From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Kshatriyas [military caste]... will become the thorns of the earth... attacking and repeating their attacks upon the good and the honest, and feeling no pity for the latter... Men abandoning the countries and directions and towns and cities... will seek for new ones... uttering, 'O father, O son', and such other frightful and rending cries. ~Vana Parva
The land is Mine, for ye are strangers and sojourners with Me.
~ God
Since refugees are a global problem, the search for solutions must also be global.
~ Gil Loescher

A refugee, conventionally speaking, is a person who has lost the protection of his or her country of origin and who cannot or is unwilling to return there due to well-founded fear of persecution. Such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status by the contracting state or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)[3] if they formally make a claim for asylum.[4]



  • My father tells a story about his father dying in a refugee camp. His father was a titled man in Igboland, which meant that he was a great man. He had one of the highest titles a man could have. But his hometown fell, so he had to leave and go to a refugee camp, and he died and he was buried in a mass grave. Which is just heartbreaking for a man, particularly a man like him. My father, who's the first son, and who takes his responsibilities very seriously, couldn't go to bury his father because the roads were occupied. He was in a different part of Biafra and so it took a year until ... he could go to the refugee camp. ... And he goes there and he says, 'I want to know where my father was buried.' And somebody waved very vaguely and said, 'Oh we buried the people there.' So it was a mass grave. So many people had died. And my father says he went there and he took a handful of sand, and he said he's kept the sand ever since. For me, that was one of the most moving things I had ever heard."
  • If you isolate a country, you isolate yourself, as the United States, from being influential and effective in the course of events, unless you are talking about the negative influence, like making the embargo that could kill the people slowly, or launching a war and supporting terrorists that could kill them in a faster way.
  • The sanctions on the Syrian people that made the situation much worse and this is another reason for the refugees that you have in Europe now. How do you don't want refugees at the same time you created all the situation or the atmosphere that will tell them: 'Go outside Syria, somewhere else'  ? and of course they'll go to Europe...
  • The events of this decade—and, indeed, those of the past year—indicate very clearly that refugee issues cannot be discussed without reference to security.
    • Mrs. Sadako Ogata, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, stated in 1999. A World Where Everyone Belongs. Awake! 1/22 2002.
  • In some parts of the world, states have collapsed as a result of internal and communal conflicts, depriving their citizens of any effective protection. Elsewhere, human security has been jeopardized by governments which refuse to act in the common interest, which persecute their opponents and punish innocent members of minority groups.


  • Perhaps the most striking Indian policy was something that it did not do. India did not stop masses of Bengali refugees from flooding into India. Unimaginably huge numbers of Bengalis escaped into safety on Indian soil, eventually totaling as many as ten million—five times the number of people displaced in Bosnia in the 1990s. The needs of this new, desperate population were far beyond the capacities of the feeble governments of India’s border states, and Indira Gandhi’s government at the center. But at that overcharged moment, the Indian public would have found it hard to accept the sight of its own soldiers and border troops opening fire to keep out these desperate and terrified people. Here, at least, was something like real humanitarianism. As payment for this kindness, India found itself crushed under the unsustainable burden of one of the biggest refugee flows in world history—which galvanized the public and the government to new heights of self-righteous fury against Pakistan.
    • Bass, G. J. (2014). The Blood telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a forgotten genocide.
  • The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is Mine, for ye are strangers and sojourners with Me.
  • Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates.
  • …a national policy of the government of Poland to put people into homes as soon as they arrive here, not to put them in refugee centers, or have them stay in the parks or something like that. They’re put in people’s homes and they’re given a stipend.  They’re given access to education. They’re given access to health care, and importantly, they’re given access to the job market.


