At the end of discussion they brought out a procession and paraded different street in the city chanting slogan with the spirit of May Day.
Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha Barisal District Units observed the great May Day--International Labor Solidarity Day-- in befitting manner in Barisal district town hall. They organised a discussion meeting with members of the organizations in order to realize the significance of the May Day. They asked all the peasants and workers to fight against the capitalist system which is contributing to climate chance. They also opined for a exploitation and discrimination free society which will ensure fair wage for the workers and food sovereignty for all. They also put emphasis on the question of a comprehensive and genuine agrarian reform for the eradication of rural poverty.
At the end of discussion they brought out a procession and paraded different street in the city chanting slogan with the spirit of May Day.
Dear All Friends of ANPFa,
We expressed our deepest concern that yesterday you faced terrible earth quake which we Bangladesh also shared somewhat, and are extremely horrified in. Me and two of my female colleagues just run away from the top floor of the 5 storied office building. We just felt the trembling and swaying frequently.
Although there are 3 death tolls found across country the damage of properties took place at different points.
We guessed the situation in Nepal is much more terrible than we have in Bangladesh as the epicenter of earth quake in Nepal. It is important to learn that ANPFa people got saved.
We expressed our deep condolence to those who lost their lives and properties in Nepal. We wish you much strength and courage so that you may overcome such a hard situation easily.
In my view, there is a connection of earth quake with the climate change. I do not know where. Of course, science can explain. However, it is quite true that the nature has become agitated much owing to over-exploitation by the capitalist system. Yet we the innocent people are paying for this at the expense of our lives.
At the end, we wish the salvation for departed souls and immediate health recovery of the survivors.
All the best regards,
On behalf of
Bangladesh Krishok Federation
Bangladesh Kishani Sabha
Bangladesh Adivasi Samity
March 25, 2015 – World Social Forum Tunis 2015
The migration of peoples across arbitrary barriers is an integral part of human history. Rooted in the search for better living conditions, this movement of peoples from one place to another was later transformed into a social, economic, and political process that has largely served to benefit ruling elites – the slave traders of the past and the multinationals of the present. Today, as capital demands exceptional freedoms for itself – combined with greater restrictions on the poor – wars, social exclusion, economic injustice, and the global climate crisis are forcing millions of human beings to seek refuge across internationally imposed boundaries.
As financial capital and agribusiness concentrates its power and holdings – diminishing opportunities for diversified and sustainable smallholder farming – precarious livelihoods continue to aggressively push a growing number of rural people off their farms and into the city.
Neoliberal policies, free trade agreements, the development of industrial agriculture, the concentration of production areas… all have destructive effects on the environment, biodiversity, the climate and local, especially peasant, economies. These aggressive policies that impose a development model based on the exploitation of resources, the grabbing of the commons, the stealing of agricultural lands and the exploitation of peasants as well as that of women and men who work the land, have a particularly harsh effect on peasant communities. Ruined people have no other option to leave family, land and community to seek the means of survival some place else, in the big cities or in any countries.
Once urbanized, our people are unlikely to find opportunities in our countries and soon become the migrants of today, the cheap labor of the corporate interests. In the most telling of cases, peasant farmers leave family farming only to become the low-paid agricultural workers of corporate giants Monsanto, Cargill, and DuPont. This occurs both internally – within Mexico or Palestine for example – as well as externally, as we cross borders to work for those who forced us off our lands.
We of La Via Campesina, the world's largest social movement with millions of peasants, women, youth, indigenous peoples, afro-descendants, fisherfolk and – very often due to involuntary displacement – migrants and rural workers, denounce the fact that we, the poor majorities, are those who suffer most as climate change provokes extreme climatic events across our territories. The term “climate refugee” is now being used to describe those of us forced from our lands by the global climate crisis, by an industrialized food and social system that blames its victims and pardons its culprits.
