Written evidence submitted by the International Forum for Secular Bangladesh, UK Branch-Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, Juktorajyo Shakha
8 Dec 2009
There is a growing number of British Bengalis going to British universities and gaining British qualifications. It is estimated that presently there are approximately 30,000 British educated Bengali graduates. A further 3,000 are said to be joining them every year. Many second generation British Bengalis feel passionate about Bangladesh. They want to get involved and contribute to the development of Bangladesh but lack the necessary information and contacts. Connecting the second generation British Bengalis with their parent's country of origin could be beneficial to the UK and Bangladesh.
The Benefits for British Bengalis would be the opportunity to maintain contact and contribute to the development of Bangladesh. Similarly Bangladesh would benefit by strengthening links with professionals and accessing specialist skills and expertise of the diaspora community for the future development of Bangladesh. The DFID could establish a diaspora knowledge network data of British Bengalis.
There are concerns regarding some British registered Islamic charities who are raising funds from the UK for the use of terrorism. Certainly that was the case of Green Crescent http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=81399 .
Another charity Jamaat-e-Islami's front organisation Muslim Aid is presently under investigation http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=80287 by Bangladesh intelligence agencies for alleged link to terrorism. There are also newspaper reports of Muslim Aid being sectarian in their distribution of relief material. It is alleged Muslim Aid refused to give aid to Hindus and gave aid to Jamaat-e-Islami activists. These are serous allegation and as such we would urge DFID to review its working with some of the Islamist NGOs.