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Press Note                                 August 28, 1999

Grassroot movements in Europe, Latin America appeal President to intervene in Narmada situation to protect the rights of the tribals

Hundreds of activists of the grass root movements in Eurpoe, Latin America and North America fightinh against the neo-imperialism, WTO and Globalisation have appealed to the President of India to intervene in the serious situation in the Narmada valley. They requested him to use his constitutional prerogative to safeguard the interests of the tribals and peasants against the threat of submergence due to the contreoversial Sardar Sarovar Project in the Narmada valley.

Grass root movements of youths, social-political activists fighting against the discrimination and exploitation like Play Fair Europe (Germany, Netherlands), anti-WTO Coordination in Switzerland, Anti-Maastricht Treaty and Globalisation in Spain, Peasants Movement in France, YABASTA (a campaign for the rights of emigrants in Italy), Earth First Movement and Reclaim The Streets movements in U.K., Black Women Workers' Group in Columbia, anti-dam movement in Brazil, Argentina, radical activists from Nicaragua, Canadian Union of Postal Workers and number of other activists appealed the President to initiate a comprtehensive review of the SSP stopping all its work. Prominent activists and intellectuals like Dr. Ward Morehouse ( Programme on Corporations, Law and Democracy, USA), Olivier de Marcellus( Action PopulaireCtre La Mondalisation, Switzerland), Sanat Fernando ( Movement for NAtional Land And Agricultureal Reform, Sri Lanka), and Adiiti Chowdury of ARENA, Hong Kong) also signed on this joint letter.

These organisations were in India for the second conference of "People's Global Action Against WTO and Free Trade", held near Bangalore from August 23-26, 1999. These organisations, alongwith those in India and other South Asian countries finalised their plan to oppose the Ministerial COnference of the WTO to be held at Seattle, U.S. Theses organisations made it clear that the mega-projects like the SSP are a part of the globalisation process and fit in the political economy of the forces like World Trade Organisation and other such multilateral instruments. They referred to the ongoing Satyagraha( Non-violent mass action) in the Narmada valley against the submergence and forcible submergence and the people daring the submergence on August 10-11, not budging even when the submergence water was came upto waist and breasts of the satyagrahis. " The governnment of India must desist from the grave violation of the human and constitutional rights of the adivasis and peasants", the signatories said.

Number of activists headed for the Narmada valley satyagraha after finalising the global campaigne against the Globalisation and WTO, to express solidarity with the Narmada Satyagraha.

Sanjay Sangvai