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Prime Minister's Statement in favour of Koodankulam nuclear reactor condemned

Written By Krishna on Saturday, December 17, 2011 | 9:24 PM

The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) and the people of Tamil Nadu condemn the anti-people and autocratic statement made by the Indian Prime Minister in Russia on December 16, 2011.

The Prime Minister’s assertion that the first Koodankulam reactor will be operational “in a couple of weeks” simply betrays the fact the Tamil Nadu State Cabinet’s resolution to halt the work at the Koodankulam plants was never honored earnestly or implemented effectively. It is also very clear that the Central Government, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), and the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) authorities have all been working on the Koodankulam reactors secretly against the letter and spirit of the State Cabinet Resolution.

If the first Koodankulam reactor has to go operational “in a couple of weeks,” the nuclear authorities must have loaded the fuel rods into the reactor. In that case, the nuclear authorities have breached all the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) rules and the various international regulations that mandate compulsory mock drills and evacuation exercises among the local people before loading the fuel rods. Throwing all these Indian and international rules and norms to the air and compromising the safety and security of the Tamil people, the Central Government as well as its nuclear departments has indeed perpetrated a crime against its own people.

Although the State Government wanted the Central Government to allay the fears and concerns of the Tamil people, the latter simply put together an assorted 15-member “Expert Group” to talk to the State Team. But they never shared any of the basic documents on the KKNPP with the State Team, never answered any of the protesting people’s questions honestly and completely and never met any section of the Tamil society for any kind of interaction. Even as the preliminary talks and the exchange of research findings are going on, the Prime Minister hastily announces dates for the commissioning of the reactors showing his scant regard for dialogue, democracy, and human rights.

Hundreds of thousands of Tamil people have been protesting against the KKNPP project for the past four months and the Prime Minister has shown his utter disregard for the protesting people and our democratic struggle. The way the Central Government has responded to the gruesome Tamil genocide in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Navy’s killing of some 570 Tamil fishermen, Colombo’s illegal detention and torture of others, the 3-Tamils capital punishment issue, the Katcha Theevu issue, and the more recent requests of the Honorable Chief Minister for financial and material help and for CISF security for the Mullaperiyar dam causes concern and worry in our minds that Tamil people are being systematically discriminated against in India.

The Prime Minister, who hardly said anything meaningful to the people of Tamil Nadu or India about the Koodankulam issue, has chosen to speak about it in Russia, one of his major business partners. Obviously, this attitude and approach to the issue gives rise to a suspicion if the Prime Minister is more interested in pleasing the rulers of Russia than the people of India, and in working for the welfare of multinational corporations and foreign countries rather than the wellbeing of Indian people.

We condemn the Prime Minister’s gross disrespect for the Government of Tamil Nadu and the disregard for the Tamil people’s feelings, sentiments and interests. We would like to request the Prime Minister to respect our people, our struggle, and scrap the Koodankulam nuclear power project.

The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy
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