Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 18 IANS | 1 year ago

The Catholic Church in Kerala Friday slammed the Left opposition for deciding to stay away from the all-party meeting called by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to discuss the state's response to the Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel (WGEEP) report.


The meeting will be held in the state capital Monday.

Numerous social and political organisations and the Catholic Church have been up in arms since Madhav Gadgil, who headed the panel that drew up the WGEEP, submitted it to the union environment and forests ministry last year.

A statement issued by the Syro Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church's Commission of Laity Friday asked the Left opposition to learn from states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where there are no two opinions when it comes to people's needs.

"If the Left opposition have any concern for the problems of the people, they should take part in the all-party meeting and not stay away from it citing lame excuses like the solar scam," said V.C. Sebastian, secretary of the Laity Commission.

The all-party meeting was called after the Supreme Court sought the centre's opinion in a case filed by a Goa-based NGO, seeking the implementation of the WGEEP report.

If the recommendations of the report are to be implemented in toto, the districts of Idukki and Wayanad in Kerala will see no human population at all.

The Left parties have decided that since their boycott of Chandy continues in the wake of what has come to be called the "solar scam", they will not attend the all-party meeting, but give their recommendations in writing instead.

"This report is going to be detrimental to thousands of people. On such an issue, it is most unfortunate that the Left is running away. It's a shame that they are boycotting the meeting," Sebastian said.

(Posted on 18-10-2013)