Citizens for Peace Statement for public meeting on October 20th at Constitution Club, Delhi.
We are deeply disturbed about the escalating violence as a result of the conflict between the Government and the Maoists in various parts of the country.
We believe that we can and must find ways of ensuring non violence and justice to resolve these issues. We believe that these values are non-negotiable and the only sustainable means for peace, progress and prosperity.
We believe that activists, civil society, government and private sector must come together to find strategies for a peaceful resolution to this situation, which is putting millions of people at risk of their lives and livelihoods.
We believe that we must address the root causes for this conflict, and that the government must act to ensure people's basic democratic and legitimate entitlements in affected areas -- both through development programmes and immediate withdrawal of all state repression.
We believe that the government must take action within the democratic framework of law - not through draconian anti-terror laws and other non-constitutional means like the promotion of vigilante armed forces by government itself.
We believe that private sector companies that have a presence in these areas must desist from overt and/or covert pressure to acquire lands and resources in the affected areas.
We believe that government must allow free access to the affected areas for independent civil society organizations and the media.
We believe that unless the deprivation and desperate poverty faced by millions of people are addressed, they will turn to violence for their voices to be heard. Responding with more violence and repression will exacerbate the deep injustices that have been inflicted on our people for generations and only serve to continue the cycle of bloodshed, pain and misery.
We believe that the progress and prosperity of our nation cannot be achieved or sustained unless all our citizens are included in benefiting from this process.