A British woman of Bangladeshi descent was hacked to death in her native land. The UK Foreign Office said that Rehana Begum, a 43-year-old mother of four, and resident of Stepney, East London, died in the Sunamganj district in northeastern Bangladesh on Friday. She had been visiting Bangladesh on a summer holiday with her husband and 12-year-old son.
However, there is some confusion over the motivation behind the brutal attack. BBC reported that a relative of Begum, a nephew named Abdul, said she was killed during the commission of a violent robbery. "She came to Bangladesh to visit her family,” he said. "She has been hacked to death by four people for [her] jewelry and money." However, subsequently, BBC was told by local police officials that she might have been the victim of a personal quarrel, namely the consequences of a rejected proposal for marriage involving one of her relatives.
Mrs. Begum was one of at least a half-million Bangladeshis who now call Britain home, about one-third of them in London. Bangladeshis, like Ms. Begum, are particularly concentrated in London's East End – indeed, they account for about 40 percent of the population of the London borough of Tower Hamlets. An impoverished, overcrowded nation between India and Burma, Bangladesh depends heavily on remittances sent by migrants abroad.
In fiscal 2012-2013, Bangladesh received foreign remittances of nearly $15 billion, an all-time record, representing more than 13 percent of the country's total GDP, according to Bangladesh's central bank. Such crucial funds arrive not only from Britain, but also from the 8.6 million Bangladeshis living in the United States, Canada and the Middle East and many other nations. Britain's remittances, an important part of Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserves, account for about 8 percent of the total.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.