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Samajwadi Janparishad UP
Coke,CRY,Vedant Sterlite
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ANTHROPOLOGY OF A GENOCIDE
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Resisting Coke:No Pulp Fiction.
Eradication of poor-Dr.Rampratap Gupta
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Coke,CRY,Vedant Sterlite
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WHO WAS KISHAN PATTANAYAK? YogendraYadav
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Links to anti Coke movement in Varanasi

1. Less Fizz: Cola Giants Must be more Transparent
2.CRY and Coke:Partners in change?
3.Orissa situation:Vedant Sterlite and BJD-BJP Government

At one level, the Supreme Court’s refusal to set aside the Rajasthan High Court’s order to display pesticide residue warnings on Coke and Pepsi bottles comes as a shot in the arm for the ordinary consumer. At another it smacks of the same kind of arbitrariness that has dogged the two soft drinks’ majors ever since the pesticides controversy broke out. The companies on their part have been spending their resources trying to convince people that they’ve been adhering to whatever standards exist in Indian law. What they need to address is that this earns them little brownie points. Consumers have a right to be informed of the contents of what they are drinking. True, the problem is fundamentally about contamination of groundwater and the lack of citizen access to information, enforcement and alternatives. Put another way, it is the state and civic agencies that should have been in the dock. But thanks to ham-handed handling of the entire controversy, the transnational cola companies did not win much sympathy.
Which is why perceptions have remained unaltered by the all-party MPs’ panel on new standards and the promulgation of these by the government. Consider the news in recent months: ban on Pepsi and Coke products in the Parliament canteen, the trashing of Coke by villagers and the media in Kerala’s Plachimada controversy, the Rajasthan HC order, the riots and police lathicharge at the Coke bottling plant at UP’s Mehdiganj, now the SC order...there’s a huge gulf between what Coke and Pepsi protest they are and deserve and what much of the public believes they are and deserve.
These facts need to be addressed, independent of one’s views of what the judges have said and pronounced. Indeed, if one is to accept the HC justification that citizens have a “fundamental right to full disclosure” and need “entire information for exercising informed choice,” why did they limit it to Coke and Pepsi? Why not compel fruit juice bottlers to stick the same label? Why not apply the same standard to the government’s own working?
The fact is, socking it to Coke and Pepsi earns almost no public censure and, often, approbation from many. But that still does not take away from the fact that the consumer has a right to know and companies have a duty to inform.
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2.

