Narendra Mohan Kommalapati

One hundred activists protested on the steps of the Victorian parliament on October 6 to demand the Victorian desalination plant at Wonthaggi be scrapped. Stephen Cannon of Watershed Victoria, which organised the protest, said the Brumby government had provided no reliable costing of the project. Cannon said users could be paying six times the cost of ordinary water if the project went ahead. The project would line the pockets of corporations for generations at the expense of the people of Melbourne.
The plains of peninsular India are ringed by two rows of hill ranges with their bases in the south, spreading up the coastlines in two great arcs west and east. The eastern ranges, “eastern ghats”, start in the state of Tamil Nadu and cross the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and trail off into Bengal.

With the death of Dr K. Balagopal at age 52 on October 8, India and in particular his home state of Andhra Pradesh, have lost an untiring worker for human rights. Over almost three decades of activism as a human rights investigator, a public intellectual and 10 years as a lawyer, Balagopal had become synonymous with the human rights movement in India.

While the US and European economies are in recession, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund inspired “export” oriented policies being followed by the government of India are about to create social and environmental catastrophe in the name of “special economic zones” (SEZs — geographical areas in which less regulations on labour rights, environmental practices and other areas are applied on companies).