Acquaintance guest at Bangladesh Mission-Consulate in New York, who are they?
Minara Helen: Many questions have been raised about the familiar guests who regularly travel to the Bangladesh Consulate General Office in New York and Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Last Saturday (November 12) in the evening of Bangladesh’s new ambassador in Washington DC Muhammad Imran’s discussion meeting with expatriate media workers and social leaders seeing the presence of the so-called familiar guests including party leaders, various questions arose among the Bangladeshi expatriates in the United States.
When Bangladesh is on the verge of a dire financial crisis. Dollar reserves continue to shrink. The Prime Minister herself is giving early warning of famine with calls for reduction of state expenditure. At the same time, a separate dinner was arranged in the Bangladesh Consulate General office in the name of a discussion meeting with the ambassador. So-called social leaders and expatriate media workers participated in it. Not only in the Bangladesh Consulate General office in New York, such a scene can be seen in various events of the Bangladesh Permanent Mission appointed to the United Nations. There is a storm of discussion going on everywhere in New York.
Muhammad Imran assured reporters that the government and the embassy would take necessary measures to provide maximum service to the expatriates and said that the doors of his embassy are open for all expatriates. Besides, he sought the overall cooperation of expatriates irrespective of party affiliation to show the country’s image to foreigners.
He said that the Bangladesh of 1971 and today’s Bangladesh are not the same. In the fifty years of independence, the country has seen a lot of development and progress. This development and progress should be presented to the foreigners as well as the image of the country. That is why all expatriates have to fulfill the duty of an ambassador above the party.
This was his first interaction with journalists and community leaders since he was appointed to the US last September. Earlier, the ambassador interacted with CEOs and presidents of various money transfer institutions at the consulate. At this time, he emphasized on sending more money to the country of expatriates in a legal way and took opinions about the actions of consulates or embassies.
Consul General of Bangladesh in New York. A ZM Sajjad Hossain, Minister (Press) of the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC, Noor A Elahi Meena, Minister (Press) appointed to the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations and Debashree Mitra, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sonali Exchange Inc. were present in the discussion meeting moderated by Consul General of New York Dr. Monirul Islam.
Meanwhile, for the past few years, the Bangladesh Consulate General office in New York has been holding various events every month. It has cultural programs and dinner arrangements. In these events, party leaders and workers are always invited to the so-called well-known guests. Their faces can be seen at every event. Although there are 8 states under the jurisdiction of the Bangladesh Consulate General in New York, no guests from the remaining 7 states are invited to any event. Even the presence of dignitaries and eminent persons of these states has not been observed even today. Not only that, similar activities are also going on during cultural events. Talented artists and artisans scattered throughout New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont are never invited. Only two cultural organizations in New York, Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts (BIPA) and Bangladesh Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA), perform without responsibility. Expatriates believe that the Bangladesh Consulate General in New York has signed a hundred-year agreement with these two organizations.
It is not known when the guest list was recorded in the Bangladesh Consulate General Office and Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations. But the list includes so-called media workers, so-called community and party leaders, bogus freedom fighters and diaspora vagabonds. Many people laugh when they see these people at the consulate and Bangladesh Permanent Mission events.
However, the media workers urged them many times to revise the guest list but nothing was done.
You can easily see the faces of these people through newspapers, local TV and social media. No one understands why the officials of the Bangladesh Consulate General and the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations repeatedly invite them to various events based on their qualifications. There is tension among expatriates about this.
A New York businessman said on condition of anonymity that thousands of Bangladeshis live in New York. Among them are businessmen, leaders of various social and cultural organizations and a large number of people of various professions, who regularly remit large sums of money to the country. Such persons are never invited to the functions of the Bangladesh Consulate General Office and Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Many questions have arisen among expatriates about why those who send money to the country should be repeatedly invited to the Consulate General and the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Conscious expatriates feel that it is advisable to keep the door open for expatriates in all public functions of the Bangladesh Consulate General Office and the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations, except for lunch or dinner.
According to them, the expatriates would have been more happy if the Bangladesh Consulate General Office and Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations organized large-scale national events instead of entertaining a few traditional well-known so-called guests. Similarly, the discussion meeting of Bangladesh’s new ambassador in Washington DC, Muhammad Imran, with expatriate media workers and social leaders, many of the expatriates expressed the opinion that the government expenditure could have been reduced if a large-scale program was held instead of arranging meals for expatriate media workers and social leaders. In this, the ambassador could interact with a large number of expatriates. At the same time, expatriates were also lucky to catch a glimpse of him.
Several businessmen in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut said that they send millions of dollars to the country every month for various needs to work on some personal projects. But they were never invited to the function of Bangladesh Consulate General in New York. If those who are sending large amounts of remittances do not receive invitations to government functions, then many people wonder why those who are vagabonds in New York are repeatedly invited as guests to the consulate.
It should be noted that among the Bangladesh consulates in the outside world, New York ranks second only to Jeddah. Bangladesh Consulate General in New York earns a large amount of money for all consular services including passports and visas. The state fund is not meant for the so-called dignitaries. All expatriates have equal rights in it. Also, the issue of wasting huge sums of money on unnecessary events has also come up in various discussions among expatriates.