Staff Reporter

Meet expresses solidarity with evictees of Moolamppilly Island

More such evictions likely: Sarah Joseph

Basic principle of democracy violated: Ajitha

KOCHI: Writer Sarah Joseph has called for people’s agitation to preserve the rights of common man in an age of “unscientific” development.

She was speaking at a convention organised to express solidarity with evictees of Moolamppilly Island for the proposed Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal. The convention was organised by the coordination committee for evictees at Mother Teresa Square.

Kerala was no longer motherland to Malayalis. Real estate businessmen were making a beeline to the State and many more people would be evicted in the name of development, Ms. Joseph said.

The authorities who sit in air-conditioned rooms were turning a blind eye to the plight of the people who were protesting in scorching sun for the last 19 days. None of the authorities had asked whether the evictees were given another shade overhead. Even the rehabilitation package announced was unilaterally decided, he said.

Apologies could not be used to build houses. Unless proper rehabilitation of the evictees at Moolampilly was done, strong protest measures would be initiated, Ms. Joseph said.

If a compromise was made in this case, all victims of future evictions would be made to compromise, said social activist K. Ajitha.

The basic principle of democracy was violated and the Supreme Court recommendations were ignored when evictions were made. Irrespective of which front rules, the State government was implementing policies to suit the interests of multi-national companies, she said.

New protest spots were being created across the State by victims of these development projects, Ms. Ajitha said.

Bishops Sebastian Edayanthrath and Joseph Karikkassery, Roby Kannanchira, director of Chavara Cultural Centre, and many leaders of political parties spoke. Rights activist C.R. Neelakantan presided.