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People' Forum to protest against ADB meet

By Staff
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Itanagar, May 2 (UNI) The People's Forum against Asian Development Bank (ADB) and NGOs across Asia, particularly in India, are planning a series of protests, demonstrations and rallies in Hyderabad as the ADB holds its four-day 39th Annual Governors' Meeting starting tomorrow.

Twenty activists from Arunachal, representing different communities and a cross section of professionals headed by Arunachal Citizen's Rights (ACR), have left for Hyderabad for the protest.

The main slogan of the Forum will be 'Asian Development Bank, quit Asia'.

According to the Forum, it is time for the people to say no to the ADB, World Bank and ''marauding corporates.'' ''We urge the governments to listen to the voices of the people,'' ACR Chairperson Bamang Anthony said.

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

Moreover, ADB projects have displaced hundreds of thousands of people across the region with little or no compensation, he added.

In the process, the ADB has created ''development refugees'' and has ''manufactured poverty,'' he said.

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

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

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 dollar, about 24 per cent of the total lending.

The Governors, appointed by the ADB member countries, are high-ranking officials such as finance ministers or secretaries of national treasuries.

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram is the current chair of the body.

The Forum 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.

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