Foreign Minister Dipu Moni: 101 foreign trips in 13 months.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has come under fire in the parliament for her frequent foreign trips.
Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) lawmakers attacked Dipu Moni for demanding additional 96.3mn taka to cover her ministry’s expenses in the current fiscal year.
“If there was a Nobel Prize for tours, she would have won the award,” said Abul Khayer Bhuiyan, BNP lawmaker, opposing additional funds.
“We do not know how many days out of the 365 days in a year does the foreign minister stay in Bangladesh,” he quipped.
Another BNP lawmaker Rehana Akter Ranu said the foreign minister ate breakfast in Dhaka, lunched in Delhi, took afternoon snacks in Malaysia and dinner in New York.
Speaking in the dialect of Chandpur district, Dipu Moni’s constituency Ranu, who is also from the same district, said: “The people in Chandpur say the bird (foreign minister) flies in and flies out.”
In a humorous mood, BNP lawmaker Mahbub Uddin Khokon said the minister flies across borders from one country to another while Indian security forces are killing hundreds of people at the Bangladeshi border.
Even the foreign press has been critical of Dipu Moni. The Times of Assam reported that “by educational background, she is a physician, while she never practised in her entire life, except being very active as a lower-mid level political activist. Though there is no allegation of being a corrupt, the Bangladeshi foreign minister spent 13 months in foreign tour during last 34 months.
“During these 13 months, she has made 101 foreign trips, thus spending millions of dollars from the national exchequer while has not been able in the most minimum level of contributing anything substantive through such travel luxury and fabulous wastage of public money.
“Only during 2009, when the Bangladesh Awami League formed the government, the first-ever female foreign minister of the country, who has no experience of diplomacy or foreign relations, Dipu Moni made 34 foreign trips, which already has bypassed all previous records of any of the foreign ministers in the country. In 2010 again, she made 34 trips. Only during 2009-2010, she spent more than nine months in various countries.”