MZPSG Campaign Statements

Open letter to the Government of Odisha, India
We, the undersigned, write on behalf of an international community of human rights activists, organizations and independent experts to express our deep concern about the ongoing violent acquisition of land by the government of Odisha in Gobindpur village, Dhinkia Gram Panchayat. We strongly condemn the illegal use of force by the government of Odisha against village residents and protesting community members. The most recent wave of police violence, which took place between February 3-6, 2013, is consistent with a documented pattern of abuse, threats, and intimidation by the Indian government to forcibly acquire land in Odisha for the South Korean POSCO corporation’s steel processing plant. We wish to emphasize that these attacks are in clear violation of Indian law, as well as established international human rights norms and standards … Read More >

Irregularities Connected with the POSCO Project
The audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India notes that:
1. 437.86 acres of land was acquired under emergency provisions in seven villages of Jagatsinghpur district for POSCO, but even two years after acquisition, the land owners had not been awarded any compensation.
2. The acquired land has been lying unutilized for more than 6 years since the acquisition, but has not been returned to the owners even though the law requires that it be returned.
3. The land has a present market value of Rs 64.22 crores but was acquired for Rs 11.85 crores. The original land owners have neither been paid the difference nor the land returned to them, effectively netting POSCO a profit of more than Rs 50 crores (10 million USD) without having produced an ounce of steel … Read More >

Environmental Clearance Granted To the POSCO Odisha Project Ruled Illegal
“a project of this magnitude … has been dealt with casually, without there being any comprehensive scientific data regarding the possible environmental impacts. No meticulous scientific study was made on each and every aspect of the matter leaving lingering and threatening environmental and ecological doubts un-answered. … The current EIA report is a huge under representation of the scale of impact that the project will have on the surrounding environment and the community … Read More >

Open Letter to Mr. Jairam Ramesh on POSCO Order, May 2, 2011
We are writing (again) to you regarding the role that you continue to play in making Indian democracy into a farce that justifies its moniker as a Republic of Scams … Suffice to say that the only thing “sustainable” that your order achieves is the apparent durability of domination of the poor by the rich, of corruption by governments and mega-corporations, and the only thing “enhanced” by your order is further deterioration of the processes of democratic governance and human well-being … Read More >

Appeal to TIAA-CREF: Withdraw Support for POSCO’s Human Rights and Environmental Violations
We write to urge TIAA–CREF to critically evaluate its investment in the Pohang Steel Company (POSCO), the South Korean steel giant, and withdraw all investments from POSCO on the grounds of its gross violation of civil and human rights, including and most specifically the right to life and livelihood, and potentially causing massive environmental degradation as a result of its projects in the Eastern Indian State of Orissa … Read More >

Follow-up letter on TIAA-CREF’s genocide standard
Are we to then conclude that TIAA-CREF would divest from a company only after a genocide occurs? As an ethical standard this is beyond the pale and serves only to highlight the chasm between your stated principles and your standards of action. Your “genocide standard” would certainly fail most ethical tests especially in a context such as the present where you are in possession of information that clearly establishes that the POSCO project in Orissa will result in over 50,000 people being forcibly dispossessed of their lands and driven into destitution … Read More >

WARREN BUFFETT’S MESSAGE? Gather Wealth by Beggaring People, Then Hand Out Alms
POSCO affected villagers seek responsible investment, not charity, from Buffett … In 2006, Warren Buffett pledged to commit almost all of his wealth “to benefit others who, through the luck of the draw, have received the short straws in life.” In cases such as the POSCO project in Jagatsinghpura, the “short straws” are not due to luck, but a direct result of calculated decisions made by corporations, their lobbyists and the local governing elite who do not give a hoot about human and social costs, and violate all democratic processes to ensure private profits … Read More >

Understanding the impact of the proposed POSCO project
POSCO Exemplifies the Causal Link Between Investment Inflows and Human Rights Violations … POSCO has indulged in unethical and immoral practices while impoverishing a population that already has a thriving and sustainable local economy. Divestment from POSCO is a moral and social imperative … Read More >

Open Letter to Mr. Jairam Ramesh on POSCO Order, Jan 31, 2011
MoEF approval of the POSCO project sadly continues the degradation of Indian democratic institutions, a process that has already reached disastrous proportions with recent abuse of sedition laws that criminalize “disaffection” with government, and sets the stage for a bloodbath, based on what happened after the December 2009 approval and the current spate of “encounter” killings in Orissa. The world waits and watches out for that kind of an Indian democracy which would inspire confidence and send the right signals to those who matter more than anyone else – the people in whose names democratic governance exists … Read More >

Submission to MoEF Committee
This submission covers four major issues:

  1. Non-compliance with the Relief and Rehabilitation policy
  2. Erroneous tax projections following SEZ approval
  3. Flawed processes followed during EIA notifications and public hearings
  4. Critical threat of environmental degradation being ignored … Read More >

Do Not Renew POSCO MoU (Petition)
We write to express our concern at several violations of legal process in the approval of the POSCO project in Orissa, some of which we address below:

  1. The Orissa government has violated the Forest Rights Act and the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has chosen to ignore this illegal behavior.
  2. The environmental clearance of the POSCO project is deeply flawed.
  3. The Orissa government has unleashed large-scale violence to push through the POSCO project … Read More >

On State violence in Kalinganagar (Petition)
We are deeply alarmed at the murderous attacks on adivasis in Orissa by the police working with mercenaries hired by Tata Steel. These brutal attacks took place on March 30th, 2010 in eight villages in Jajpur district — Chandia, Baligoth, Chama Kutli, Gobarghati, Garhpur, Belhari and Ambagaria … It is outrageous that the state has allied itself with mega corporate interests and unleashed such terror to crush the democratic aspirations of the very people it is supposed to represent … We express our solidarity toward the adivasi people fighting against the armed might of the corporate state … Read More >