This concepts - micro-credit, pro-poor development are now treated as a tool to eradicate poverty. Ashraf and AL disrespect Dr.Younus but we Bangladeshi love him for his works. He is still developing some more theories.

  • Kamal Ahmed
    Friday, May 11, 2012 05:11 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    It is a great pity a GS of Bangabandhu's party displays that much of ignorance, if driven by his original instincts. The issue is basic poverty reduction, about which the whole world is convinced, and not infrastructure development. That too could be addressed once people slowly eradicate poverty and begin to meet their basic needs.

  • Disgruntled Man
    Friday, May 11, 2012 05:17 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    The comments made by someone in his position and authority is absolutely disgraceful. If it were so easy to get the Nobel Prize, why doesn't he go out and get one himself.

  • N. Alamgir
    Friday, May 11, 2012 05:58 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Why is Awami League trying to smear the name of the only Nobel Laureate of Bangladesh? What does it gain by doing this is beyond everybody's guess. He has won name and fame in the areaa of Microcredit all over the world. His model of Microcredit is being followed all over the world. It surely is poor politics.

  • dr islam
    Friday, May 11, 2012 06:12 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Ashraf's comment was very interesting but not base on knowledge. I would like to inform him Linus Carl pauling who was famous in the field of quantum chemistry and molecular biology and had a tremendous cotribution in nutrition -he got two nobel prizes including one peace prize in 1962. Norman Borlaug an Agronomist,invented high yield variety of wheat considered the father of green revolution.He received Nobel peace prize for his work. As the Hon minister of our country we like to feel proud of your intelligence. We are really disappointed.

  • Couldn't agree more
    Friday, May 11, 2012 06:16 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Mr Ashraful Islam has a point. Economics and Peace are two different disciplines. Economists should win Economics prizes and politicians should win Peace Prizes. Dr Yunus stole the prize that should have gone our respected Prime Minister for her peacemaking in Chittagong Hill Tracts. Either that or the Nobel Committee should have come up with a Nobel Politics Prize and awarded the first one to our Prime Minister.

  • Sohan
    Friday, May 11, 2012 06:25 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    I feel shocked at Syed Ashraf's inconsiderate, rash comments. In his efforts to undermine a Nobel Laureate, he undermined the achievment of Bangladesh. Nobel Committee justified their Peace Award to Younus as terming him fighting against poverty which is the main cause of social as well as global unrest. If it were so easy to get Nobel prize by jpartaking in wine and chips, why the Ashrafs don;t try to grab one for Sk Hasina ( as a dozen's of honorary degrees have so far been managed for her). Again, the LGRD Minister has exposed their government's bankcruptcy by telling that they were not informed of Hillary's adda with young Bangladeshi's. Shame.

  • Poor politician
    Friday, May 11, 2012 07:03 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    AL which is in power fighting against a man whose activities are being recognised inside and outside of the country. PM, Finance Minister, LGRD minister trying to make him a monster but for what? is he really a challenge for Bangladesh or for AL? Why AL is being feared with Dr Yunus? who knows the best answer?

  • jahangir
    Friday, May 11, 2012 07:13 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Present govt and it's parliament members are always anti yunus.but why?It's really shameful for bangladeshi nation.Dr.yunus wants to eradicate the proverty from our Bangladesh.we can proud for him as a citizzen of Bangladesh.As we know that,Dr.younus is a victim of awami league.awami government made Bangladesh as a ''bottomless basket''&country of disapperances''.

  • mahfuzul h chowdhury
    Friday, May 11, 2012 08:21 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Ashraf and others in the cabinet who are talking about dr. yunus, i think, are crossing the limits. They should realize that by saying this kind of things they are making themselves smaller to the people and to rest of the world. Don't they have any way of or sense of measuring what are they gaining out of this rather than losing? I think this kind of situation is dangerous for the Ministers and the ruling party not for Yunus.

  • Chinta
    Friday, May 11, 2012 09:12 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Why Awami League is so desperate to demeaning Dr Yunus? There are two reasons. First, Dr. Yunus image surpassed that of Bangabhundu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Therefore, PM cannot tolerate him as Yunus image countervails Bangabhundu. Secondly, Awami League will use over 3 crore members to win next election. The formula is simple. Prior to election, Awami League will distribute Tk 10,000 interest free loan to the members of of Grameen Bank and these poor women certainly will vote for Awami League. If Dr. Yunus would be the head of Grameen Bank, he could easily foil such move of Awami League. Awami League had already experience from 1996 election wherein they mobilized poor women members of ADAB and PROSHIKA to win election.

