News From Abroad:
Published: 5/05/2012 at 11:48 PM • Online News: Asia
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Bangladesh on Saturday to pull out of a spiral of political turmoil, saying the impoverished nation's democratic credentials were at stake.
Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni (R) welcomes US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. Clinton has arrived for a brief but difficult mission in Bangladesh, where violence and a crackdown on the opposition threaten new instability. "We urge all political actors in Bangladesh to work together for the good of the country," Clinton told reporters following talks in Dhaka with Foreign Minister Dipu Moni. "In a strong democracy, everybody has to be rowing in the same direction because you're all in the same boat," she said. "We want to see Bangladesh succeed."
Clinton arrived in Bangladesh earlier Saturday for a brief visit shadowed by rallies and strikes over the disappearance of regional opposition figure Ilias Ali in April. Supporters say that he was seized by security forces. Four people have died in the unrest and rights groups say dozens more have "disappeared" -- most of them politicians. Clinton raised the issue of the disappearances during her talks with Moni and stressed the need for political parties to settle their differences in parliament and not on the streets. "It's important that in this country which has such unlimited potential and has proven its ability to sustain the democratic path... that everybody take seriously any disappearance, any violence against activists, any oppression of civil society," she said at a joint press conference.
She also called for an end to the recent spate of violent strikes saying they "exact a heavy toll, especially on Bangladesh's poorest and most vulnerable citizens."
Clinton is the first US secretary of state to visit Bangladesh since Colin Powell in 2003. In unusually large crowds even for Clinton, thousands of Bangladeshis lined the streets for a glimpse of her motorcade. One well-wisher held a sign, "Heartiest welcome to Forgain (sic) Minister Clinton."
After the press conference, Clinton held talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and later signed a joint statement that stressed the two countries' "shared values" and "respect for human rights and the rule of law." The statement sets up a so-called "dialogue on partnership" that will include annual talks. Later, Clinton was scheduled to meet opposition leader Khaleda Zia. Sheikh Hasina and Zia have dominated Bangladesh's politics for decades and their mutual dislike is as intense as it is personal. Following a rally in the capital last weekend and a series of explosions at a government building complex, police charged and arrested a number of senior figures from the Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
Despite the unrest, the United States views Bangladesh as a moderate, democratic Muslim-majority nation that is a US partner in counter-terrorism efforts and the world's largest contributor to UN peacekeeping.
But one thorny issue Clinton will address involves recent problems for Muhammad Yunus, Bangladesh's only Nobel peace prize winner and a personal friend of Clinton and her husband Bill. Yunus was forced out of his ground-breaking micro-credit Grameen bank last year and has since claimed to be the victim of a vendetta that will result in the government seizing his empire of social businesses aimed at alleviating poverty. Clinton was scheduled to meet Yunus on Sunday.
In Dhaka, the government had talked up Clinton's visit as an event that would take ties to "a new height". Moni said relations had "matured" over the years, but said trade ties could be improved as she pushed for greater access to US markets and lower tariffs for Bangladeshi exports.
Clinton leaves Sunday for India where her visit will coincide with that of a large Iranian trade mission, seeking commercial opportunities to mitigate the impact of US economic sanctions. Washington has been pressuring India to reduce its oil purchases from Iran in a bid to coax the Islamic republic to abandon its disputed nuclear programme. India has publicly opposed the US sanctions while quietly diversifying oil sources and cutting shipments from the Persian Gulf nation in the hope, observers say, of being granted a US waiver for remaining Iranian oil imports.
2012 Honoring the Women in Our Lives Annual Benefit Luncheon
Friday, September 28th, 2012 @ 11am
The plans for our 2012 Honoring the Women in Our Lives Annual Benefit Luncheon are already underway. This year the event will be held at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla on September 28th at 11:00 am.
Call 858-483-0400 to inquire about FFW's prime sponsorship opportunities.
Over 260 people attended the luncheon in 2011. All the proceeds from the event help fund our microcredit programs in San Diego and Liberia.
Please save the date.
2nd Saturday of every month from 10am - 3pm
La Dolce Vita
Come support our Microentrepreneurs! The second Saturday of every month, FFW will have a bazaar at the business of one of our microcredit borrowers, Malou Gibson. Malou has graciously opened her business to FFW and its Microentrepreneurs so come out and shop for beautifully handmade jewelry and clothing, as well as accessories, skin care products, and other services. Enjoy homemade delicious foods and learn more about the work that the Foundation for Women is doing.
FREE Yoga Sessions
Every Tuesday from 4pm - 5pm
Foundation for Women Office
About the Instructor: Nicole teaches self-love and self-healing which allows students to discover and embrace their true nature, happiness and inner peace. Discovering Yoga in 1995 and embracing its unique quality of balance and tranquility she instantly appreciated what Yoga brought into her life. Moving from the sunny shores of Florida to the golden radiance of California marks the turning point in Nicole's journey and spiritual pursuits.
Exploring different types of Yoga has led her to focus on an Inner Peace based practice where she encourages her students to embrace a vibration of love, peace & unity. It is through her open-minded approach to life that she encourages others to see the positive as she strives to be a vehicle for growth, self-understanding and overall peace of mind. In her Gentle & Hatha classes, students will integrate Universal Teachings of Love, Light, and Unity as well as connection with Mother Earth, Divine Spirit and the Inner Light within.
Her goal as a teacher is to help students to discover and embrace their true nature, happiness and inner peace while immersing themselves in a perpetual state of Love�
Nicole also owns Shanti Spa & Gallery, a peaceful retreat of beauty and wellness, located here in Normal Heights.