Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development

A regional alliance of peoples’ movements, community organizations, coalitions, NGOs and networks



An Open Letter to the President and Prime Minister of India

We, in the Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), are writing to express alarm and grave concern over reports from our members of rampant violations of human rights in Bastar (Chattisgarh).

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Fishworkers stage dharna

Traditional fishworkers in Kollam, under the banner of the Kerala Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, staged a dharna in front of the Matsyafed office at Shakthikulangara here on Tuesday morning to press for their demands pertaining to the kerosene issue.

They wanted the Civil Supplies Corporation authorities to release their kerosene permits which were suspended last month.

Inaugurating the dharna, secretary of the National Fishworkers' Forum T. Peter said that keeping the permits suspended had led to a fuel crisis in the traditional fishing sector.

He alleged that the permits had been suspended on flimsy grounds.

Yet the Central and State were not taking any step to solve the issue.

He said the permit verification process by the Corporation authorities was conducted in a haphazard manner.

It was this situation which had created the crisis. Moreover, the Corporation authorities were averse to the idea of entrusting the Matsyafed with the task of allocating kerosene to the fishermen based on the permits.

He called for immediate revocation of the suspended permits.

Moreover, along with the revocation, the kerosene allocation for the month of September too should be released to permit holders, he said.

The dharna was led by federation State president P.P. John. District president S. Francis, secretary A.R. Andrews, and treasurer M. Ambrose addressed the demonstrators.

Photo by C. Suresh Kumar.

Photo and article published in The Hindu.


Our planet is not for sale! ADB Quit India! Quit Asia!

We, peoples' movements, mass organisations, struggle groups, trade unions,community organisations and many others from India and abroad, call for a protestagainst the 46th Annual Board of Governors' Meeting (AGM) of the AsianDevelopment Bank (ADB) in Greater Noida, Delhi during May 2-5, 2013. The AGM willmake decisions on key development issues for the Asia-Pacific region, that willaffect all of us now and in the future. India, which is touted as 'the emerging power in the region' and in the ADB, is hosting the AGM for the third time to showcase andendorse a 'development through empowerment' model put forth by the ADB. In fact,over the years, the Indian ruling class has been working hand in glove with the ADBin a mutually beneficial complicity at the expense of hundreds of millions of poor,marginalised and other toiling sections of the society.

The ADB has earned the notorious title of actually being an "Anti-human DestructiveBank," whose devastating acts are not limited to India, but are evident across the Asia-Pacific region and also at the global level in collusion with the World Bank, InternationalMonetary Fund (IMF) and other institutions of global capitalism. Likewise, our protest andresistance is not limited to the ADB but extends to all International Financial Institutions(IFIs) whose primary missions are to appropriate and commodify the natural, human andsocial wealth of the planet, and force nations into indebtedness and political subordination.

A self-acclaimed "development" financial institution, the ADB claims to combat poverty inthe region. But its poverty reduction strategy is merely a masquerade for prescribing adoomed model of rapid economic growth powered by the privatisation, commodificationand financialisation of natural resources and basic needs like water, power, education, etc.Under the guise of "good governance," the ADB supports profit-mongering, unaccountableand non-transparent private sectors. The Long-Term Strategy Framework (Strategy 2020)of the Bank is a recipe for the transfer of wealth, means and capacities from the poor andmiddle classes to the wealthy, upper classes. Using grand slogans such as 'inclusivegrowth', 'environmental sustainability' and 'regional integration', the Strategy 2020 focuseson private sector development and explicitly advocates private sector participation in ADBand borrower operations. In 2011, the Bank spent nearly $6 billion as private sector finance. Not surprisingly, in India the number of billionaires rose from 2 with a combinedworth of $2 billion in the mid-1990s, to 46 in 2012 with a total net worth of $176 billion!

With nearly $22 billion in annual financial investment for nearly 350 projects (loans, grants,equity investments and Technical Assistance) in Asia-Pacific, governments have given the ADB a mandate to direct the development path for the region. Under the pretext of addressing environmental and climate crises and alleviating poverty, the ADB continues todisplace and alienate large numbers of people from their lands, homes, water sources andforests, and violates their rights to livelihood, citizenship and participation in decisionmaking.

Join hands against the ADB AGM

While it is our governments who borrow, the onus of debt repayment falls on the publicexchequer and the people of the country, and is transferred to subsequent generationsand the environment. Debt repayment depletes scarce foreign exchange reserves, andredirects national revenues away from spending on essential public goods such aseducation, health, housing, water, sanitation, electricity and job-creation towards servicingan upward spiralling illegitimate debt.

The struggles, movements and campaigns against ADB funded projects in West Bengal,Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand,J&K, Himachal Pradesh, and the North Eastern States take this opportunity to expose the ADB's collusion with the Indian Government to enable the concentration of wealth,resources and capacities in the hands of the economic-political elites. People led byvibrant struggles in these states to halt nuclear power, land and water grabbing, forcedevictions, anti-people laws, farmers suicides and environmental destruction send out thisappeal to challenge the asymmetrical, ill-designed and anti-people developmentprescriptions of the ADB

The 2013 ADB AGM in Delhi offers a much-needed opportunity for us to come together toexpose the destructive developmental model promoted by the ADB and our governments.We invite all of you to join us in voicing our opposition to institutions like the ADB, whichmutilate our democratic institutions, perpetrate untold violence on our societies and foster continuing marginalisation and pauperisation of our peoples.

