Bangladesh Ready to Compromise on Yunus Dispute

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bangladesh says it is ready to compromise with Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus, who was dismissed as chief of the microfinance bank he founded.

The country’s finance ministry said Wednesday the government is ready to find a solution to the issue and that Yunus must come forward to help resolve the matter.

The statement comes a day after U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake expressed concern about the effect of Yunus’ departure from Grameen Bank on civil society and on the lender itself. Blake met with Bangladeshi leaders during a visit to the country on Tuesday.

Last month, the government ordered Yunus to step down as head of Grameen Bank, which provides loans to the poor. The Central Bank said 70-year-old Yunus violated Bangladesh’s retirement laws by staying on past the age of 60.

The Central Bank owns a 25 percent stake in Grameen Bank and the government has been attacking Yunus for alleged financial irregularities.

Yunus has rejected those allegations.

His supporters say Yunus’ dismissal is related to his decision to make a brief attempt to set up his own political party in 2007. Yunus has denied any political aspirations.

He is appealing his dismissal with Bangladesh’s Supreme Court.

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