Letters of Support From Around the World

Over the past weeks, we have received many letters of support from our friends and well-wishers from all over the world expressing their support for Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your kind words of support in this most difficult of time for Professor Yunus personally and for Grameen Bank.

We have used this space to publish some of the many letters that have come in to us. We encourage you to continue writing to us . Thank you once again.

Yunus Centre Team

Letter of Support from Cristovam Buarque, Senator to Brazil

Dear Mr. Muhammad Yunus,

I am writing to you to express my unconditional solidarity in this moment of severe political persecution that you are subject to. Your life has been nothing but an example of ethics, commitment and competence to millions of people.

The world needs that your example continue to mark the future generations with your commitment with the poorest, your constant seek for solutions of the poverty and the dedication of your personal life, struggling to make these projects concrete.

As a Senator of the Republic of Brazil, I want to openly manifest my support to you as well as to inform you that I will make an official pronouncement in the Senate tribune in this respect, as soon as possible.

Also please be informed that the present message will be sent to all the people with whom I have contact worldwide.

Keeping in mind the best memories of our meetings and the profound impact of the readings of your significant work, I remain

Respectfully,
Cristovam Buarque
Senator to Brazil


Letter of Support from Dr. Robert J. Wright, CEO, The Wright Institute

Dear Lamiya,

We are all so sick and sad and pray that a creative outcome will result, God willing. I would like to get your reaction to the following.

As you know, Holly Mosher will be coming for the Chicago premier of Bonsai. We can get a hundred or so people, but if we could get a phone call or video hookup (easily done) from Dr. Yunus, I believe we can easily get over 300, both Chicago papers, Crain's Chicago Business and most of the TV stations, especially if we can get 10 minutes of Dr Yunus on the phone or, better yet, a video hookup. I believe this could be a very high value in our fight for justice for Dr. Yunus, Grameen, and Bangladesh.

God willing, this could be a good expense of ten minutes for Dr. Yunus and all concerned.

On a similar note, I will need to understand the issues and implications better for Munzoor and others to start another petition and go even harder.

Your thoughts? I will try to call again-please just let me know if we are too much of a bother right now-I will understand.

Bob

Dr. Robert J. Wright
CEO, The Wright Institute
445 E. Ohio St., suite 260
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 645-8300

Letter of Support from Dr. Zaidi Sattar, Chairperson, Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh


Dear Yunus Bhai,

I would like to extend my unflinching moral and professional support to your cause.

I am in the US and am doing my best to mobilize endorsements of friends and acquaintances to the online petition campaign of Friends of Grameen.

If there is anything I can do from here, I hope you will not hesitate to let me know.

Warm regards,
Zaidi@USA
--
Dr. Zaidi Sattar
Chairman
Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh


Letter of Support from Amy M. Luz, Chief Development Officer, Global Viral Forecasting Initiative

Dear Professor Yunus,

I am reaching out to wish you well and tell you that we are thinking of you, and our heartfelt best wishes are for your triumph over the unfair and outrageous adversities presenting themselves now. Here is an image taken of us together at a dinner in Washington about two years ago.

With warm regards,

Amy

Amy M Luz, CFRE, FAHP
Chief Development Officer
Global Viral Forecasting Initiative
1 Sutter | Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94104


Letter of Support from Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation

Dear Professor Yunus,

We were disheartened by the news of what is happening in Bangladesh and the problems you are facing now.

We at NWTF would like to express our full and continuing support to you and the pro-poor principles that you have taught us through grameen.
Rest assured that you have our full trust and confidence - and we will continue with the journey to prove that grameen effectively empowers the poor to lift themselves out of poverty.

We have received an update from Grameen Foundation USA expressing their support and informing us of the ways we could express it online, which we will follow through.

We believe that this situation was politically motivated, and that your detractors will fail in the end.

Sincerely,


The Management and Board of Directors
Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation

Cecille, Cora and Ching


Letter of Support from Klaus Molenaar


Dear Professor Yunus

Just to inform you that the Netherlands main radio station last night
interviewed me about the sad developments around you and Grameen Bank.

Main message was that Bangla Desh is losing credibility worldwide with
the present interventions by the Ministry of Finance and the Central
Bank.

I assured the journalists that you will fight against the injustices done to you

I wish you the necessary strength and hope you will keep up the good spirit

Klaas Molenaar

Letter of Support from Nick Stace, CEO, CHOICE

Dear Professor Yunus,

Thank you for your email. It is an enormous privilege to publicly support
you and the work of Grameen.

