Vindictive Muhammad Yunus wants US sanctions on Bangladesh

Recently, self-styled guru of microcredit, Muhammad Yunus managed a letter signed by 40 individuals in the United States, including his friend and recipient of his donation – Hillary Clinton. This letter was published in The Washington Post as a full-page advertisement at the cost of US$73,000, while Yunus spent additional amount by assigning several PR agencies in spreading this letter. Several newspapers in Bangladesh have termed those 40 individuals as “world leaders”, although most of them actually are internationally-known individuals. Certainly, they are not world leaders as publicized by Yunus and his cronies in Bangladeshi media.

The latest letter signed by 40 individuals in favor of Yunus reminds me the famous Arabian novel of Alibaba and forty thieves. While I don’t want to brand all of those 40 individuals who have signed the letter in support of Yunus as thieves – they certainly has stood in favor of a notorious individual who has ruined lives of hundreds and thousands of poor people in Bangladesh.

According to a website opened by Muhammad Yunus, 40 individuals, including Hillary Clinton have written a letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Most of the above-mentioned individuals are not world leaders. Moreover, Jennifer Lopez, who was appointed as ambassador of ‘Grameen America’ last year did not sign this statement.

In June 2022, Muhammad Yunus spend lavishly towards publicity stunt in spreading the information about his appointing Jennifer Lopez.

According media reporters, Yunus spent cash in spreading the “news” about issuance of “statement” by Hillary Clinton and other through a number of PR agencies, including PR Newswire. Founded in 1954 by Herbert Muschel with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, PR Newswire, now named as CISION PR Newswire has emerged into the leading Press Release services in the world.

But Muhammad Yunus was not satisfied just by placing his so-called statement as press release with PR Newswire and few other PR agencies against payment. He also spent significantly in getting it published as sponsored post or advertisement in The Washington Post and it is also learnt that it may also appear in few more newspapers against payment soon.

On March 7, a full-page sponsored post lauding Dr Muhammad Yunus, Owner of Grameen Telecom and owner of around 34 percent share of Grameen Phone, was published in The Washington Post with the details of so-called statement issued by Hillary Clinton and others.

Debunking Muhammad Yunus

On March 9, 2011, Rajeev Sharma, a New Delhi-based journalist-author and a strategic analyst, in an article titled ‘The Fall of Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus’ wrote:

The euphoria generated by the media after Yunus won the Nobel Prize got dissipated following reports appearing in a section of press highlighting high interest rates charged by the Grameen Bank, tough payment schedules and inhuman recovery methods leading to miseries including suicides committed by the poor loan defaulters.

The international community has long been made to believe that Yunus was lending money to rural poor people in Bangladesh, especially women, at a very comfortable and low interest. In fact, Grameen Bank has been receiving grants and loans from various international agencies on a regular basis for this purpose. The highest amount of annual interest on any foreign loan that Grameen Bank receives is 3 percent. Moreover, a major segment of the foreign loans or grants received by it are absolutely free of interest. But, Yunus is lending money to poor people at a rate ranging between 40-70 percent per year. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already termed Yunus as ‘bloodsucker of the poor’.

This bloodsucking show was revealed when the ’Weekly Blitz’, published a series of investigative reports on Yunus. A reporter Zahid Al Amin of the weekly visited the village Jobra near Chittagong. Jobra is claimed to be the model of ‘success story’ of Yunus and his Grameen Bank. He interacted with the villagers and collected information as well photographs, to verify the truth in what Yunus and his Grameen Bank were claiming as their success.

Yunus displayed a documentary on a woman’s fortune at the Nobel Prize awarding ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on October 13, 2006, putting up the success story of Grameen Bank. The documentary mainly focused on the first borrower of Grameen Bank, Sufia, showing her as owning a two storey building after rising from a miserable condition…

Due to continuous publication of reports in our newspaper – Blitz about Dr. Mohammad Yunus, we were contacted by many including Tom Heinemann, who made a documentary on Yunus and his Grameen Bank.

On December 6, 2010, Parminder Bahra in an article in The Wall Street Journal wrote:

… In 1996, the Norwegians had concerns about Yunus’ handling of the aid money and wrote to him for an explanation. Yunus turned to the then director general of Norad, Ms. Tove Strand Gerhardesn, and practically begged for her help to assuage an increasingly unhappy Norweigian Embassy in Bangladesh:

Hardly the sort of letter one would write over a ‘simple’ misunderstanding. The matter did not come to light until last week.

Following the broadcast of the documentary, the story has been picked up across Scandanavia and the issue has been raised in the Norwegian parliament.

