Israel and Gaza – Internal displacement – Sept 10, 2014

(1) According to UNICEF, around 500,000 Gazans were internally displaced during the Israeli aggression.

(2) The infrastructure at UN schools is not suitable to house thousands of families and definitely not for the children. Disease is spreading specially among children due to overcrowding… we are not asking for the impossible. We only want our houses to be rebuilt,” said a Gazan woman PressTv).

(3) According to an organization engaged in post-war reconstruction, it would take 20 years for the war-torn Gaza Strip to be rebuilt and cost 7.7 billion dollars.
(4) The 50-day war ended on August 26 with an Egyptian-brokered truce.

Sept 10, 2014

Displaced Kashmiri Pandits lose faith in democratic process

In just one day, I have come across two separate accounts of displaced KPs expressing their frustrations with the democratic process. One of those accounts is analyzed and summarized here:

Zulfikar Majid of Jammu, of the Decan Herald, captured in the article:
Parties betrayed us, say Kashmir Pandits

    The frustration stems from the decision of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP, a party relatively more favored by the displaced KPs) resulting in the legislators opposing the “Temple and Shrines Bill”, which would hold the J&K government responsible for managing, protecting and administering the Hindu shrines/icons and religious places in the Kashmir Valley. This decision has left the KP feeling “betrayed by every political party in the state”.
    Kashmiri Pandit Conference, a KP outfit, commented “we are in a fix on whom to vote”.

    I am summarizing the Sentiments of KPs:

    1) KPs are feeling “exploited” by both the National Conference (NC) and Congress.
    2) “The stand of BJP (on the bill) has disgusted KPs”.
    3) “We sacrificed our homeland for the nation”.
    4) “All political parties, be it separatists or mainstreams have ganged up against us”.
    5) Sanjay Pandita, a local journalist opines that the major reason for KPs to stay away from elections is they feel they have no representation in the state government.

    Sudha Rajput

Refugee and IDP Issue Analysis – student feedback

Course: ‘Refugee and IDP Issue Analysis’
Dr. Sudha Rajput
School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution, George Mason University.
Spring 2014

I am excited to share, with you, my students’ feedback on the intensive 3-day seminar that I had designed & delivered, entitled ‘Refugee and IDP Issue Analysis’. This was based on my research of internally displaced communities from the Kashmir Valley.

Course Goal: empower students with a robust diagnostic model to undertake analysis of conflict-induced internally displaced communities around the globe.
Within 3 days: the students analyzed 4 global case studies on displacement, posted 3 blogs, reviewed 20+ articles, analysed 2 UN Videos, engaged in active discussion on current crisis in Syria, Burma and South Sudan.

Student Feedback.
(1) “This class exceeded my expectations. Unbelievably, in three days, we covered a tremendous amount of ground. You are an energetic professor and clearly very passionate about your area of expertise. This course should be adopted by the school and adapted to a 3-credit course” (Brad Davis, US Army).
(2) “This was the best course I have attended so far. Your use of relevant and live examples did not only impart knowledge but also increased my interest in the course. I am glad I chose the course and I think I will do my Dissertation in it. Thank you very much for the knowledge you gave me. You are sure an expert in refugee and IDP issues. You have interested me in the subject” (Aloysius Naris., State Dept).
(3) “I would like to thank you, Dr. Rajput for a very informative and enlightening course. Honestly, I didn’t expect that I would find a course about IDPs and Refugees appealing. I don’t know how in three days you increased our knowledge about the dynamics, positions, and policies about this important issue. Please add me to your email list so that I can attend any lecture you might give or any other avenue” (Aleia Hanan, S-CAR).
(4) “The instructor, Professor Rajput, was incredibly well-informed on IDP and
Refugee issues and had conducted relevant field studies to share with the class, making
the concepts and frameworks the course is based on tangible to the students. The classes
were well organized, informative, and connected to real life examples” (Ann Rohrhoff).

(5) “Professor Rajput’s personal research on IDPs and refugees gives her the authority to inform or educate us on the issues. She brings a remarkable insight. The class is interesting and interactive because she creates an active environment and allows those with first-hand experiences to not only react on her comments but bring their knowledge and analysis on the class materials” (Claudine Kuradusenge, S-CAR).

(6) “The course was fantastic; the course taught me the proper research methodology and diagnostic tools. An overall stimulating course while only three days profoundly opened my eyes on this important issue that I would recommend all SCAR students to enroll in this course. Professor Rajput, was an amazing instructor for the simple fact that she was responsive to our needs” (Adnan Hurreh).
(7) “It was helpful to have a professor who had recently returned from the field that could share her experiences. I was able to better grasp the concepts and understand the nuances of refugee and IDP issues through the Professor’s experiences” (Ashton Callahan).
(8) “This course was eye opening and reaffirmed the career path I would like to take. What I liked most about Professor Rajput was her knack to explain such a thorny, complicated issue in such simplified ways. She created a welcoming community in the classroom where all questions were welcomed at any time. What also helped was hearing her on-the-field stories; she is one of the few professors I have encountered that can explain the material and share personal stories and tie it all together (she can paint the whole picture). It helps tremendously when real life stories from the instructor’s perspective are brought into the classroom” (Nida Ansari).
(9) “I definitely have a foundation now for future study. It was especially beneficial for me how Professor Rajput gave examples from her own research and methodology to explain how to apply the models and frameworks we studied; working with such a complex issue, her input made the possibility of finding solutions seem tangible” (Kaitlyn Stovall).
(10) “I think I really learned a lot of applicable skills and knowledge to round out my time at S-CAR. It was clear that Professor Rajput was extremely knowledgeable on the class topic. I think her anecdotes and fieldwork experience provided dynamic and useful context for the class as we explored the topics during our class sessions” (Hillary Bullis, State Department).
(11) “This class is amazing. Thank you for all the valuable time you invested in your research. It has been a rewarding start to the school year just learning so much from you” (Joseph Yarsiah, State Department).
(12) “Dr. Rajput has done the field of conflict analysis and resolution a big favor by exposing the issue of refugees and IDPs issues and concern through her valuable research in Asia. I think she did a very thorough investigation of the issues of refugees and IDPs in Kashmir and reflected that in a very entertaining, challenging, yet encouraging way for us students. She also share lights on being a good researcher and what it took to get the job done. She is very knowledgeable on the subject and was able to cover a lot in three classes. It felt like an entire semester worth of information. She is passionate about her work and very proud of her research. As a former refugee myself, I felt proud listening to a lecturer who brought so much light and attention to this issue” (Joseph Yarsiah, State Department).
With best
Sudha Rajput, PhD
Adjunct Professor
‘Refugee and IDP Issue Analysis’
School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
George Mason University
World Bank (Ret.)
Sudha’s blog – a view on internal displacement
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Displaced Kashmiri Pandits and welfare programs

Officials of J&K government admit that those displaced from Kashmir Valley beginning in 1989, “constitute an important part of the composite culture of the Valley and the community has made a substantial contribution in several walks of life” (Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Feb 22, 20014). Adding that the ‘government is well aware of their problems and is contemplating various welfare programs, referring to the Satellite Township at Jagti.
My research shows that such “Satellite Township” like welfare programs that keep the IDP groups isolated from their host community is a bad idea, as members of this community have been isolated for over two decades from their host communities of Jammmu and Delhi which has stifled their socio-economic growth. Rather the KP community should be encouraged to integrate with their wider community and become an integral part of their host communities. Unless the policies are made to seek their durable return, no other policies are holistic enough to address the dilemma of this community.

Dr. Sudha Rajput

South Sudan – Internal Displacement rises

South Sudan – Internal Displacement:
Norwegian Refugee Council reports that from December 2013 to-date, 900.000 people have fled due to political disagreements between the current government and opposition forces. People are living in the bushes, under the trees trying to escape the harsh climate, while being exposed to mosquito bites. The usual April rains are going to hamper the relief efforts further.
Sudha Rajput
Read the full story at:

Guide to Blogging from PCDN

Conf.795 Blog Post #3 – Cameroon

Cameroon: Refugees arriving in Cameroon fleeing Central African Republic.

Many of the new arrivals in eastern Cameroon say they fled from Bangui to escape clashes.
UNHCR office reports that the violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) has sent thousands of people streaming into neighboring countries, while the International Criminal Court announced plans to open a preliminary investigation into alleged war crimes being committed amid the ongoing sectarian bloodshed.
Nearly 9,000 people – most Central Africans including nationals from Chad, Nigeria and Mali have fled CAR for neighboring Cameroon, raising the number to 20,000 refugees who have fled to Cameroon since fighting started,

    : (1) Impact on ‘host country’ Cameroon – e.g. will the cultural diversity that this group brings to Cameroon be welcomed? (2) Impact on those who have not left CAR.

    Complete story: Feb 8, 2014

Conf. 795 Blog Post #2: IDPs in Sri Lanka

IDPs of Sri Lanka

Per Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) up to 90,000 of the 800,000 people forced to flee during Sri Lanka’s civil war between 1983 and 2009 remain internally displaced, with tens of thousands more having returned, but unable to find long term solutions.
One third of the IDPs cannot return because their homes and land remain occupied by the military – whose presence has been justified by the government as a means of preventing a resurgence of the conflict.
Random visits and interrogations leave IDPs and those who have returned home in a state of fear. With many male family members killed, disappeared or detained, women and girls in particular are vulnerable to sexual harassment and violence from military personnel.

Discuss: whose responsibility is it to provide security for those who have returned?

CONF.795 – Blog Post #1 – Syrian Crisis

With no end in sight for the resolution of the Syrian crisis and increasing likelihood for spin-off conflicts spreading across the region, UNHCR is reporting that the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) may double by the end of the 2014.
UNHCR is predicting the IDP numbers to reach 6.5 million by the end of 2014, from the current 3.5 million people.
A UNHCR breakdown of refugees by country shows 900,000 in Lebanon, 600,000 in Turkey, 590,000 in Jordan, 215,000 in northern Iraq, 135,000 in Egypt, 20, 000 in North Africa and 30,000 in other countries (source:, retrieved February 6, 2014).

Discussion: How have relations or tensions between the displaced Syrians and their ‘hosts’ affected the two groups (i) those displaced; and (ii) the hosts.

South Sudan – continuing displacement

December 27, 2013
Per the UN now more than 120,000 people have been displaced, due to the fighting that began on December 15, 2013 in Juba (capital of this new country), violence has now spread across other parts of this oil-producing East African country.