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Support the cause of the Bhutanese refugees!

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The Vice-Chancellor
University of Calcutta


Sir,

We have come to know from media reports that the University of Calcutta has invited the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, to deliver the convocation address scheduled to be held on 5 October 2010.

You are perhaps aware that there are about 108,000 Bhutanese people living in seven refugee camps in Nepal and about 20,000 more are living as undocumented refugees in India, most of them in West Bengal.

The Bhutanese authorities have not allowed a single refugee to return. Moreover, the treatment of the Bhutanese government towards the rest of the people of Nepali origin and other ethnic minorities, who still live in Bhutan, suggests that the basic rights of this community cannot be guaranteed. The UNHCR camps at Jhapa, Nepal, fall terribly short in both material and psychological aspects of civil life. Already, the community has grown into the second generation, and maybe the third, and there is visible dearth of space, with its natural accompanying problems. There is little scope for the refugees to be involved in any productive work. Frustration and restlessness due to the lack of livelihood is acute among the younger generation. The young women in these camps are in a particularly vulnerable situation, and there are disturbing reports of gender-based violence and trafficking.

We would therefore request you to please forward this appeal to the Bhutan king to ensure the refugees’ right to return and protection of the life and livelihood of the ethnic minorities in Bhutan.

Yours sincerely,

Name Designation University/College/Institute
Santosh Bhattacharya Former Vice-Chancellor University of Calcutta
Shubhendhu Dasgupta Former Member of Faculty, 
Dept of South & South Asian Studies
University of Calcutta
Ronobir Samaddar Director Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group
Meher Engineer Former Director Bose Institute, Kolkata
Amit Bhattacharyya Professor of History Jadavpur University
Kunal Chattopadhyay Professor of Comparative Literature Jadavpur University
Immanuel Ness Professor,
Department of Political Science
Brooklyn College,
City University of New York
Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay Professor of Film Studies Jadavpur University
Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay Faculty Member Indian Statistical Institute
Mohiuddin Ahmed Former Visiting Professor and Co-Director, Inter-Asia NGO Studies (MAINS),
Sungkonghoe University, Seoul, Korea
Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase Associate Professor, Sociology,
Convenor,Asia-Pacific Studies, Faculty of Arts
University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Steve Edwards Senior Lecturer in Art History Open University, UK
Soma Marik Associate Professor of History RKSM Vivekananda Vidyabhavan, Kolkata
Siddhartha Guha Roy Associate Professor Vivekananda College
Francis Adaikalam Lecturer & Coordinator,
Dept. of Social Work 
Loyola College, Chennai
Maqbool (Max) Babri Visiting Professor Lahore University of Management Sciences
Sourin Bhattacharya Former Professor in Economics Jadavpur University
Keya Dasgupta Faculty Member Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
Bodhisattva Kar Faculty Member Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
Dwaipayan Bhattacharyya Faculty Member Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
Dipankar Das Reader in Economics Jaipuria College
Indranil Chakraborty Researcher Simon Fraser University, Canada
Sudeshna Banerjee Reader in History Jadavpur University
Manas Ghosh Lecturer in Film Studies Jadavpur University
Subhajit Chatterjee Lecturer in Film Studies Jadavpur University
Shubhankar Roy Chowdhury Researcher Scholar in Film Studies Jadavpur University
Sanjib Acharyya Reader, Dept. Of Mechanical Engineering Jadavpur University
Dipten Misra Lecturer, Dept. Of Mechanical Engineering Jadavpur University
Salil Biswas Former Lecturer Heramba Ch College
Pranab Kumar Nayak Former Lecturer Kandi Raj College
Jishnu Dasgupta Assistant Professor Serampore College
Achan Mungleng Independent Researcher  
Kumar Rana Researcher  
Sujato Bhadra Associate Professor in History Sibpur Deenabandhu College
Subrata Sarkar Principal, College of Nursing RG Kar Medical College






An early response at the following email address/telephone would be highly appreciated:

Kunal Chattopadhyay
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Ph# +91 98313 98301