MAC: Mines and Communities

Bangladeshi Citizens March against Coal

Published by MAC on 2010-10-25
Source: New Age (Dhaka) (2010-10-23)

It's almost five years since civil society organisations, joined by local Indigenous and settler communities, tried to halt the opening of Bangladesh's biggest-ever mine, the Phulbari coal project, managed by UK-listed GCM Resources.

Last weekend the national committee, pledged to guarantee a sustainable energy future for all the country's citizens, commenced a "long march" from the capital, Dhaka, to Phulbari itself.

We publish below two photos of the march in its early stages, along with a press article announcing it.

DHAKA-PHULBARI LONG MARCH

50 rallies planned

Staff Correspondent

New Age (Dhaka)

23 October 2010

The national committee to protect oil, gas, mineral resources, power and ports will begin week-long Dhaka-Phulbari long march on October 24 to push for its seven-point demands.

Long March entering Tejgaon  The organisation demands that energy security should be ensured, the ongoing power shortage addressed, full ownership of national resources established, the production sharing contract 2008 cancelled, the Phulbari agreement implement and open pit coal mining move revoked.

More than 500 leaders and activists of left-leaning parties that lend their support to the organisation, will start for Phulbari in Dinajpur from Muktangan in the capital about 11:00am on Sunday, the organisation's member secretary Anu Muhammad told New Age on Thursday.

Other leaders and activists will join the march on its way to its destination. He hoped the number of leaders and activists at Phulbari will reach about 10,000.

The organisation will be holding about 50 roadside rallies before a big rally at Phulbari on October 30, he said.

On the first day of the long march, the organisation will hold rallies in the Nabisco crossing, Kakali crossing and Abdullahpur in Dhaka and at Tongi, Board Bazar and in the Chandina crossing in Gazipur where the leaders and activists will stay for the night.

On the second day on October 25, the marchers will hold rallies in the district headquarters, Konabari, Mouchak and Kaliakair in Gazipur, at Mirzapur, Pakulla, Karotia, district headquarters and Elenga in Tangail, and in the Kodda crossing in Sirajganj.

Long March in ShantinagarOn third day on October 26, rallies will be held in the district headquarters, Nakla, Ghurka, Bhuiyagati and Chandaikona in Pabna and at Sherpur and Banani in Bogra.

On the fourth day on October 27, rallies will be held at Matirdali, Mahasthangarh and Mokamtala in Bogra and Gobindaganj and Palashbari in Gaibandha.

On the fifth day, on October 28, rallies will be held at Botperhat in Gaibandha, at Pirganj Shasthibari, Mithapukur, Dargarhat, and in the Modern crossing in Rangpur.

On the sixth day on October 29, the marchers will hold rallies in the Medical College crossing and Paglapir in Rangpur, at Saidpur in Nilphamari and at Ranibandar in Dinajpur.

On the concluding day on October 30, the marchers will hold rallies at Chirirbandarm Parbatipur and Barapukuria in Dinajpur. The final rally will be held at Phulbari about 2:00pm on the day.

The marchers will travel a distance of about 400 kilometres in 15 buses. Various cultural groups will join the march, the organisers said.


National Committee's Long March completed 415 kilometers

Demands have been made to ensure that national resources be utilized for people by establishing Public Institutions

National Committee on protecting Oil-Gas-Mineral Resources, Electricity and Port Press Release

29 October 2010

Leaders of National Committee on protecting Oil-Gas-Mineral Resources, Electricity and Port has condemned consecutive governments for serving as the appendages of the long term destructive projects of the Breton Woods Institutes. According to the speakers instead of trying to enhance the national capacities; these governments while serving the interests of the foreign invaders have damaged our capacities further. Public Organizations such as PetroBangla, BAPEX, PDB and Geological Survey has been gradually and deliberately relegated to become losing concerns through several self-destructive policies and contracts by the governments. These vicious things were done to strengthen the invasive grip of several foreign companies' in the country's oil, gas, coal and electricity sectors. Long March demands an end to this situation. It also insists on absolute public ownership on the national natural resources and development of national capacity to utilize these resources. In the long march, demands were also made towards establishing and developing necessary bodies such as universities, research institutes and exploration-extraction corporations and thereby ensuring the highest utilization of the national resources for the sake of the people of Bangladesh.

The long march, with their 7 point demand including the demand of resolution of gas and electricity scarcity, on its 6th day has reached Dinajpur this evening after crossing 415 kilo metres. In the morning (9.30 am 29.10.10), the marchers started from Rangpur and had attended numerous Street rallies, Meetings and dialogues on their way to Dinajpur touching points like Medical, CO Bazar, Paglapeer, Taragaj, Saidpur, Ranir Bondor, Dosh mile etc. Leaders have spoken in the massive rally at Dinajpur this evening. The speakers in all these rallies and meetings included convener of the National Committee Shekh Mohammad Shaidullah, secretary general Professor Anu Muhammad, Monjurul Ahsan Khan, Bimal Biswas, Khalequzzaman, Nur Muhammad, Tipu Biswas, Ruhin Hussain Prince, Ahsan Habib Labloo, Kamrul Ahsan, Mojammel Huq Tara, Shuvrangshu Chakravarty, Bazlur Rashid Firoj, Saiful Huq, Moshrefa Mishu, Rageeb Hassan Munna, Zonaed Saki, Professor Abdur Sattar, Ranjit Chattopaddhaya, Dheeren Sinha, Shahadat Hussain, Nazrul Islam Hakkany, Abdul Kuddus, Ansar Ali, Tushar Kanti Das and many other local and national leaders of the committee.

We aspire that on the last day of the long march which is tomorrow (30.10.10) Phulbari will literarily turn into a sea of people.

Tomorrow, the marchers who started from Dhaka will reach Phulbari from Dinajpur via Parbotipur and Boro Pukuria at around 2 pm. Besides, another group of marchers from several other districts and sub-districts of the country will join the long marchers at Phulbari through Ambari, Dinajpur. The marchers predict there will be massive turn out at the Phulbari Rally tomorrow at 2 pm. From that rally the Phulbari Declaration will be made and the 7-day long march will come to its victorious end.

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