Sunita Paul: Plagiarist

Mashuqur Rahman

Mashuqur Rahman

Sunita Paul is a plagiarist.

Sunita Paul is a “journalist” who has recently been publishing a series of sensational articles about Bangladesh. She has caused quite a stir because her articles make extraordinary claims, based on anonymous sources, about the political situation in Bangladesh. Extraordinary claims without much factual support however require a significant leap of faith by the reader. Her articles, whether they should be believed, depend on her credibility.

I find that when a journalist is engaged in plagiarism, that is when a journalist makes false claims of authorship, the remainder of that journalist’s work should be viewed with extreme suspicion. Plagiarism is dishonesty. And Sunita Paul is a plagiarist.

On February 6th of this year, Sunita Paul published an article in the American Chronicle with the breathless headline “Ruling party getting set to try Bangladesh Generals.” Now, if the claim in the article’s headline were true, this would be big news. So, my interest was piqued when I came across this article. However, the article was thin on backing up the main charge in the headline. As I read further through the long article, though, I came across a number of paragraphs that seemed very familiar to me. In fact, they sounded like something I had written in 2007. As I read them carefully, and checked back on my earlier published posts, I realized the paragraphs were exactly what I had written in two articles about General Moeen Ahmed and his involvement with Trust Bank.

In Sunita Paul’s article, you will find the following passage about the Trust Bank affair:

General Moeen and his brother, Iqbal U Ahmed, are both on the board of directors of Trust Bank. This appears to violate Bangladesh Bank regulations that state “not more than one member of a family will become director of a bank. For this purpose family members shall include spouse, parents, children, brothers and sisters of the director and other persons dependent on him/her.”

General Moeen points out that his brother was already the Managing Director of the Bank when General Moeen became Chairman of Trust Bank. However, in November 2006, while General Moeen was Chairman, his brother was reappointed Managing Director of Trust Bank. This appears to violate the Bangladesh Bank regulations which state that the above “restriction shall apply to appointment/ reappointment of the directors”.

General Moeen and his brother, Iqbal, on Trust Bank´s board of directors, they are borrowers of large sums of money from the bank. According to a prospectus filed by Trust Bank before its IPO, General Moeen had a loan with an outstanding balance of Tk. 9,969,215 at the end of 2005. By the end of 2006, the outstanding amount had been reduced to Tk. 3,315,323. His brother, the Managing Director, had an outstanding loan balance of Tk. 1,775,242 at the end of June 2006. At the end of 2005 General Moeen´s loan amount was by far the largest loan given to any director or senior executive of Trust Bank.

The ownership of Trust Bank, before the IPO, consisted of 7,000,000 shares, with 6,999,920 shares held by Army Welfare Trust. Of the remaining shares, General Moeen owned 10 shares. His brother, Iqbal, owned no shares. Each share was valued at Tk. 100. Therefore General Moeen owned Tk. 1000 worth of shares. According to Bangladesh Bank regulations he was entitled, with the approval of the board of directors, to get a loan for an amount up to Tk. 500. In other words, at the end of 2005 General Moeen had a loan Tk. 9,968,715 in excess of the amount allowed by the law.

The reason the Bangladesh Bank regulations are in place is to guard against abuse of power by directors of private banks – that is to say, to prevent corruption.

In the article, she writes the above passage as her own. She does not cite me as the author of those words, nor does she put the passage in quotations.

Now compare the first two paragraphs that I noted above to these two paragraphs from my post entitled “A Matter Of Trust” published on October 20, 2007:

  • General Moeen and his brother, Iqbal U Ahmed, are both on the board of directors of Trust Bank. This appears to violate Bangladesh Bank regulations that state “not more than one member of a family will become director of a bank. For this purpose family members shall include spouse, parents, children, brothers and sisters of the director and other persons dependent on him/her.”
  • General Moeen points out that his brother was already the Managing Director of the Bank when General Moeen became Chairman of Trust Bank. However, in November 2006, while General Moeen was Chairman, his brother was reappointed Managing Director of Trust Bank. This appears to violate the Bangladesh Bank regulations which state that the above “restriction shall apply to appointment/reappointment of the directors”.
  • You will notice that she has plagiarized my published work word for word.

    Now compare the next three paragraphs in her article that I noted above to these three paragraphs from my post entitled “Coming To America – Junta Banking Edition” published on October 18, 2007:

    Not only are General Moeen and his brother, Iqbal, on Trust Bank’s board of directors, they are also borrowers of large sums of money from the bank. According to a prospectus filed by Trust Bank before its IPO, General Moeen had a loan with an outstanding balance of Tk. 9,969,215 at the end of 2005. By the end of 2006, the outstanding amount had been reduced to Tk. 3,315,323. His brother, the Managing Director, had an outstanding loan balance of Tk. 1,775,242 at the end of June 2006. At the end of 2005 General Moeen’s loan amount was by far the largest loan given to any director or senior executive of Trust Bank.

    The ownership of Trust Bank, before the IPO, consisted of 7,000,000 shares, with 6,999,920 shares held by Army Welfare Trust. Of the remaining shares, General Moeen owned 10 shares. His brother, Iqbal, owned no shares. Each share was valued at Tk. 100. Therefore General Moeen owned Tk. 1000 worth of shares. According to Bangladesh Bank regulations he was entitled, with the approval of the board of directors, to get a loan for an amount up to Tk. 500. In other words, at the end of 2005 General Moeen had a loan Tk. 9,968,715 in excess of the amount allowed by the law.

    The reason the Bangladesh Bank regulations are in place is to guard against abuse of power by directors of private banks – that is to say, to prevent corruption.

    Again, they are the same, save a minor change in the first sentence. Sunita Paul has plagiarized word for word from two of my published posts.

    Not only has Sunita Paul plagiarized my work, she has used copyrighted material without my consent.

    Now, it should come as no surprise that Sunita Paul is listed as a writer for the Weekly Blitz, the tabloid that is run by Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. She also rather coincidentally writes in a number of other publications, including American Chronicle, that publish Mr. Choudhury. Over the last several years, Mr. Choudhury and his well-funded American neoconservative friends have been driving hard to drum up trouble in Bangladesh. Judging by her articles, Ms. Paul appears to be part of this larger effort.

    Sunita Paul publishes rather prodigiously about Bangladesh in a number of publications including American Chronicle and Global Politician. Since at least a half a dozen such publications have published her plagiarized article, I intend to contact them and let them know that she has plagiarized and has also violated copyright.

    I hope that the next time you the reader come across another breathless article from Sunita Paul, that you consider what credibility you want to attach to a plagiarist.

    Mashuqur Rahman [http://www.docstrangelove.com] is one of the highest read Bangladeshi-American bloggers. Critically acclaimed for his incisive analysis on Bangladesh, US foreign policy and dedicated advocacy of human rights.


    2 Responses to “Sunita Paul: Plagiarist”

    1. Engr Khondkar Abdus Saleque( Sufi)

      This is fantasy journalism.We are sure she is oing this with apurpose ,with some motives.She is writting something which she can never prove with evidence.Unfortunately some intelligent people are using these to create confusion when the nation more than anytime before need unity.Banglash is passing through series of crisis.
      How suddenly a lay can get so many exclusive news which others can not get? Ridiculous attempt to tarnish image of the governt , part of greater conspiracy .

    2. Madani Ak

      well written
      K A Saleque Sufi
      She thinks we are fool enough to beleive her
      stories.
      She is doing just another lunatic journalism,she
      needs help.

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