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8th April 2010: Today a press conference was held at the Dhaka Reporters Unity,Conference Hall titled “Democracy in a Global World” at 11am -12noon which was jointly organized by “Give your Vote” and “Equitybd”. to lunch…

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Dhaka, 15 March February 2010. Today, an alliance of twenty rights organizations, led by EquityBD, criticized a recent statement of the Ambassador of the European Union, Mr. Stefan, while he suggested the World Bank to manage the country’s Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) on a temporary basis. The alliance also condemned the EU for imposing conditionality to include the WB in the management of MDTF. They termed EU position on MDTF as neo-colonial as they have been consistently pushing Bangladesh to accept World Bank to manage the multi donor trust fund. The rights organizations expressed such views through organizing human chain and rally in front of the National Press Club. Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD moderated the rally while, among others, Prodip K Roy, Feroze Ahmed, Shipra Das, Tusar Ahmed, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Md. Shamsuddoha and Sahadat Islam Chowdhury sopke.

The organizations of the rights groups include; Arpon, AMKS, Eso, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, CSRL, EquityBD, Kishani Shova, Lead Trust, On line knowledge center, Potikrit, La via campesina, MFTD, Prantik, Purbasha, RCASV, Swadin Bangla Garments Sromik Federation, Solidarity Workshop, Sirajgonj Flood Forum, Uddipan and EquityBD

Prodip K Roy of Online Knowledge Center mentioned that statement from the EU Ambassador and State Minister for Environment and Forest on the management of MDTF is contradictory, while Minister mentioned the government of Bangladesh will have sole authority over the fund.

Feorze Ahmed of Lead Trust mentioned that, two third of the World Bank projects still on fossil fuel projects, which are causing carbon emission. Moreover most of the World Bank project in Bangladesh is failed project, so the WB should not be involved with any projects anymore. Shipra Das of Kishani Shova mentioned that, EU and other developed countries are the major carbon polluter they must compensate first and they should not put any condition in this context. Tusar Rehman of Citizen Rights Movement mentioned that, government must maintain sovereignty in climate fund and such a fund should be channeled through independent foundation.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD mentioned that, until unless government will not finalize the management modalities of MDTF the movement will continue. Md. Shasuddoha of EquityBD mentioned that while there are best country examples of managing donor fund through independent foundation then why we should hand over our sovereign ownership on fund management to the WB and, why we should pay fees to the Bank. Sahadat Islam Chowdhury of Pradip concluded the rally, and thanked to the participating organization.

Please Download Press Release [English] [Bangla] [Position Paper]

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[B]Dhaka, 11th February 2010 :[/B] Today EquityBD, a network of right based CSOs, organized a seminar titled “ PRS II : Sovereign Development Planning” in Dhaka Reporters Unity where they termed the upcoming Bangladesh Development Forum as the ‘Debt Development Forum’ which in fact is the planning of making the country more indebted. EquityBD urged the government to drop the donor driven Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) process and urged to declare a participatory road map for the preparation of next five year plan by 2010-2011. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Convener EquityBD, moderated the seminar, while Syed Aminul Haque made the key note presentation. Md. Shamsuddoha, Mostafa Kamal Akanda and Dr. Sohel Iqbal of the group also spoke on the subject matter. Among others, ex State minister and the Treasurer of BNP Abdul Mannan, ex state minister Abul Hasan Chowdhury, ex Minister KM Jahangir Hossain of Awami Leugue, ex-member of parliament and present advisor to the BNP chairperson Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Ahmed Swapan of VOICE, Ziaul Haque Mukta of CSRL, journalist Kaiser Rahaman and Salahuddin Bablu spoke in the seminar.

Ex minister Abul Hasan Chowdhury mentioned local government and grass root democracy is the only way of country’s own local resource mobilization. Ziaul Haque Mutka said that forming Local Consultative Group to oversee and guide different ministries of the government of Bangladesh is the clear violation of diplomatic code of conduct as stated in the Vienna Convention. He urged the government to provide market protection of agricultural product. Ex minister KM Zahangir Hossain mentioned, in fact civil bureaucrats do not want members of parliaments to participate in PRS preparation. He mentioned that there is no alternative other then giving importance to railway and river route. Ex minister Abdul Mannan mentioned that in fact there are differences in what is in rhetoric and in fact policy outlines, the government must have to be sincere in agriculture development.

Related Paper [2_Vision-2021 VS PRS] [3_SDR Charter Finance] [4_PRS-II_Policy Matrix] [English _Vision_2021 VS_PRS] [Policy Matrix_english] [Presentation PRS-II]

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