Picket the High Commission of India, Aldwych, London WC2B
Friday 18th May 2012 4.00pm – 7.00pm
Anti-Koodankulam atomic plant protest.
In the face of massive protests from local people, the Indian government, in collaboration with Russian company Atomsroyexport, has been constructing a large-scale nuclear power plant in Koodankulam in south India. More than 300 people are on hunger strike in protest against the construction. The government has reacted to the protests by deploying thousands of police and paramilitary forces in order to commission the reactor in a military style operation. This will have serious consequences for the life and ecology of the whole of peninsular India.
Non-violent protesters are being intimidated, harassed, imprisoned, and falsely charged. From one police station alone, charges have been brought against more than 55,000 people including 6,500 for sedition and ‘war against the state’ in the last eight months.
The protesters at Koodankulam are urging that the construction be halted because:
• The construction violates the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Guidelines as the Koodankulam is in a tsunami and earthquake prone region which has also experienced small volcanic eruptions and is affected by water shortages.
• It is in violation of the mandatory requirement for construction of fresh water reservoirs which are essential in case of a nuclear accident. This is significant, because fresh water is the only remedy in the event of a nuclear emergency. The primary cause for all major accidents – such as at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima – was the lack of fresh water.
• Mandatory reports on the safety of the construction are being withheld from the public and the media.
The first reactor is set to go critical this month. The villages around the plant are placed under a prohibitory order under Section 144 which means that they cannot even peacefully assemble.
• Sedition and ‘war against the state’ cases against members of Koodankulam People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy must be dropped and Section 144 lifted.
• International safety regulations for the nuclear plant must be followed.
• All reports, reviews and information related to the nuclear plant must be transparent and accessible to the public.
This is not just a domestic and national issue, but a global and human concern. People’s basic human rights and environmental safety procedures in the construction of a major nuclear power plant have been appallingly abused.
Please download, print and distribute the poster/flier found here.
Anti-nuclear protest attendees
Please also sign the petition here.
South Asia Solidarity Group
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
South West Against Nuclear (SWAN)
In 2007 and 2008, Kandhamal, a district of the eastern Indian state of Odisha, witnessed organised attacks on Christians in some of the worst communal violence of India’s history.
Through survivors’ testimonies, new documentary Kandhamal 2008 examines how Hindu supremacist groups turned two communities – Adivasi (indigenous) Konds and Pano Dalit Christians – against each other, with the tacit support of the State Government and local administration.
In the violence more than 50,000 people became refugees, 5,000 houses were burnt and destroyed, at least 400 churches, prayer halls and institutions were desecrated, demolished or burnt down, many women and girls were raped, and 38 people killed.
Though the population of the region is extremely poor, the region itself is rich in mineral resources. Multinational mining companies such as Vedanta Resources loom in the background of Kandhamal.
On behalf of the mining industry, the Odisha Government has ruthlessly pursued neo-liberal land acquisition policies formulated by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the World Bank.
The tribal Konds have consistently fought this corporate land grab. Kandhamal 2008 highlights how Hindu supremacist groups and the Odisha State Government have sought to undermine the Kond struggle – through sheer violence.
Screenings of Kandhamal:
Date: 1 November 2011 (tues) Venue: London School of Economics,
Clement House room CLM.6.02,
The Aldwych, London, WC2 Time: 19:15 Organiser: South Asia Solidarity Note:Director of Kandhamal 2008, Samarendra Das, who was born in Odisha and lived most of his life in Kandhamal, will be present at this screening to discuss the background to and making of the film.
At 2.30pm today 10 people arrived unannounced at the offices of Cairn Energy at the Clydesdale Plaza in central Edinburgh. They installed themselves at the grand entrance to the building, blowing whistles and shouting: “No oil for Vedanta! Stop, stop, stop the deal!” and “Vedanta out of Sri Lanka”, attracting the attention of the floods of passers-by attending the Edinburgh theatre festival. Three of the demonstrators gave out leaflets in the street from the campaign group Foil Vedanta and explained that the demonstration was timed with Cairn India’s AGM in Mumbai, where the Vedanta-Cairn deal would be discussed.