LDF to hold awareness rally in favour of Vizhinjam port project

Anavoor Nagappan | Video Grab
The three-day rally along the coastal areas, led by Anavoor Nagappan, is aimed at making the local populace aware of the project benefits. Photo: Manorama.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Left Democratic Front (LDF) will hold an awareness rally in support of the Vizhinjam international seaport project, which is caught in agitation by fisherfolk of the region.

CPM District Secretary Anavoor Nagappan will lead the march from Varkala to Vizhinjam across the Thiruvananathapuram district from December 7 to 9.

The three-day rally along the coastal areas is aimed at making the local populace aware of the project benefits and seeking their co-operation in resuming the stalled port construction works.

The Left Government already made it clear that it will go ahead with the project implementation despite the strong protest by the fishermen with the backing of the Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archdiocese.

Meanwhile, Anavoor Nagappan assured that the fisherfolk won’t be “tortured” in any way for the recent violent incidents, stating that certain forces had instigated the fishermen community for the acts.

Discussions have been initiated at various levels to resolve the impasse even as the ongoing protest by the fishermen entered the 137th day today. Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, held talks with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday evening, shortly after the Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archdiocese leadership met Chief Secretary V P Joy.

A detailed discussion is expected to be held on Monday that will also see the participation of the Samara Samiti representatives and the Latin Archdiocese leadership.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is also expected to attend the parleys if there is any progress in the resolution attempts.

Earlier, Latin Archbishop Dr. Thomas J Netto and Action Council General Convenor Fr Mon Eugene Pereira called on the chief secretary. Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, who paved the way for the talks, also attended the parleys.

The Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi too came up with compromise attempts.

The talks at various levels reflected the common understanding that another round of violence should be avoided at all costs.

Meanwhile, no decision has been taken with regard to the demand of the Peoples' Action Committee to halt the port construction works and conduct an environmental and social impact study.

Also, no common ground has been arrived at with regard to the cases filed against the protestors, including the Archbishop and the Auxiliary Bishop. The cops are yet to proceed with the arrest of the protestors behind the recent incidents of violence and the attack on the Vizhinjam police station.

The government is actively considering one of the demands put forward in the resolution talks that a person entrusted by the Samara Samiti should be included in the expert committee that will studyz coastal erosion due to port construction activities.

The Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi Samiti has formed a Core Group with the objective to initiate talks with the Chief Minister, Action Council, and Adani Group officials to arrive at a resolution.

The members of the Core Group include Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi Chairman N Radhakrishnan, Justice M R Hariharan Nair, former ambassador T P Srinivasan, and author George Onakkoor.

Anavoor meets Latin church archbishop
Meanwhile, Anavoor met with the Latin archbishop Thomas J Netto on Sunday, at the Bishop House in Vellayambalam for discussions prior to the LDF rally. He assured that the rally will be held without provoking the protesting fisherfolk. 

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