- Meet underway to discuss FTA between India and EU
The Sangai Express | 13.01.2013
Free Trade Agreement between India and EU : Meet insists on informed consent
Imphal, January 13 2013 : A public discussion programme on Free Trade Agreement between India and the European Union (EU) held today at Waiton Community hall insisted that the matter should be deliberated thoroughly at the Parliament and State Assemblies and prior, informed consent of the public should be obtained before signing the agreement.
Speaking at the public discussion programme, Dr Homen Thangjam cautioned that Manipur would fall into a situation where there would be large scale violation of human rights and no security for human life once the FTA between India and EU becomes operational.
Natural resources like hills, rivers, forests, minerals etc constitute different aspects of human security for the people of Manipur.
As long as people remain owners of these resources, there would be human security for the people.
However, if the FTA becomes operational, ownership of these resources would shift to companies based in EU and these companies would enjoy exclusive rights to exploit the resources in the way that would serve their interests to the maximum.
Observing that Manipur is a site of politico-military armed conflict where there is already huge presence of Indian military, Dr Homen said that implementation of the proposed FTA would aggravate insecurity of the people.
U Nobokishore of the Centre for Social Development noted that trade items which would be brought under FTA between India and EU have not been divulged till date.
But independent investigation at the highest level revealed that there is nothing which would not be covered by the FTA.
Starting from clothes, everything including water, paddy fields, lake, medicines, automobiles etc would be put within the ambit of the FTA.
Following free trade agreements, people in different parts of the world including many cities of India have been left without any sort of economic security.
Thailand and Cambodia are two countries which are now facing this problem more acutely.
Not even 10 people including Ministers would be benefited when the FTA becomes operational.
People may get some money when the vast paddy fields are taken over by European companies but after sometime people would not get any more money and there would be nothing left for the future generations.
"We are alive because of our rivers, hills, minerals, forests etc and it is our responsibility to protect these resources and pass on to future generations.
For this very reason, we must oppose the FTA", Nobokishore said.
Later a memorandum which demanded thorough deliberation on the FTA at the Parliament and State Assemblies apart from insisting that prior, and informed consent should be sought from local bodies and the public was dispatched to the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister and the Governor of Manipur.