Bangladesh defends rejection of foreign aid for collapse

Bangladesh has defended its decision to turn down foreign help following Wednesday’s collapse of a building near Dhaka that killed at least 382 people.

Andrew North reports on the “angry surge running through Bangladesh”


Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir told the BBC authorities were confident they could deal with the crisis and emergency services did “a good job”.

Hundreds are thought to be trapped but hope of finding more alive is fading.

Most victims are thought to be garment factory workers. The building’s owner has been arrested.

Mohammed Sohel Rana is one of eight people detained, along with at least two garment factory owners.

They face allegations of negligence, illegal construction and persuading workers to enter the building in Savar – a day after visible cracks appeared.

Separately two companies whose suppliers were based in the building, Britain’s Primark and Canada’s Loblaw, said on Monday they would pay compensation and offer emergency food aid to victims who worked for their suppliers.


Mr Alamgir said that the Bangladeshi authorities “were confident we could manage it ourselves” in the rescue operation and had “enough people” involved in the rescue operation.

He pointed out that nearly 2,430 of at least 3,000 people who had been in the building survived.

The minister said this figure was “better than the average international effort in such cases”.

“We did a good job and I am proud of my people – the firemen, the military, the police, the local volunteers who all came in to help.”

Mr Alamgir added that foreign countries had not provided a list of specialist equipment Bangladesh had asked for.

Both the UK government and the United Nations have said they had teams of experts ready to head out to Bangladesh, but their offer of help was turned down.

‘No-one seen alive’

Anger at the building’s collapse has triggered days of violent protests in Dhaka demanding those responsible be punished and for an improvement in factory conditions.

Garment industry workers across the country were given the weekend off, in the hope that the anger would fade.

But on Monday, thousands of workers walked out of factories in the Ashulia and Gazipur industrial districts shortly after they opened, and staged a protest march, reportedly setting fire to an ambulance.

Bangladesh has one of the largest garment industries in the world, providing cheap clothing for major Western retailers that benefit from its widespread low-cost labour.

But the industry has been widely criticised for its low pay and limited rights given to workers and for the often dangerous working conditions in garment factories.

Source: BBC


  1. Germany fully complicit in Israel terror acts: Analyst:
    Interview with Gordon Duff: Tue Apr 30, 2013. Press TV has interviewed Gordon Duff, senior editor of Veterans Today from Ohio, to shed more light on the issue of Israel’s inauguration of its fifth Dolphin-class submarine in north Germany. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview. Press TV: This basically fits in very well with the conversation we are having earlier with our correspondent in Egypt and how the international community seems to have turned not just the blind eye towards Israel’s nuclear arsenal but is equipping it with things like nuclear submarines, where we know that it will be used as an aggressive tool. What do you make of that? (1)—-

    Duff: Well, to be perfectly honest the German government under [Angela] Merkel is equally complicit to Israel. The submarines could not be re-equipped; there are no facilities to re-equipping them in Israel. That means they are being deliberate fully nuclear capable from Germany, meaning that they have missile launchers on board very probably. We have seen evidence of this; they are leaving Germany with nuclear weapons on board. All of the modifications for these submarines to deliver weapons of mass destruction are made in Germany. There is no other purpose for these submarines than delivery of weapons of mass destruction either nuclear, biological or chemical warfare; they have no other purpose whatsoever other than broad skill, international terrorism with Germany acting as a fully complicit rogue state to Israel. Press TV: Where does it leave the movement that the West itself spearheaded what just called the nuclear-free Middle East, where it calling for a Middle East without nuclear weapons for the sake of its security and stability? (2)——

    Duff: The idea that international law applies to Israel or its broad influence through its frenzied international banking and worldwide extremely powerful organized crime groups that frankly controls the government of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Germany, France and Britain. We see this every day, we see where the rules do not apply that Germany would deliver the weapons of mass destruction; this is literally what they have done even though Israel has been subjected to well over a hundred boats that should have brought sanctions for this kind of action. Those sanctions should now be applied against Germany, because they are totally complicit. This is not just the submarine. This is a weapons platform, a fully equipped weapons system delivered by Germany with no other purpose than to deliver nuclear weapons against any…., including very much NATO, Western Europe or the Americas. (3)—-

    Press TV: Well, then of course does it point to the failure of organizations like the UN in bringing about the type of political consent
    to penalize countries like Germany that equip a hostile regime like the Israeli, one with weapons of mass destruction? What can be done? Duff: The United Nations, as long as there are nations like the United States that have a deciding vote in the Security Council, now the General Assembly has no power whatsoever. Last year they recognized the Palestinian states and yet the Israelis are still bulldozing homes there, still not respecting sovereignty, still crossing the border as they please, still bombing and rocketing; now the belief of any that these are defensive weapons and the range of these submarines delivered by the Germans with allowed attacks on Japan, with allowed attacks on the Americas, it keeps the all anywhere and it will. (4)—


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