• Thursday, September 18, 2014

Economic gains in B'desh will be fragile minus stability: US

Star Online Report
Nisha Desai Biswal
Nisha Desai Biswal

Pressing the Bangladeshi government on political inclusion, the US has said the recent gains the Asian country has made in its development trajectory would be "fragile" and "unsustainable" without political stability there, reports the Press Trust of India.

"We have pressed the government on political inclusion because we believe that all of the gains that Bangladesh has made in its economy, in its development trajectory, that all of those gains are fragile and unsustainable in the long term if it does not have political stability. And political stability is not possible without some greater degree of political inclusion," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal said.

"So this I think is both a short-term and a long-term undertaking for us in our engagement with the Bangladeshi government and with the Bangladeshi people," Biswal told lawmakers Wednesday.

Biswal said the US was disappointed by the parliamentary elections earlier this year there, which it alleged were followed by harassment of opposition, independent media, and civil society.

"In addition to this harassment, we are concerned about reports of continuing extrajudicial killings as well as disappearances and abductions. We have also strongly reiterated to the government the importance of maintaining the independence, effectiveness, and integrity of Grameen Bank," she said.

On situation in Sri Lanka, Biswal said, nearly five years after the end of the brutal conflict there, the island nation was still undergoing a fragile transition.

"In Sri Lanka, while we saw the end of a brutal conflict in 2009, the country is still undergoing a fragile transition," she said.

"While we are disappointed that the government has failed over the past four years to take adequate and meaningful steps to support accountability and reconciliation, the US is committed to working with the people and the government of Sri Lanka to strengthen its democracy and to help the country move towards a more durable peace," she added.

The Obama Administration she said was also working with Nepal to ensure that the rights of the Tibetan refugees in the Himalayan country were protected.

"This (Tibetan refugees) has been a very high priority for the United States and our engagement in Nepal. We've worked very closely with the government to ensure that the rights of the Tibetan refugees are respected and that their ability to transit is also facilitated," Biswal said.

Nepal, she said, has been a long and generous host to Tibetan refugees for more than 50 years." They've hosted refugees and have committed to protect those refugees, the community as well as the new arrivals that are transiting to India. We have noted the growing pressure within Nepal and we are engaged with the government on that," she said.

Published: 12:00 am Friday, May 02, 2014

Last modified: 9:57 pm Friday, May 02, 2014

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