Respected Friends,A few days back I was flipping through a anewsletter published by Coca Cola India. I learnt that Children Relief and You (CRY), an NGO which was founded 25 years back for making the lives of children better is a recipient of funds from the Coca Cola Company. The sufference of the people of Plachimada, Mehendiganj etc. amply demonstrate the tyranny of this company against our people.In this sense, ‘joining hands with Coca Cola means betrayal to masses’. I would like to say a word of caution to those friends who consider Marx, Lenin, Charu Mazumdar, Gandhi, Lohia, Ambedkar, Jayaprakash and Vinoba as their ideals but due to some reasons have befriended the Killer Coca Cola Company. However they need to realise that in doing so, they are betraying the same people they work with.All of us are involved in people movements and believe in social action. We need not remind ourselves that we oppose any and every form of imperialism, communal fascism,dictatorships, inequality and exploitation.Forums like National Alliance for Fundamental Right to Education (NAFRE ) and Voice of People (VOP) that are promoted by CRY, have repeatedly voiced these concerns. A large number of organizations, networks and alliances like NAFRE and VOP (Uttar Pradesh) and others like Sarokar ( Uttaranchal), Jan Morcha (Rajasthan) and Weben (West Bengal), Crej (Jharkhand) are either funded by or coordinated by CRY. Few networks have also been created at the initiative of CRY (see CRY website-crynetworks Page 1 of 1-through supporting networks, CRY provides a platform to partners- CRY is also part of many state level aliances and national issue based alliances like CACL/NAFRE). The funding partner of these networks directly intervenes in its activities, policies, decision-making processes and internal orgnisational structure through deputed Directors or/and Managers that work under the instructions of CRY. These deputed officials are also members in the Executive Committee of networks like NAFRE and VOP. CRY puts pressure on these networks through its appointees.Stating from my personal experiences as working very closely with the CRY officials in the Conferences of NAFRE & VOP and as a member of NEC of NAFRE and and Founder General Secretary of VOP, I felt that CRY officials seem to reveal the tendency of pushing their own agenda.Ford Foundation as well as Coca Cola Company are the funding partners of CRY (see CRY website- CRY-FAQ Page 1 of 2 [CRY has also periodically received support from International organizations like the Ford Foundation and NORAD] and Newsletter of Coca Cola India, June 2004, Page 3). Surely, these partners are capable of pressing their demands on CRY.Ingrid, CEO of CRY has also stated that CRY must respond to its Donors (see CRY website CRY News Page 5 of 5- ‘How can NGO credibility enhanced? Just by remembering where our resources come from and ensuring that we can deliver accountability to those people’). If CRY derives its funds from Ford Foundation and Coca Cola, can its programmes and policies be ever opposed by Cry and its partners organisations? As we accept funds from such an institution are we disregarding the fact that Ford Foundation resorted to pressure tactics that was directed against democratic institutions and peoples movements especially the left movement in our country? We are acutely aware of its long association with CIA. In this context, any friendly ties with such an agency would seem little more than ‘tyranny’. CRY even shies off to provide information regarding its funding partners to those NGO’s, activists, forums, networks with which they work and resource persons of their programmes like Com. D Raja of CPI who was a guest in VOP’s plenum at Lucknow in the first week of October 2004. If one visits CRY website, information of CRY’s relationship with Ford Foundation is available. However, Coca Cola’s association with CRY cannot be traced revealing its duplicity.On one hand CRY sponsered Alliances and Networks like NAFRE and VOP that give a harken call ‘to fight against imperialist globalization and communal fascism to safeguard the economic liberty and democracy’, on the other hand it is working hand-in–glove with Coca Cola Company. Can these two principally antagonistic ideas get together? Are the networks like NAFRE and VOP meant to work at the grassroots of remain loyal partners to CRY? Should people who are part of these networks take part in agitation against Coca Cola’s beastly actions against local communities or maintain a brazen silence in favor of Coca Cola Company and its actions. Is not Coca Cola Company a flag-bearer of the brutal face as revealed by neoliberalism along with other multinationals? Do companies like Coca Cola not become impediment in way of our economic freedom? What should be the nature of our relationship with Coca Cola Company? How do we need to respond to peoples actions against Coca Cola Company in Plachimada (Kerala), Singhachavar-Mehndiganj, Satharia (Uttar Pradesh), Wada (Maharastra), Hazipur (Bihar), places in Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu who are fighting against this beast to protect their lands, water resources and consequently their livelihood. What would be our role in these acts of social action? Are we going to become part of the criminal conspiracy against our own people by seconding what Coca Cola is engaged in?I would also like to share my concerns on the fate of the struggles of the deprived population for jal, jungle and zameen, Child Rights, Human Rights, Abolition of Child labor, Empowerment of dalits and women and the other oppressed factions of the society, protection of democracy and economc freedom. Can we as workers,partners, fellows and network initiated by CRY work towards the above stated goals? After accepting funds from agencies that specialise in imperialistic loot and plundering and comprise the heart of global capital, can one work for creation of a people based development process?Another fact that needs to be debated is the fact that CRY sponsored networks and partners invite leadership of BJP, VHP (part of Sangha Parivar) in their programmes. Do we not need to respond to it? Can this in any way help project these networks and partners as concerned regarding empowering dalit and other oppressed sections in attmpts to create a society with secular foundations?It is high time that we decide what side of the fence are we? Are we partners of Coca Cola or we stand in solidarity and struggle with peoples movement in Plachimada and Mehndiganj?With regards,Dhirendra Pratap Singh634, AV Colony, IIJhusiAllahabad (Uttar Pradesh)November 30, 2004 b
(Dhirendra Pratap Singh is a former office bearer of Allahabad University Students Union)
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3.

