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Demo in London to save Phulbari

26Ansar Ahmed Ullah ::

A demo was held against Global Coal Resources Management (GCM) during its Annual General Meeting on 18 Dec London time 10:30am outside Hamilton Place, Central London to protest against open pit mine project.

The London-based AIM-listed multinational company GCM announced its AGM to discuss implementing a massive open-pit coal mine by forcibly displacing 130,000 families of farmers in Phulbari said protesters. The protesters
further said that if the mine is built, it would destroy 14,600 hectares of cultivable land in northwest Bangladesh. It would also pose threats to clean water resources and would leave devastative impact on one of the world’s largest mangrove forests and UNESCO heritage site, the Sundarbans.

The company, previously known as Asia Energy, has been previously resisted by locals for its fatal business policy. Three people were shot dead and two hundred injured in a demonstration of 80,000 people that took place in opposition to plans by GCM in 2006. Bangladesh government has cancelled all contracts with the company nine years ago. The government has recently reassured protestors by a statement that it does not want to build an open
pit mine in Phulbari.

One of the organiser Rumana Hashem said, ‘The company has so far ignored every message. It has been pushing the government of Bangladesh for a fatal deal. We advise GCM to close business NOW!’ The protest was organised by the National Committee to Protect Oil Gas and
Mineral Resources in Bangladesh, Phulbari Solidarity Group, SPB and other environmental groups.