The Telegraph
Thursday , May 4 , 2017

Protests against ADB projects

Shillong, May 3: Assam and Manipur are among the states which will protest against the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on its 50th anniversary to highlight the alleged human rights violations, loss of livelihood and environmental destruction caused by the projects promoted by the ADB and other international financial institutions (IFIs).

Civil society groups and people's movements have been organising the protests from May 1,which will continue till May 7, a statement issued today said. Over 100 acts of protests in 21 states, including Assam and Manipur, have been planned during the six-day period.

"Through the first week of May, organisations will hold multiple programmes to expose the ADB's neo-liberal model of economic growth, which borrows from the public exchequer to enrich private corporations, as a failed paradigm for development. In addition, these actions will raise systemic issues related to the utter lack of accountability and transparency in projects financed or supported by ADB and other IFIs," the statement from the Working Group of IFIs said.

The programmes include protests, public talks or lecture series, web chats, radio talk shows among others, which will coincide with ADB's 50th anniversary celebrations in Japan.

"All this is to highlight the serious impacts of ADB's le-nding programmes. The bank which lent a little over $3 billion during its first decade, has lent $123 billion during the last decade. Thus, the damage caused by the bank's warped economic, social and environmental policies is significant," the statement added.

The Peoples' Forum Against IFIs - a platform of people's movements and civil society organisations working on the ill effects of international financing - is coordinating the events, while the actions are all organised by local organisations.

"The arrogance with which the destruction of cultures and communities by way of bulldozing our rights and the condescending belief that we indigenous people of the Northeast are uniformed enough to be auctioning our rights and our way of living to the highest 'development' bidder like the IFIs such as ADB, needs to be done away with. We are not stupid and we will do our best to protect our land and culture," the statement quoted Ratika Yumnam of Indigenous Perspectives, Manipur.

Through these 100+ actions, people's movements and other organisations are demanding ADB to mend its ways of lending and become transparent and accountable to people in whose name they run their business, the statement said.

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