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Archive for the ‘SEZ’ Category

Demand the Immediate Release of People’s Leader Abhay Sahoo in Orissa, India

Posted by ajadhind on December 3, 2009

The International Campaign Against Forced Displacement and SEZs launched in June 2008 during the Third International Assembly of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) urgently call on all people’s movements, activists and allies to protest against the arrest of Abhaya Sahoo. Sahoo is President of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (POSCO Resistance Struggle Committee), which has been leading the people’s movement against a big land grab in the state of Orissa by POSCO, a South Korean steel company. Sahoo was arrested on the evening of 12th October while undergoing treatment in a local hospital. Villagers under the leadership of Abhaya Sahoo have rejected the government’s “development plan,” the first step of which is giving 4,000 acres of land to POSCO to build a huge steel plant and captive port that will displace 7 villages and 22,000 people. In addition to the farmers who will be displaced, thousands of fishermen and villagers in the port area will lose their livelihoods if this project goes ahead. For three years, POSCO has been trying, unsuccessfully, to acquire the farmers’ land. Many protests and rallies have been organised by the villagers against the project. Farmers have kept the company from establishing offices in the villages, and have set up “check gates” at the entrances to the villages to check on the identification of outsiders and to prevent POSCO from starting to survey and demarcate the land. Blocked in its land acquisition efforts, POSCO has hired outside goons to destabilize the situation and provide a pretext to bring in police and paramilitaries. Abhaya Sahoo has been in the forefront of the uncompromising resistance of the people of the village of Erressema to save their land. For the last 3 years he has resided in the project site. The Orissa government has arrested him to make the people leaderless, and have charged him under about 70 false cases so that he cannot get bail. We condemn this repressive act by the Orissa government. The arrest of Abhaya Sahoo is an attempt to suppress the people’s struggle. Stand with the people of Erressema who are fighting to save their land and livelihood and demand the IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE of ABHAYA SAHOO. The International Campaign against Forced Displacement and SEZs

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Anti-SEZ activists hold awareness camp .

Posted by ajadhind on March 24, 2008


MANGALORE: Leaders of the successful SEZ Virodhi Manch of Goa interacted with farmers and residents of eight villages that have been notified for the 4,000-acre Mangalore SEZ.
At an awareness camp organised by the Nagarika Seva Trust Guruvayanakere and the Krishi Bhoomi Samrakshana Samiti here on Wednesday, the Goan entourage launched a scathing attack on the concept of SEZs.
Speaking to The Hindu, on the sidelines of the event, Praveen Sasmi termed SEZs “anti-constitutional” and “anti-democratic”.
His counterpart Simon Fernandez added, “It is also an anti-people and anti-national land-grabbing exercise.”
Expounding on the Goa movement, Mr. Sasmi said that the moral high ground for the movement was achieved when the common people realised that it was a completely apolitical struggle.
“Once people realised that we had no affiliations the rest just fell into place,” he said.
Frankie Monteiro was the one who unearthed a the frauds in the Goan SEZ projects.
He said that the foundation for a strong people’s movement was information.
Hailing the Right to Information Act, he said, “Once we had gathered all the proof of the swindling that had occurred, there was no looking back. The truth helped us convince people.” Mr. Monteiro talked at length to the residents about the use of the RTI Act.
Charles Fernandez, another member of the group, said that it was disappointing that only people who were going to be directly affected by the project were agitating against it.
“Everyone in this region will be affected. Everything will change and the message must be spread.”
He said the reason that the Goa movement was successful was because the common people jumped into the fray. “None of us in this group are land losers,” he said.
Peter Gama said that the Mangalore case was slightly complicated because some people whose lands were notified in the first phase had already accepted the compensation package.
“However, that should not alter the movement much,” he added.

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China Vs India, SEZs Comparison and Review

Posted by ajadhind on February 16, 2008


-> SEZ’s in China.
The Chinese started their liberalization and industrialization with the formation of SEZs in late 70s and early 80s. Unlike India, where SEZ is being incorporated 15 years after the start of liberalization process.China had a Master Plan and an economic framework on how to build and proceed with SEZs, most probably inspired by the success of Asian Trading Hub, Hong Kong. The Dragons started building massive cities for manufacturing and industrialization under their SEZ framework. Dragons also rolled out red carpet for foreign companies to build and operate from these SEZs. If you look at the Map on your left, China has only 5 SEZs, India has approved 200 and still counting. All the Chinese SEZs are located along the coast line. Indian SEZs are mostly concentrated near major cities and more than half are being developed by Real Estate Companies in order to make a quick buck by grabbing land at cheap prices under SEZ land acquisition act which is a scam in itself. KPMG India, Tax Head, Sudhir Kapadia said, “They(Chinese SEZs) are close to ports and trade nations like Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. A lot of thought has gone into the location of these SEZs. “Dragon SEZ blueprint says, Size Matters for SEZ. Shenzhen is the largest SEZ in China and is spread over 493 Sq Kms.(49,300 hectares). While the largest SEZ in India, Reliance – Navi Mumbai and Maha Mumbai SEZ, is mere 14,000 hectares. Exports from Shenzen SEZ reached $100 Billion in 2005. Total Chinese exports for 2005 was around $700 Billion which implies Shenzen contributed 15% of Chinese exports.Chinese SEZ initiative is government driven, Indian SEZs are driven by private sector.

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Plea to de-notify SEZs in Goa

Posted by ajadhind on February 15, 2008

PANAJI: The Goa’s Movement Against SEZ (GMAS), the organisation that recently spearheaded an agitation against Special Economic Zone projects, on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the “delay” in de-notifying the three notified SEZs in Goa.
Following prolonged public agitation, the State Government had decided to scrap all the SEZ projects in the State, including three that have already been notified.
GMAS convener Mathany Saldanha has reiterated the demand that the Government should not acquire any land from private individuals or communidades (age-old land communes) except for the purpose of infrastructure projects and that too for the benefit of Goa. “The Government must stop the practice of acquiring land to be given to private parties for private use either by sale, by lease, contract or otherwise,” he said.
He warned against allowing new SEZs in the name of Special Development Zones, Special Tourist Zones or Special Fishing Zones

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