Published:  02:26 AM, 17 July 2017

Expats in France protest policy on home loan, sending bodies


Bangladesh nationals in France held a protest rally in front of Bangladesh Embassy in Paris against Bangladesh government's discrimination to approve home loans for non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB).

Members of European Probashi Bangladeshi Association (EPBA) gathered yesterday, in protest wore shrouds to express over government's indifference to sending dead bodies of expats, which is unbearable for the families living in Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh nationals' rally was participated by expats living in France and other European Union countries as they were excluded from sending dead bodies to their place of birth. While, they said that the expats from United States, United Kingdom and Middle East along with other parts of the world are eligible to send dead bodies to their relatives in Bangladesh.

Placards with "We Demand Rights, not Mercy", "Why Discrimination for Expats in France",  Don't Neglect Expats in France" were held by EPBA members in French capital city, where an estimated 50 thousand of Bangladeshis currently live.

NRBs have observed the unfair policy on the issue of sending dead body, adds Abu Tahir, the office secretary of EPBA France.

"As expatriates, it's our honest and humanist approach to the issue that caused the protest. Sadly when an NRBs die abroad, it is nightmare for expats financial inability to send the coffins from Europe.

Our protest to draw attention of NRBs' plight as those bodies send home are based on modest contribution and donations, which most often the fund is not enough to pay for the expenses," explains Abu Tahir.

Criticizing the discriminating policy adopted by the Bangladesh government, the NRBs are marginalized on the issues on home loans and other facilities.

Tahir regrets that the government officials while travelling abroad enjoy warmest hospitality offered by the Bangladesh nationals living abroad, when they return to Dhaka they forget the plights of the NRBs.

"We hope that we will be able to draw the attention of the government and we will succeed in our demands" said Saiful Islam, a senior member of EPBA.

"We also stood in front of the Bangladesh embassy in Paris before and said that the NRBs' flow of remittance is rising, while the authorities ignore the issue of sending the dead bodies at the expenses of the government," said Motaleb, assistant secretary general of EPBA.

Monowar Hossain Muzahid, another activist, demands to know the reason for excluding Bangladeshis in France from the home loan scheme announced recently.

The Bangladesh government pays no attention to its citizens living abroad, whose hard work has increased the foreign remittance to their country," regrets Ali Akbar Sumon, another activist.

The rally was led by Ferdaus Karim Akhanjee, the social welfare secretary and was presided over by Fharuq Khan, president of EPBA France.

The rally leaders handed over a petition of their demands to the Embassy of Bangladesh in Paris to draw its attention of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Abdul Hamid.

-NI Mahmud from Paris




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