We are some Bangladeshis and Bangladeshi-origin Germans currently living in different German cities and from different spheres of life e.g. students, teachers, researchers, scientists, engineers and many others.
We came to know about your organization through internet and aware of your outlook for green energy and as well as some anti-coal activities. Our solidarity with you. As you might be aware of, the government of Bangladesh is on the verge of constructing a coal based thermal power plant in the vicinity of Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest, a UNESCO world heritage site and a natural protection of 40 million people against natural disaster and climate change. The power plant, also known as the Rampal Power Plant or Maitree Super Thermal Power Project, the land acquisition of which was also done in an illegal way, is one of eleven coal-fired power stations planned under Bangladesh’s Power Development Board (BPDB) plans for commissioning by 2021. The imported-coal-fired power plant will be a joint venture of BPDB and Indian, NTPC Limited, under the name of Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited (BIFPCL). BPDB and NTPC signed a Joint Venture Agreement on Jan. 29, 2012, under which NTPC is responsible for planning, building and operating the plant having a capacity of 1,320 MW, with two 660-MW units, and with a provision for a Stage 2 expansion that could involve installing two more units, each with 660 MW of capacity, taking the project to a potential 2.6GW-capacity. An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement between BIFPCL and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has been signed on 12th July, 2016. As per newspaper report, the Bangladesh government has started the official construction work in April, 2017 despite continual and heavy protest against this power plant from Bangladesh and worldwide. We, the heavily shocked Bangladeshi citizens, are condemning this anti-environment, anti-people decision of Bangladesh government in the strongest possible terms. The UNESCO has also expressed their grave concern condemning intention of the government in the name of so called development. In October 2016 the United Nations World Heritage Committee issued a report urging the Bangladeshi government to cancel the Rampal coal plant due to the threats it poses to the Sundarbans. Local protests are everyday getting bigger and in solidarity with the local movement we had already organized several protest demos in Germany. Among them 20 August in Brandenburger Tor, Berlin, 28 August in Köln, 28 November in Kaiserslautern University etc. National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas-Mineral Resource, Power and Port, Bangladesh (NCBD) called a world-wide demonstration on the same day, called as ‘Global Protest Day’ on 7th January 2017. The Global demonstration took place in different part of the world namely, Berlin, New York, London, Paris, Pennsylvania, Melbourne and different cities of India, South Korea, Turkey, Japan etc. as part of the global action to get attraction from international media to stop the coal fired power plant in Bangladesh. ‘Yes to life, No to Coal, Save Sundarbans’ was the slogan of the protest. In Berlin the demonstration took place at Berlin Brandenburger Tor. Local people were also participated in the protest expressing their solidarity with the expatriates. By this time, Bangladeshi Government has also finalized an Energy Master Plan 2016 for Bangladesh, where coal and nuclear based energy share a huge portion though Bangladesh does not have any experience on nuclear power plant and coal is already known as dirty energy source.
As in spite of all the protests the government of Bangladesh with active support from the Indian government is not paying heeds to voices and demands of the major, at this juncture, we think it is only the unity of people and stronger protests that can ultimately compel the government to turn away with this deadly project and thereby the Sundarbans could be saved. With protests and demonstrations, we feel that the technical aspects of different energy sources and aesthetics of energy policy for the country like Bangladesh are needed to be discussed widely to grow peoples’ voice. On these circumstances, we like to organize a convention in Germany, where Bangladeshis and our friends will gather. Along with this, we like to invite the experts of renewable energy, fossil fuel, nuclear energy, to discuss the technical and philosophical aspects of different energy sources, energy and the development policy in the perspective of the country like Bangladesh. We believe this convention will strengthen the logical aspects of the movement against the Rampal coal based power plant near by the world’s largest mangrove forest Sundarbans. Furthermore, we have a plan to organize demonstration against the beneficiary organizations of Germany and Europe from this Coal fired power plant. We think that the Sundarbans is not the property of one vicious government or one single nation. It is a world heritage site and as citizens of the world and all out supporters of green energy, we do feel the urge to form and consolidate a global unity against coal based energy; thereby saving the Sundarbans and entire environment. We are pretty hopeful, you also feel due importance for this call of time.
Below you will find some useful web links regarding the coal based power plant and the protests. More information you’ll find in the attached documents and also in the official web link of NCBD here (http://ncbd.org) in the English section. We urge you to take part in the mentioned convention, demonstrations and if possible, help us to organize them. Please contact the undersigned or send us a mail in case of any queries.
For further contact – by email: Please contact the undersigned person, Debasish Sarker <firstname.lastname@example.org by phone: Sarker 017682577214, Syed 017641560742. Courtesy: Rasha Binte Muhiuddin