  • Well, I was myself recently also in Afghanistan, and I sat down with the mothers in these displacement camps around Kabul. And I asked them, “What about the future? What do you think of the future?” And they told me very clearly, “We believe we will starve and freeze to death this harsh winter, unless there is an enormous aid operation coming through and unless there is a public sector again that is able to provide services.” It is as acute as that. Forty million civilians were left behind when the NATO countries went for the door in August.
  • Money should not go to the military political group called the Taliban that took power by force. The money should go to the people, and it is possible. So, number one, there has to be trust funds, as we call it, that is held by U.N. agencies, that funnel money directly to the hospitals, that you just showed, where people are dying at the moment. It can go straight to the teachers that were on the payroll of the World Bank previously, can go straight to them. So, the money can go through us, international organizations, straight to the people.
    Secondly, unfreeze those funds that will enable banks to function again. At the moment, we cannot even buy relief items in Afghanistan. We have to ship them over, take them over from Pakistan and Iran, which means that employment is dying in Afghanistan.
    And thirdly, donors, come down from the fence. See that we are there. We are reliable channels for funding. The money will go to the people. Transmit funding, not just come with pledges. This will not become Switzerland in a long time. You have to share the risk with us to save lives this winter.
  • Most Westerners have never heard about the Hindu refugee problem, for most journalists including reputed India hands have simply kept it out of the picture.
    • About the Hindu refugees from Kashmir, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Elst, Koenraad (2014). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p. 250


  • Meeting the needs of the world’s displaced people—both refugees and the internally displaced—is much more complex than simply providing short-term security and assistance. It is about addressing the persecution, violence and conflict which bring about displacement in the first place. It is about recognizing the human rights of all men, women and children to enjoy peace, security and dignity without having to flee their homes.
    • The State of the World’s Refugees 2000
  • There was not an inch of space to spare in West Bengal for the refugees from East Bengal.
    • Prafulla Chandra Ghosh, in 1950 . quoted in Kamra A. J. (2000). The prolonged partition and its pogroms : testimonies on violence against Hindus in East Bengal 1946-64. pp. 84
  • Another exodus is happening halfway around the world as asylum seekers from Central America make the perilous journey to the U.S./Mexico border. There, they face draconian U.S. immigration policies that consign them to "Remain in Mexico."... these migrants live in constant danger in squalid, makeshift refugee camps in Mexican border cities, waiting for a chance at asylum in the United States.... The U.S. government reported a record 210,000 migrant apprehensions along the southern border in July. Many of these people hail from the so-called "Northern Triangle" countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, where widespread inequality, systemic corruption, food insecurity, gang violence and now climate change are forcing people from their homes. These problems have long been exacerbated by U.S. military, economic and political interventions in the region. The United States engaged in "dirty wars" in Central America and has supported coups against democratically elected governments there, from overthrowing the government of President Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954 to actively supporting the coup against President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras in 2009. The United States has a responsibility to provide a safe haven for refugees, from Afghanistan, Latin America, or elsewhere, and to cease interventions that fuel these crises and displace so many.