To advance the struggle for Food Sovereignty and help bring an end to the corporate control of the global food system, we declare that it is necessary to:
1. End all violence and repression against migrants perpetrated in the context of the so-called “War on Terror”. Remove the issue of migration from the rhetoric around “threats” to national (or domestic) security since these are different questions altogether;
2. Stop the separation of undocumented migrant families, which has provoked a crisis in childhood migration. Halt the confinement of migrant children in detention centers, in unhealthy and inhumane conditions that violate their most elementary rights. End the deportation of all unprotected children;
3. Protect all refugees through international institutions (such as the UN) and NGOs of recognized moral authority (such as Amnesty International), safeguarding their rights as refugees and providing protection for all those living in refugee camps;
4. Halt and revoke all policies that criminalize migrants, policies that increase persecution, detentions, expulsions, and physical attacks. States should be obliged to respect international agreements and, if they have yet to do so, adhere to the International Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Modify all local and national legislation so as to comply with said agreements;
5. Legalize “clandestine” migration so as to combat criminalization;
6. Allow (or guarantee) to migrants access to the labor market under conditions equivalent to workers 'national'.
7. Oppose all temporary worker programs, which serve only to divide the working class and weaken our organizations and struggles. With respect to temporary agricultural workers (braceros, guest workers, contratados de origen, etc.), these agreements serve only to benefit industrial agricultural by providing it with cheap and docile farm labor;
8. Organize all migrants, strengthening our rights to bargain collectively and to strike. Practice solidarity on an ongoing, permanent basis, firmly adopting the principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all”;
9. Dismantle all free trade agreements, especially those with the greatest impacts on collective resources, rural communities, and indigenous peoples. Implement Food Sovereignty, in direct contrast and in dispute with the corporate-controlled food system;
10. Challenge the capitalist model of economic growth and so-called “green” development, which does not address the causes of the climate crisis, a crisis that is exacerbating the migration crisis. The results of the climate crisis – extensive droughts, floods, avalanches, earthquakes, tidal waves, etc., which are ever more frequent, are now responsible for 25% of all involuntary migration worldwide, now estimated at 210 million people [according to the International Organization for Migration (www.iom.int)];
11. Recognize the corporate causes of the global climate crisis and force transnational corporations and their governments in the industrialized nations to accept their responsibility in the surge of climate refugees. At the national level, incorporate the victims of environmental displacement into social development strategies that help to organize and empower these peoples;
12. Develop action plans with specific timeframes into national policies of research and development, giving priority to sustainable peasant agriculture as a viable option to combat the climate crisis and reduce the impacts of environmental displacement;
13. Bring Down All Walls: Mexico-USA, Melilla, Ceuta, Palestine (West Bank), Western Sahara, etc., because they not only represent a barbaric aggression against humanity, separating peoples, but also represent an affront to nature. While existing geographic borders already contribute to ecological disasters, new dividing walls only worsen the situation;
14. End all wars of territorial occupation, the extraction of wealth and the enslavement of indigenous peoples.
We are here in the World Social Forum 2015 in Tunis to let everybody know, that this is our commitment and that we are ready to unite with all the social and popular movements to build an international alliance of peasants, migrant workers, indigenous peoples and social fighters for a more humane, dignify and better world.
On 16 March 2015 Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha, Barisal District Unit organized the 2nd District Conference in Barisal Aushwini Kumar Town Hall. Bangladesh Krishok Federation Central President Badrul Alam was present as chief guest while the leaders from different districts of both organization joined the conference as guests. Around 600 delegates, both male and female attended the conference hailing from different sub-districts of Barisal. Barisal District Unit President of Bangladesh Krishok Federation Harun Bhandari submitted the report of activities for the last more than 5 years while Mitu Begum of Bangladesh Kishani Sabha, Barisal district presided over the conference. In the report it is mentioned that the organizations have been well-rooted in the different areas of the district. The report stressed much the strong need of support and co-ordination to build movement around Khaslnad for the benefit of landless people in the district. The chief guest Badrul Alam expressed optimism on the continued struggle of the landless people to establish their right to land which of the source of livelihood of people in the locality. He seriously criticized the role of land grabbers and influentials who are systematically evicting the landless people from the Rasulpur Khaschar in association with few corrupt bureaucrats. The conference formed new committees of Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha for Barisal District which took oath to continue the struggle in days to come for the emancipation of peasantry including building of the the Khasland movement.