  • MIR
    Friday, May 11, 2012 09:58 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    It is very important for people who make comments meant for public consumption, that they do so with respect and dignity. Everyone should remember that a comment published cannot be retracted - even if the comments were made with no ill intent. Also, they should speak in such a way that it does not deliberately try to hurt or discredit others. Not just politicians, but also professionals and technocrats - maybe then Bangladesh could be a better place because of better role models.

  • Ottawa
    Friday, May 11, 2012 10:27 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Arrogant expression of Asraf, very shameful. Poverty alleviation is the main essence of peace.

  • Sahil
    Friday, May 11, 2012 05:10 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    I think somehow AL leaders are fearing Dr Yunus??? May be being the 3rd way...

  • apitaf
    Friday, May 11, 2012 10:31 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    He[Prof Yunus] is fighting against poverty.

  • hemayet
    Friday, May 11, 2012 10:34 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    No one is perfect in this world and Dr Yunus's Grameen Bank model may have some areas of failures. But then to criticise him in such a way only reflects lowness of the critique.

  • Abul Karim
    Friday, May 11, 2012 12:14 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Micro credit concept has nothing to do to change the principles of economics. It is not a theory nor it is a guarantee to eradicate poverty. It creates an oopurtunity for poor people who can not qualify for conventional credit from bank or any other financial institution. Records show it worked for many and did not work for some throughout the world. It depends on oppurtunities and other parameters that may suit for the borrowers. One of the Australian biggest bank offered that in a limited situations.

    May I ask Asraf what was mother Teressa stopped to get her the Noble prize.

  • Zahir
    Friday, May 11, 2012 12:15 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    The name of Dr. Yunus has been established among the people of world. His name is attached with Bangladesh. We feel proud of him. It doesn't matter what Ashraf says .

  • ZAHIR BABAR
    Friday, May 11, 2012 01:56 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Being a ruling party's Minister,commenting like this is very shameful. He should apologize and suspend his comments for better Bangladesh and people. Bangladesh is developing although it has densely populated because its people is the main source of the country. Although this Minister is expert in talking but he should talk about these sensitive matters. He seems to be very foolish and crazy while he criticized about 'Adda with Bangladesh' of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton because it proves their weakness in terms of organizing and pursuing knowledge sharing thoughts and experience. India has now advanced technology so that she can raise International issues. Honorable PM should sack some of its MPs who are really talkative but they are found to be different in their duty and using power.

  • Arshad
    Friday, May 11, 2012 02:29 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    I couldn't resist myself from making comment. This type of comments from a ruling party GS, must not be taken lightly as these remarks about Prof Yunus were made definitely after having discussion at party highest level. AL is trying to destroy Prof Yunus and his organization & achievement. We all should not allow this to happen. A patriotic citizen of this country and those who love Bangladesh, must raise voice against this propaganda of AL, they are crossing the limit and deliberately testing the patience of the people of the country. This is just to check what reaction they from general people and then they will comeup with their real destructive arsenal to completely destroy Prof Yunus.

  • Shipon
    Friday, May 11, 2012 02:49 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Unbelievable. I hope Hasina would sincere enough to stop this. She should see what is happening to dictators around the world. Bangladeshi people are not stupid and won't take it too long.

  • SHAHID
    Friday, May 11, 2012 03:12 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Comment of Ashraf proves him that he does not have idea of micro-credit, economics and peace. It is great shame that our AL brothers are now arrogant to international communities. It will affect the whole nation.

  • Kamal
    Friday, May 11, 2012 03:13 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    It shows depth of his knowledge on the definition of PEACE. There are undenied truth as Financial Peace which leads people in shaping their life, education for their children. Who goes to the USA and try to lobby senates and hoefully get their blessings none other than our politicians. AL has put the nation in mess.