The current Norwegian International Development Minister, Erik Solheim, has called for a full report on the matter. In a statement to the BBC he said:

It is also likely that the Bangladeshi Government will investigate the matter.

There are many outstanding questions that these investigations must report:

how was the matter left between Norad and Grameen Bank

how much of the aid money was used for home loans

once the loans were repaid, how much of that money was put back into home loans (the aid was meant to be used as revolving loans)

what procedures did Norad put in place to evaluate the use and effectiveness of the aid

why did Norad let money that was explicitly for home loans be used for profit-making ventures within the broader Grameen group?

This news comes at a time when microfinance, after a decade of rapid expansion, is facing a backlash. In the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, microfinance loans have been blamed for suicides in the state as customers who fall behind on payments are threatened. Local politicians are seeking legislation to curb interest rates and bank practises…

While Grameen America introduces Professor Muhammad Yunus as “father of microfinance”, people will be shocked to know, how this man has been fooling and cheating the world with series of lies and evil acts.

For years, international community has been made to believe that Mohammad Yunus was lending money to rural poor people in Bangladesh, especially woman, as a very comfortable and low interest. This was what Yunus had told everyone while receiving fund for his blood-sucking venture.

In most cases, Yunus was getting interest-free fund or fund with a very nominal annual interest. According to media reports, the highest amount of annual interest on any foreign loan that Grameen Bank had received was 3 percent. Moreover, a major segment of the foreign loans or grants received by Grameen Bank were extremely low or free from any interest. But Yunus was lending money to poor people at a rate ranging between 40~70 percent per year! For this reason, Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had rightly termed Yunus as bloodsucker of the poor.

The bloodsucking show of Dr Muhammad Yunus was exposed by BLiTZ in 2011 through a number of investigative reports. Prior to publication of the reports, our reporters were sent to Jobra village in Chattogram, which was claimed to be the model “success story” of Yunus and his Grameen Bank. Our reporters interacted with the villagers and collected information as well as photographs, to expose the lies of Yunus.

It may be mentioned here that, Mohammad Yunus projected a documentary film on woman’s fortune at the Nobel Prize awarding ceremony in Oslo, Norway on October 13, 2006, through which he had falsely claimed his success story. The documentary mainly focused on the first borrower of Grameen Bank, Sufia Begum [also spelled as Sufiya Begum], showing her as owning a two-storey building after rising from miserable condition.

But in reality, BLiTZ reports had exposed the real condition of Sufia Begum. Although Yunus and Grameen Bank claimed to have helped her in erecting her own building, in reality, she was living in dire economic condition in an almost broken hut, with other members of her family. The building which Yunus and Grameen Bank was showing as Sufia’s in their documentary films was actually owned by an individual named Jabel Hussain, an expatriate Bangladeshi in Dubai.

It may be mentioned here that, at personal efforts of Bill and Hillary Clinton, bloodsucker Yunus was given highest civilian medal in the US by President Barack Obama. And now, possibly Clintons are extending special favor from behind the curtain to their “loving Yunus”.

Yunus and his Grameen Bank projected Jobra village and Sufia as example of their excellent success stories to the international audience. Through such campaign, Yunus has attained tremendous attention of the international community. He has gained fame in the world as ‘pioneer’ of micro credit, for which, Bill Clinton had personally pursued and succeeded in letting Yunus receive the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. The name of Sufia Begum, the first borrower of loan from Yunus’s Grameen Bank, has already crossed international boundaries of many countries, as Grameen Bank proudly pronounced her name as one of the brilliant success stories of their so-called micro-credit loans. It is beyond knowledge of many that, almost one decade back, Sufia died due to extreme poverty and lack of any minimum medical treatment.

BLiTZ also reported that Yunus took former US first lady Hillary Clinton at Grameen Bank’s project situated at Rishi Palli at Moshihati in Bangladesh, where Yunus initiated a project named ‘Hillary Adarsha’ (Hillary Model) and started distributing loans to the locals.

Although Hillary Clinton was deeply impressed and given assurance of providing soft-term loan to the poor villagers, in reality, the villagers were made to pay 30~40 percent interest. After the visit of Hillary Clinton, the entire village turned into a land of horror. Extreme poverty due to high interest charged by the Grameen Bank pushed them towards starvation, poverty and compelling many of them to commit suicide.

Muhammad Yunus wants sanctions on Bangladesh

As his latest publicity stunt of letter written by 40 individuals has fallen flat, Yunus is making frantic bids using influence of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in convincing the Biden administration in imposing sanctions on dozens of individuals in Bangladesh – ranging from politicians to civil-military officials under Global Magnitsky Act.

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