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Archive for June 18th, 2007

6 mn displaced tribals yet to get compensation

Posted by Indian Vanguard on June 18, 2007

In Meghalaya’s West Khasi Hills, tribals are protesting against the government’s plan to mine uranium fearing that the radiation would damage their health and ecology.

At Kalinganagar in Orissa, 16 people were killed last year when police opened fire on tribals protesting against the takeover of their land for a steel plant.

From Chipko movement against logging in Garhwal to Jadugoda protests in Jharkhand to Narmada movement in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, more and more tribal people seem to be fighting a losing battle against the industry, mines or dams.

Since 1980, about 9.8 lakh hectares of forestland has been diverted for 11,282 development projects according to an official reply to a Parliamentary question. It specifically mentions that about 1.6 lakh hectares of forestland was diverted for 300 mining projects alone.

Though exact official figures are not available on the total number of tribals displaced from India’s forests due to development projects, a 2004 study by NGO Manthan Adhyayan estimates that the Indira Sagar Dam in Madhya Pradesh has submerged 42,000 hectares of forests land and displaced over 80,000 tribals. Ekta Parishad, another NGO, estimates that in the last one decade about 4.7 million hectares of forestland has been occupied by the Chattisgarh government, displacing about 15 lakh tribals.

A 2005 National Advisory Council paper titled Tribal Welfare and Development authored by D. Swaminadhan, president of Hyderabad-based Mahatma Gandhi National Institute of Research and Social Action, says in the last 50 years over 9 million tribals were displaced out of which 6 million are yet to get any compensation. Noting that displacement has led to far reaching negative social and economic consequences, the author of the paper warns that economic planning cannot ignore these consequences of displacement that come at enormous economic, social and psychological cost. It is well known that uprooting people from their ancestral lands and livelihoods alienates them from kinship and family systems completely disrupting their market links.

The government acquires land for ‘public purpose’ through a 113-year-old Land Acquisition Act. The displaced tribals cannot take any legal recourse as the country’s laws only recognise individual ownership of land and not community ownership of shared resources like the land, water sources, ponds and pastures, as is the case with tribal ‘possessions.’

The present National Policy on Resettlement and Rehabilitation for Project Affected Families of 2004 compensates only assets, not livelihoods. And since forest tribals depend on common property resources, they get very little compensation and a large part of this meager payment is spent on debt repayment and subsistence in the interim period between displacement and rehabilitation, leaving little or nothing for future livelihoods.

A study conducted by Biswaranjan Mohanty, Associate Professor of Utkal University concluded that only 25 per cent of tribals displaced from forests in Orissa since independence have been rehabilitated with proper livelihood. The rest, the study says, are languishing because of bureaucratic apathy.

The new ST and Forest Dwellers Act offers some hope by underlining that the acquisition of forestland for national parks, sanctuaries and development projects should be accompanied by resettlement packages that provide secure livelihoods to the affected communities.

saikat.neogi@hindustantimes.com

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Press communiqué of the 6th Regional Conference of Parties and Organisations of South Asia United in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement

Posted by Indian Vanguard on June 18, 2007

19 February 2007. A World to Win News Service. We received the following communiqué. The 6th Regional Conference of the Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia United in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement was recently convened in a situation, where, both in South Asia and the world, the opportunities as well as challenges before the Maoist forces are greatly heightened in the context of the emerging new wave of world revolution and the counter-revolutiona ry offensive led by US imperialism, the main enemy of the peoples of the world.

This is particularly seen in Nepal where the new democratic revolution led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has entered a decisive level. After paying homage to the revolutionary martyrs, specially mentioning comrade Karam of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) who was earlier an active participant in previous Regional Conferences, the Conference devoted a good amount of time to discussing the situation in Nepal. It reiterated the internationalist solidarity of the Maoist forces of this region with the CPN(Maoist), condemned the blatant intervention and conspiracies of US imperialism striving to preserve the old reactionary state and society, took note of the devious role of Indian expansionism and exposed the reactionary and revisionist propaganda that tries to confuse the revolutionary masses and divert them from the path of revolution.

The Conference reaffirmed the Maoist position that a tactical compromise between a Maoist party and reactionary forces in one country doesn’t oblige the revolutionary forces in other countries to follow suit and that they should continue with their revolutionary tasks. It called for a broad campaign to support the revolution in Nepal and demand that imperialists and all reactionaries keep their hands off Nepal. The objective situation in the world is favourable for revolution. People’s Wars led by Maoist parties in different countries continue to advance, while in Nepal it has advanced closer to the seizure of power. The masses are coming out in struggle and resistance in greater numbers all over the world. In Iraq and Afghanistan, occupation forces led by US imperialism and puppet governments propped up by them are getting bloodied heavily, forcing the US to revise its policies. But in the absence of Maoist forces the masses are getting led by reactionary Islamic fundamentalists.

The US-backed Zionist aggressors were forced to pull back from Lebanon in the face of fierce resistance. In the imperialist countries also, including the US, struggles and mobilisation against the war and globalisation continue, while the rebellions of the youth and students in France shook up the whole of Europe. In South Asia, apart from armed struggles led by Maoists and national liberation forces, struggles of diverse sections of masses against imperialist globalisation and the intensification of exploitation and oppression of imperialism and the reactionary ruling classes have greatly increased the potential to make the countries of this region flaming fields of People’s Wars. Yet the hard fact remains that the subjective forces of revolution still lag behind.

The Regional Conference discussed the situation of the international communist movement focussing on the necessity to strengthen it, both at the theoretical and practical level. In this context, one important topic of discussion in the Regional Conference was that of deepening the grasp of Marxism-Leninism- Maoism (MLM) and developing it by correctly handling the dialectics of theory and practice to make the Maoists more capable of addressing the tasks of making revolution in the present world.

The Regional Conference, strengthened by the participation of the Communist Party of Afghanistan (Maoist) and Communist Party of Bhutan (MLM), concluded with the firm determination expressed by all the participating parties to push ahead in shouldering their revolutionary responsibilities and further strengthen the capacity of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement to carry out its role as the embryonic centre of the world’s Maoist forces. January 2007

Bangladesher Samyobadi Dal (Marxist-Leninist) , BSD(ML)
Communist Party of Afghanistan (Maoist), CPA(M)
Communist Party of Bhutan (Marxist-Leninist- Maoist), CPB(MLM)
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist- Maoist), CPI(MLM)
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Naxalbari, CPI(ML) Naxalbari
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), CPN(M)
Purbo Banglar Sarbohara Party (CC), PBSP(CC)

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