Minutes of the Preparatory Meeting
The preparatory meeting was held at the COAST Principal Office, Dhaka on February 02, 2015. The meeting was presided over by Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation. Golam Sarwar (BAFLAF), Subal Sarkar (BBS), Jayed Iqbal Khan (BKF-JI), Sabina Yasmin (BKS), Shibly Anwar (LRC) and Rina Akhter of KKM were present in the meeting. The meeting was facilitated by Md. Mujibul Haque Munir of COAST Trust.
Discussion and Decision
01. Plan of Activities for the First Quarter
The Workshop to Review organizational status and the previous year will be held on 10th February. Two persons from each organization will participate.
Monthly meeting for February will be organized on 28th February.
Other planned activities for the first quarter are: In house assessment meeting, workshop to review organizational plan, preparation of profile and if budget permits the external survey on the FOs
02. New participating organization
According to plan of MTCP2 Bangladesh, a new organization will be included, Bangladesh Fishworkers Alliance will be participating in MTCP2 Bangladesh. As in Bangladesh we have farmers, female farmers, indigenous group, farm laboures, fisher group will add a new dimension in terms of participation. In 2016 we will include more two organizations; one proposal is BAFLF women wing.
03. Bank Account opening
An organizational Bank account is must for fund transfer. Bust some FOs are experiencing difficulties in opening Bank Account, two proposals in this regard:
COAST will support to open the Bank Joint Account in Krishi Bank as a Project of COAST, or they will have to open their account within March. Final decision in this regard will be informed on 10th February Meeting.
04. Travel Allowance
Presently all participants are getting same amount as travel allowance for meeting participation. Meeting suggests that, it is not fair for the participants join from out of Dhaka. So, there is a proposal to allocate BDT 1500 for participants from out of the Dhaka and BDT 800 for participants come from within Dhaka.
Preparation of Organizational Profile in IFAD prescribed format is an important activities of MTCP2. The secretariat is responsible to do that with the support of the FO. To prepare the profile organizational visits will be made from COAST. In February there will be two visits
06. External Survey
An external survey will be conducted to identify the strength, weakness of participating organizations. The survey will also identify recommendations. The meeting welcomes the idea and process.
As there was no other discussion the chair concluded the meeting with vote of thanks.
Asia-Europe Peoples Forum (AEPF) organized a conference on “21 Century Trade and Investment Policies: Challenges and Implication on Land and Natural Resources in Asia and Europe” at Ambhara hotel in Jakrata, Indonesia. There were 35 delegates from different organizations from Asia and Europe. ASM Badrul Alam, President of Bangladesh Krishok Federation attended the conference as one of the panel speakers. He was assigned to speak on the “EU investment in Bangladesh as well as South Asia. Mr. Alam pointed out that EU has a significant investment in Bangladesh focussing major three areas such as 1. Human and Social Development 2. Good Governments and Human Rights 3. Economic and Trade Development. Apart from this it covers the areas of environment, climate change, employment generation, gender equity and life and livelihood security activities, etc. Moreover, EU provides with humanitarian aid in response to emergencies in Bangladesh. In 2007-13 the total investment of EU in Bangladesh amounts Euro 410 millions. EU’s investment in Bangladesh is not non-criticized. There is question about the impact of investment on the target people. It is also questioned whether it is really contributing to the development of the country as a whole. Mr. said that there is a lot of rumour about the development of Bangladesh. It has been said that Bangladesh would be developed country within 2050. Whereas the scientists predicted that one-third of the country in the south would go under water within 2050 due to climate change. It is quite clear that Bangladesh is the front line victim of climate change and it is a big challenge for its development. Therefore, the optimism and reality are quite contradictory. He added that it is time to assist Bangladesh for its development in all respects. But because of the speculation it is deprived from material assistance from outside. Mr. Alam mentioned the position of EU about Bangladesh. He branded the EU position very soft and tangible. He quoted the EU position “Bangladesh’s economic performance has been dynamic and strong. Foreign investment into Bangladesh and trade with other countries (especially the EU), have contributed greatly to this. New jobs have been created and the skills base of the country has been improved, increasing its potential productivity and earning for the future.” Mr. Alam said that EU has its particular policy in its trade and investment in South Asia. It is the largest trading partner of South Asia. It aims at the area of human rights and democracy building in South Asia. In spite of all of this, a research conducted IPSS based in Sri Lanka shows that “EU policy in this area lacks consistency, has not been very effective and has not made a significant impact.” Mr. Alam prioritized in its presentation the need of review of the EU’s policy in South Asia.
