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Written by: Staff

Itanagar, May 2 (UNI) The People's Forum against Asian Development Bank, a platform of social organisations, community and grassroots groups, project-affected people and NGOs across Asia and India, is planning a series of protests, demonstrations and rallies in Hyderabad when the Asian Development Bank (ADB) holds its 39th annual governors' meeting from May 3 to 6 next.

Twenty activists from Arunachal representing different communities and a cross section of professionals headed by Arunachal Citizen's Rights (ACR) has left for Hydrabad to participate in the protest.

The main slogan of the forum is 'Asian Development Bank, quit Asia'. The governors are the highest level of decision-makers in the ADB. Appointed by the ADB member countries, they are high-ranking officials such as finance ministers or secretaries of national treasuries. The current chair of the body is Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

According to the forum, it will send out a message to the ADB, the World Bank and all other corporate who covet India's resources and wealth, encroach upon the sovereignty of countries across the globe and in Asia, that enough is enough and that it is time for the people to say no to the ADB,World Bank and ''marauding corporates.'' ''We urge the governments to instead listen to the voices of the people,'' said ACR Chairperson Bamang Anthony.

In a statement released on the web, the Forum said though Andhra Pradesh does not have any ADB-supported projects, it is already a victim of World Bank conditionalities.

Among those who have suffered due to various reforms are power sector and road transport workers, tribals and the rural poor.

Though the people of Andhra Pradesh gave a befitting reply to the Chandrababu Naidu government that tried to foist a World Bank dictated reform agenda by voting it out, the present government is on the same path, eager to bring in foreign investment at any cost.

The ADB is the third largest source of development finance in the Asia-Pacific region, next to the World Bank Group and the Japanese government. Its largest borrowers in 2004 were China and India, each receiving $1.3 billion, about 24 per cent of the total lending.

According to Mr Anthony, the ADB does not facilitate public participation in development planning and access to information.

Moreover, ADB projects have displaced hundreds of thousands of people across the region with little or no compensation. In the process, the ADB has created ''development refugees'' and has ''manufactured poverty,'' he said.


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