Repression Starts in Koodankulam: RED ALERT

Thousands of police have surrounded Koodankulam and Idinthakarai after the Chief Minister Jayalalita’s turnaround. 10 people arrested today, including Advocate SivaSubramanyam, and Rajalingam.

People from neighbouring villages start marching to Koodankulam, police blocking the routes to arrest them. Out of 2000 people from Kootapuli village approaching Koodankulam, 180 arrested so far.

Immediately contact media/PM/CM/Human Rights Orgs. Organise protests at your place.

Dr. S P Udayakumar, M Pushparayan and others start indefinite hunger strike from today in protest.


Letter from Concerned Citizens

To: The Chief Minister of Tamilnadu

To: The Media

Dear Ms. Chief Minister:

It is with profound sadness and anxiety that we read your press statement and witnessed the intense militarisation of the areas around the Idinthakarai protest site and the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant. The decision to give the go-ahead to the power plant is ill-informed and has created a dangerously volatile situation. We, the below-signed, condemn the deployment of 1000s of armed policemen in an area where people have been peacefully protesting for six months. Knowing the resolve of the agitating communities, the Government’s hard-line stance and police posturing can only lead to a nuclear Nandigram.

The Tamilnadu Chief Minister’s claim that the Expert Committees have addressed all concerns raised by the protestors is contrary to fact. Numerous issues such as the lack of back-up water supply, the fate of the desalination plants in the event of seawater recession, the quantum and fate of nuclear wastes and the sub-lethal effects of thermal pollution on marine biodiversity are only a few of the issues that remain wholly unaddressed by the Committees. Information relating to the arrangements made between the Governments of India and Russia relating to liability in the event of a nuclear disaster have been withheld.

Commissioning the plant at this stage without having conducted the statutorily required emergency drills is a clear indication of the lack of safety culture, and the insincerity of the declarations that the plant is safe.

It is unfortunate that the Government is making it seem as if commissioning Koodankulam will bail the state out of its electricity crisis. it is a fact that if at all commissioned, the 1000 MW plant is unlikely to yield more than 250 MW.

By okaying the nuclear power plant, the Tamilnadu Government has lost an important opportunity to take the state on a path of environmental sustainability and social justice.

We are very concerned for the safety and well-being of our brothers and sisters in Idinthakarai, and expect that the Government of Tamilnadu will not use force and strength to push the project down the throats of unwilling communities.


Nuclear Nandigram Must Be Prevented

(Statement from CNDP)

The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), India strongly condemns the arrests and repression in and around Koodankulam of the activists involved in the entirely peaceful and non-violent mass agitation against the installation of two Russian built nuclear reactors. That the Tamil Nadu government has decided to collude with the Central government is deeply disappointing and will destroy the hopes that were held by the people of southern Tamil Nadu that the state government would respect their democratic rights and their concerns.

Earlier the Centre made untenable allegations of foreign funding against a longstanding peoples’ movement that is based on genuine fears concerning the safety and environmental hazards of nuclear power. It is now clear that those allegations as well as the revocation of a visa to a Fukushima survivor to visit India was done with the purpose of not only seeking to divert attention away from the strong need for a prolonged public debate on the pros and cons on nuclear energy towards a discourse of ‘foreign conspiracies’, but also to lay the grounds for physically repressing and assaulting an indigenous mass movement in order to assuage the concerns of foreign suppliers of nuclear power equipment and materials.

Not only is such anti-democratic behaviour deeply shocking, it is also extraordinary that this should happen at a time when over 80% of the Japanese public have repudiated nuclear energy demanding that their country’s nuclear plants be completely phased out, and when an official German Ethics Commission on Nuclear Safety said “Fukushima has shaken people’s confidence in expert’s assessments of the ‘safety’ of nuclear power stations. This is also and particularly true of those citizens who have until now relied on such assessments. Even citizens who do not reject nuclear power categorically are no longer prepared to leave it to committees of experts to decide how to deal with the fundamental possibility of an uncontrollable, major accident.”

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