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In sign of growing tension, a Grameen Bank union leader said he was tortured late Friday by unidentified men after the union threatened to stage nationwide demonstrations over Yunus's sacking.
Sagir Rashid Chowdhury, 38, told AFP he was hauled into a minibus and taken near Dhaka University where he was beaten and threatened with pistols.
"They said they would kill me if I don't call off the protests. They beat me with sticks. I begged for my life. They broke my hands and left me in a field." Nurse Golam Mostafa of the government's orthopaedic hospital confirmed the injuries. "Chowdhury has torture marks all over his body. One of his fingers was also broken."
Who but top politicians would feel threatened by this man? This looks like a confirmation, if any was needed, that those at the top of the government view the Grameen issue purely politically. They did not seem so bothered by lawyers and economists criticizing them in the papers. But mass protests have them scared.
For the US Development Policy Initiative’s inaugural Voices of Experienceevent, three former Treasury Under Secretaries for International Affairs took the stage: Tim Adams of the Institute of International Finance, Lael Brainard of the Federal Reserve, and Nathan Sheets of Peterson Institute for International Economics. The conversation, moderated by CGD Board Member Tony Fratto, revealed the “esprit de corps” of the International Affairs team, and covered everything from the central yet oft under-the-radar role the Office of International Affairs plays in the formulation and execution of international economic policy, to each Under Secretaries’ proudest moments.
The first thing we should be asking is why now in particular, since conditions have not really changed much in the past few months. For example, back in September, there were large uncertainties in the global economy. China’s economic slowdown was causing alarm. Volatility in international capital markets was high. The appreciation of the US dollar was hurting US exports, which could (yet) mean slower US economic growth. That was not the time for the US Federal Reserve to up interest rates. But now it is – and here’s why.