Thursday, February 26, 2009
This is a view from the top of the barge. Goa's soil is being sold everyday. Some of it is legal other illegal. Some Miners rejoice that that is legal and others are illegal. State is pockets by legals as well as by illegals. State is buried under the mud in these barges that fetch foreign exchange in dollars and what not...
All the vegetation is cleared and the remaining one too is facing grave threat. Perhaps as you see this picture from Mulgao several area of Goa's greenery is getting bulldozed under the several mining company's bulldozers and rippers. They have a commitment to rip and rape 68,000 hectares of Goa's land under 810 mining leases granted by colonial Portuguese regime plus several thousand hectares more land under mining leases granted after Goa's liberation. So mining companies are destined to have a enjoyable time drying entire Goa dry of its springs and wells, ponds and tributaries of various rivers. And why not? They have a power and influence, and they got to show it. What is the use if they do use it to wipe Goa off the Word Map. It is undoubtedly going to be greatest achievement of mining industry. And they will be rewarded by China, Japan, Europe for supplying them all the Goa's mud and Ore under it.
This waterfall is facing grave threats from the mining industry. And as usual State of Goa is succumbing prey to mining terrorism as usual again. It is a silent spectator.
One genuinely worries sometimes that the mining industry in Goa actually thinks that Goans are stupid, and still blessed perhaps with the feudal qualities that once enabled their manipulation if not downright exploitation.
Shivanand Salgaocar, president of the Mineral Ore Foundation (MOF), and joint managing director of VM Salgaocar and Brothers Pvt Ltd, was recently moaning the fact that Goa’s Rs.60-billion (Rs.6,000-crore) low-grade iron ore exports were expected to fall 50 percent this fiscal. While exports this year have shown a marginal drop in terms of volumes he told a reporter from IANS, the actual revenue earned has shrunk considerably.
“The prices for low-grade iron ore plummeted during the second half of 2008,” he continued to IANS on February 23rd, “right now, we are seeing a steady renewal of demand for low-grade iron ore, but at virtually half the original rates.”
On the 24th, to The Hindu’s business paper, he sang a different song. He said Goa’s iron ore export industry, badly hit due to global recession between September and December was on a comeback trail. “When recession hit us,’ he told the paper, “the scene was bad. But in the last two months or so, the situation has improved and there could be a marginal drop in terms of volume. It is the decline in international prices of the long-term contracts that is worrying us,” said Mr Salgaoncar.
Just how much Mr Salgaoncar worries and about what, is a moot point. For instance he is nothing but optimistic about continuing to do to the Western Ghats, what his own and his friend’s companies have done with such terrible distinction, and with such rabid fervour from the late 80s, with total disregard for the environment and norms governing it.
Given that one is a cash-rich mining baron, given that the panel within the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) that grants mining leases is populated by representatives of the mining industry, they have got away with murder. One still does not know for instance whether the Goan government, as enjoined by the High Court has completed the mapping of forest areas, before the mining industry’s lab in Hyderabad prepares a few more ‘templated’ reports to allow our forests to disappear.
While Mr Salgaoncar moans the fact that Japan and South Korea, the industry’s favourite sons are wrecked by recession, he nonetheless sees the importance of China, ‘spot’ market that he rues it is. Not for him any undue worry that Goa’s ore is so low-grade it wouldn’t even be sniffed at by his Japanese and South Korean friends.
“Goa’s iron ore grade is 58 per cent and below”, he tells the same paper. “Thanks to the Chinese market, the ore of still lower grade has value and is exported. The threshold value as per Indian Bureau of Mines is 55 Fe, but for us, iron ore with value of 52 Fe is a viable opportunity,” observed Mr Salgaoncar.
‘Viable’ my a$$!
As Hindu’s business paper reports, “Riding on a last quarter pick-up of iron ore volumes by Chinese steel companies, Goan iron ore exporters are confident that they would end the current financial year marginally below last year’s ore exports.” Mr Salgaoncar even had the audacity to admit to the paper that 80 per cent of Goa’s ore is low-grade. The paper writes he explained the economics by saying that some of the Chinese steel mills used our low grade ore to ‘blend’ with high grade ore procured from Brazil!!
