Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED) organized a Flash Mob on 16 January 2018 to protest participation of International Financial Institutes (IFIs) and Transnational Banks (MNBs) in the Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) which has been held from 17 to 18 January 2018. The program was organized with the support from Actionaid Bangladesh and under cooperation of NGO Forum on ADB, Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN), Democratic Budget Movement (DBM), Nagorik Uddyog and VOICE.The objectives of the event was to sensitize citizens on devastating investments and destruction done by the IFIs and MNBs in Bangladesh. The flash mob was lasted from 11:45 - 12:00 PM in front of National Press Club, Dhaka, Bangladesh. A group of 30 youths and other 20 civil society representatives participated in the protesting Flash Mob.
10 of the youngsters wear masks of demons symbolized IFI or MNB and stood with the banner. Their dresses marked 10 institutions including:
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
Exim Bank of China
Exim Bank of India
International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD)
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Islamic Development Bank (ISDB)
Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)
Peoples Bank of China (PBC), and
Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)
During the silent Flash Mob, other youths distributed 2,000 leaflets to passer-by walkers and busses. The leaflets raised 6-point demands to the Government. Those are:
Ban all International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and Multinational Banks (MNBs) from Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF);
Open all information related with private investments and ban business secrecy for public-related infrastructural development projects;
Ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) at international standard before taking any project under external loan or grant;
Stop harming people's lives, livelihoods, environmental equilibrium and basic human rights by development projects;
Ensure the rights of common people to their lands and natural resources in acquisition of lands for development projects; and
Cancel immunity of all IFIs including Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Hundreds of people stood in front of the Flash Mob to see the slogans and live placards on the participants' body.
Sharifuzzaman Sharif from Nagarik Sanghati, ethno-botanical researcher Pavel Partha, ABM Anisuzzaman from Nagorik Uddyog, environmental activist Alamgir Kabir and Hasan Mehedi from CLEAN talked to the interested people and law enforcing agencies during the program.
Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED)