ICAWPI

International Campaign Against War on the People in India

 

Stop all attacks against the people!

 

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  • Is Kalpana asking too much? - UAPA marches on

    By Nisha Biswas. Dec 28 2010.

    West Bengal police's Special Task Force (STF) claimed to arrest five persons including Sudip Chongdar alias Kanchan, State Secretary of CPI(Maoist), Kalpana Maiti alias Anu, wife of senior Maoist leader Anil Ghosh alias Akash, Barun Sur alias Bidyut, and Anil Ghosh alias Bijoy, all members of state committee. Arrested too is Shankar Mallick alias Buchu, said to be a Maoist linkman. This happened on December 3, 2010, though it is said that they were picked a week before by state police.

    All five, so far, have been produced in court four times for extension of police remand, which is now extended till December 31, 2010. This is the longest police remand, 30 days at a stretch, so far awarded to any person arrested under UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). On all these days of Court production, all of them were brought hand tied and blind folded.

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  • Press Statement by Mediator in Odisha Hostoage Crisis

    • Early Implementation of the Points of Agreement Between the Mediators and the Representatives of Odisha Government will Ensure Peace in the State
    • Independent and High Level Enquiry is needed to put a Check on the Warmongers who have been Trying to Destabilize the Present Situation in Odisha

    You are aware that from the day one of the issue arising out of hostage of Malakangiri Collector and Junior Engineer that the most  reactionary forces,  more specifically the sections which are always against the process of peace, have been unleashing a misinformation campaign to defeat the peace process in the state. However they couldn't succeed and ultimately such a situation was defused and the Government of Odisha found itself in a situation to respond positively to the demands of the CPI (Maoist). In this process, the Government was at least understood for the time being not to wage war against the people by taking the name of Maoists.

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  • Orissa : Concerned Citizens Condemn Police Firing at Kalinga Nagar

    BHUBANESWAR: Concerned Citizens Committee (CCC), a forum of civil society leaders, on Wednesday accused police of "brutal use" of force to evict tribals from their lands at Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district. 

    "At least 30-40 tribals have sustained serious bullet injuries in police firing on Tuesday. Four of them are critical and battling for life in hospital. The district administration says only rubber bullets were fired at the crowd to prevent them from attacking the police. But the bloody wounds do not prove to be handy work of only rubber bullets," Justice Choudhury Pratap Mishra, head of the forum, said at a crowded press conference here.

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  • Govt to Decide if Armed Forces Needed to Tackle Naxals : Chairman of Chief of Staffs

    New Delhi: Pointing out that tackling Maoist violence was the job of police and paramilitary forces, the armed forces on Tuesday said the decision to involve them in the anti-Naxal operations will be taken by the government if the other agencies fail to deal with the menace. 

    "We have to see the scale of Maoist movement. If the scale is so that police and paramilitary forces are unable to handle it, then it will be government's decision to involve the Services. But, by and large, this is a job to be done by the paramilitary and police forces," Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said here after taking over as the Chairman, Chief of Staffs Committee here.

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  • Orissa : Court Nails Police Lie on 'Surrendered Maoists'

    The Orissa High Court Tuesday nailed a lie of the state police who had held two tribal youth of the state's Kandhamal district as 'surrendered Maoists', and ordered the duo's release. According to police, Bishnu Parida and Binayak Parida surrendered to police in Raikia police station area of the district Feb 28. After the 'surrender', police took them in custody.

    Hearing the petition filed by their families, the court found that they were wrongly detained by police.

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  • Orissa : Police Attack Villagers Protesting against Tata Project

    BHUBANESWAR: Armed police on Tuesday allegedly raided a tribal village in the vicinity of Kalinganagar, fired bullets and set houses afire. Panic-stricken villagers of Baligoth fled to the nearby forest to take shelter after nearly seven of them, including a woman, Gurubari Ghagarai, sustained injuries. 

    The administration defended the police action saying such steps became imperative because the villagers continued to oppose construction of a road to the Kalinganagar industrial area. "The villagers did not refrain from opposing the road construction work. I tried to convince them, but in vain. Hence, the police action," Jajpur district collector Pramod Mohanty said. He said the police fired rubber bullets after tear gas failed to calm down the situation.

     

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  • Operation against Naxals Priority : Indian Defence Ministry

    New Delhi, March 29: The operations against Maoists are the main focus of internal security, more important than even the "proxy war" in Jammu and Kashmir, the annual report of the defence ministry said.

    The defence ministry also acknowledged for the first time in several years that relations with Bangladesh had improved but India was concerned with the security situation in Pakistan.

    The text of the defence ministry's 2009-2010 annual report was paraphrased and sent as a media release today but the report itself is likely to be publicly released on Tuesday.

    Reflecting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 2005 statement that Naxalites were the "gravest internal security threat", the defence ministry has probably for the first time knocked Jammu and Kashmir off the top billing it got in its list of priorities for internal security.

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  • Justice Sachar: Development Should Not Violate Rights of Locals

    New Delhi: Noting that industrial development should not bypass masses, former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar on Monday said government should ensure that people's livelihoods were not snatched away and human rights not violated while pursuing development projects.

    Referring to the land acquisitions in Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal and elsewhere leading to mass agitation, Sachar said development should benefit the local people and leaving them out of the loop is in a way violating their rights.

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  • In Defence of Arundhati Roy

    Trevor Selvam

    For the past few years, I have seen the hate that has been spewed out at Arundhuti Roy. There are various categories of Indian men and women who do not like her. Let us deal with the men first, as their hatred (camouflaged or obvious) for an intelligent female writer is nearly reflexive. Women on the other hand do not seem to have their hate mongering so mordant and merciless and generally do not spew out sexist hatred.

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  • Is It Operation Maoist Hunt?

    Gladson Dungdung

    After a long preparation, a lot of debate and politics, finally the Indian government launched 'Operation Green Hunt' (OGH) in Jharkhand on March 10 with the objective of cleansing the Maoists from the state. Though P. Chidambaram, the CEO of OGH, declines calling it by that name, his officers are using the term shamelessly.

    Nearly 10,000 security forces consisting of CRPF, Cobra, Jaguar, STP and other groups have been deployed in the forests, choppers are roaming in the skies, schools are converted into military camps, forests are sealed and combing operations are being carried out with the support of local Adivasi youth who are named as the Special Police Officers (SPO), duplicated from the Salwa Judum theory of Chhatisgarh.

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  • Farmers Protest Dharna Programme of PDFI at Delhi on 30th March

    The 30th March 2010 Kisan Dharna Programme of PDFI Sub-committee on Agriculture Crisis (of which Dr. Darshan Pal is the Coordinator) is going to be held as per schedule at Jantar Mantar, Delhi. It will start at 11 AM. More than 1000 people from Punjab, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Delhi and other states are expected to attend the programme. The Dharna Programme is going to be organized on the issues related with Agriculture Crisis, such as Irrigation, Electricity, Agriculture Credit, Guarantee of MSP, Price Rise, Equitable Entitlement of Agriculture Community, Separate Budget for Agriculture etc.

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  • Chhattisgarh: Maoist Strike Disrupts Iron Ore Shipments

    A 48-hour strike called by the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has hit iron ore shipment by India's largest iron ore miner, NMDC Ltd, in Chhattisgarh, company officials said Tuesday.

    The National Mineral Development Company Ltd (NMDC Ltd) has cut short iron ore transportation up to 40 percent on a daily basis due to rail services disruption between its Bailadila iron ore mining facilities in Dantewada district, some 400 km from state capital Raipur, to Andhra Pradesh's port city Visakhapatnam.

    Railways have cancelled night movements of goods trains since March 21 fearing attacks by Maoists who have strong presence in and around the NMDC's Bailadila's Kirandul and Bacheli mining facilities.

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  • Children at Risk as Schools Become Barracks in Anti-Maoist War

    Aman Sethi

    Chhattisgarh defies the Supreme Court and security forces are still in occupation of school premises despite assurances to the contrary.

    School's out! In Kerlapal, Dantewada, battle-weary soldiers of the B Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force peer over barbed-wire fences as skinny schoolboys in sky-blue shirts play cricket. The force has occupied the senior school and with it the basketball court and part of the playing field; but the game must go on.

    As paramilitary troops pour into Chhattisgarh to fight the Maoists, the absence of military barracks has forced soldiers and children to share the only concrete structures in the countryside - the village school.

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  • Police Crack Down in Punjab, Arrest Popular Leader Dr. Darshan Pal

    In the wake of a three day sit up against the I.G. police office, Amritsar, massive arrests by the Punjab police have been made yesterday. The sit up (dharna) is being held by 22 peasant and agricultural laborers organisations to protest against the govt.-gunda-police connivance in the murder of peasant leader Sadhu Singh Takhtupura and brutal killings of peasant in the village Khanna Chamiara recently.

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  • Arundhati Roy : Walking with the Comrades

    by Arundhati Roy - Sunday, 21 March, 2010

     

    Arundhati Roy finds a quiet moment to herself during a punishing visit to the forest where she became the first journalist/writer to break the taboo of of interviewing Maoist guerrillas in their lair.

    Last month, quietly, unannounced, Arundhati Roy decided to visit the forbidding and forbidden precincts of Central India's Dandakaranya Forests, home to a melange of tribespeople many of whom have taken up arms to protect their people against state-backed marauders and exploiters. She recorded in considerable detail the first face-to-face journalistic "encounter" with armed guerillas, their families and comrades, for which she combed the forests for weeks at personal risk.

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  • West Bengal: Joint Forces Harass NREGA Labourers

    JHARGRAM: Mistaking them for Maoists, the joint forces allegedly attacked some labourers working at NREGA project sites in the Hatilot and Lakshmanpur areas of West Midnapore on Sunday morning.

    The forces allegedly surrounded the workers in Hatilot, fired in the air and heckled them on Sunday morning. The security personnel also allegedly snatched the master roll from the project superviser and chased the labourers away.

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  • West Bengal: Special Force to Tackle Maoists

    The West Bengal government is raising a counter-insurgency force to be trained by the elite Greyhounds force based in Andhra Pradesh for specialising in counter-guerrilla activities of Maoists active in certain parts of the State.

    The matter was discussed at a meeting, where Inspector General of the Greyhound Force Anjani Kumar and State's Director-General of Police, Bhupinder Singh, were present here earlier this week.

    Personnel selected from the State Armed Police will receive training at the Greyhounds Academy in Andhra Pradesh that specialises in preparing special commandoes to tackle anti-extremist activity.

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  • Jharkhand's Indigeneous People Demand end to Green Hunt

    A Letter to the Home Minister P. Chidambaram

    With due respect, we regret to inform you that the Operation Green Hunt or anti-Naxal operation, which has been launched in the state of Jharkhand on 10th of March 2010, has created uncertainty, brought threat to life and seized the freedom of the villagers mostly the Adivasis in different parts of the state. The Adivasis who live in or around the forests and depend on it for their livelihoods are not allowed to enter/roam in the forests by the security forces, the water resources are captured by them, the villagers are unnecessarily harassed, children are denied their right to education as the schools have been transformed into military camps and women are also misbehaved by the security forces.

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  • Chhattisgarh: Petitioners Show Up to Expose Gachanpalli Massacre

    Aman Sethi

    Gachanpalli: A frayed umbrella, a half filled bottle of cooking oil and two shopping bags stuffed with clothes constitute the unlikely tombstone that marks Kowasi Ganga's grave. "It's the sum total of his worldly possessions," says his grandson Kowasi Muye, "It's a Muria tradition."

    Kowasi Ganga, 75, died on September 17, 2009. Muye's last memory of his grandfather is of Ganga dying dead outside their home. He had been stabbed multiple times.

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  • Binayak Sen : Green Hunt Adding to Malnutrition Woes

    National Vice-President of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Dr Binayak Sen has said the action against Maoists is only accentuating the problem of malnutrition in tribal areas. He was speaking at the sixth I G Khan Memorial Lecture on 'Violence and justice in our times' at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Saturday. Putting figures on the table to drive home his point, Dr Sen said malnutrition should be the most pressing concern of the government.

    "A person with a body mass index of less than 18.5 is malnourished. According to National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau, 33 per cent of adult Indians have a BMI of less than 18.5. If you disaggregate this, over 50 per cent Scheduled Tribes have a BMI of 18.5 or are undernourished.

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  • Vedanta Flouting Laws: Environment Minister

    NEW DELHI - India's environment minister on Saturday accused London-based resource giant Vedanta of violating local laws with a mining project in an area held sacred by a tribal group.

    Vedanta's 125-billion-rupee (2.7-billion-dollar) investment in the Niyamgiri Hills in the eastern state of Orissa has emerged as a test case in India, pitting industrial interests against those of indigenous peoples and the environment.

    The open-caste bauxite mine is intended to feed a nearby aluminium refinery already built by the company and currently supplied with bauxite from other Indian states.

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  • India Govt Says It Has Right to Use Force against Maoists

    New Delhi : The Indian government has said it had the legitimate right to use as much force as necessary to regain control of areas dominated by the Maoists and made it clear that talks with it could only take place if the ultras abjured violence.

    Terming Naxalism as a "graver problem" than jihadi terrorism, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday vowed to effectively tackle the threat from Maoists, who have declared a war against the Indian state, before the term of the government ends. Chidambaram said the goal of the Maoists was armed liberation struggle and the sole purpose was to seize power.

    Referring to the offer of talks made by the government to the Maoists recently, he asked, "Why aren't the Maoists making a simple statement that we abjure violence?" He said in such a situation, it was the legitimate right of the government to use as much force necessary to regain the areas and hoped that once the government regains control in two to three years, it would usher in development.

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  • Intellectuals and Civil Society Up in Arms over OGH

    Ranchi: People's Committee against Operation Green Hunt a newly formed group comprising intelligentsia and members of the Jharkhand civil society is up in arms over the anti-Maoist offensive that has been launched in the state.

    In fact, the committee members have questioned why the operation has targeted those districts that boast of huge mineral reserves. "We have been repeatedly saying that the offensive against the Maoists, no matter by what name it is referred to, aims at suppressing people's movement in mineral-rich districts and curb voices that are being raised against displacement," said Tridib Ghosh, convener of the committee.

    Accusing the government of being a puppet in the hands of multi-national companies, Ghosh said by terrorizing innocent villagers, a free passage is being provided to the MNCs so that they can carry out their mining projects with ease.

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  • Jharkhand: The Hunt Is On

    Jamshedpur/Ranchi: Amid a silent build up of forces in various red bastions of the state, DGP Neyaz Ahmed has said that joint anti-Naxalite operations with Bengal were on since Sunday in the Ghatshila sub-division of East Singhbhum, the confirmation coming on a day a huge cache of deadly explosives were seized in Bokaro.

    Ahmed said internal operations had been launched simultaneously and included the Saranda forests in West Singhbhum and the hilly terrain of Jhumra in Bokaro. "The operation has started in three places and we will shortly extend it to new fronts," he told The Telegraph.

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  • BD Sharma: 'For Tribals, Development Means Exploitation'

    Jyoti Punwani

    B D Sharma is one of India's foremost experts on tribal issues. He has served as collector of undivided Bastar district in Chhattisgarh and commissioner for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and has campaigned extensively to protect the rights of tribals. Currently, the coordinator of Bharat Jan Andolan, a network of grass-roots organisations, Sharma tells that current notions of development are at the root of the Maoist insurgency.

    What has changed since you were collector of Bastar?

    That was 40 years ago! Outsiders didn't have so much influence there, except in Bailadila. The presence of the administration also wasn't much. As collector, i didn't sanction any mining lease. When sanctions started being given, discontent grew, and in the 1980s, the Maoists came.

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  • West Bengal Police Shoot on Sight - and We're All Targets

    According to the two women wearing the white clothes of mourning, Lalmohan Tudu was a well-loved husband and son, a man who only wanted to help his village. They say the farmer, a tribal rights activist, was seized near his home by police who then shot him dead in a nearby paddy field.

    But police say the 50-year-old was a dangerous rebel, the head of a Maoist front group that was terrorising the area. He was killed, they insist, in an exchange of fire after his group attacked a police patrol.

    "They had been hunting him since last June," said his wife, Lakhimani, stunned and hushed, as she sat outside the family home where chickens pecked in the dust. "He had tried to come to the house that day but he was kidnapped that night. We heard gunshots and feared the worst. We never found out what had happened until the next morning when we heard his body was in the morgue."

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  • March 5th Briefing to the International and All-India Media

    Press Note based on Reports in the Local Languages involved, Fact-finding Reports of teams of Democratic and Civil Rights Organisations and the Statements issued by the CPI (Maoist)

    The last quarter of 2009 has been quite significant in the annals of history of the Indian subcontinent with the much publicised war, euphemistically called as Operation Green Hunt, of the Government of India on the Adivasis-the poorest of the poor- of the region ostensibly to usher in, what is being time and again termed as Progress, Prosperity and Peace.

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  • The Other Binayak Sens - Attack on Civil Liberties

    Manoj C G

    While the government's security offensive against the Maoists, coupled with statements to those extending intellectual support to the insurgents to condemn their violent ways and disassociate with them, continue, civil rights and citizen groups are claiming that it is they who are feeling the heat. For, they claim that labelling a person as a Maoist is increasingly used as a tactic by the security agencies to silence democratic voices of dissent and stop them from raising issues of forced displacement of tribals or farmers, as incidentally these are the same issues being taken up by the Left-wing insurgents.

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  • Press Statement on December 17 Protest in Delhi

    The Forum Against War on People organised the "Rally Against War on People", to protest against the brutal military offensive of the Indian state on the tribal people of central and eastern India through the Operation Green Hunt where in lakhs of the paramilitary-military as well as various vigilante gangs such as the Salwa Judum, Nagrik Suraksha Samiti, Sendra, Tritiya Prastuti Samiti, Harmad Vahini etc. has let loose on the people. All this is being done under the garb of bringing in development to these regions.

    And it is for any discernible eye to see that for the last 60 years there has been hardly any such intervention from the side of the state in some of the poorest regions of India. Why suddenly the government is concerned about development in these regions is nothing but to give away these resource rich regions to the multinational corporations and local monopolies through various MoUs that the various state governments have entered into with the former.

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  • Delhi Protestors March against Operation Green Hunt

    More than a thousand tribals from across the country today staged a protest rally to save forests, tribals and minerals from the government's anti-Naxalite operations. Under the banner of 'Forum Against War on People', 22 organisations took out the rally from Ramlila grounds to Parliament Street in Central Delhi and demanded that the 'Operation Green Hunt,' started by the Centre against Naxals and Maoists in Naxal-affected areas, be stopped forthwith. "The Government must stop paramilitary forces' action in tribal regions and treat tribal peoples' movements as political movements rather than Naxal movements," demanded G N Saibaba, a senior leader of the forum.

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  • Feb 5th Protest Actions in Front of Indian Embassies in Europe

    {jathumbnail off} Today with the initiative of ATIK (Confederation of Workers from Turkey in Europe) protest actions in front of the Indian Embassies were held in various cities in Europe. These include Den Haag, London, Vienna, Bern, Berlin and Frankfurt. The protests were held to condemn the "Operation Green Hunt" which was first launched in November 2009 by the Indian state against the people in the heartland of India. Until now, there have been few reports in the international media reporting about the extensive violations of the most fundamental human rights in India.

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  • Intellectuals and Rights Groups Urge Centre to Enter into Peace Talks

    New Delhi: Days after the Maoists appealed to intellectuals and human rights groups to play the role of a mediator, a group of civil rights activists - among them were writer Arundhati Roy and Justice Rajinder Sachar - have come forward asking the government to "reciprocate" the offer for ceasefire proposed by the Left-wing insurgents.

    Heeding to the appeal of elusive Maoist leader Kishenji to step in, the intellectuals said they welcomed the announcement by the Maoists to observe a ceasefire and their readiness to enter into talks with the Government. "The Government should halt Operation Green Hunt immediately and respond to the offer made by Maoists," Justice Sachar said.