We need to understand the nature of the mining industry’s angst. While Mr Salgaoncar is upset over the over the low contract prices in the international market, what he means is that instead of selling Goan earth (and its forests and aquifers) at 80 rupees a kilo, he’s now selling it at 55 rupees. To understand the bucks here, Goa’s mining exports touched 40 million tonnes last year, including 33 million tonnes of Goan origin ore, and the rest probably from Maharashtra where the Dempos, even as this is being written, encroach on the magnificent Ghat off Sawantwadi and before Ambolim.
In the current year, Mr Salgaoncar told the paper, his buddies and him could end the current year with the figures of 38 million tonnes and 30 million tonnes, respectively. This current recession is a crisis that must be borne out by brave men like Mr Salgaoncar until the ship is steadied by cronies and functionaries who refuse to see the writing on the wall and who refuse to re-synchronize their gearboxes and differentials.
And this is where one comes to the point that perhaps the Timblos and Dempos and Salgaoncars and all the rich and powerful who support mining, actually think that Goans are stupid.
To the same business paper, replying to a specific question, Mr Salgaoncar was anything but worrying. He told the paper that even considering the lower threshold ore available in Goa, the mining could go on for AT LEAST ANOTHER TWENTY YEARS.
So where does he think the mining will reach by that time? A kilometre or two away from his official mansion?
Sadly, if there was any honesty at all in the interviews Shivanand Salgaocar gave to the press, even the faintest glimmer of some integrity, it was his refusal to comment on the issue of illegal mining, which anti-mining activists allege is rampant in Goa’s mining belt.
People from various mining affected regions participated in the meeting. Amongst hose who spoke includes Ramesh Gauns from Bicholim, Thalman Pereira from Vasco and from CPI(M) Goa Unit, Shamsunder Naik from Advalpal, Bicholim, Anthony D'Silva from Ambelim, Salcete, Precopio Fernandes from Nuem, Khola, Canacona, Ulhas Gaonkar from Morpilla Bachao Samiti, Morpilla, Fr.Mathias D'Cunha from Sulcorna, Babu Naik from Keri, Ponda, Xavier Fernandes from Colamb, Sanguem, Claude Alvares from Goa Foundation, Mapusa, Adv.John Fernandes from Ambaulim, Quepem, Floriano Lobo from Goa Su-Raj Party, Moira, Durgadas Gaonkar, President, Gawada, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED), and Sebastian Rodrigues, Convenor of Goa Federation of Mines Affected People (GOAMAP).
While many tell me that an online petition collecting signatures is of no use given the greed of those at the helm in Goa, I feel more important than the quantum of signatures on this petition are the strong comments affixed to them.
As of now, the petition has garnered over a thousand signatures, averaging about ten a day and sometimes more. We will of course get far more, because, as you will note from the comments of some of the signatories below, Goans have realized just what mining will do to Goa and the word is spreading courtesy the net. The mining lobby in Goa can own, control and manipulate the media, they can attempt to buy the intellectuals and artistic elite in Goa with temporary sops, but they can't, not even with all their ill-begotten wealth, stop the flow of information from person to person and peoples to peoples.
Below are appended some of the comments. I can only hope that these will inspire those who read them and compel them to let this petition fly in cyberspace. The link to the petition and my mailer follow the comments:
Terence Jorge: The miners and, as it appears, a number of our own politicians don’t give a damn about scenic beauty, availability of potable water or human or animal life for that matter. BUT EVERY TRUE GOAN DOES! They will stop at nothing to make a BIG quick buck....and we Goans will stop at nothing to preserve OUR EXISTENCE and OUR IDENTITY...This is an IMMINENT, IMMEDIATE & REAL threat to our existence in our own homes....
Laura Fernandes: Please save our homeland environment for the future innocent generations who currently have no voice!!! Mark Quintal: "Nature had enough for everybody's need but not for everybody's greed." - Mahatma Gandhi
P. Raikar: Shame Mr. Digamber and Mr. Joaquim Alemao. You are sucking the blood of humble people of Goa to make your living. You forgot that you are the one who comes begging for votes at the election time at our doors and now elections are coming near. It is for us the people of Goa to understand that our mother Goa is being raped openly and we are watching the show. Shame on us. Throw dung on this people. Please choose President's Rule.
