The idea of starting a petition on GoPetition in support of Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus came to me in early January after I noticed an unforeseen turn of events sparked by unfounded allegations by a Norwegian journalist, who claimed that Professor Yunus had misused some funds donated to Grameen Bank some 15 years ago. The Norwegian government gave the use of funds the all-clear, but prior to being cleared of any misdoing, I never had a shadow of a doubt that there was any truth to this story. For further details and clarifications on this issue, please visit our website and the links provided here. http://www.socialbusinessearth.org/false-allegations-prof-yunus/
It amazes me how the media can often blow things out of proportion and make people believe fabricated reports to sensationalize and sell a story. Working with Professor Yunus is a privilege, and I personally visited Grameen Bank in Bangladesh several times. His work to eradicate poverty is monumental, not only for his genial idea to provide microcredit to the poor without collateral but also for all the social businesses he has created in Bangladesh to raise the standard of living of poor people in the areas of education, healthcare, housing and so on. He has done more for the poor than any of us will ever be able to achieve in our lifetime. I have the utmost respect for Professor Yunus who, as President Obama stated at the ceremony to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, “managed to change the world.” He really did change the world of millions of poor people, and my support for him is solid and enduring.
It is unfortunate that the government of Bangladesh has started a well-orchestrated campaign against him instead of commending a national treasure whose work has been acclaimed all over the world. They have a chance to compensate for their misdeed by allowing him to continue his mission in peace. If he has to step down as Managing Director of Grameen for age reasons, I think that a committee should be formed by Professor Yunus and the Board of Directors of Grameen to properly search for a new Managing Director who has the necessary requisites to fulfill this pivotal role and, most importantly, who truly and deeply cares for the poor. It saddens me to see that Bangladeshi government leaders are going to such lengths to make his life difficult when he has done so much to help the poor.
The government of Bangladesh is gaining bad publicity quickly as country leaders, NGOs and private individuals the world over unite to stand in support of Professor Yunus. When I was asked to be a founding member of “Friends of Grameen,” a French association that was recently formed to promote microcredit and social business in the world, I immediately accepted. I feel honored to be part of this group of people who stand by Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, is Chair of the Friends of Grameen Honorary Committee. “Our duty is to protect the integrity of Professor Yunus and the independence of Grameen Bank,” said Robinson in a recent statement.
The petition we published on GoPetition titled “We Stand in Support of Professor Muhammad Yunus against the Corruption Investigations by the Government of Bangladesh” was my initiative as the founder of Social Business Earth and is independent of “Friends of Grameen.” I am happy that as a result of what is happening, the Nobel Committee has reasserted its support to Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank. You can find their statement here (http://www.socialbusinessearth.org/nobel-committee-supports-prof/). The objective of our campaign is to collect as many signatures as possible so that the government of Bangladesh will stop persecuting Professor Yunus. In addition, we want Grameen borrowers to retain ownership of the bank. The bank is owned by the poor borrowers, and it should continue to operate in this way, maintaining its independence.
I encourage all readers to sign our petition. Like Professor Yunus, I strongly believe that eradicating poverty in the world is possible, and I am committed to this cause through my work in social business. Thank you GoPetition for publishing this campaign. You can sign the petition here http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42857.html
Social Business Earth