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Halt the EU India FTA Negotiations

Letter from unions and social movement campaign groups

by sacw.net, 25 September 2008

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Dear Friends

The Government of India is negotiating a far reaching Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union. Since June 2007, when the talks began, the GoI has kept the Indian Parliament, state legislatures and key constituencies such as trade unions and agriculture groups in the dark.

This letter is to bring to your urgent attention the statement “IMMEDIATELY HALT EU-INDIA FTA NEGOTIATIONS” issued during a strategy meeting, on the EU India FTA, organised by trade unions, people’s movements and civil society organisations on 21st September at New Delhi.

This statement is pasted below and attached with this letter.

In the meeting trade unionists and participants expressed deep concern over the secrecy maintained by the government given the potential devastating impacts of this FTA on labour and livelihood rights of people in India. Participants unanimously agreed that a call be issued to “IMMEDIATELY HALT EU-INDIA FTA NEGOTIATIONS” on the occasion of upcoming EU-India summit scheduled to be held in Paris from September 29-30. This statement will be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and the EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and the media.

If you are in agreement with the contents of the letter, please write to manicandan at cec-india.org with your name and organisational affiliation. Please consider that this is a time sensitive request and we need your endorsements by September 26 at the latest. We also request you to send it to your networks

In Solidarity,

  • R.A. Mital (hms1gs at gmail.com) Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS)
  • Ashim Roy, (ntui at vsnl.net ) New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)
  • Hare Krishna Debnath, (nffcal at cal3.vsnl.net.in)National Forum for Fish workers (NFF)
  • Ashok Choudhry (nffpfwindia at gmail.com), National Forum for Forest People and Forest workers (NFFPFW)
  • J.John (jjohn at cec-india.org), Centre for Education and Communication (CEC)
  • Smitu Kothari (smitukothari at vsnl.net), Intercultural Resources
  • Benny Kuruvilla ( bennyk at focusweb.org ) Focus on the Global South
  • Dharmendra Kumar (dkfordignity at yahoo.co.uk), India FDI watch

For further information please contact Benny Kuruvilla ( bennyk at focusweb.org, ) Focus on the Global South, Dharmendra Kumar (dkfordignity at yahoo.co.uk), India FDI watch or G.Manicandan (manicandan at cec-india.org), (CEC).