Cindy Figueira: I feel extremely sad about this! Destroying the environment for financial gain is criminal. Any environmental and social impact assessments carried out prior to mining activities would have clearly indicated that this mining operation would be detrimental to the environment and would more than likely cause severe nuisance and loss in earnings to its' neighbours (which it seems to have done!), unless managed properly (which clearly it hasn't been!). It should be clear to anyone with a minuscule amount of environmental morality and common sense that this mining operation should be legally shut down immediately before it permanently destroys the environment. Additionally the owners of the mine should legally be forced to make good the environmental damage caused. This type of activity really gives Goans a bad name!
Camilla D'Souza: I have seen the devastation caused by the mining groups, an entire hill in the Quepem area has disappeared in less than a year, wake up!
Shifali Goyal: Act before you realize that Goa has become a chapter in your kid's history book rather a heavenly place to go and enjoy.
F.Almeida: Mr. CM - Digamber Kamat, you seem to be wanting to hold on the CM's chair and agree to all the mine owners tell you without any concern to the environment and nature. You along with your cabinet ministers have destroyed Goa just to hold on to your "KODEL". How can you love and pray to God, when you are destroying the nature created by God. You are a hypocrite.
Jason Keith Fernandes: Your Government's regional plan has been marked by absolutely no debate on crucial issues such as mining and agriculture. Clearly your regional plan is merely an attempt at private appropriation of profits from public resources! From mega housing projects, to sports cities, to supporting destructive mining. What is your Government's stand on all of this? Sheer silence!
Alex Menezes: We live for a short time on this earth but generations to come have also to live. So save the earth.
Arjun Rebelo: It is time mining companies take up environmental rehabilitation. With all the profits they are making they are not even spending 5% on repairing the damage.
Adrian Fernandes: I am Aged 9. The Goa environment is being destroyed everyday, What will I share with my fellow Goan community in future?
Kumar Kalanand Mani: Dear Digambarbab, Respecting mother is prime duty of every child. You being son of mother earth, ban mining forever immediately. Your post is not permanent, but mother earth is permanent source for survival of your children and of the entire Goan community.
A.Mascarenhas: Enough is enough. The entire world is finally coming together to solve the problems of environmental exploitation. The time has come for the Indian and Goan government to do the same.
Stepheny Dias: The State of Goa is God’s gift to us, so its our duty to preserve this paradise for our future generations. Save Goa today, please. Mr. Chief Minister use your office discreetly.
Dr. Cornel DaCosta: Open mining can be catastrophic to the natural environment and Goa is too small and beautiful to be destroyed by open mining. Additionally, I am not persuaded that revenues from mining go to local people but to the mine owners who largely pocket the revenues unaccountably.
Philip Neri de Souza: Mr. C M, The Portugese, British and French came for trade and ended up being the owners of the land. Local rulers at the time supported the foreign powers in their mission to “grab our land”, receiving personal gifts, positions and favours in return. STRANGE, but TRUE, in the year 1662 part of it (Bombay) was given as dowry to Charles II, king of England, when he married the Princess of Portugal. (Whose land? To whom?) Isn’t it coincidental that present day rulers in Goa together with pliable officers, (some own heavy machinery that are used at mine sites) too are colluding with private entities (some were Portuguese agents and received mining concessions as rewards) to sell and rape Goa, in the name of Mining, SEZ, Real estate, etc. It isn’t strange Seby has been sued in a Court in West Bengal. The foreigners too harassed Indians with cases in London and Lisbon. Although your son-in-law too has stakes in the mining business, we demand that you put “PEOPLE FIRST”, and ACT NOW. Stop this harassment. Will you?
Wendell Rodricks: Mining would not have become the issue it has become if it were not for greed of few individuals, a Government hand in glove with illegal mining and a total apathy for Goans living near mining areas whose voice has constantly been unheard in the face of money and power.
Gwen de Souza: A special plea to the Timblo Family to protect, nurture and respect this God given beautiful land. We all have a responsibility to our future generations. Once it is destroyed it can never be restored, please put economic greed aside for the good of all people. The Govt. of Goa has a moral responsibility to protect exploitation and need to legislate so that mining does not go ahead.
