Invite for Press Conference and Action at New Delhi on Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bills
This is to invite you to the Press Conf on the issues regarding displacement, opposition to R&R and LAA Bills that will be held tomorrow in Delhi. The PC is also to announce the national action that will be held on the 23rd and 24th July in Delhi's Jantar Mantar. The press conference will be addressed by Medha Patkar, Ashok Chowdhury, Sandeep Pandey, Rajendra Ravi, Bhupender Singh Rawat, Vimal Bhai, Guman Singh and other representatives of the National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM) and other groups. Kindly do join in the Pres Conf if you can.
Venue: Press Club of India, Raisina Road, New Delhi Date : Wednesday, 15th July 2009 Time: 3.00 p.m.
kindly also find below the invite to the 23rd, 24th action in Delhi.
In solidarity, Madhuresh Kumar & Sushant Panigrahi Landlines: 011-26680883/914 On behalf of Delhi Solidarity Group
PROPOSED LAND ACQUISITION (AMENDEMTN) and REHABILITATION & RESETTLEMENT BILLS WILL ONLY ACCELERATE DISPLACEMENT NOT REHABILITATION
People's Movements to present their position before Public, Parliament and Government Dharna and peoples parliament at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 23-24 July, 2009
The anger and protests of rural masses, Adivasis, even of those living in the urban habitations, against displacement are getting ever louder. Hundreds of thousands are being uprooted and displaced under the pretext of 'development' and 'industrialization' and while the public purpose/people's interest are being bandied about to acquire lands for big dams, new ports or cities, mines, for protecting forests or for creation of national parks and sanctuaries, all this only serves the interests of capitalists, corporate honchos and those in power but certainly not of those whose land is expropriated through such laws. Displacement only results in creating inequity, growth of capital/market-control over the economy, instead of transforming the society based on justice and equality. In the process of such development planning the place, role, dignity, participation, i.e., the very existence of local bodies such as Gramsabhas and Ward Committees is sought to be eliminated. Whole life-support systems such as land, water and forests are being taken away from those who possessed them for generations. Their Constitutional rights are crushed with the help of new legislations.
The new Government has decided to place before Parliament the same old legislation in its current session. The Amendments proposed in the old British Land Acquisition Act, 1894 will put on fast-track displacement rather than minimising it. The most damaging aspect of the amendments proposed in the Land Acquisition Act is to bring private interest and purpose within the definition of 'public purpose'.
This proposed legislation (Act) nullifies the rights accorded by Amendment 73-74 which required the consent of the Gram Sabha before any land acquisition as well as rehabilitation, and the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of projects. It also envisaged exploration of alternatives available so as to avoid or minimise displacement. The new amendments ignore this totally. The Amendment also provides for the application of the Emergency clause for land acquisition for corporations so that they can get land within 15 days. This will inflict even greater injustice than the current law.
The proposed National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill is not only weak but negates the rights of the displaced to ask for land in return for land or provision of livelihoods, but allows monetary compensation only. While the earlier Rehabilitation Policy of 2007 was never implemented the new changes seek to eliminate the role of Gramsabhas and Local Self Government institutions. Affected people shall not even have the right to approach the courts of law as new Act proposes to create merely an "Authority" to deal with cash compensation.
These two draft Amendments are being placed before current session of Parliament as they were passed only in the Lok Sabha but not in the Rajya Sabha earlier.
Peoples' Organisations had prepared a comprehensive draft after nationwide consultation on the National Development Planning Act based on equality and justice in 2006 and forwarded it to the then UPA government with the endorsement of the National Advisory Council and its Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi. Ignoring all this two new drafts that are being brought before Parliament are not only extremely weak but will also increase the pace of displacement. It is therefore imperative for Peoples' Movements, to unitedly raise our strongest voice during this very Parliament in session.
ALL THE STATE LEVEL ORGANISATIONS TO MUSTER THEIR STRENGTH AND HIGHLIGHT THEIR QUESTIONS, ISSUES AND STRUGGLES.