I have been in regular contact with Liam Black (Wavelength) and Emmanuel Faber (Danone) to help in any way I can. Having worked for Gordon Brown in Downing Street two years ago, I have some knowledge about how to get a response from the British Government and have accordingly sent a letter through the usual channels to seek their support. I'm also pleased that the article I wrote in support of you for the UK Telegraph has received so much support through social media. There are millions of people wanting you to continue implementing your vision uninterrupted and I for one will continue to help in any way I can.

It was a great pleasure meeting you in Dhaka with Liam eighteen months ago and then again in Sydney about a year ago. It is because I have seen at first hand the way Grameen is changing the world for the better, that you have my absolute support during this challenging period. I wish you great strength at this time, which I hope is bolstered with the knowledge that you are making an enormous difference to peoples lives and that you have tremendous support for your work from around the world.

Kind regards,
Nick

--
Nick Stace
CEO
CHOICE
57 Carrington Rd
Marrickville NSW 2204
Australia


Letter of Support from Nicolas Jourdier and Christian de Boisredon

Dear Professor Yunus,

We are appalled at the recent attempts to remove you from your position in Grameen Bank.

Please rest assured of our unwavering support.

Kind regards,

Nicolas and Christian


Letter of Support from Kari Stoever, GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition)


Dear Lamiya,

Please give Professor our support during these challenging times. On behalf of GAIN we would like to know if there is a way we offer our assistance in regards to recent attacks? Is there a campaign of support we could join?

Warm Regards,
Kari


Kari Stoever
Senior Advisor, Global Advocacy
GAIN - Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

Letter of Support from Per Eidsvik, Senior Advisor, Nordland County Council

Dear friends,

I want to say that I give you my full support in your fight in the process you are involved in!

I have just sent a letter to newspaper where I express this, and I give a lot of critics to the Norwegian National Broadcasting!

As a Norwegian, I am ashamed of how badly they have handled you, Grameen and microcredit.

I visit Galachipa in January together with Masudur Rahman and Ibrahim Khalil. I am happy to say that the cooperation between Flakstad / Nordland and Galachipa have been a success! Politicians and administration of Galachipa are very satisfied with our support so far. It has not only because of money, but also because we have shared knowledge and given inspiration. Galachipa is a kind of pilot in ICT, and they have also done a good work with energy supply. They are now lifted from municipality of category C to D, and the grants from the government has increased from 2 mill Tk to 4 mill Tk !

There are a lot of things going on now! I have to support them special because Chevron has started to drill for oil and gas in Galachip! The mayor of Galachipa did not know anything, how much they already had done! It is a large investment, and it is so important to get synergies between Chevrons activities and local and regional authorities work for development !

Wish you all the best from Northern Norway, a winterday in March!

Per Eidsvik
Senior Advisor - International Relations
Nordland County Council

Letter of Support from Mercedes Menafra, former First Lady of Uruguay

Dear Dr. Yunus,

From Uruguay as always we trust on your wonderful work all over the world,
and please accept our recognition and warmest regards.

Mercedes Menafra
Former First Lady
Member of AGFUND Prize Committee
President of Todos por Uruguay

Letter of Support from Bernardo Javalquinto, Economist from University of Maryland

Dear Prof. Yunus,

It has certainly been a long time since I wrote that article about you and was published in a financial newspaper here in Chile in 1998, which fortunately caught the attention of important people and prompted them to support your work here in Chile. A lot has been accomplished over these years, due in part to the extensive promotional efforts that took place and a lot of people have been involved, contacting, networking, seminars, lectures to students and authorities, your teachings, experiences, just to mention a few of the initiatives. Now in retrospect, and after all that took place, I admit that you were always right; about those mega projects do not help the poor directly, of course, they help society as a whole, but they don't help the need ones. During one of our conversations, you assured me that even if it looked impossible to do such good will, it was possible. Today we have the proof. Our experience in Chile with your revolutionary ideas has allowed providing more than thousands micro-credits to need
people. Incredible! Foundations also have extended micro-credits throughout the country and in Jimena Lopez de Lerida`s paper (2006), she states that micro-credits have reached approximately up to more 124.000 people. She also mentions that among the institutions that have replicated your work are several banks among others, we should all feel proud for all you have done and efforts and frustrations. But this is not enough, there is a lot more to be done, and we have to continue, we still have to reach 3 million micro-credits in order to eradicate poverty in Chile, and much more in the world, so we have long way to go; I know that in one way or another, many people will be summoned to your cause bringing to put an end to poverty, and I certainly I and many other will continue to help you in your efforts. I regret Bangladesh authorities' decision. And I am certain it will affect millions of people. But I am also sure that you will not surrender easily.