Aakash Bagchi: It is high time we pay heed to what Mother Nature is saying to us for long. Such activities should be controlled by the government instead of it backing such activities. Time for us, the common men, to rise and do our duty towards mankind and our Earth, our only home. I back Seby wholeheartedly and am not afraid of any power brokers as I still have faith in the judicial system of the country Juanita Poletto: It is disappointing to see the government of the people not only letting your mother land down, but the people who are trying to protect it. Goa, its environment and its people are important. The world is watching to see how you treat those who are truly trying to do the best for their community.
Cleto Fernandes: Why this Timblo idiot, or should i say over-smart, don’t live in the area where he is doing mining? Because he wants to drink bottled water while the locals have to drink contaminated water and breath dusty mining air. Shame on you Timblos, Sirdoncar chase this .... out of your village.
Deepika Sarma: Residents and citizens ought to have a say in decisions directly relating to problems concerning them, irrespective of the power and size of private companies on the prowl for profit. The damage to people and the environment in this case is irreparable and outrageous. In the interests of the environment and sustainable development, this has to stop immediately. The government ought to look into and regulate the actions of large companies when it comes to matters of such local as well as national importance.
Mathewes Fernandes: Our Government is managed by mining Companies, we need to come out on Road with our family to fight this.
Larson Souza: I guess our approach (of tolerance and non-violence) is killing us, and making us puppets on our own soil. I think its high time we change our views and resort to other means (NOT TO EXCLUDE ANY) to overcome this menace. I think many of you should or rather may agree with me…
Prerna Bindra: I have personally been at the receiving end of Timblo strong-arm tactics. And been a witness to the horrifying destruction and devastation the mines are causing to Goa. It is shameful that the beautiful--and ecologically fragile state of Goa, is being sold for a song--to be raped mindlessly by mines, without any cause for ecological or social concerns.
Dr Anesimo Fernandes: Only those who have lived around the mining areas will know about disastrous effect on Environment and health due to the mining activities. These mining barons have made a fortune from these natural resources which belong to the People of Goa. Now, some of them have the audacity to harass those who are fighting these atrocities. It is time these mining barons are held accountable and made to pay.
Bosco de Sousa Eremita: All the greedy mine owners ought to go to Mars. There's lot of excess ore unattended. Will they take up the challenge rather than devastate our means of livelihood and seek to silence even those who voice the opinion of the silent majority?
Vinay Natekar: Mine owners with connivance with the ruling dispensation are hell bent to destroy the environment of Goa. The Government should not renew their licences for further mining activities unless they adhere to the rules of environment protection. The villagers living in the mining vicinity are prone to inhale and consume the toxic mineral residual dust everyday. We have right to live in a clean healthy environment.
Freddy Agnelo Fernandes: I would like to inform you, that, you should realize the genuine concerns of Goans & ACT immediately & decisively to stop the RAPE of GOA through mining and stop the harassment meted to Seby Rodrigues and rest of the activists by your “Miner Friends and well wishers” before the unstable volatility of the situation erupts in to mega volcanic eruption, in our beloved Goa, which may consume you, me and every one. Never ever forget that you and your comrades in arms are the chosen representative of the people of Goa, elected to do the will of the People of Goa, by the People of Goa. You are strongly advised not to take advantage of your position and power given to you by the People of Goa and use it against the very own people that elected you. I plead, please do not ever underestimate the power and will of the people of Goa. I once again request you to intervene and force Timblo to withdraw the case against Seby, here is a chance for you and your comrades to redeem yourselves, I sincerely hope you’ll take it.
Gizelle Noronha: Under the pretext of development and progress, all a certain few in the state have been doing, is satisfying their own greed. The very same people have been indiscriminately testing the patience of the common man in Goa, but, not for long. I hope the concerned parties realise that their days are numbered.
Desmond Macedo: Goa's greenery and waterways are tourism mines in themselves. What madness to destroy them.
Umesh Shrikhande: Sir. Please realise that by setting an example of protecting the environment in Goa, you will have taught an important lesson to our country as well. Please, please do everything in your might to protect, conserve and in fact grow the green cover of Goa.
