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Codava National Council sets up global forum

By Our Staff Correspondent

MADIKERI, FEB. 10. The Codava National Council (CNC) demanding Kodava homeland status and autonomy to Kodagu district has formed a Global Kodava Friendship Association to apprise the international community of its struggle, the secretary general of the council, N.U. Nachappa, has said.

Speaking to presspersons here on Thursday, Mr. Nachappa said the council aimed at garnering support of the various international communities with regard to its peaceful struggle in the last 13 years.

L.G. Havanoor, Balveer Arora, T.K. Oomen, M.N. Panini, Abdul Kalam and Jayanti Shetty from Kodagu had been chosen as the founder members of the association.

Mr. Nachappa said the Bangalore Satyagraha and seminar organised on February 3 and February 4 had highlighted the issues raised by the council.

Criticised

Mr. Nachappa criticised the chairperson of the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board, K.P. Chandrakala, who had criticised the council stating that the organisation was out to divide Kodagu on caste lines. Kodavas were a linguistic minority and fighting to secure rights to protect their culture, heritage and freedom, which formed basics of human rights.

By casting aspersions on the council, Ms. Chandrakala had committed a human rights violation, he claimed.

When the Ladakhis and Gorkhas in India enjoyed similar privileges, why not the Kodavas? he asked.

Bid to foil movement

He also criticised certain Kodava leaders for trying to foil the popular Kodava movement launched by the council.

Over 60 per cent of Kodavas were living below poverty line in the district, he said and asked those leaders to prove what was their contribution to mitigate the miseries of Kodavas.

The council would oppose the move by the Government to establish a hydel power project across the Barapole in Virajpet taluk, Mr. Nachappa said.

The Ramakrishna Hegde Government had dropped the move in the wake of protests by the people of Kodagu.

It was unfortunate that the Government was now trying to revive it, ignoring the interests of the people and environment. The Government should drop the move, he said.

Members of the council, K. Manju, K. Suresh, B. Tittu, P. Kalappa, M. Aruna, A. Raghu and A. Girish were present.

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