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Press Releases written by Voice
A Seminar was held today (January 30, 2008) at the Women’s Voluntary Association auditorium in Dhaka titled “Reclaiming People’s Rights to Public Services and Natural Resources,” as part of the programs scheduled for the 2008 Global Economic Justice Forum currently taking place.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE, moderated the seminar, which began with a presentation on Access to Natural Resources by Rubayat Ahsan, Research fellow, VOICE. Sardar Arif Uddin, Team Leader of Action Aid Bangladesh, Ms. Aude Leroux-Levesque, VOICE Communications Intern, Dr. Piash Karim, Professor of Economics and Sociology at BRAC University, also presented speeches in the seminar.
Dr. Piash Karim protested against the privatization of major industries like jute and water. He warned against the privatization of WASA as it will turn an essential service into a business for profit, just like what happened in many African countries. He said that it is possible to reclaim ownership over the land and forests with a democratic government that is participatory and accountable. The struggle for rights to public services is a global struggle, he said, citing many examples from the past 100 years of similar injustices.
A Press Conference was held on January 24, 2008 at the Dhaka Reporters Unity titled ’From Paris 2005 to Accra 2008: Will Aid Become More Accountable and Effective?’ in the context of the Paris Declaration and the upcoming High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra, Ghana in September 2008. The conference was organized by the Aid Accountability Group, a newly-formed group of civil society organizations.
A Press Statement was read out by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE and coordinator of the Aid Accountability Group, examining the perspectives of civil society regarding Aid Effectiveness and the High-Level Forum. Dr. Piash Karim, Professor of Economics and Sociology at BRAC University, Omar Tareq Choudhury, Director of Proshika, Zakir Hossain, Executive Director of Nagarik Uddyog, and Saiful Huq, General Secretary of the Workers Party of Bangladesh also presented speeches in the press conference.
Our agriculture sector is facing a devastating threats due to the extreme agression and control of the multinational corporations particularly over food and seed. Already we have lost many of our species and bio-derversity caused by hybrid and extreme use of fertilizer and pesticides. The monopolization of the companies lead to people struggle that shattered their means of life and livelihood said speakers in a discussion organized by Voice in Rashidpur union parishad auditorium on 20 March 2006.
Obaidul Haq, the chairman of the Rashidpur union parishad presided over the meeting while the key note paper titled `Aggression of Multinational Companies and People’s Struggle for Life and Livelihood’ was presented by Rajib Rana Das, associate coordinator of Voice. He said the bad impacts of hybrid and monopoly of the multinational companies that are captured our agriculture sector and the whole way of life. He also mentioned that the gradual monopolization and dominance of the companies influence the national policies that keeps companies interest and go against farmers’ interest. Emphasizing not to use hybrid, fertilizer and pesticides, the key note paper also
Voice, a research and advocacy organization organized a debate titled `Not for Farmers’ Interest, Hybrid serves the Interest of MNCs’ held in Shahid Sayed Nazrul Islam College auditorium, Mymensingh on 19 March 2006. Dr. Marufi Khan, principal of the college moderated the function while she said the importance of the necessity of organizing debate over the issue of seed and agriculture which help the students to raise their critical awareness which also contribute to their academic performance. Dr. Khan also highlights how the agriculture sector is being dependent on the multinational companies and ultimately brings sorrows for the farmers and common people. She said the biodiversity, the environment and livelihood of the farmers are being facing enormous threats due the aggressive role of the multinational companies.