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Saturday, November 10, 2012
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Amartya refutes Muhith

Urges him to withdraw wrong attribution made to him

Nobel laureate Prof Amartya Sen has expressed surprise at Finance Minister AMA Muhith's comments that he made on Thursday attributing to him about Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus.

In a written reply to a query from The Daily Star, Sen hoped that Muhith would withdraw his wrong attribution to him about Yunus.

Quoting Sen Muhith on Thursday told reporter in Dhaka, "Professor Sen told me that so many good things are happening in this country but they are not highlighted anywhere in the world only because of Professor Yunus."

But Sen yesterday said: “I am particularly surprised -- indeed astonished -- to see his attributing to me a view that is not mine. Indeed, the alleged utterance is not close to anything I told Muhith when we met briefly at the VIP lounge in the Bangkok Airport last month.”

The India-born Bangalee economist added that he was not at all accusing Yunus of preventing the recognition and praise that Bangladesh deserves.

“Rather, I was pointing to the fact that the treatment of Yunus -- and its interpretation in the outside world -- have been strongly inhibiting factors working against the justified acclaim that Bangladesh's stellar achievements could otherwise be expected to get in the world,” Sen said in his emailed statement.

Prof Yunus, who is now in Austria for a global social business summit, when approached by The Daily Star, said he would not comment on the issue.

I have known Mr Muhith for a long time and like him a lot (and I also think he is an excellent finance minister), and in view of all this, I am particularly surprised -- indeed astonished -- to see his attributing to me a view that is not mine. Indeed, the alleged utterance is not close to anything I told Muhith when we met briefly at the VIP lounge in the Bangkok Airport last month.

What I told him included the following:

1) Bangladesh has made extraordinary progress on economic and social matters at a very rapid pace in recent years -- a subject on which I have written in American and Indian newspapers and periodicals (I have also commented on the fact that Bangladesh has overtaken India in most of the standard indicators of living standards);

2) Prime Minister Hasina, whom I much admire, can certainly claim great credit for her leadership in the transformation of Bangladesh into a powerfully progressive modern society, and this does deserve hugely more global recognition;

3) The constructive roles of Bangladeshi NGOs, including the positive parts played by BRAC and Grameen Bank in the progress of Bangladesh, deserve emphatic recognition;

4) I am saddened by the fact that Bangladesh's achievements get far less acknowledgement and praise in the world media than they should get;

5) Among the principal factors behind this widespread global reluctance to say good things about Bangladesh's progress is a shared resentment by a large section of influential intellectuals across the world of the harsh official treatment of Dr Yunus in Bangladesh.

I was not at all accusing Yunus of preventing the recognition and praise that Bangladesh deserves (as Mr Muhith seems to be saying). Rather, I was pointing to the fact that the treatment of Yunus -- and its interpretation in the outside world -- have been strongly inhibiting factors working against the justified acclaim that Bangladesh's stellar achievements could otherwise be expected to get in the world.

I hope Mr Muhith will withdraw his wrong attribution to me, in the light of my reminding him of exactly what I told him.

The finance minister claimed Amartya Sen viewed Prof Yunus as the single major reason behind Bangladesh's failure to project its positive image on the world stage.

Asked how an individual like Yunus could do so, Muhith told reporters in the capital: "He has wonderful publicity machinery."

The minister also questioned the honesty of Prof Yunus, whose microcredit model won him and Grameen Bank Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

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Mr. Muhith - You do not have any other choice but to resign.

: Truth Teller

Our Finance Minister should act more responsible behaviour and should not think that our people are fool.

: Md. Tawheed Mamor


  • Truth Commission
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 09:45 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Mr Muhith is making all these statements to put current government and AL in an awkward position which is part of very deep conspiracy. PM should send him to retirement as he is not at all stable to make any constructive statement obviously.

  • M S Jamal
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 10:18 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Finance Minster Muhith can play much better role on performing some important economic assignments that Bangladesh is expecting to accomplish rather than taking personal revenge on Professor Yunus. It is a shame that without a valid reason Mr Muhith has declared a war against professor Yunus.