    In a possible mediation effort, the intellectuals said they have sent a letter to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi pointing out the need for the Government to reciprocate and would be writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a day or two placing their views on the issue and seeking an appointment with him.

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  • Dongria Kondh Ask James Cameron to Aid Fight against Vendanta


     

    The Dongria Kondh say plot of James Cameron's blockbuster reflects their plight as they struggle to stop company from opening bauxite mine on sacred mountain.

    The Dongria Kondh tribe from eastern India today appealed to film director James Cameron to help them stop controversial mining  company Vedanta from opening a bauxite mine on their sacred land as they believe that he will understand their plight better than most.

    Like the Na'vi tribe in Cameron's blockbuster Avatar who are desperately trying to stop humans from mining under their sacred 'home tree' in Pandora, the Dongria Kondh are trying to stop Vedanta from opening its mine on the mountain they worship.

    Vedanta plans to construct an open-cast mine on Niyamgiri mountain in Orissa state which activists believe will destroy the area's ecosystem and threaten the future of the 8,000-strong Dongria Kondh tribe, who depend on the hills for their crops and water and who believe the mountain and surrounding forest to be a sacred place.

    Stephen Corry, director of the charity Survival, which campaigns on behalf of indigenous people, said: "Just as the Na'vi describe the forest of Pandora as 'their everything', for the Dongria Kondh, life and land have always been deeply connected. The fundamental story of Avatar – if you take away the multi-coloured lemurs, the long-trunked horses and warring androids – is being played out today in the hills of Niyamgiri.

     

    "Like the Na'vi, the Dongria Kondh are also at risk, as their lands are set to be mined by Vendanta Resources who will stop at nothing to achieve their aims. The mine will destroy the forests on which the Dongria Kondh depend and wreck the lives of thousands of other Kondh tribal people living in the area."

    In an advert in Hollywood entertainment magazine Variety, the Dongria Kondh said: "Appeal to James Cameron. Avatar is fantasy … and real. The Dongria Kondh tribe in India are struggling to defend their land against a mining company hell-bent on destroying their sacred mountain. Please help the Dongria."

    (The Guardian (UK), February 8, 2010)

     

     

     

  • Struggle against POSCO's $12 Billion US-Owned Steel Plant and Port Heats Up

    POSCO: Tribal Dispossession, Environmental Destruction and Imperialism

    by Analytical Monthly Review

    Orissa is the poorest State with an official estimate of 39.9 per cent of people living below the poverty line, yet in regard to proposed investment it stood at second position after Gujarat. According to Assocham Investment Meter, recorded investment proposals in Orissa reached Rs. 2,00,846 crore in 2009. The cause is the availability of rich mineral resources such as coal and iron ore along with cheap availability of manpower. Steel and power were among the sectors which attracted maximum proposed investments in the state.

    The $12 billion POSCO (Pohang Iron and Steel Company) project in Orissa is the largest foreign investment project ever in India.

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  • Rights Activists Get Tagged as Maoists


    Prashant Bhushan, The Hindu


    "For every 100 Maoists eliminated, thousands more are created"

    "Suppression of dissent is fascist and will escalate into civil war"


    NEW DELHI: Human rights activists, journalists and fact-finding committees were being targeted to intimidate them so that there could be no dissenting voices against the State's alleged war on terror, which had degenerated into a war against the tribals, advocate Prashant Bhushan alleged here over the week-end.

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  • Intellectuals, Rights Groups Tell Centre to Reciprocate Maoist Ceasefire Offer

    New Delhi : Days after the Maoists appealed to intellectuals and human rights groups to play the role of a mediator, a group of civil rights activists - among them were writer Arundhati Roy and Justice Rajinder Sachar - have come forward asking the government to "reciprocate" the offer for ceasefire proposed by the Left-wing insurgents.

    Heeding to the appeal of elusive Maoist leader Kishenji to step in, the intellectuals said they welcomed the announcement by the Maoists to observe a ceasefire and their readiness to enter into talks with the Government. "The Government should halt Operation Green Hunt immediately and respond to the offer made by Maoists," Justice Sachar said.

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