Urgent: From the Women of Koodankulam

The Women Of Idinthakarai
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy
Thirunelveli District
Tamil Nadu
Dear Friends.

Today, April 16,2013, we women, men and children, young and old will assemble under the leadership of our Village Committee to address a matter of urgent concern for us and our movement. As you all would remember, we have been raising questions about the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant based in Idinthakarai, the village closest to the plant for the past 600 days. Our questions and concerns have not been answered, our peaceful protests have been dealt with violence and suppression and we have been treated like enemies and anti-nationals.

Women protesting in Koodankulam

Women protesting in Koodankulam

Since yesterday we have been discussing the Department of Environment’s audacity in giving clearance to the impacts of water being discharged back to our life- giving oceans at high temperature and salinity. Don’t we all know that it will kill and harm the vital fisheries which provide food and livelihood to us all? We have also been very worried about the deal between the notorious Russian Company Zio Podolsk and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd which has led to the use of substandard materials in the making of KKNPP.

Last night as many of us tried to sleep in the Samara Pandal in the courtyard of the Lourdes Church we were disturbed by the sight of armed men entering the premises and loitering around. Not wanting to provoke them, we were able to understand by midnight that there is a drinking brawl happening just outside our village with the connivance of some local leaders and police. This is a matter of urgent concern for us as we see the beginning of violence and strife that they will instigate and nurture.

As you all know, our strength has been the steadfast commitment to peace and non-violence and we have chosen the path of informed and reasonable resistance after days of preparation and thought. One spark is enough to ignite the smoldering anger and frustration within us at the callous indifference, the criminal neglect and planned avoidance that we have been subjected to for years. We do not want to be victims of the divisive, annihilative forces of caste and religion, non-secular forces and criminalization of politics that has been happening in our country. We do not want to be branded terrorists and sacrifice our youth to become uncreative rebels whose life will languish behind bars.
This is what we want to reiterate today as we prepare for the crucial meeting. Our struggle is for justice and peace, for participation in democracy, for pursuing our livelihoods and life in this seashore village, for true development and progress.

Do stand by us and use all your capacity and contacts to build networks by which this message will reach the world

From Idinthakarai 16.04.2013

Anitha.S in conversation with friend in PMANE.

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