[Fwd: Stop This Fabricated Propaganda, Mr Wolfensohn]

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Sat Dec 2 10:30:16 MST 2000







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Stop This Fabricated Propaganda, Mr Wolfensohn

The following open letter was written by Andhra Pradesh state unit of the CPI(M)
to the World Bank president, James D Wolfensohn, after his recent visit to the
state, and released to the press by the Party’s state secretary, B V
Raghavulu, on November 13.

YOU toured the state of Andhra Pradesh on November 9 and 10, and addressed a
press conference on the 10th. You have stated that the World Bank has not been
imposing any conditions on any one. The criticism that conditions are being
imposed "is simply nonsense." We are not at all surprised at your arrogance as
we consider the World Bank as an institution that imposes its hegemony. But we
did not expect you, having come over here, to indulge in such blatant lies and
completely fabricated propaganda.

We hope that you would defend your policies courageously, if you were so
confident of them. But that did not happen. It is now clear that the World Bank
would go to any extent to defend the chief minister and to mislead the people.

We think that you have seen the documents relating to the AP economic
restructuring project approved by the World Bank in 1998 and the documents
relating to the AP power sector restructuring programme, approved in 1999.
Please go through section ‘G’ of the said documents (which is
enclosed herewith for your convenience). The very heading of the said parts is "Main
Loan Conditions." Do you need any further proof that the World Bank imposes
harsh conditionalities while implementing its programmes? The conditionalities
would figure in all the agreements, Aide Memoire, minutes of the meetings
between the chief minister and Edwin Lim and the correspondence between the
state government officers and World Bank officers.

Please go through the following item in the brief provided to you by the World
Bank officials about the questions that are likely to be raised and the answers
to be given, during the press meet in New Delhi:

New Delhi press Briefing

Likely Questions and Suggested Answers

Question: Why does the Bank impose so many conditions to lend to corrupt
governments?

Suggested Response:

* Like any bank, have to be concerned with the use to which resources are being
put.

* Tax-payers, who eventually have to bear the burden of the debt, demand such
safeguards to prevent governments spending borrowed funds recklessly.

* Strict procedures on procurement, etc. to minimise corruption.

* Projects designed by governments; as a financial institution, we ensure they
are implemented as designed, and funds deliver the desired outcomes.

Is it not evident from above question and the answers that the World Bank would
indeed impose conditions? Did you not try to defend, in your answer, as to why
conditions are being imposed?

All these issues are not unknown to you. We have to appreciate your audacity in
lying when you still insist in public that there are no conditions.

We therefore feel that your statement in the press meet on the 10th regarding
the absence of any conditionalities is deliberate mischief. The notes submitted
to you by your resident officials in India during your visit to Andhra Pradesh
clearly states that the World Bank plans to do public relations to improve your
image among our people. Therefore your remarks at the press conference are only
aimed at such an evasive exercise.

Due to the World Bank conditionalities, heavy burdens are being imposed on our
people. People have come to realise that the burden of Rs 800 crore due to power
tariff hike is the direct consequence of such conditionalities. They are
vehemently opposing the imposition of such burdens by the state government at
the behest of the World Bank policies. We think that you have been telling such
half truths and untruths just to bail out the chief minister who is facing the
wrath of the people and to encourage him to implement the World Bank
conditionalities without looking back. We also think that it is not proper for
you to act in such a manner, on behalf of the World Bank, which makes loud
claims of commitment to transparency and accountability.

Now that you have stated that there are no conditionalities, We demand that all
such relevant portions in the documents be deleted.

You were accorded royal treatment during your visit to our state. But we were
behind the bars as long as you were in the state. We were subjected to
lathicharges and false cases for exercising our democratic right to protest.
Many people were hospitalised with severe injuries; 146 people were implicated
in the false cases. Your much publicised visit to Andhra Pradesh concluded at
the altar of brutal denial of basic democratic rights. You are already aware of
the repression let loose on people participating in the Chalo Assembly on August
28.

Very frequently the World Bank talks about human rights. But the World Bank is
suppressing the human rights and democracy and increasing the repression.

There is no doubt that the World Bank says one thing and does another. We have
no illusions about you. However, we wish that it gets out of this situation.

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