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Archive for November 2008

A state of siege

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Manju Menon and Sanchari Das

THE  HINDU,  8th June 2008

Orissa is seeing the beginning of yet another struggle for land as the farmers and the state face-off over the industrialisation programme.

The idea of beautiful India for most people even today is the image of expansive stretches of paddy touching the horizon at the margin. Dhinkia in coastal Orissa is one such real village, and much prettier than this image. The beauty not only sustain s a thriving agricultural economy but is held together by a hard working and proud farming community. Their love for their land has been put to severe test since 2005 when the Orissa Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Korean Pohang Steel Company (POSCO) and committed to hand over these farmlands to set up a steel plant. The village has, since then, seen the beginnings of yet another land struggle.
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Written by janjagriti

November 29, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Articles

Far from being over the hill

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Hindustan Times, November 27, 2008

Far from being over the Hill

Manshi Asher

The Khandadhar Hill Range in Orissa is a major attraction among the state’s tourists for its two waterfalls. But for the local tribal community of the Paudi Bhuiyans, the repositories of high quality iron ore deposits in the region are a curse. With the state government now likely to clear the prospective mining licence for 600 million tonnes of iron ore to Posco, the world’s second largest steel making multinational, the traditional bonds between the saal forests and the Paudi Bhuiyans of the Khandadhar hills are in danger of being snapped.

According to Ashwin Mahanta, a resident from the area who has been working with the tribals for the last 10 years, eight gram panchayats of the Lunipada block, with more than 50 villages within a 10 kilometre radius of Khandadhar, will be directly and indirectly affected by the mining activity that Posco proposes to carry out in an area of 6,000 hectares.

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Written by janjagriti

November 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Articles

Letter to Forest Advisory Committee

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24th November 2008

P.R.Mohanty,

Director General (Forests)

Chairman, Forest Advisory Committee

Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF)

New Delhi

Subject: Concerns over Forest Clearance to POSCO’s steel plant and port in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa

Sir,

We have learnt through newspaper reports that the Stage I forest clearance for the POSCO steel plant and port in Orissa has already been granted by the FAC (copy of newspaper report attached). We have no transparent way to confirm this as the website of the MoEF has and continues to miss uploading any information on the clearances of the proposed Steel Plant and captive port of M/s POSCO-India in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa.

If this is indeed true, following the Supreme Court returning the project to MoEF for final decision, we are deeply concerned and disturbed with this development. There is clear evidence that despite indicating that all the project components are inter-linked in the 2005 MoU with the State government (copy enclosed), the company has sought separate clearances for each component. This has been brought to the notice of the MoEF by civil society groups prior to the environment clearances were granted, and also to the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court (copies enclosed).

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Written by janjagriti

November 29, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Anti POSCO Rally – 15th November 2008, New Delhi

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Anti-POSCO Rally at Delhi on 15th Nov'08

Anti-POSCO Rally at Delhi on 15th Nov

rally-mandi-house-to-jantar1

rally-mandi-house-to-jantar1

Written by janjagriti

November 16, 2008 at 6:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

JOIN THE PROTEST MARCH AGAINST POSCO PROJECT

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JOIN THE PROTEST MARCH AGAINST POSCO PROJECT

From Mandi House to Parliament Street

15 NOVEMBER 2008

Stop Robbing People’s Land and Resources for Corporate Greed

 

POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (Jagatsinghpur, Orissa), and All India Students’ Federation appeal to all progressive and democratic forces to join them in a protest march from Mandi House to Parliament Street in Delhi at 11 am on 15 November 2008 against the illegal, undemocratic and unjust POSCO project and to condemn the arrest of PPSS leader Abhaya Sahu and other PPSS activists..

 

The POSCO project in Orissa is a blatant example of the government’s open robbery of peoples’ resources in order to fuel corporate greed. Consisting of a steel plant, captive iron ore mines and a private port, the project will mean seizing the land of more than 4,000 families in the steel plant area alone. The port will likely to displace another 20,000 people, and there is no estimate of the even much larger number who will lose their homes, lands and resources to the mines. The company will get more than 600 million tonnes of iron ore for a paltry amount. The projects are totally illegal and in direct violation of the Forest Rights Act of 2006, under which communities’ resources cannot be seized without recognising their rights and taking their consent. This illegal project will destroy the lives of tens of thousands of people and rob a huge amount of the country’s resources – with no benefit to anyone other than POSCO itself.

 

Since 2005, the people of Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadkujang gram panchayats in Jagatsinghpur, under the leadership of the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, have been resisting the project.  They have faced massive violence, including bomb attackss, police beatings, assaults by hired goons, and yet have continued their peaceful resistance. Every state agency, from the Central and State governments to the Supreme Court, has colluded in ignoring the blatant illegality of the project and the just demands of the people. The most recent instance of this repression was the arrest of PPSS leader Abhay Sahu on 12 October 2008, following which repression is intensifying – even as the people’s resistance has been growing with every passing day.

 

In this context it is crucial that we express our dissent and demonstrate opposition to POSCO and our commitment to the struggle against corporate attacks on people and their resources. Therefore, we call upon all democratic forces to join us for a protest march on 15 November 2008, from Mandi House to Parliament Street, New Delhi. Please assemble at Mandi House at 11 am on 15 November 2008 and bring banners and placards to the rally.

 

The protest march will demand:

 

  • Immediate scrapping of the POSCO project;
  • Release of Abhay Sahu and all other PPSS activists, withdrawal of all cases against them, and withdrawal of the police from the area; and
  • Stop repression on people fighting to protect their lands and resources throughout the state.          

                              

More than 500 people from the steel plant site, and from other parts of Orissa, will be participating in the rally.

 

 

POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS)

 

All India Students Federation (AISF)

POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity (PSS)

 

For further details, contact: Prahsant Paikray (Bhubaneswar 09437571547) / Jyoti (Bhubaneswar 09178078225) / Subrat (Delhi 9868182363) / Sayantoni (Delhi 9999038672

Written by janjagriti

November 10, 2008 at 3:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Bargaining Lives

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Combat Law, January-February 2008

POSCO brings Orissa government to its knees as an MOU signed between the two is not only going to rob thousands of villagers of their tenuous preserves in far off hamlets but also ties state’s hands from doing anything except to support, assist, protect and pave the way for investors’ interests in all eventuality.


Read the article on http://www.combatlaw.org/information.php?article_id=1039&issue_id=37

Written by janjagriti

November 7, 2008 at 10:00 am

Posted in Articles