  • For far too long, American politicians have been sanctions-crazed.... Last month, the Trump administration sanctioned Mexican companies for seeking to supply food to Venezuela.... Three senators introduced a bill designed to punish countries that accept help from Cuban doctors, which would include Italy, Ukraine, Jamaica, and South Africa.... Leaders of countries suddenly facing the threat of punishment for accepting Cuban doctors have reacted with anger and incredulity... it would leave more than 50 countries with the choice of either expelling Cuban doctors at a moment of global pandemic or facing American opprobrium. The prime minister of tiny Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, protested that his country relies on Cuban doctors and pointedly added, “Those who would like us to do otherwise should undertake to fill the breach.” ...Most remarkably, Congress is moving to sanction Germany, a major ally for generations, because it is building a gas pipeline to Russia.
  • Cuba, along with China, is sending doctors and supplies to a number of countries around the world to help them fight the pandemic... Washington is demonstrating the very opposite... removing all of its Peace Corps staff from around the world, and, even worse, increasing sanctions against countries like Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and Nicaragua during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is accurate to say that the U.S. is weaponizing the virus against these countries...
    As a number of religious scholars have warned, “plagues expose the foundations of injustice” in our societies. The current pandemic is exposing not only our government’s utter failures to protect its own citizens, but also its profound lack of human decency in dealing with other nations
  • Some of the wars America fought were "simply for profit" and the sanctions it has imposed on certain countries have been as destructive as wars... Take Venezuela, which has suffered from U.S. sanctions for over 15 years, as an example. An estimated more than 40,000 people may have died in Venezuela from 2017 to 2018 as a result of U.S. sanctions that made it harder for ordinary citizens to access food, medicine, and medical equipment, according to a report published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, in 2019. The sanctions, Kovalik added, have also prevented Venezuela, which has the world's largest proven oil reserve, from "maintaining its oil industry and maintaining its power grids. Sanction is war by another means...You're just denying the people the economic benefits of their industries, and also, again, you're denying them electricity, other infrastructure, again in much the same way that you could or would through actual military means." However, most Americans don't see sanctions as war and they don't know the consequences so they "tolerate it more" and think the sanctions are "somehow a legitimate form of coercion," according to Kovalik. "When you look at the results, they're the same or similar to actual military warfare, but again, there are means that are more clandestine and do create more consent amongst the population of the Western world that might otherwise protest it," he concluded.


  • Collective punishment of entire nations is immoral and wrong... Collective punishment can cause the people targeted by it to become more nationalistic, and in countries with a strong nationalist tradition this is even more likely.... When the U.S. government is seeking to make them miserable and poor, Iranians are unlikely to take enormous risks to do Washington’s bidding by toppling their own government. The overuse of sanctions is itself an abuse of power... The impulse to sanction one country after another is the same impulse behind wanting to “do something” militarily against this or that regime: we do it because we can and because we think we have the right to do whatever we want to others. The same arrogance and the same contempt for the sovereignty of other nations are on display. We should be opposed to the interventionists that want to use American military power to cause unnecessary death and destruction in other parts of the world, and in the same way we should reject the capricious and cruel use of economic sanctions to inflict misery and suffering on tens of millions of innocent people.

  • When a foreigner lives with you in your land, you must not oppress him. You must regard the foreigner who lives with you as the native-born among you. You are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God.
  • Since refugees are a global problem, the search for solutions must also be global.
    • Gil Loescher, professor of international relations. "A World Where Everyone Belongs." Awake! 1/22/2002.


  • The Kshatriyas [military caste]... will become the thorns of the earth... attacking and repeating their attacks upon the good and the honest, and feeling no pity for the latter... And men will be filled with anxiety as regards the means of living... overwhelmed with covetousness, men will kill... and enjoy the possessions of their victims... And when men become fierce and destitute of virtue and carnivorous and addicted to intoxicating drinks, then doth the Yuga come to an end... friends and relatives and kinsmen will perform friendly offices for the sake of the wealth only that is possessed by a person... When the end of the Yuga comes, men abandoning the countries and directions and towns and cities of their occupation, will seek for new ones, one after another. And people will wander over the earth, uttering, 'O father, O son', and such other frightful and rending cries. p. 392)
    • Mahabharata, Book 3, Vana Parva, Section CLXL, p. 392, (c. 400 BCE)


  • The events of this decade—and, indeed, those of the past year—indicate very clearly that refugee issues cannot be discussed without reference to security.
    • Mrs. Sadako Ogata, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, stated in 1999. A World Where Everyone Belongs. Awake! 1/22 2002.


  • Your enemy is not the refugee. Your enemy is the one who made him a refugee.
  • Not long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, 'We don't know how lucky we are.' And the Cuban stopped and said, 'How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.' And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.


  • In your dream no one is a refugee.
    Everyone has clean sheets.
  • Refugees are the bravest people on earth right now,
    don't dare look down on them. Each mind a universe
    swirling as many details as yours, as much love
    for a humble place.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]