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Friday, Dec 27, 2002

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Forum to oppose neo-liberal globalisation

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NEARLY 10,000 delegates from over 300 organisations from Asia are expected to take part in the Asian Social Forum (ASF) being organised here from January 2 to 7, according to the members of the host committee.

The ASF is part of the world mobilisation against "neo-liberal globalisation" that emerged in Seattle in 1999 against the World Trade Organisation. The shared concerns of the delegates include opposition to the neo-liberal globalisation, communalism and war and a belief that "another world is possible; another Asia is possible".

The Chairman of the host committee, Mr Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy, told newspersons here on Thursday that the issues that would be addressed at the ASF here would include the suicides by Andhra Pradesh farmers, caste oppression, farmers' struggle against phosphate mining in Sri Lanka, Nepal dalit cobblers' exclusion from the market and other oppressive incidents in various countries. Testimonies by victims of violence of globalisation and profit-driven paradigms would be presented.

The week-long programme of the ASF comprises eight conferences, several seminars and workshops, cultural events, panel discussions and a youth camp. Speakers at the opening and closing ceremonies include former President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, Pakistan's women and human rights activist, Ms Asma Jahangir, Secretary-General of the Afro-Asian and Solidarity Network, Mr Nouri Abdul Razzak Hussain, Member of the World Social Forum International Secretariat, Mr. Francisco Whitaker, Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University, Prof B.L. Mungekar, AIDWA General-Secretary, Ms Brinda Karat, noted economists, Dr Prabhat Patnaik of Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Dr Samir Amin of France, well known writer, Ms Mahashweta Devi and environmental activist, Ms Medha Patkar.

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