Bangladesh: Court Upholds Yunus’ Dismissal from Grameen Bank

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Mar 2011
Dhaka, Bangladesh, March, 08 2011 - A Bangladesh court has upheld Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus’ dismissal from the microfinance bank he founded. The court ruled on Tuesday that Mr. Yunus must go.

Bangladesh’s central bank ordered the Nobel laureate out of the Grameen Bank last week, saying he was working in violation of the country’s retirement laws.

A Bangladesh court has upheld Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus’ dismissal from the microfinance bank he founded.

Bangladesh’s central bank ordered Mr. Yunus out of Grameen Bank last week, saying he was working in violation of the country’s retirement laws.

Mr. Yunus, an outspoken government critic, has said the dismissal is illegal and appealed to the High Court. He has alleged that the government is trying to take control of his bank, which provides tiny loans to the poor.

The court ruled on Tuesday that Mr. Yunus must go.

Yunus seeks countrymen’s support

Mr. Yunus has sought people’s support for smooth transition of leadership in his Grameen Bank as the High Court here is set to issue a crucial verdict on Tuesday on his writ challenging his removal from the pioneering micro lending agency.

“I have dedicated my entire life to the cause of overcoming poverty for the people of Bangladesh...(and now) there should be a smooth transition of management leadership from me to the next managing director in a congenial environment,” he said an open letter issued on Monday night.

He said: “I urge everyone to support the cause of smooth and joyful transition in Grameen Bank”, which he founded three decades ago.

The 70-year-old Nobel laureate, whose experiment of poor men’s banking earned Bangladesh the repute of being the home of microcredit and himself the Nobel Peace Prize along with the micro lending agency in 2006, made the appeal ahead of the today’s crucial verdict.

Mr. Yunus also expressed hope that the High Court would thoroughly examine the legality of Bangladesh Bank’s claim that his appointment as the managing director of Grameen Bank was invalid as the central bank’s “prior permission” was not obtained ahead of the appointment in 2000.

He said that the Grameen Bank directors appointed him as managing director with permission from Bangladesh Bank and, unanimously, decided that no age limit would be applicable to the managing director.

Mr. Yunus also pointed out that despite yearly audits by the central bank, the question surfaced over his appointment after 12 years.

The Grameen Bank founder drew massive supports from international community as well as the civil society groups in the country while main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia on Monday came up with a statement strongly criticising her arch-rival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for “tarnishing the country’s image” by removing Mr. Yunus.

“The debate created by the government centering Grameen Bank and Dr. Yunus is nothing but a blatant exhibition of its partisan views and mean mindedness. It will harm the institution and the poor will be deprived of the privileges,” she said in her first public comment on Mr. Yunus.

The former premier said “disrespect” towards Mr. Yunus revealed the ignorance of some government top officials about his contributions and “this attitude of the government is being condemned both within and outside the country“.

The High Court apparently wrapped up the hearing on Mr. Yunus’ writ as it heard both the sides during the three days of hearing.

Grameen Bank, which is 25 per cent state-owned and employs 24,000 people, provides collateral-free loans to eight million borrowers, the vast majority from rural areas.



Source : The Hindu
 

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