Consultation Meeting between Badrul Alam and Landless Leaders of Satkhira District
The landless leaders living in Norarcharkona under Devehata sub-district in Satkhira district came to the central office of Bangladesh Krishok Federation on 7 January 2015 for consultation about the prevailing situation in the areas. Bangladesh Krishok Federation Badrul Alam shared their concern with deep attention. They informed that the identified enemies of landless people has been prompted again to grab the landless’ land in the name of Jalmahal (Water bodies). Recently they collected a receiver order from the 2nd Session Judge Court of Satkhira and tried to evict the landless people by dint of that order. However, the landless people are so united that they could not do so yet. The vested interest groups are trying to use the administration against the landless people in various ways.
The landless people’s advocate, Hasnat Quiyum sent a Demand Justice Notice to the Deputy Commissioner saying that a case against the receiver will be lodged with High court as quick as possible. Until the period the DC was requested not to take any step in this regard.
It can be mentioned that in 2006 the landless people filed writ petition in the High Court asking for an order that will ensure the transformation of the water bodies to agricultural land and the distribution of land among the genuine landless people who are in the possession already as permanent settlement.
Furthermore in 1982 there was an order from the High Court which clearly pointed out the distribution of excess ceiling Khasland among the landless people.
It is memorable that in 1998 there was a country shaken insurgent in the landless territory in Satkhira which established the legitimacy of landless people there. In that insurgent Zayeda, the leader of Bangladesh Kishani Sabha was brutally killed by the then police administration. Afterwards a bazar called Zayeda Nagar was established in the spot where Zayeda was shot to death.
Badrul Alam made the comment that the further rise of local land grabbers is alarming. Expressing his concern Badrul Alam aked them to be united and advised them to continue the advocacy and lobbying activities alongside the movement. He expressed the optimism that victory is always with militant grass-root and the support of Bangladesh Krishok Federation is extended towards landless people forever. Office Secretary Pathak Lal Golder was present in the meeting to note down.
Permanent settlement of Khasland among the landless people demanded
On 25 December 2014 Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha, Babugonj Upzela Unit jointly organized a peasant activists’ conference in Lakutia Bazar in Babugonj sub-district under Barisal district. Presided over by Bangladesh Krishok Federation Babugonj Sub-district Unit Secretary Shahidul Islam Sentu, the conference was addressed by the chief guest, Barisal District Krishok Federation President Md. Harun Bhandary, the special guest, Barisal District Kishani Sabha President Rehana Begum Mitu, Barisal District Secretary Md. Halim Mahari, Kisani Sabah district Acting Secretary Minara Begum, Acting Publicity Secretary of District Krishok Federation Md. Yusuf Akand, Office Secretary Mohammad Mamun Khan, Barisal City Corporation leader Abdul Karim, Sima Begum, Babugonj Sub-district Unit Publication Secretary Mohammad Harun Miah, Publicity Secretary Aliz Begum, Organizing Secretary Harun-Ur-Rashid, Female organizing Secretary Rani Begum, Office Secretary Mala Begum, Office Secretary Mohammad Monirul Islam and other leaders of city corporation, Barisal district and Babugonj sub-district. The speakers demanded the distribution of Khasland among the genuine landless people according to the official Khasland Settlement and Management Manual of the country. They added the present government made the commitment to give away the Khasland among the landless. However, the bona fide landless people are not getting the land whatever initiative they are taking. Rather the local influentials in the areas possessed the Khasland forcefully. Although the landless people have submitted application to the concerned department for land, the influential big land owners are getting the settlement by name or non-name instead of bribe resulting in huge corruption with the help of local musclemen and touts. They are also selling the plot of Khasland to others illegally. The peasant-landless people want to get relief and shelter from the local ill-interest working under the sponsor of the administration. At the end of the conference new Babuganj Sub-district Committee of Krishok Federation and Kishani Sabha with 11 members each were formed.
Pathak Lal Golder