  • onila masud
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 11:30 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    This is disgraceful for a veteran politician like Muhith to indulge in such cheap shot.

  • Farid Ahmed
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 11:52 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Both Dr Sen and Mr Muhit are correct. Muhit identifies Dr Yunus as barrier to development. The statement of Dr Sen is clear. Now people should decide fate of Dr Yunus.

  • Jamal
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:00 PM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    I am sure the FM will not come up with the same language against Amartya Sen that he has been using against Prof. Yunus during the past couple of years.

  • mehdi
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 02:38 PM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Shame on you Muhith.

  • M. K. Alam
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 04:25 PM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    I fail to understand how a responsible man like Muhith could make such an irresponsible comment and refute it now. Of course this is not new. He made several such unfounded comments earlier on different occasions of national importance and subsequently said sorry which rendered the present govt. in an embarrassing situation.

  • hossain
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:10 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    What a nonsense!

  • Rasel
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:15 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Finance minister should apologize for his comments about Dr Younus & Dr Amartya Sen.

  • Ahmed
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:18 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    There are many top class black sheep in our nation!

  • Mohammed Esak
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:19 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Can we have a rejoinder from the 'honourable' finance minister?

  • observer
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:21 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Even the most brilliant people's minds decay due to age. It's about time that Mr. Muhith retires. This episode reminds me of the bad umpiring decisions made by the legendary cricket Umpire Steven Bucknor.

  • Translucent
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:33 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    FM needs to start taking some tranquillisers to calm him down. He has bipolar disorder!

  • Concerned
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:27 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    So sad that Mr. Muhith did not quite get the tone and hint as to what exactly was said on issues of 'good work' but no foreign recognition. Well, he had studied English and traveled the world in many responsible positions and met many diplomatic people. So, of all, he has miss-read Prof. Sen!

    Readers, even Mr. Muhith has passed his shelf life, please forget what has been said.

    Conversely, the height Prof Yunus has scaled he can not be reached anymore by any 'weapon'.

  • Anonymous
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:27 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    I can assure, AL will not reelect.

  • niloufar sarker
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:28 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    I am so happy to see a written refutation by Nobel Laureate Sen.It is clear & plausable that this governments achieveements are undermined by it's treatment of our Nobel Laureate Yunus,

    especially given the fact Dr Yunus is held in high esteem by the world.We have nothing to gain by denegrating him.This refutation by Dr Sen further tarnishes Mr Muhith reputation as a man notorius for his irresponsible remarks.We should begin to question his sanity & whether he should be holding such important portfolio.

  • George
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:35 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Its not Yunus' fault that Obama and Hillary Clinton want to be friends with Yunus and not Muhith and Muhiths gang, is it? Why is Yunus being punished for being a likeable person?

  • Payel
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:38 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Hon'ble Finance Minister AMA Muhith has proved himself that he is not fit for the post what he is entertaining now..................

  • Masudur Rahman
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:41 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    The nation thanks Professor, nobel laureate Amartya Sen for this clarification. It was beyond doubt that the FM twisted the Proff Sen's comment. It's a shame that the FM still does not aplogise to the nation and nevertheless to Prof Sen.

  • rch
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:45 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    I knew it.

  • mohammad zaman
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:16 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    It is high time that our Finance Minister resigns.

  • Saif Khan
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:19 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Shame on you Mr Muhit. You should apologize to the natiion as well as to Prof. Younus

  • A Bangalee
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:26 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Muhith should resign or the PM should fire him from the cabinet. He should be sued for misquoting. So, what Muhith is going to do ?

  • Nick
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:27 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Muhith and the PM live in an alternate universe.In that warped and insane Universe, where truths don't matter - the past is recast and remolded, the present is best avoided and the future colorfully unrealistic.

