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"Sufferers of false allegation over Padma Bridge deserves compensation"

GreenWatch Desk Diplomacy 2022-06-28, 11:16pm


Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said victims of false corruption allegations over the Padma Bridge project deserve compensations due to their mental agonies and social stigmatisation.

 "It is not wise that we have to always believe what big institutions say," he said visibly in an oblique reference to World Bank at a Foreign Service Academy function joined by foreign ministry officials to celebrate the opening of the mega structure.

Momen, who joined the function through virtual medium, said there were some "pundits" in the country who had criticized the government by heeding to false allegation made by the foreigners regarding this mega project.

 He added: "Now time has come for them to realize that it's not always right to react with the foreigners tune (as) sometimes they do cunning acts in their own interests".

 The World Bank which had pledged to lend Bangladesh US$1.2 billion under a deal, which they suspended raising graft allegations involving the project saying they had "credible evidence" in their support.

 The allegations eventually proved untrue by a Canadian federal court and Bangladesh's Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina preferred to go ahead with the project discarding overseas financial assistance of any type.

 Momen expressed his sympathy to the victims of the allegations including premier's economic affairs adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman, who also joined and addressed the function.

 "Now, we can say with pride that our Honourable Prime Minister's decision was correct (constructing Padma Bridge by own finance) . . . my country can do it despite resource limitations," Momen said.

 State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Md. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and Professor of Economics of Dhaka University Dr. Selim Raihan spoke as the special guests.

 The speakers highlighted the importance of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh.

 They termed the Bridge as the symbol of pride and self-confidence, the dream of which came true with the hands of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who took the bold decision of building the bridge with the country's own resources.

 The programme was physically attended by the officers and staff members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while all the Bangladesh Missions abroad attended the program virtually.

 Foreign Secretary Ambassador Masud Bin Momen delivered the vote of thanks while Foreign Service Academy Rector Ambassador Asad Alam Siam gave the opening remarks, reports BSS.