Anti-nuke group seeks Embassy support

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 31, 2012 08:26 hrs

People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) activists spearheading a campaign against the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu wrote letters to various High Commissions/Embassies here, urging them to support their peaceful and non-violent struggle to stop the functioning of the plant they consider unsafe.

In letters sent on Tuesday to the New Delhi offices of the embassies and high commissioners, PMANE workers wrote, "We, several millions of people from the southernmost tip of India, are writing to you to seek your support for the struggle against the Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP)."

"We have intensified our struggle since August 2011 with indefinite hunger strikes, relay fasts, massive marches, siege protests and so on."

The protest against India´s largest nuclear power project at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu´s

Tirunelveli district reached a flash point in recent months with fuel loading in the plant and clashes between the police and protesters in the region besides Jal Satyagrahas and sieges on sea and land.

They said, "This mega nuclear power park is being built with Russian loan and technology against the will and wishes of the local people. The Indian authorities have not conducted any public hearing to seek our permission or consent for this project."

"They have not shared the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, the Site Evaluation Report, and the Safety Analysis Report with our people."

PMANE asserted, "These reports are made available to the public on the internet in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. After a long and hard struggle of more than 22 years, we have just obtained a copy of the EIA report which is outdated and so full of inaccuracies and incomplete information."

"As the Indian authorities unleash all kinds of atrocities on us such as dangerous cases (like sedition, waging war on the state etc.), imprisonment, curfew and prohibitory orders, intimidation campaigns, home searches, physical attacks on our persons and properties, police atrocities and other such high-handed behavior, we are forced to seek justice from the international community."

"The world knows full well that nuclear power and bomb programs are the two sides of the same coin. And this is the reason why the international community objects to the development of nuclear power by certain countries and calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons altogether."

"In fact, Nuclearism has become a dangerous ideology that corrupts politics, threatens democracy, imperils freedom and endangers human existence on the Earth. Such a comprehensive humane global look at the world economy, politics and security makes the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) redundant."

"It is high time we abolished the IAEA that has a mission to, among other things, facilitate the transfer of such technology and knowledge in a sustainable manner to developing Member States."

The activists said, "We have no moral legitimacy whatsoever to produce electricity for our present needs and endanger the futures of our children and the unborn generations with the dangerous booty of nuclear waste, contaminated sites and deadly radiation."

"It is not only immoral but also illegal to help the profiteering MNCs, corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats make money at the cost of the Earth, the future inhabitants and their common futures."

Seeking support from the Embassies, PMANE wrote, "Looking forward to your government's and citizens' support and solidarity for our anti-Koodankulam struggle and a nuclear-free world campaign, we send you our best personal regards and all peaceful wishes."

While India´s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said these protests are funded by foreign entities, the local groups denied the charge.

Villagers had first started the protest against the plant last year, resorting to hunger strikes and later continued with the agitation in various forms against the nuclear plant.

Even though India's Department of Atomic Energy had cleared the Rs 13,000-crore project, locals and environmental organisations, including Greenpeace, have raised concerns over the project´s use of purportedly risky Russian technology as they feared a Fukushima like nuclear disaster.

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