My warmest regards to you and your loved ones, wishing not to lose contact and always express my highest admiration,

Bernardo Javalquinto
Economist, University of Maryland
Rancagua- Region de O'Higgins
Chile

Letter of Support from Bangladeshi Intellectuals living Abroad

New Jersey , March 11, 2011

Dear Dr. Yunus,

Assalamu-Alaikum. Hope you are in good health and spirits.

We are distressed by the current developments in Bangladesh regarding your position in the Grameen Bank. We hope this temporary setback will not deter you in your various missions such as microcredit, healthcare and environment - in Bangladesh and worldwide. We are very proud of your achievements, and we will continue to be with you in any capacity we can in your future endeavors.

When misguided people become an obstacle to a good cause it becomes imperative to deal with the misguided with an open mind and positive attitude. At our meeting with you in New Jersey , USA , in the summer of 2009, we were very impressed and inspired by your positive attitude. We believe the task of overcoming this kind of obstacle is not insurmountable but could be quite challenging.

We are writing this letter to express our support for your cause and to let you know that we are with you. We also believe that Bangladesh is with you and the whole world is with you. Please let us know what we can do to help.

Forge ahead bravely to fulfill your mission and vision!

Best wishes and regards,

Dr. Farrukh Mohsen
Dr. Motasim Billah
Dr. Mohammad Farooque
Professor Swapan Gayen
Dr. Abdul Hai
Ms. Monira Haque
Professor Mahmud Hassan
Dr. Iffat Hussain
Mr. Amzad Khan
Ms. Shamsun Nahar (Renu)
Mr. A.H.R. Rabbi
Dr. Moshiur Rahman
Dr. Meah Shahabuddin
Dr. Rony Shahidain
Ms. Shahnaz Shahidain (Keya)
Dr. Rokon Zaman
Dr. Mosleh-Uddin Ahmed

Petition from Kazi Abdur Rouf

To
The Bangladesh High Commission
Constitution Square Centre
340 Albert Street, Suite # 1250,
Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 7Y6, Canada.

Subject: Petition for Muhammad Yunus retain to the Grameen Bank Chief Executive

Dear Sir,

With due honor I say that the Grameen Bank was created under a special ordinance of Bangladesh. It is 75% share owned by the GB borrowers themselves and 25% government-owned. It has been managed by its autonomous board of directors since its inception. Nine directors of the board are elected from the borrowers, two from outside social workers/elites of Bangladesh. The board recruits the Managing Director (MD) of the Bank. The majority of board members have requested that Muhammad Yunus remain the MD of the Bank.

Professor Muhammad Yunus, the inventor of the Grameen Bank group-based microcredit program is a dedicated, tireless worker for the poor people in Bangladesh who has developed and fine tuned its policies and operational strategies that are simple, suitable, respectful and effective for the disadvantaged people. The policies have become popular among the poor women and they find the microcredit system worthwhile for them both socially and economically, even in times of natural disaster and other social and familial crises. These micro-borrowers have used the Grameen loans to rehabilitate their businesses in these catastrophic situations. Muhammad Yunus has added different programs, products and policies that address borrowers' economic issues, including different non-credit social programs like cheap healthcare services, cheap nutritional foods, educational loans, solar energy and green energy etc that benefits Bangladeshi people.

Yunus modifies, improves and adds new programs according to the needs of the place, situation and time. He has been integral in understanding the problems of the grassroots marginalized people and mutually developed strategies that help field staff to address problems, to improve the working system, develop institutional capacity building, and staff management. He is a good resource manager and that is why Grameen Bank and its other organizations are flourishing in Bangladesh with limited resources. As he is a good organizer, selfless honest person, good social business entrepreneur and social business action researcher, he has managed these institutions efficiently. He has been patient towards employees' mistakes, and created innovative social businesses implementation that has helped Bangladesh to develop. Even GB's group-based program has been replicated all over the world because of his efforts and networks all over the world.

However, there has been a sudden call for Yunus to step down from the Grameen Bank, shocking GB's 8.5 million borrowers and 35,000 employees (including Grameen Bank and other organizations) leading to a crisis in the Grameen management.

The government now wants to step-in to control the Grameen Bank and its sister organizations which could be dangerous for the institutions and to its beneficiaries because the GB management system is totally different than a bureaucratic management system. Because bureaucratic management is full of red-tape, it usually doesn't address the problems immediately. A system that is responsive to the needs of the grassroots is necessary for the beneficiaries and other stakeholders.

