Bangladesh Campaign Update: More Protests Demand a Ban on Open-Pit Coal Mining

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At least 2,000 demonstrators blockaded a major highway in northwest Bangladesh last week to protest government plans for open pit coal mining in Phulbari and nearby Barapukuria and demand compensation for lost crops and the destruction of their lands.
Demonstrators called on the government to honor a six-point agreement signed on August 31, 2006. The agreement bans open pit coal mining throughout Bangladesh, and calls for the permanent expulsion of the Phulbari Mine Project’s financier, Global Coal Management (formerly Asia Energy), from the country.
 
Bangladesh’s National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Seaports, which organized the protests, said that if their demands are not met by March 27, they intend to organize a six-hour road and rail blockade on the highway linking Barapukuria and Phulbari on March 28.  They cited severe environmental, social, and political problems caused by the Barapukuria mine and warned that open-pit coal mining in Phulbari would bring even greater ills to the region. (Read more about the protests here.) 

To add your voice to the Bangladeshi protesters and prevent an environmental and humanitarian disaster in Phulbari, please see the Global Response action alert  and send letters or emails to Bangladesh authorities today.