Shilpa Uttam: Goa is beautiful and India benefits from it tremendously due to the Tourism it attracts. We should become conscious and refrain from doing harm to our own country.
Avani Shah: Please make the environmental laws stricter otherwise Global Warming effects are not too far.
Jaki Bostiao: The mining and builders mafia has destroyed the very fabric of Goan environment
Zenade Peu: We should fight tooth and nail to protect the environment from greedy politicians who are the real murderers occupying chairs to fill their pockets at the cost of human lives.
Dr. Meenal Mamdani: Open cast mining has destroyed the environment in other areas where it has been used. Please don't make the same mistake in Goa.
Lynette Viegas: If we allow the destruction of the environment to continue, we will destroy Goa forever.
Lynette Gomes: Please stop this destruction of the environment. Please let Goa remain green for our children & their children.
Praxedes Gomes: I remember the green Goa of my childhood. Please do something the save the environment from total destruction at the hands of GREEDY MEN.
Michael Gonsalves: Dear Chief Minister, If you care for Goa initiate action on war footing to stop wanton open-cast mining in golden Goa that is destroying countryside, the forest cover, and polluting valuable fresh water resources. It is time to restore Goa to its pristine glory. Show you care and win the Goan hearts.
Vidya Kane: Move from 'Mine' to ours & Fight for Forest Covers. Its good for us and development can certainly happen without irresponsible mining.
Indira Vijaysimha: surely a green forest cover is worth more than the minerals buried under it…
Ramnath Prabhudessai: If i was having the power i could have stopped mining and all facilities would have given to Agriculture sector.
Mini: Stop colluding with the Timblo mine lobby. Victimisation and muzzling through the defamation suit in Calcutta is unacceptable.
Avelino D'Souza: The rich and the powerful are making a mockery of the judicial system.
Sonia Filinto: One of the main problems that plagues our country is unashamed greed. Not satisfied with what we can achieve/obtain through fair means, blatant abuse of power for personal gains overrides all. And that's exactly what's happening here.
Joe Lobo: if we make Goa unliveable for common people in villages with the pollution to enrich a small elite we shall destroy the beauty of Goa and hurt the "aam admi".
Charmaine de Souza: Many people in Bicholim are suffering from Terminal illnesses due to the mining in that area.
Sreesha Shetty: Save Goa, don't barbarize it!
George Pinto: Goa is being destroyed by the mining and building lobbies with the help of Goan politicians.
Godfrey Pereira: Stop the mining. Think about Goa, for once in your life and what this will do to the place. Get your money from another source. That is the bottom line "MONEY". Once again STOP what you people are doing to Goa. STOP.
Marisa D'Souza: Goa's pristine environments should be preserved for generations to come and generate tourist income instead of being destroyed by mining operations.
Badri Raina: Why not mine in gujarat? No opposition, no hassles, perfect silence of the graveyard; emulate the Tatas, Ambanis etc., and be counted among the greats.
David: Give the future generation a chance to live in natural surrounding than in a garbage dump!!!
Melinda Powell: Wealth accumulated from irresponsible mining is tainted --shame on Fomentos!
Venita Coelho: For shame Timblos! For shame Sujay Gupta - you keep writing about how much you love Goa - we've now seen for ourselves what this purported love is about. For Shame!
Sheela Gowda: I strongly oppose the vandalization of nature and the use of the Judiciary to validate it, to silence people who seek a better world for everyone.
Salil Chaturvedi: I live far from the Western Ghats but I feel they belong to me as well. Tampering with them affects weather patterns and hence my life too. Dear Chief Minister, who will sue the powerful miners for the destruction of my natural heritage?
Renwick Alphonso: What is happening to Goa? Why so much greed amongst the Timblos? Why should the rich get richer at the common man's expense? Lets Keep Goa green and beautiful...
J Mario Fernandes: Natural resources should be used judiciously for the betterment of the people, NOT to manipulate them in ways reminiscent of feudalism
Isabella Fernandes: Please leave Goa and its beauty alone. We don't want changes in Goa which destroys the natural beauty of Goa and puts people's life and health at risk.