Muhammad Yunus has tried to cultivate successors among the GB employees; however, they don't have the charisma, vision, selflessness and leadership qualities that could assist these organizations to continue to run smoothly. The open minded non-political dynamic executive is essential for GB's further development and for borrowers' full potential development in future. GB is a people-centered bank. GB borrowers are scared of having a new executive that may turn the Grameen Bank into a bureaucratic organization that would add rigidity to the micro lending system. It is risky for the smooth functioning of the GB to suddenly take Yunus out without a process to replace him. As MFIs are expanding all over the world and they have been learning lessons from GB Bangladesh, hence the appeal of the legal autonomous status and decisions of its board of directors is important. This transitional period will affect the operation of the bank at the grassroots level, which will affect the ability of the women to obtain loans and to become empowered economically and socially. The leadership in place at the Grameen Bank may also affect the ability of the bank to consider the recommendations of this study.

Therefore, I am petitioning for Professor Muhammad Yunus remain as the Managing Director of Grameen Bank; this has to be for the wellbeing of Grameen Bank and its borrowers.

With Regards,

Kazi Abdur Rouf
PhD Candidate
University f Toronto
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Letter of Support from Adrienne Germain, President of International Women's Health Coalition

Dear Yunus,

I write in solidarity. I'm sure you know how deeply outraged the majority of your colleagues worldwide are by current actions. But there is nothing, nothing, that can ever destroy the unique vision and contributions you have made to enabling poor people, especially women, to advance. You and Grameen Bank are, and will remain, a fundamental part of my life and of who I am, as I have learned so much from you.


With warmest regards,
Adrienne

Adrienne Germain I President
International Women's Health Coalition
333 7th Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10001

Letter of Support from Voices of Justice

To: The Government of Bangladesh

Protesting the Dismissal of Nobel Laureate Dr. Md. Yunus

We, the undersigned members of the international community of Bangladeshis, are deeply shocked by the recent dismissal of Nobel Laureate Dr. Yunus from the Grameen Bank, an institution he founded and shepherded for the betterment of poor Bangladeshi women.

The action by the Bangladesh Bank is an example of government overreach. Even if Dr. Yunus recently passed the retirement age, Grameen Bank's Board of Directors should have had the option to work out a graceful transition for him.

Dr. Yunus is a distinguished citizen of Bangladesh and a model citizen of the world. His work is recognized by numerous national and international organizations. His micro-credit model is emulated in five continents. It has lifted millions of women and their families out of poverty and empowered them to become dynamic entrepreneurs.

Every Bangladeshi is proud of Dr. Yunus's Nobel Peace Prize and the renown it has brought to our motherland. It is time we learned to respect a son of the land who has earned high honors and recognition around the world.

The sudden and disrespectful dismissal of Dr. Yunus is unfortunate and unacceptable. It has caused deep concern world-wide and has tarnished the image of Bangladesh as a progressive and democratic country.

We deplore this action by the Government of Bangladesh and demand the immediate reinstatement of Dr. Yunus.

Signed by:

Dr. Hasanat M. Husain MBE, Convenor, Voice for Justice World Forum, UK
Shah Jahan, Voice For Justice, New Jersey, USA
Dr. Hasan Z Rahim, Voice For Justice, San Jose, California, USA
Dr. Sajedur Rahman, Voice for Justice, Sydney, Australia
Dr. Taj Hashmi, Voice For Justice, Honolulu, USA
Dr. Shamsul Islam Choudhury, Voice For Justice, Chicago, USA
Mr. Enam Choudhury, Voice for Justice, Stockholm, Sweden
Dr. Abdur Rahman, Voice for Justice, Limerick, Ireland
Dr. Hasan Mahmood, Voice For Justice, Toronto, Canada
Dr. Jasmine Tickle, Voice For Justice, Cambridge, UK
Mr. Mustafa Choudhury, Voice For Justice, Ottawa, Canada
Dr. Matin Ahmed, Voice For Justice, California, USA
Mr. Ezajur Rahman, Voice For Justice, Kuwait
Mr. Abdur Rahman Chowdhury, Voice For Justice, USA
Dr. Mosleh-Uddin Ahmed, Voice For Justice, New Jersey, USA
Mr. Gulzar Ahmed, Voice For Justice, Vienna, Austria
Dr. Md. Alamgir, Voice For Justice, Ontario, Canada
Dr. Khalid Asadullah, Voice For Justice, Sidcup

Letter of Support From 5 Senators and 1 Congressman

The Honorable Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Old Sangsad Bhaban
Tejgaon, Dhaka-1215
Bangladesh

Dear Prime Minister Hasina,

We write to express strong concern over the Government of Bangladesh's recent dismissal of Professor Muhammad Yunus as Managing Director of Grameen Bank.

