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Adivasi Sangama 2008 - Announcement

by sacw.net, 30 October 2008

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Adivasi Sangama 2008
- Kushalnagar, Kodagu
–Karnataka
- October 30—31,2008, Kushalnagar, Kodagu, Karnataka

Greetings

The struggles of Adivasis of this country have seen both successes and set backs. The right to village self-rule has been now recognized in the Panchayat Raj (Extension to Scheduled Areas) 1996. However, this has not been honored by the central and state governments who continue to violate them in the states with Scheduled Areas. Many Adivasi habitations in these states are still to be notified as Scheduled Area. The state governments of the south Indian states as Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamilnadu continue to declare Adivasi habitations as Scheduled Area. Fresh assaults on the lives and livelihoods have increased on the Adivasi homelands in the name of development and conservation.

The resources in the Adivasi homelands are rapidly being plundered and the survival and dignity of the original inhabitants threatened as never before. The recent nationwide organized illegal assault by the governments through the forest department has been eviction of Adivasis from the forest areas and denial of their customary and traditional rights to the forests that led to nationwide mobilization and struggle. Once more there was both success and betrayal. The central government enacted the The Scheduled Tribes & Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act 2006 which came into force on 1 January 2008. But at the very same time a few days before, the central and state governments notified Critical Tribal Habitats violating the Wildlife Protection Act and the Forest Rights Act.

The governments have been most reluctant to implement the Forest Rights Act. The implementation process indicates also their reluctance to recognize all the rights specified in the Forest Rights Act. It becomes clear that the struggle for the legally conferred powers and rights to self-rule and to manage and enjoy the community resources requires intensification of the struggles. This calls for decisively defeating all oppressive forces that seeks to divide the Adivasis and prevents their unity and unification through the colonial divide and rule tactics.

Let us challenge and demolish all those forces that are destroying our homelands, our survival resources and unity. Let us resolve to unite across regions, languages, ethnicities and affiliations. Let us assert and declare our determination to self-rule and preserve, protect and use our homelands and its resources to recover our dignity and lives. Let this coming together show out strong determination and self-reliance – that we are capable of deciding and doing what we have declared to do.

J.P.Raju
- On behalf of the Adivasis of Karnataka
- Adivasi Sangama – 2008
- October 24, 2008