James Pochury: I stand by Seby and hail his courage of conviction, and dare suing me as well. I am anguished at the sheer lack of humane sense of living. Why is it that a few have to keep standing up for the good of everyone and while even fewer others continue to destroy everything on their way?!
Jerry Fernandes: Goa is what Goa is with its environment. Its destruction can make Goa what it should not be.
Gurunath Diwadkar: "we abuse earth because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see the earth as community to which we belong, we begin to use it with love and respect" Aldo Leopold.
Colleen Bowen: I love Goa and a large company like Formento bullying the little man and destroying the lives of many small villagers and Mr. Seby for the mighty RUPEE especially now when the world should be saving the environment is a DISGRACE and the world should know about this. Come on Chief Minister get off your backside and do something for the little men you represent, if you are the CHIEF show your true colours and stop the nonsense.
Venantius J Pinto: Goans have to have the courage to recognize betrayal, absolute and abject rejection of themselves by those who seek to ceaselessly dismember the collective Goan mind in its anguish, while yet stripping it of its basic depth of being and communion.
Poonam Mascarenhas: If we continue to alienate ourselves from the Planet, we (humans) will perish! It is high time we as species evolved from ravagers to caretakers! Money power games are so very out dated! Miners, lawyers, law-makers- wake up and catch-up!!!!
Sucheta Potnis: A suit filed in Calcutta is a clear indication of harassment on top of the ludicrous amount of 500 crore. First of all, has Fomento really `lost' 500 crore due to the blog? Secondly, if they feel the need to sue Seby, is there something wrong with Goa's courts?? Shame on Sujay who was such a champion of Goa not so long ago! How come this U turn?
William Luis: A counter case for double the amount will teach these rich to bring the poor victimised to their level and capable of sustaining at their own level. God bless those who work for the poor and persecuted. The fight for denouncing all forms of evil must never end. It is just a matter of time for truth to surface.
Olinda Fernandes: Why do you choose to destroy our haven? Goa, according to the Puranas, is one of the most sacred spaces on this Planet. Please, please try and understand the power you have - you have the POWER to ensure that GOA retains its biodiversity. YOU have the power to be become a CUSTODIAN/GUARDIAN. Please take the time to contemplate what you (the government, and individuals concerned) can do to conserve this very, very precious piece of earth. You are blessed too. Become custodians, not destroyers.
John Roso Monteiro: This man needs to be heard, read & helped. Prosecuting him is a diversion to take up his time & money to stop him from speaking out against the open-cast mining, legal or illegal this has to be investigated. Money is power to those who will diminish Goa & its people.
Lisa Pires: Goa is being destroyed by corrupt politicians who are concerned only about filling their own pockets.
Vikrant Dessai: I have seen the deterioration first hand while working in mining area at Codlim.
Jamshed Madon: How dare a handful of men hold an entire state to ransom by systematically chipping away at what is largely its natural resources. How will they justify their stand to their own children and descendants once we have no more water to drink and clean air to breathe? Stop the digging today.
Aileen Klarmann: The destruction of nature must stop immediately! How can such a fruitful country like India allow this kind of behaviour? Money can never replace the splendour and grace of nature. This entire act is part of mankind's arrogance and if it doesn't stop, the consequences will be grave. Money will NEVER replace a beautiful tree or flower! It wasn't intentional, but in retrospect, it seems nice to end that small selection of comments with the line that money, will NEVER ever never replace a beautiful tree or flower...
Will the Timblos and Dempos and Salgaoncars of this world ever understand that? I don't think so. Financial greed lurking in the guise of 'development' has its own compulsions. Below is the mailer, I have been sending out. The Timblos, wrongly advised by Sujay Gupta, put the case against Seby to suppress the flow of information from his blog. The mailer provides links to Seby's anti-mining blog, the GBA website, Rajan Parrikar's photodocumentary and Kurush Canteenwalla's recent documentary.
What are the Timblos going to do now? Sue all of them too? Below the mailer.
Please help to pass it around. I have sent out 2,254 personal mails and have exhausted my list. ________ If you have already signed this petition against open-cast mining and the high-handed and destructive ways of the mining companies in Goa, thank you; if you haven't please help us pass it around and urge people to sign up!
