Hillary Clinton warned on Sunday that Bangladesh's failureto probe the murder of a garment labour activist would send a wrong signal tothe American buyers.
The US secretary of state made the remarks prior to herdeparture for Kolkata at the end of a 24-hour trip to Dhaka. She told studentsat the International School of Dhaka (ISD) that Brac founder Sir Fazle HasanAbed and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunuswere "national treasure" and that Bangladesh should treat themaccordingly.
"I think they are your national treasures. Theirorganisations viewed as the best development organisations in the world,"the US secretary of state said. Clinton also said she had told both PrimeMinister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia during hermeeting with them that all the political actors should sit together to try tosettle disputes.
She said independent probe into the murder of the labouractivist Aminul Islam was crucial for Bangladesh, adding that whenever therewere labour problems in the garments industry that 'has to be resolved'.
"You don't want to get a reputation that labouractivist is murdered or people are taken advantage or abuse of poor workingcondition. There needs to be total rule of law and no impunity," Clintonsaid.
"The recent killing of labour activist Aminul Islm hasto be investigated and perpetrators need to be brought to justice. There needsto be a demonstration that rule of law established."
Activist Aminul Islam, president of Ashulia unit of a labourunion, went missing on Apr 4, and his body was found two days later in Tangail.He was buried as an 'unidentified person'. But the following day, his familyidentified him from the picture published in a newspaper. They contacted policeand reburied him. The US secretary of state also said that she had followeddispute over Grameen Bank from Washington.
"I can only hope nothing is done in any way underminedthe success of Grameen Bank. I highly respect Mohammad Yunus. I hope it willcontinue without being undermined or affected by any government action. Thatwould be unfortunate" she added.
The former managing director of the Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus,is well known as a family-friend of the Clintons. The Bangladesh Bank removedhim from his post on Mar 2 last year saying he was past his retirement age.
Clinton had left for Kolkata after attending the programmetitled 'A Conversation with Bangladesh' organised by the ISD. She visitedBangladesh last time as the first lady in 1995.