A U.N. fact finding mission to South Asia revealed last night that contrary to years of apparent evidence, Bangladesh does not exist.
The mission discovered Bangladesh to be the invention of John Dewer, a geography teacher from Sussex, who in 1971 needed a single country case study that included an example each of flooding, disease and poverty for his year 11 class.
Having left his preparation until the last minute, Dewer invented Bangladesh, hoping to replace it with a real country when he had more time. To Dewer's horror however knowledge of the fictitious state quickly spread, first though the East Downs school geography department where he worked, and from there throughout the British and international geography syllabus, universally loved as it was by teachers for its inexhaustible supply of educational natural disasters.
Contacted at his home yesterday, the now retired Mr Dewer confessed. "Bangladesh was a teachers dream. It fit so perfectly on an a4 sheet."
It is now being asked why no other geographers, or indeed people from the region ever publicly questioned the existence of Bangladesh. The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, has admitted his country's collusion in the fiction, admitting that the aid poured into Bangladesh was used to fund India's nuclear weapons programme, with aid workers and foreign officials curious to see the results of their work being shown a small region near Calcutta filled with fake building fronts and actors. As for the numerous charities who have collected money for Bangladesh over the years, most are unavailable for comment.
"We lost a country today", claimed U.N. spokesman Martin Van Huis. Geography teachers however, have lost even more.