The western ghats are one of the ten biological hotspots that can do their bit against global warming, but the mining companies in Goa don't seem to know that, We have just managed to get some 1,050 signatures, when, in actual fact, to make this campaign truly successful WE NEED 500,000!
Below is the mailer that has been sent out. Some of the links will undoubtedly shock you. Please extend support by putting this out to whatever networks you have...especially young people for whose future environment we are fighting for. Later we intend making this petition public by sending the link and its password to persons in the media sympathetic to our cause. PLEASE HELP US. http://www.PetitionOnline.com/sue4000/petition.html
Please open the above and sign petition against mining in Goa WHILE ALSO ADDING A STRONG COMMENT.
Please also pass this around to your friends in Goa and elsewhere. If we get the signatures we want, we are sure the Chief Minister and the goons in the mining industry will sit up and take note! To know more about just what mining is doing in Goa please also visit http://mandgoa.blogspot.com/
You could also visit http://www.savegoa.com/
One more link that will shock you is:
You may also like watching the film on mining in Goa made late last year by Kurush Canteenwalla at
Thanks and kind regards,
Hartman de Souza
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Rs.3,500/- Chair rent
Rs.1,800/- Transportation of Chairs
Rs.1,000/- Sound System
Rs.1,500/- Labour costs for chair arrangements
Rs.1,500/- Generator rent.
Rs.9,300/- Total costs of the meeting
Rs.2,460/- on the spot collection from public gathered at the venue.
Rs.6840/- well wishers may cover this costs. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org in case you want to contribute full or part of this Rs.6840/- to cover the expenditure involved.
Defamation Case: Parishioners of St. Anthony's Church of Nuvem and Cabo-da-Rama, Canacona contributes Rs.6935/-
GAKUVED accepts this tremendous gesture of Solidarity. It inspires us further in struggle.
GAKUVED appreciates the contribution and thankful for the same.
GAKUVED appreciates their Support and Solidarity.
GAKUVED is appreciates her Solidarity gesture.
GAKUVED appreciates this gesture of Solidarity.
GAKUVED deeply appreciates to this Solidarity gesture from Jharkhand.
GAKUVED gratefully aknowledges the contribution.
GAKUVED is appreciates his gesture of Solidarity.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
This article was circulated on GoaNet on 19 February 2009.
Place: Menezes Braganza Hall, Panaji
Organised by: Gawda, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED), Panaji,
In 1964, tenancy legislation was introduced in
The Constitution of India adopted in 1950, contained fundamental Rights on life, liberty and prosperity. Land is a subject which is there in the State list of the Constitution of India, 1950, It is Entry 18 in the State list Scheduled VII of the Constitution of India. Therefore, the right over land of a person is his constitutional right and the state must protect the same right of each citizen.
Tribal people have been living in most inaccessible, interior arrears of our state and utilizing land, water and
Since independence, several mega projects, industrial and mining have come up in areas, which were under the occupation of tribal communities. Originally they were statutory rights before the emergence of the state and the ruling class. Before the emergence of the state and the ruling class, customary rights became more or less the statutory rights under the state. The UN document of 1966 defines customary rights as the rights to use or dispose off the rights over land. In the past most of the tribal settlement comprised members of a single clan who held land and forest resources as their own, in their habitat.
Land for others may be an object for agriculture but land for tribal is a part of larger socio-economic structure of the society, which is handed over from one generation to another as sources life sustenance.
Scheduled Tribes, which constitutes nearly 32% of the population of
During the last two decades in the name of development, tribal communities have been affected by land loss through alienation of plain lands to State and the Corporates and the hill slope land to the non-tribal including for mining companies.
The loss of land holdings by tribals has been a cause of concern with a number of laws being passed by both pre colonial state and pre-liberation state to check land alienation. These laws suffered from many shortcomings and were unable to check transfer of land from tribals to non-tribals including to corporates for industry, mining and real estate.
Adivasis are Goas' first settlers that established villages in diverse Geographical locations making land in
Forestcultivations and settlements: these include Forestvillages as well as their cultivation rights inside Western Ghatsforests. Nature of onslaught here includes government policies of classifying certain forests as reserved and as sanctuaries. Adivasi homelands are often partitioned with these prospects. Cultivations rights and grazing rights and sometimes even dwelling rights are often at stake.