THIS IS a message in short:it is urgent how the state is shamelessly declaring war against the tribals as well as the activists who are supporiting them. it is using a term 'anti-project' to define those who question their validity. Dear FriendsHere's a summary of the present very tense situationin Orissa. The aluminium/mining issue is the main itemon the Orissa news just now. The Orissa Assembly wasin uproar yesterday, with part of the Congress partyattacking Naveen Patnaik and his BJD party, overirregularities and corruption in his mining deals. Theissue's to be discussed in the Assembly againtomorrow. Naveen (who speasks little Oriya, and speakswith a strong upper class English accent) said(focused on the old Orissa Congress leader JBPatnaik -but it could apply to the tribal people themselves!)"No-one, I repeat NO-ONE, will be allowed to stand inthe way of Orissa's industrialization and the people'sprogress". This was all on Oriya TV news yesterday.The two alumina projects (Vedanta/Sterlite/Balco atLanjigarh to mine Niyamgiri Mountain, and the Utkalproject of Alcan with Indal-Hindalco (Birla) atKashipur) are being pushed ahead forcefully, withstrong police repression, gathering momentum in thelast 3 weeks. So is a chromite mine at Tangarpadar inDhenkanal (N.Orissa), despite an Orissa High Courtjudgement that's just declared this deal illegal, andis likely to make a similar judgement about Vedanta.The issue is now going to the Supreme Ct in Delhi.Meanwhile at Lanjigarh the refinery is being built atgt speed... there have evidently been some deaths onthe site in suspicious circumstances, and the villagesnearby are living under great pressure, but resisting:Belambar, Turiguda etc. These are Majhi Konds, livingin the plains area just north of Niyamgiri. In theNiyamgiris themselves the Dongria (Hill) Konds are in
\nfights and attacks - very hard to get accurate news\\nfrom there, but they feel their whole culture is under\\nattack - as it is. I went there yesterday and hope to\\ngo again tomorrow (to Solpojhola in the north\\nNiyamgiris). The forest here is fantastic - among the\\nbest stands in Orissa, and the DFO (Div. Forest\\nOfficer) in Rayagada has refused forest clearance for\\nthe project, on the grounds that the Reserved Forest\\nat the top of the ridge (4,000 ft) is of prime\\nimportance etc. \\n\\nIt has emerged that this project is now being financed\\n95% from London via ABNAmro, Barclays Capital &\\nDeutsche Bank...\\n\\nIn Kashipur, where the Utkal project\'s been stalled 12\\nyrs, the police oppression and attacks on Ramibera and\\nother tribal "resistance villages" is very bad.\\nThey\'re building a whole concrete police post 2 kms\\nfrom Kucheipadar, where several of our friends have\\nbeen arrested (apparently lured to Rayagada). This is\\napparently being done under the Collector of\\nKalahandi, Yashwant Mishra, a former Balco employee,as\\nwell as local Congress and BJD political leaders.\\n\\nThe PSSP (Natural Resources Defence Council, centred\\nat Kucheipadar) is holding a rally on 7th Dec, in prep\\nfor that on 16th, which commem.s the 4th anniv of the\\npolice firing at Maikanch 4 yrs ago which killed 3\\ntribal people. It will be hard to enter Kashipur, but\\nI\'m trying to ensure there will be several foreign\\nobservers there, and anyone who can - please come!\\n\\nThere\'s an urgent need to get this news out, since\\nVedanta\'s had hardly any adverse news in the UK\\ndespite its massively polluting irregularities at the\\nTuticorn copper smelter in S.India, as well as here in\\nOrissa. The FT shd report this properly, and the BBC &\\nother news teams shd come to cover the issue, esp at\\nKashipur for the 16th rally. The movement against\\nthese projects is one of the main movements supported\",1]
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a state of gt disturbance, and there have been severalfights and attacks - very hard to get accurate newsfrom there, but they feel their whole culture is underattack - as it is. I went there yesterday and hope togo again tomorrow (to Solpojhola in the northNiyamgiris). The forest here is fantastic - among thebest stands in Orissa, and the DFO (Div. ForestOfficer) in Rayagada has refused forest clearance forthe project, on the grounds that the Reserved Forestat the top of the ridge (4,000 ft) is of primeimportance etc. It has emerged that this project is now being financed95% from London via ABNAmro, Barclays Capital &Deutsche Bank...In Kashipur, where the Utkal project's been stalled 12yrs, the police oppression and attacks on Ramibera andother tribal "resistance villages" is very bad.They're building a whole concrete police post 2 kmsfrom Kucheipadar, where several of our friends havebeen arrested (apparently lured to Rayagada). This isapparently being done under the Collector ofKalahandi, Yashwant Mishra, a former Balco employee,aswell as local Congress and BJD political leaders.The PSSP (Natural Resources Defence Council, centredat Kucheipadar) is holding a rally on 7th Dec, in prepfor that on 16th, which commem.s the 4th anniv of thepolice firing at Maikanch 4 yrs ago which killed 3tribal people. It will be hard to enter Kashipur, butI'm trying to ensure there will be several foreignobservers there, and anyone who can - please come!There's an urgent need to get this news out, sinceVedanta's had hardly any adverse news in the UKdespite its massively polluting irregularities at theTuticorn copper smelter in S.India, as well as here inOrissa. The FT shd report this properly, and the BBC &other news teams shd come to cover the issue, esp atKashipur for the 16th rally. The movement againstthese projects is one of the main movements supported by Arundhati Roy and all those who are mindful of tribal people and their issues in India.I have toremain very low key myself, as a foreigner, and thepolice have warned me that my visa may be cancelled ifI visit Kashipur or Lanjigarh now.So please spread this news and take what action youcan!All Best Wishes, Felix

 
 

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