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Reclaim democratic spaces being undermined by ADB

Written by: Staff
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Hyderabad, May 4 (UNI) Peoples' Forum Against Asian Development Bank (ADB) today called people to stive for reclaiming democratic spaces that were being undermined by institutions like the ADB.

Briefing newsmen after a session on Reclaiming Democracy organised by Peoples' Forum Against ADB in the wake of their protest programmes here, Forum member Ravi said the speakers at the session contextualised their critique within the pattern of development and industrialisation which was based on an intensive exploitation of natural resources and cheap labour. They asserted that ADB only reinforced and further legitimised this process of destructive development, he added.

Samajwadi Party MLA Sunilam, who participated in the session said that it was clear that governments, whoever in power, were entirely implementing ''an anti-people pro-ADB agenda.'' Mr Bruce Rich of the US-based Environmental Defence said the ADB claimed that it was promoting increased transparency and accountability. ''But these institutions are a law unto themselves.

No ADB bureaucrat can be tried at a national court. How can an institution that is non-transparent and unaccountable itself demand that governments be accountable to it,'' he asked.

Revolutionary Socialist Party MP Abani Roy said ''if the mandate of ADB is poverty alleviation why is it funding six lane highways and facilitating the privatisation of water and energy. We need to expose this fraud and it is time to reclaim democracy. There is a need to campaign to ensure that the Central government is held accountable for pushing this anti-poor anti-development banks.'' Former Deputy Mayor of Mangalore City Corporation Judith Masearenhas and social activist Saakhi Devi of Manipur also participated.

Peoples Forum Against ADB is a conglomeration of 97 social organisations working in 15 countries.

UNI ASJ ROY VD RN2054

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