[I got this mail via the ALF (Alternative Law Forum) mailing list]
When many people's movements have resisted the sale of Orissa's natural
resources to global multinationals, the state government resorted to brutal
police repression in retalliation. Police firing has taken place in Kashipur,
anti-POSCO movement, Kalinganagar and other places in Orissa in the recent
past. Karnataka government is practically following the same development model accepted by the Orissa Government.
Therefore we feel that it is essential for activists to learn more
about the Orissa experience so that activists generate connections and energies to deal with this mess.
We are glad to inform you that Prafulla Samantara*, the well known activist
intellectual who is connected with most of the people's movements in Orissa
will be here in Bangalore on 27th. We felt it is a good opportunity to listen
to his views and involve in a discussion on the growing repression against
people's movements in Orissa. Prafulla will speak about POSCO,Vedanta, Kalinganagar and other major issues in Orissa.
We are glad to invite you to participate in this meeting which will take
Venue: SCM House, Mission Road, Bangalore
Time: : 5.30 pm
Date: 27th May, 2010
We request you to participate in the meeting and inform all your friends.
People's Solidarity Concerns
Prafulla Samnatara, is President of Lok Shakti Abhijan, Odisha Chapter and one of the National
Convenors of National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM). He has been actively participating
in various democratic people’s movements to protect human rights, environment and right to livelihood
of millions of people in Odisha state as well as in the country.
His mission is to have alternative development that is sustainable development to replace the present
economic models of high consumerism and greed. Sri Samntara is actively organizing people to create
opinion against destruction of forest, agricultural land, water resources, indiscriminate mining in the
name of development. He is involved in various people’s movement against big corporations who are
plundering natural resources.
In Odisha, since 1994 tribal people and farmers have been struggling peacefully to exercise their right
over natural resources opposing big companies who are to displace lakhs of tribals and poor people from
their habitats and sources of the livelihood. In Kashipur, Niyamgiri, Maliparbat & Deomali, Aluminium
companies are a threat to rich forests and perennial water sources after mining of bauxite.
Sri Samantara has been providing solidarity to these tribal movements. He is the first petitioner to the
Supreme Court of India against Vedanta company.There are other people’s movements against Tata Steel
factory in Kalinga Nagar, POSCO Steel project in Jagatsingpur, Birlas in Maliparbat, Arcelor Mittal Steel
project & Sterlite steel project in Keonjhar. There are people’s protests against the pollution of thermal
power plants and sponge iron industries in Orissa. All these movements are to protect land and water
from destruction and pollution. Sri Samntara as an activist co-ordinates to unite various people’s organizations
to support these people’s movements. He was an active particpiant in a successful movement in Gopalpur against
Tata steel plant that saved the Rusukuliya river and Pipalpanka reserve forest in Ganjam district.
Odisha has become a laboratory for MNCs and other companies to finish resources at the cost of people’s livelihood. Sri Prafulla Samntara is not only involved with these movements, he writes in various newspapers
and edits his own Odiya fortnightly journal on these issues. He has also published many books and leaflets on displacement and police repression. He always believes in non-violence yet he is a target of corporate violence
because he is always with the tribal people.
Orissa’s future is threatened by devastation of ecology as more and more mining companies are chopping down forests and carrying out open cast mining; as the proposed projects will multiply air and water pollution
immensely; as these industries will consume enormous amounts of water. Sri Samantara believes that all quarters
of the society must join hands to stop this impending ecological disaster.
Head of Programs
South India Cell for Human Rights Education(SICHREM)
35,1st Floor,Anjanappa Complex, Hennur Main Road,Lingarajapuram,
St.Thomas Town Post,
Bangalore - 560084, Karnataka
Ph: 080-25473922 / 25804072-73