While returning from Sydney on 10 November, I met some executives of a Bangladeshi private company at Hong Kong airport. They went to South Korea to buy machines. I asked him, how did you see South Korea? He replied, the development there is dazzling. South Korea once dreamed of becoming one of the richest countries in Asia. Now they face competition from Europe and America. He also has a big investment in Bangladesh.
I asked him if he had talked to Bangladeshis working in that country. He replied that he talked to many of them. They are disappointed with the political situation in the country. They work hard and send money to the country, which keeps the economy running. There are approximately 70,000 migrant workers in South Korea. If they see political parties engaged in fights, fights, fights during elections year after year – then naturally they become disappointed. They want a good political environment in the country. All parties should participate in elections.
This seems to echo the sentiment of expatriates in Sydney.
About 100,000 Bangladeshis live in Australia and most of them are in Sydney. There too, all kinds of opinions and differences exist among Bangladeshis. Some of them are Awami League supporters, some are BNP supporters. Some are left oriented. But the general feeling of all of them is to want the well-being of Bangladesh. They want success for Bangladesh. Almost all the expats I met in Sydney asked about the Bangladesh elections. He asked, will there be elections? Will all parties participate? I don’t have answers. Those who control the state and politics, those who are in power or imagine coming to power, can answer to these.
Many expatriate friends praised Prothom Alo’s silver jubilee slogan – “Bangladesh will not lose” (Harbe na Bangladesh). “I used to read Prothom Alo every day while I was in the country,” said an engineer who graduated from BUET. I read online now because I can’t get printed newspapers in Australia. At least every two hours I get the latest news from Prothom Alo. Despite being busy, expatriates lovingly read Prothom Alo online regularly. He says that the way Prothom Alo presents the success and victory stories of common people is incomparable.
The issue of education in Bangladesh also came up in the discussion. There are approximately three thousand Bangladeshi students in Australia, 90 percent of whom work alongside their studies.
An expatriate lawyer involved in this profession for three decades said that the first thing that people who come from Bangladesh to study, have to face is the language problem. Although they know the English language well, they still. Can’t understand the pronunciation. He insisted on following the International Phonetic Alphabet or IPA system.