  • Syed Badrul Ahsan
    Friday, May 11, 2012 03:25 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Thanks to the minister for raising the Adda issue. He is absolutely right in pointing out a matter of self-esteem. If the young on Barkha Dutt's programme in Kolkata can put questions to Clinton on the US itself and issues like Iran, why must people like Munni Saha not take care that we do not ask foreigners questions relating to our internal politics? Good work, minister!

  • saadman anowar
    Friday, May 11, 2012 05:15 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Ashraf and his party could not not bring any change in our national life.

  • M. K. Alam
    Friday, May 11, 2012 05:27 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Ashraf is a son of ourr great leader Late Nazrul Islam. I thought that he got good education in good environment. But now as a spokesman of AL what he is telling all rediculous and in front of our PM? We are really sorry for him and his party.

  • Anonymous
    Friday, May 11, 2012 05:31 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    ITS TOO MUCH !

  • rabeya rahman
    Friday, May 11, 2012 08:19 PM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    In the 90's Nobel prize for economics was awarded to a psychologist.Nobody raised a question as he analysed human behaviour in market economy. By introducing mico credit, Prof. Yunus gave helpless woman of Bangladesh to be looked upon as human being in her family and to be treated with respect. True,it would not revolutionize the economy of any country but it did help multitude of people to lead a life with respect.People of average intelligence will learn slowly how to be self-sufficient.

  • London Eye
    Friday, May 11, 2012 06:08 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Hon'ble Minister has made a valid observation. Remember the controversial report about venerable Prof Dr M Yunus by a swedish journalist ? The Nobel Prize politics is not new. After all, Professor Dr Yunus achieved pinnacle of glory for himself and it gave credence to rare talent. Who knows KHAN is going to achieve even more in the US and should be heading for Oslo like Prof. Yunus. Hon'ble Minister is not disrespectful to him I suppose.

  • limon
    Friday, May 11, 2012 02:01 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Our achievements fade away by ourselves! Simply speechless!

  • Mahamudul Kabir Oni
    Friday, May 11, 2012 01:24 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Unacceptable comments from LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam.

  • Amdem, USA
    Friday, May 11, 2012 12:23 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    It is a very interesting speech by a minister. He has no knowledge that microcredit and banking system is related to economics. He was awarded Nobel Peace Prize for what he achieved through his micocredit system and his achievement has been acclaimed all over the world except by a small number of people of Awami League.

  • Shatyanadi
    Friday, May 11, 2012 12:23 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    This statement by Ashraful seems crazy.

  • Anonymous,USA
    Friday, May 11, 2012 12:55 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Ashraf has crossed the limit of decency and only made himself rediculous in the eyes of people by rediculing Prof Yunus and other Nobel Laureates.

  • Saleh Mohammad Ayub
    Friday, May 11, 2012 01:15 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    By your own speech, you have simply disgraced yourself and the nation at large.

  • Robin
    Friday, May 11, 2012 12:28 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    The AL GS not only made himself a laughing stock but made the entire country a laughing stock.

    Syed Ashraful Islam must not treat the US Secretary of State like he treats the BNP Leader, Khaleda Zia. He should think global politics and act local.

  • AKS
    Friday, May 11, 2012 12:35 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    More they critisise Dr Yunus they ridicule themselves.

  • Sharif
    Friday, May 11, 2012 01:26 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    What a shame! Ashraf provided some misinformation and nobody objected! Two women were from UK not from Ireland and their organisation's name was Northern Ireland Peace Movement. They never fought over the prize money. One of them opted to donate the money for another organisation.

  • WA
    Friday, May 11, 2012 01:24 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    wow... absolutely shameless comments. But nothing unexpected! I don't even want to argue Ashraf's point of views, seeing how he barely has any knowledge on the microcredit system Dr Yunus has pioneered. I am sitting in America and watching its implementation to help the poor, and he thinks it can't help the millions of poor people in Bangladesh. His comments do nothing but undermine the poor class of Bangladesh and rots of pomposity!

  • Abdul Awal
    Friday, May 11, 2012 02:06 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    Shameless comment!

  • afzal
    Friday, May 11, 2012 02:38 AM GMT+06:00 (338 weeks ago)

    It may take one thousand year to achieve progress through microcredit but we will atleast achieve something; but our politicians are taking us backwards thousands of years, how about that?


 

 

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