- Agriculture: Settled agriculture is one of the very important aspects of Adivasi homelands in
Goa. However various development projects have launched increasing onslaught on these agricultural lands often preventing the communities from cultivation.
- Khazan lands: Has been one of the unique features of adivasi homelands in
Goa. Khazan lands are the reclaimed lands from the salty seas for the purpose of agriculture. However these lands targeted by various commercial interests like fishing by breaching of their protective walls and letting agricultural spaces get flooded with salty water thereby leaving fields uncultivable.
- Horticultural Lands popularly known as 'Kulagars' though originally founded and maintained by adivasis the legal titles on these lands have been registered in somebody else's names. Even though labor is supplied by adivasis very often at exploitative terms surplus is taken away by somebody else. Also the land cultivation lands known as Bhatam suffered the same fate. Only difference is that former has beetle nut cultivation while the late has coconut cultivation. The former are in hilly terrains, the later are in plain lands.
- River bed cultivation lands known as Puran Shethi especially in Sattari taluka has been submerged under the government sponsored irrigation schemes of constructing mini check dams over
. These cultivation lands have been major source of food security that was done away with couple of years ago. Mandovi River
- Industry located over adivasi lands in both the Industrial Estates as well as Industries outside it have been occupying adivasi lands in different parts of
Goa. Lots of these lands have been taken over though legal instruments or though lease deeds with parties who were holding legal titles over these lands. Legal titles very often were achieved through collusion with erstwhile Portuguese colonial regime.
- Open Cast mining activities have been threatening adivasi lands to various proportions. This is the case in Quepem, Sanguem, Sattari and Bicholim Talukas. Foreign trade of iron
and Magnesium is carried on the cost of invasion of adivasi homelands. Over 68,000 hectares of Ore Goa's land including its forests are under mining leases granted during erstwhile Portuguese colonial regime.
- Land takeover by other powerful section through codified Communidades is responsible for large scale attack on adivasi homeland. There are over 220 communidades in
Goathat are responsible for large-scale transfer of lands away from adivasis mainly with collusion with the Portuguese colonial regime.
- Adivasi lands capture by Devasthans is also the reality in
Goa. Adivasi places of worship are captured and so are the community lands.
- Church takes over of adivasi lands are also reality in
Goa. Very often Church got these lands with the help of Portuguese colonial regime and after Goa Liberation of 1961 either sold to builders or leased to industry. Church never returned these lands back to the adivasis.
- Adivasi Lands transformed into Mokaso lands, particularly in the Northern talukas of Bicholim and Sattari. Portuguese regime handed these lands to Ranes as a compromise package during Ranes revolt against Portuguese. Even though adivasis continue to labour on these lands, lands are in legal possession of Ranes and so the surplus is appropriated by Ranes. One of these Mokaso lands is even made available for commercial cash crop cultivation to Godrej for Palm Oil.
- Adivasi homelands invasion real estate projects is the reality different parts of
Goa. It is witnessed with most severity in villages in Tiswadi Taluka.
Adivasi homeland alienation includes all the above sections and probably even more that may come to the surface later. The one dozen points have listed as they have come to the forefront of the adivasi movement related to their home land questions in
In this back ground Peoples Tribunal has following objectives:
1. To bring about restoration of land rights of tribal communities in
2. To compel the State of
3. To stop any future land acquisition of tribal territories.
4. Protection of tribal livelihood support systems
5. To ensure ecological sustenance of tribal communities in
6. Protection of tribal social, cultural and economic life in
7. Stop open cast mining activities in tribal belt of
Peoples Tribunal will focus on the cases of the following categories:
- Tribal land under occupation of mining leases.
- Tribal lands taken over by corporate for real estates and other purposes.
- Tribal lands acquired by State for industrial estates.
- Status of Tribal lands in draft Regional Plan 2021.
- Tribal lands under the control of big private landlords.
The findings of the jury will then be widely circulated amongst the State Government Agencies, Central Government Agencies, Judicial Authorities, Human Rights Commission, Political Parties, Media etc for publicity, impact and action.