  • Ali
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:35 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Bangladesh is again in the news, for all the wrong reasons, courtesy Mr Muhith. As a responsible, senior citizen, what does he now think? Prof Sen has refuted the claims made by our Finance minister. He should hand over his charges and take rest.

  • PromoteHimOut
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:53 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Make Mr. Muhith President Without Portfolio.

  • Faizul Islam
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:58 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    It is high time for Finance Minister Muhith to resign immediately because he is going insane day by day. He is becoming a liability in all aspects.His (laudable) professional accomplishments over past several decades are being obliterated by baseless comments and imprudent actions.I hope Dr Sen keeps away from the bad-mouthing Mr. Muhith.

  • ABUL U.K.
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 02:11 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Clearly the Finance Minister has lost his sanity and his common sense. By involving another Nobel Laureate of a foreign country in maligning Prof Yunus he has muddled the issue like a child that has brought shame and dishonour to him and his Government. May be he wanted please his Party leader. We had enough of Muhith and it is time he does the favour to the nation by quitting instantly. But before that he seeks apology to the Nobel Laureates and the nation.

  • Shabbir A Bashar
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 02:13 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Classic case of 'one hears what wants to hear'. No one has been made to look like a bigger fool than Mr Muhith for divulging what seems like candid comments. I find this whole episode hilarious.

  • Saleh Tanveer
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 02:14 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    It's quite baffling to note the degeneration of this once respected and admired public servant. I suppose when you live in an echo chamber you start believing and imitating every one around you--and that includes nurturing suicidal grudges by your leader just to prove who is the boss, even when you know that such behavior will have hugely negative consequences for the nation, as Amartya Sen points out.

  • Rashidul Bari
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 02:17 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    More than anything, Muhith such sick joke on Yunus has suggested that democracy - especially democracy in a third world country like Bangladesh - can sometimes descend into mob rule, Muhith wrong attribution to Amartya Sen about Yunus is just one example.

  • Dev Saha
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 02:55 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    I guess there was a communication gap between Mr Sen and Mr Muhith. Is this the quality that we need to put up with our ministers?

  • zabi
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 03:00 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Can anybody say how many ministers of the present government have said things that created public outcry?

    Maybe this time, our finance minister forgot that he was advised by PM to talk less, for the second time.

  • Masud
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 03:11 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    I abhor to call this moron Muhith honorable! Without understanding what Nobel Laureate Sen has said this guy went on the front foot to vilify Prof Yunus. Its time he is quarantined before into a good mental hospital.

  • Santana Rahman
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 03:12 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Mr FM you are no longer fit for the Finance Minister position. You said four thousand crore taka is not a big deal ,afterwards you apologised for your statement, now you are saying Professor Yunus is the only reason not being exposed Bangladesh achievement in the world community- referring to Amartya Sen's statement, while Amayrta Sen strongly refusing and saying you are misinterpreting his statement.You said Dr Yunus is no longer eligible for being a MD of GB because of age, while you are holding FM position even though you are older than Professor Yunus. Stop your self- contradictory statement/activities.

  • Sharier Rahman- Melbourne
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 03:19 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Its our fault to elect such politician whose 'use-by' date long passed; and and we should all be ashamed for let him continue in such position.

  • Abdur Rashid
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 03:20 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Muhith and his ilk, Pakistani trained civil servants, cannot however, defeat the elements surrounding PM Hasina. We are not surprised.

  • Israfil Khosru
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 03:26 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Absolutely disgraceful. our finance minister now owes apology to both sen and Yunus. both are globally recognized nobel laureates and our finance minister have provided a poor account of himself to both of them.

  • Rafiqullah Bhuiya
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 03:26 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    All driven by their poorest of instinct cannot but admit that Dhaka's Wari upbringing has helped Amartya to say two things at the same time. Muhith's conclusion of what he heard from Amartya was probably right.

  • Nuruddin Azam
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 03:28 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    It is time for the Finance Minister AMA Muhith to take stock of the situation and tender his resignation for the mess he has created by twisting one nobel laureate's words to denigrate another.