PEOPLES FRONT against IFIs (International Financial Institutions)


: Adivasi Moolvasi Astitva Raksha Manch (Jharkhand), All India Forum of Forest Movements (AIFFM), All India Union of Forest Working people ( AIUFWP/NFFPFW), ANBALAYAM - Pondicherry , Andhra PradeshMuslim Organization, Association For Protection of Democratic Rights, Barak Human Rights ProtectionCommittee - BHRPC (Manipur), Bihar Street Vendors Hawkers Federation, Bongiyo Paromparik Kaaru OBastra Shilpi Sangho (West Bengal), Behavioural Science Centre (Ahmedabad), Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha,Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Campaign for Electoral Reforms in India (CERI), CASA-ACT, Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE) - Manipur, Centre for Research & Advocacy (Manipur),Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (Mazdoor Karyakarta Committee) - Bhilai - Chhattisgarh, Citizens Forum onMangalore Development, Context India - Bangalore, Forum for Indigenous Perspectives & Action (Manipur),Global Human Rights Communications, GM-Free Bihar Movement, Haldia Dock Complex ContractorsShramik Union, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, India FDI Watch, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), Indianoil Petronas Contractors Shramik Union, Janpahal, Kabani - the other direction,Khudai Khidmatgar, KisanManch, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, KSMTF - Kerala Fishworkers Forum, Lok SHAKTI ABHIYAN, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, Mines, minerals & People (MmP), Nadi Ghati Morcha, National Fishworkers Forum,National Hawkers Federation, New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India), Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity,Plachimada Solidarity Committee, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), Radical Socialist, River basinFriends, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People - SANDRP, Sundarban Banadhikar SangramCommittee, Tamil Solidarity & others

: Alternatives Asia, Asia Europe Peoples Forum, Asia-Pacific Movement on Debt & Development (JubileeSouth),
Burma Centre Delhi,
CADTM International Network, Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières (ESS)

Villagers protest “illegal” land acquisition by Jharkhand government

For six months now, around 4,000 villagers have camped out a kilometer away from Maujanagri village in India to protest the government's land acquisition which they assert is illegal. The group, which is part of the constituency of the Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), have surrounded the camp with Sarna, which in Adivasi tradition is a flag declaring that a piece of land cannot be sold or acquired.

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Climate Change and Fisheries Sector

The challenges faced by the fishing community on the present crisis initiated by climate change, are being discussed at a time when the fish resources are already diminishing due to many environmental and developmental factors, with an additional social and ecological problem created by the invasion of foreign fishing vessels in India.The traditional fishing community here depends on their daily catches for survival and they also depend on their own calculations of fish availability during every season. These calculations based on thousands of years collective wisdom of the fishing community is today being upset with the present crisis. Rains do not pour when they are supposed to. When it does not rain, there is a drought and when it rains there are floods. The pattern of the winds have also changed with more and more storms in the coastal areas. The breeding and growth of fish depends on the ecological balance of the sea. Every change in this ecological balance affect the fish and in turn it affects the very survival of the fishing communitys.

The Rise in the Sea Level:

With the increasing rise of the sea level, the crisis faced by the fishing community due to invasion of the sea sea, is increasing every year. Every year more and more houses of the fishing community are being destoyed. The number of refugees of climate change in the coastal areas is increasing every year. The beaches used for keeping the equipments of the fishing community as well as activities like drying fish or sports activities of children and youth wothin the community are no longer there like earlier. The invasion of the sea has also generated an opportunity for a lobby with commercial interests to make money by constructing sea walls with active support from both political parties and the government officials. The sea walls have become a a hindrence for the activities of the fishing community in many ways. They are also replacing the natural protection systems like sand dunes and mangroves. The scientific community has not spoken a word against this unscientific method of dealing with the fragile coast.

The Declining Fish Resources:

With the increasing temperature of the sea due to climate change,small fish and plants in the sea vainish first. The changes in theavailability of oxygen threaten almost all species. The fishpopulation in the surface of the sea decline fast. The changes in thepattern of the waves and the pattern of the wind affect the migration of the fish. Many varieties of fish can get extinct with these changes. The ecological relation of the sea with the rivers and forests are crucial for the breeding and survival of the fish. The climate change destroys this mutual ecological dependance. A large number of marine as well as inland fisher people who depend on this ecological connection are thus being threatened today.

The Traditional Knowledge of the Fishing Community:

The fishing community has the power to perceive any small change in the climate and the sea. The traditional fisherpeople go to the sea observing the smell of the sea and the routes of the wind. The presence of sea birds are indicators to the fishing community to know in advance about the availability of specific fish varieties. Hence the fishing community is realising that the changes of ecological balance due to climate change is afffecting the very roots of their survival in many ways.

The traditional fishing commnity contributes least carbon di oxide in the atnosphere However, this community is affected maximum by the release of carbon by the big carbon by the big companies and the mainstream world. Fisherpeople and farmers become the first victims of climate change. Relief measures are undertaken by the establiment when any disaster takes place. But a disaster like which happens as a daily routine affecting a large number of fisherpeople is not subject to any relief or compensation. The fisherpeople and farmers do not climate change. The scientific community does not attempt to combine the time tested traditional knowledge of the fishing community with the modern scientific knowledge.

It is time to realise the role of a destructive developmental model which has brought in this disaster of climate change. We have to actively campaign for a sustainable energy production, sustainable agriculture and sustainable industry. The politics of the big super powers in the international scene has to be resisted. We have to actively work for the unity of all maginalised communities who are immediately threatened by climate change. I deeply wish that this conference will initiate a process and support for such a significant action.

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