2006.03.15: March 15, 2006: Headlines: COS - Bangladesh: Safety and Security of Volunteers: Peace Corps: Peace Corps Suspends Program in Bangladesh

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Bangladesh: Peace Corps Bangladesh : The Peace Corps in Bangladesh: 2006.03.15: March 15, 2006: Headlines: COS - Bangladesh: Safety and Security of Volunteers: Peace Corps: Peace Corps Suspends Program in Bangladesh

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-186-164.balt.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 2:16 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Suspends Program in Bangladesh

Peace Corps Suspends Program in Bangladesh

"The safety and security of volunteers is the number one priority of the Peace Corps. Therefore, all Peace Corps volunteers serving in Bangladesh have safely left the country."

PCOL Comment: The Peace Corps Press Office informed us earlier today that the last volunteer left the country at 1250 EST. PCOL has been holding this story for publication the past two days until all volunteers were out of the country. It is always sad when the Peace Corps suspends a program, especially one like Bangladesh where the Peace Corps has such a long history. We commend the Peace Corps for making a very difficult decision and for their professional handling of the situation.

Peace Corps Suspends Program in Bangladesh

Peace Corps Suspends Program in Bangladesh

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15, 2006 - Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez has announced the suspension of the Peace Corps program in Bangladesh.

"When I visited Bangladesh last July, government ministers and local leaders had only praise for the friendships and bonds volunteers had formed in their communities. On the whole, the people of Bangladesh respected the commitment and dedication of Peace Corps volunteers," said Director Vasquez. "However, given current concerns for volunteer safety, Peace Corps regrets that we will not be able to maintain a presence in the country at the this time."

The safety and security of volunteers is the number one priority of the Peace Corps. Therefore, all Peace Corps volunteers serving in Bangladesh have safely left the country.

Peace Corps volunteers first served in Bangladesh throughout the 1960's when it was known as East Pakistan. Peace Corps closed the program prior to Bangladesh declaring its independence in 1971 due to political tension and impending war. The Peace Corps first entered the People's Republic of Bangladesh in November 1998. At that time, 35 trainees were sent to work in English teacher training and primary education.

Peace Corps decided to temporarily suspend the program in October 2001 as a precautionary measure following the 9/11 attacks. The program re-opened in August 2002 with programs in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and youth development. At the time of the suspension, 70 volunteers were in country. More than 280 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Bangladesh.

When this story was posted in March 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Bangladesh; Safety and Security of Volunteers


By Former Volunteer (ca527-ch01-bl03.tx-dallas0.sa.earthlink.net - on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 2:35 am: Edit Post

34 Volunteers have been killed, died or are missing during service since 1996. Over 2,500 volunteers have been documented as victims of violence and this is a conservative number since 1999.

If Peace Corps had made better decisions in terms of Peace Corps policy and planning we wouldn't have such a concern about safety.

To this day, their staff routinely discriminate against volunteers who have served and been raped or a victim of violence in service. They lie about former volunteer service through bogus medical practices, making people ET through placing them in unsafe areas and not taking serious the concerns of volunteers in the field.

The Dayton Daily News has recieved awards around the country in Ethics for exposing the scoundrels who helped to perpetuate a program of negligence. They (the staff) hurt the program through not changing policy in the field and the way they handled separations related to health and safety of volunteers in the 1990's into today. They did not have the experience and dismissed some of the better volunteers who may have helped them in making better decisions relating to these safety gliches.

This progam in Bangladesh would not have to be suspended if there was better planning and coordination of Peace Corps Volunteers and the safety issues were properly handled in the past as well as today.

It is unfortunate that the most powerful country in the world can't help its poorest.

The Peace Corps should have investigated the warning signals of volunteers who fell victim in the early 1990's until today. They didn't and often sent volunteers home after experiencing a terror type of encounter whether safety or health related. They fired these volunteers through medical services or made them ET by blaming the victim. The Victim was the program as we see here. We are unable serve here in one of the poorest countries on earth.

By the way, many of those voluteers didn't get proper medical care for service related injuries and have never been able to argue their cases before Peace Corps or the courts because uses their attorney's against volunteers who served.

The Peace Corps staffers during these periods were wrong. They are wrong today in the way they handle safety and health issues. They continue to blame former volunteers for serving their country in very difficult areas and having these type of encounters. What is really funny is these staffers are still running the program, they put Peace Corps on the map as a safety hazard in the public.

Thanks Staff

By phool CHAND (dsl-del-dynamic- - on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 12:55 am: Edit Post

Respected Sir,

In fact you are very much right. Here i would like to inform you that there is lot of difference in Bangladesh and India. Here in India our peoples care very much for everybody. Indian peoples are very much puctual in abiding the directions/order/instruction. In case there is somethng which could not be done always accept their weakness/lapses.

so for as we are concerned we are doing work for the down trodden, physically Handicapped, women, widows, street children for their grievances. We could not start any project due to financial hardship but doing all kinds correspndence relating to these peoples throught our NGO (All India Association for Sc/ST & Physically Handicapped(Regd.) The Govt. of India has given its recognition to this Association. AL MEMBERS OFTHIS ASSOCIATION ARE VERY SINCERE AND COOPERATIVE AND WILL DO HARD WORK AS PER REQUIREMENT OF TIME.



Email pcsakkarwal@yahoo.com
we will always at your service

By General Counsel ( on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 5:07 pm: Edit Post

People are watching the Peace Corps actions and closing programs is not the way to go.

The safety issue is out of control and you need to do right by the volunteers you have wronged in the past as well as the families who have lost loved ones.

The Congress should write a bill to provide volunteers with a General Counsel that directly reports to them. Volunteer should be on equal footing with the staff, who is often not as qualified as the volunteers themselves.

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