  • MR
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 03:40 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Mr Muhith is another addition to disgracing our Nobel Laureate. It's Mr Muhith after our Hon PM and Mr Syed Ashraf who have been irresponsibly critical of Dr Yunus. They should know that respect brings respect. I am a well wisher of this govt. doing as mentioned by Dr Sen a lot many credible achievements in the country. But this narrowness of mind of these few high profile individuals in the govt has regrettably overshadowed the praisable achievements of the govt. I think it has been enough saying about Dr Yunus and we do not want to hear any more remark about our well respected Nobel Laureate. Respect brings respect and we hope it is understood by our Hon. PM and her colleagues.

  • Mizan Rahman
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 04:01 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Prof Sen found that many intellectuals did not like the treatment of government with Dr Yunus. Government is saying they are doing right things but Dr Yunus did not like those right things. Both government and Dr Yunus should act with responsibility. These are going against the interest of the whole nations. Please do not live with unnecessary ego. This will never last long.

  • hasan
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 04:04 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Time to resign honorrably Mr Finance minister. I am shocked what he said about Dr Yunus and that he is the cause for Bangladeshi's problems. Pls reflect on your failures pls.

  • barkat
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 04:05 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Only one word for Muhith. Rubbish !

  • Haider
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 04:39 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Read no more cause Muhith is nothing but an arrogant shameless and illiterate. He just rose to the occasion once again.

  • Khondkar Abdus Saleque
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 04:41 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    It is ridiculous .It is awfully disgraceful to misquote a Nobel Laureate to defame our own nobel laureate .We are making ourselves objects of ridicule to world community through spreading mallice against national icon.

  • Iftikhar-ul-Awwal
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 04:50 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Naturally so. Responsible persons like Amartya can't resort to back biting. Mr Muhith should seek public and private apology for his dysfunctional memory loss. He is nowadays showing signs of dementia, and has become a practicing chatterbox needing servicing.

  • Anonymous
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 05:04 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    We do not know what Prof Amartya Sen told Muhith in privately. But it is obvious that Muhith is now stranded and left alone.

  • N. Alamgir
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 05:47 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    It is now clearly becoming a fact that this govt believes in lies lies and more lies. It is indeed a shame that our Finance Minister is now trying to use another Nobel Laureate to spread hatred against Prof Yunus. What a shame! Please Finance Minister resign immediately before lie further on this issue. You are now trying to fool the people. I thank the media again for letting the people know the truth.

  • Samanta Rahman
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 06:15 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Thanks, professor Amartya Sen for your candid statement.

  • Abdul Munim Chowdhury
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 06:59 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    I wonder why press publishes such utterances from a man. Muhith is a redundant man, obsolete and shame for the country. Now he has not even hesitated to use Prof Amartya Sen's name in such a disgraceful manner.

  • Dr M Anowarul Aziz
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 07:21 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    I cant understand why Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina had chosen Mr Muhith as Finance Minister of Bangladesh.

  • ShamimH
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 07:27 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    The Hasina administration is losing all credibility.

  • Hares Ahmed
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 07:37 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Government top politician as like FM Muhith how can delivers such command about novel laureate Professor Yunus. I think FM Muhith is now balance less.

  • Fazlul Quazi.
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 07:45 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    FM Mr Muhith is aged enough.It is time for Mr Muhith to retire & take rest. No more we should throw any further shames to him.

  • Dr.Alam
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 07:59 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Mr Muhith needs to apologise to Dr Yunus and go to retirement. He is getting senile and do not understand any more complex talk with another economist. It is time to say goodbye Muhith. Go and do some good things for the Hereafter. Mr Muhith, time is running out.

  • badal
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 08:02 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Muhith you should resign immediately . Why you are waiting for ?

  • zaman
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 08:02 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Muhith's brain should be submitted to a psychiatrist to get it revived.His standing is actually under the wheel of economy .





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