Solidarity with the Bashkhali coal-plant protesters in Bangladesh
08 April 2016
Global Justice Now would like to stand in solidarity with, and send condolences to, the activists protesting against the planned construction of two China-backed coal-fired power stations in Gandamara, Bangladesh.
The police have admitted killing four people but protesters claim that at least five people died and four others are missing, with dozens injured following the banned protest on Monday.
“The villagers in Bashkhali have been loud against the destructive plans of S. Alam Group for months because the company wants to build two coal-fired power plants in the area by evicting thousands of villagers and land owners. The coal-businessmen of S. Alam Group, financed by two Chinese firms — SEPCOIII Electric Power and HTG, were fully aware of the strong opposition to the coal-power plant” said Professor Anu Muhammd, the Member Secretary of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port in Bangladesh.
“This is a terrible tragedy and major news. It is the largest loss of life at an anti-coal protest in Bangladesh since the tragic deaths in the August 26, 2006 killings at Phulbari, Bangladesh, where three people were killed and 200 injured by paramilitaries. It is the worst overall loss of life in anti-coal protests worldwide since the killings of six people in Jharkhand, India, at two protests in April 2011” noted Ted Nace, the editor of Coal Swarm.
If the project goes ahead several thousand people face eviction from fertile coastal farming areas and temples and schools will be demolished.
Police have now filed cases against more than 3,000 of the protestors as a result of the protest.