BANGLADESH: Paper Skeptical of US Visit

A recent Bangladeshi magazine article posits that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to Bangladesh was not necessarily the sweet deal it might seem to be. Particularly if the two countries’ military and economic agreements prove lop-sided against Bangladesh’s interests.

On the whole, the media went wild having the U.S. Secretary of State in Bangladesh from May 5th to May 6th. But one news outlet, The Star magazine (a weekly publication by the Bangladesh newspaper, The Daily Star) reported on May 11th that although “everyone wants to be America’s friend”, it may not be in Bangladesh’s best interest to do so. The magazine article acknowledged that other media outlets have devoted page after page to this event and overall have been enthusiastic about this visit, which appears to be an adequate depiction of the Bangladeshi population in general. The article argues, however, that enthusiasts of the visit seem to be forgetting the U.S.’ past “imperialistic” motives. The Star reminds the public that the terms of the final agreements were never made public and believes that this is due to the unfavorable terms of the negotiations Bangladesh has entered or is possibly about to enter.

According to The Stare, one of the agreements reached — SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) — “essentially provides immediate clearance to US military personnel to enter the country at any time.” The magazine’s report subsequently concluded that the terms of the agreements are only favoring one side, and Bangladesh is not it. Although the paper agrees that U.S. and Bangladesh negotiations are in the national interest when there is mutual benefit, it states that the Bangladeshi elite have been acting like a “silly love-struck schoolgirl,” merely attempting to keep the U.S. happy.

Apparently, Hillary Clinton’s much anticipated visit to Bangladesh does not have everyone cheering.

For more information, please visit:
The Daily Star

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