Oil-gas committee vows to stop Ramphal Project

Oil-gas committee vows to stop Ramphal Project


The National Committee for Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports Protection has declared to make the anti-Rampal power plant protest a successful movement with ‘lessons learnt’ from the Phulbarhi movement.The committee organised a rally at the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the movement against a coal mine in Dinajpur’s Phulbarhi.Committee Convener Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah said at the rally, “It was proved in Phulbarhi that any righteous movement never fails. We will have to continue the protest against the power plant in the Sundarbans with lessons learnt from that movement.”He also called for bolstering the movement. “We should not be complacent by only remembering the victory in Phulbarhi,” he said.

Phulbarhi movement organiser Noor Mohammad, CPB leader Ruhin Hossain Prince, and Dhaka University Professor MM Akash also spoke at the rally.During the BNP-led government’s tenure in 2006, police opened fire on thousands of demonstrators protesting against an open-pit coal mine in Phulbarhi, killing three on Aug 26.But Khaleda Zia’s administration eventually bowed down to the demand to stop open-pit mining of coal.Several organisations observe Aug 26 as ‘Phulbarhi Day’ or ‘National Resources Protection Day’.Besides the oil-gas committee, CPB, BaSoD (Marxist), BaSoD (Khalequzzaman), Workers Party, Biplabi Workers Party, Ganatantrik Bam Morcha, and several other student organisations placed wreaths at the Shaheed Minar to pay respect to those killed in the Phulbarhi movement.At the rally, Professor Akash called for more involvement of the people in Bagerhat’s Rampal in the ongoing movement against the coal-fired power plant project there.Leftist political parties have been opposing the deal with India on setting up the plant, saying it will threaten the ecological balance of the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world.The BNP has also thrown its support behind the anti-Rampal protests.The government, however, insists that proper measures will be taken to protect the environment from pollution.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will brief the media on the project on Saturday.


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