MAC: Mines and Communities

Resist Open-pit Mining At Fulbari: Speakers Tell Discussion

Published by MAC on 2006-09-30
Source: The Daily Star

Resist open-pit mining at Fulbari: Speakers tell discussion

Staff Correspondent, The Daily Star

30th September 2006

Speakers at a discussion meeting yesterday called for resisting Asia Energy or any other company which will try to conduct open-pit mining at Fulbari in Dinajpur district.

They also urged the government to implement the agreement that it reached with the people of Fulbari during the violent protest one month ago.

The speakers termed the deal between Asia Energy and the government discriminatory and called for its immediate cancellation.

The discussion was organised jointly by Bangladesh Adivasi Odhikar Andolon and Bangladesh Adivasi Forum at the National Press Club auditorium in the city.

Prof Mesbah Kamal of Dhaka University chaired the discussion where Secretary General of Adivasi Forum Sanjeeb Drong was present as main discussant.

Sanjeeb said Asia Energy violated international convention as it did not conduct any prior consultation with the local indigenous and Bengali speaking people.

"Since the independence we have found the same character of all governments. All of them maintained discriminatory attitude towards indigenous people," he added.

Anu Muhammed, secretary general of National Committee for Oil-Gas-Power, Mineral Resources and Port Protection, said Fulbari movement was a unique one as all people irrespective of their caste and creed took part in it.

"Now Asia Energy has no option but to leave the country as the local people would not allow them to stay anymore," said Anu Muhammed.

Ruhin Hossain Prince, secretary of the central committee of the Communist Party of Bangladesh, said people of Fulbari have become a real hero of the movement.

Prof Mesbah said Fulbari movement was successful as it was a joint movement of indigenous and Bengali speaking people.

Pankaj Bhattacharya, presidium member of Gono Forum, Haider Akbar Khan Rano, politburo member of Workers' Party, Kerina Hasda, a representative of Santal Community, Hiron Mitra Chakma, vice president of Adivasi Student Parishad, and Abdul Mazid Chowdhury of Fulbari also spoke on the occasion.
Earlier, the participants of the discussion observed a one- minute silence to show respect to seven people who sacrificed their lives during the Fulbari movement.

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