With Professor Yunus at the helm, Grameen Bank has played a leading role in a global movement to lift millions of the world's poorest people out of poverty using the innovative microcredit concept that he pioneered. The bank's world renowned success in that effort has helped millions of Bangladeshis rise from poverty and has brought recognition to Professor Yunus, Grameen Bank, and Bangladesh.

Yet, we are troubled by what appears to have been a months-long effort on the part of the Bangladeshi government to discredit Professor Yunus and remove him as Managing Director while increasing government influence at Grameen Bank. These efforts raise concerns about the government's motivations and the impact such efforts may have on the strong and important U.S.-Bangladesh relationship. Additionally, the potential for these actions to have a destabilizing effect on Grameen puts the effectiveness and long-term integrity of the bank and its critical programs at great risk.

Quite simply, it would be very disappointing to see Bangladesh's thriving civil society, microfinance sector, and international reputation negatively affected by actions that stand to damage the integrity of Grameen Bank.
We strongly encourage you to work with Professor Yunus to find an amicable solution to this unfortunate situation - one that treats him with the dignity he deserves while preserving the effectiveness and operational integrity of Grameen Bank for the millions of Bangladeshis who depend on it, as well as for your nation's reputation as the home of the microcredit movement.

We will continue to closely follow this matter and appreciate your attention to it.

Sincerely,


Senators Durbin (D-IL), Brown (D-OH),
Bennet (D-CO), Enzi (R-WY), Boozman (R-AK) and
Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ)

An original copy of the letter can be downloaded here

Support from Bangladeshis living in Japan

Here is a press release, where Bangladeshis living in Japan express their support from Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank.

Letter of Support from Dr. Jose A. Zaglul, President of Earth University, San Jose, Costa Rica

Professor Muhammad Yunus

Executive Trustee, Grameen Trust
Managing Director, Grameen Bank
Mirpur - 2
Dhaka - 1216, Bangladesh

Dear Professor Yunus,

First and foremost, I wish to thank you most sincerely for your recent letter and the copy of your book Building Social Business. As you know, much of the work we do at EARTH is aimed at encouraging our students to become entreprenuers with new business models that balance social, economic and environmental considerations. I have no doubt that your book will inspire others to do the same and hope that if you make it to this region again, you will come and speak to our students on this topic.

I have been deeply saddened by the news of your forced retirement from Grameen and the accusations being made against you and the Bank. It is an unfortunate situation that is undoubtedly very difficult for you and negative for Grameen Bank, its borrowers and for Bangladesh as a whole. I hope for a positive and swift resolution of the situation and wish to extend our institution's support and concern.

We are proud of our relationship with Grameen, which is based on a shared commitment to eradicate poverty through education and entrepreneurship, and are honored to have you as an honorary alumnus.

If there is anything we can do to support you or your efforts to ensure the continued success of Grameen and the well-being of those you serve, please let me know.

Sincerely,
Dr. Jose A. Zaglul

Letter of Support from Philippe Lemoine, CEO, LaSer

Dear Professor Yunus,

I want only say to you that you are for me a "Professor of Dreams", a real innovator who has deeply transformed the way to fight poverty.

I hope you are not feeling too desperate. You are greater than these attacks and I'm sure you will be the winner!

I would be proud to be one of your friends !

Kind regards,


Philippe Lemoine

CEO, LaSer
France 

Letter of Support from Otto Ferdinand Wachs and Dr. Maria Schneider, of Autostadt

Dear Professor Yunus,

We have been following with great concern the developments regarding the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh during the last weeks.

May we take this opportunity to wish you a good outcome in the legal process; fair to you and your bank, and therefore, for the millions of loan beneficiaries in your country and all those of us around the world who believe in your social responsibility model and in your work.

Sincerely yours,

Otto Ferdinand Wachs, CEO, Autostadt

Dr. Maria Schneider, Creative Director, Autostadt

Letter of Support from Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate 1976

Dear Prof. Yunus,

Lovely to hear from you.

This is wonderful news re Peacejam and no doubt my good friends, Dawn and Ivan, will contact you very soon.

I have no plans to visit Bangladesh (where I have very happy memories of my visit to your office and where I was inspired by your work and the work of your colleagues).

I read about the shocking and unjust political attacks upon you but keep strong Prof. Yunus knowing all your work and actions come from the pure motive of love in action for the people of Bangladesh (and other countries) and particularly your great love of the poor - and your life and work shines out as a great light - so dont worry about the attacks - most people are wise and see what is true, and you are deeply loved by the Bangladashi people who see through these attacks.

Have courage dear Yunus, all will be well.

Love to you and the family,
Mairead