Bangladesh

Maximum accountability should be the norm

Feb 27, 2017
A Canadian court verdict related to the Padma Bridge (PB) consultancy contact has set off widespread proclamation of vindication of the concerned Government of Bangladesh (GOB) superiors, allegations by the Bangladesh ruling regime of a conspiracy by the World Bank (WB) and Dr. Muhammad Yunus, and even demands for lawsuits against the WB for defamation. This commentary explores if such sweeping reactions are justifiable.
 
Unquestionably the Canadian verdict can be seen as the glass half full from a Bangladesh perspective. It is from a reputable foreign court and does not corroborate the WB'S allegations. Bangladesh has finally found a window of momentary relief from the disease (corruption) that continues to tarnish the international recognition of its stellar economic and social achievements. The sweeping sentiment of the moment is that Bangladesh is not as corrupt as others think!
 
For its part, the WB has some pressing issues on hand in this regard. Against the merit of not revealing the identity of whistleblowers (whose emails dating back to 2010 ignited the PB saga), the WB needs to reckon with the negative image of an interventionist organisation using only unproven allegations to demand specific governance actions by a sovereign country and then withdraw its support altogether for development projects. While the WB is demanding transparency from sovereign governments, its own actions are contrary to that. While no large organisation is ever beyond governance problems or questions, the WB has not yet done a convincing job of dispelling the globally popular perception of bending rules in favour of selected countries and business interests.
 
Read more at: http://www.thedailystar.net/op-ed/politics/maximum-accountability-should-be-the-norm-1367689
 
The Daily Star, February 27, 2017

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