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Monday, 13 February 2012

Press Release : People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) February 10, 2012

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy
(PMANE)                                                 February 10, 2012
Idinthakarai
& P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli
District, Tamil Nadu
Phone:
98656 83735

Press Release


While the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) welcomes
the State Expert Team set up by the Chief Secretary on behalf of the Honorable
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, we are obliged to point out that Dr. M. R.
Srinivasan, a member of the team, is a well-known pro-nuclear person. He is the
former Chairman and a current member of India’s Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
He was also a member of the site selection committee in the 1980s for
the Koodankulam
Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). He has been writing and speaking in favor of
nuclear power and the Koodankulam project itself. Speaking to the press on
November 13, 2011 in Chennai, Dr. Srinivasan claimed that when he had visited
the Koodankulam area in 1984, there were no habitations there, nobody lived in
the area and the whole region was vast seashore. This is a complete falsehood
as Koodankulam and Idinthakarai villages have been in existence for
centuries. He
also requested Tamil Nadu Government’s full cooperation to the Central
Government to open the Koodankulam project.[i] On December 15, 2011
Dr. Srinivasan spoke about the Koodankulam Project at an
event in Coimbatore, claimed that “the dangers perceived by the locals
were ‘imaginary’”
and wanted the project to be commissioned at the earliest.[ii]

The people of Tamil Nadu had expected that the State Expert Team
members would be neutral and independent but Dr. Srinivasan is neither. So it
is hard for the PMANE to accept Dr. Srinivasan. Given this situation, the PMANE
would like to request the Honorable Chief Minister to replace Dr. Srinivasan
with another expert and expand the Expert Team with experts in
Geology, Oceanography
and Hydrology in order to deal with a few KKNPP-specific issues.

The former Chief Minister and DMK president Mr. M. Karunanidhi has
claimed that it is mysterious on the part of the Government of Tamil Nadu to
arrest a Madurai advocate who had accused the PMANE Coordinator S. P.
Udayakumar of acting at the behest of a foreign power, instigating the
Koodankulam struggle, and doling out money for the relay fast. This “Tamizhina
Thalaivar” who has consistently compromised on the interests and welfare of the
Tamil people both here in Tamil Nadu and there in Tamil Eezham, has no moral
authority to criticize the Tamil people’s genuine struggle for life and
livelihood. He and the non-functioning electricity minister in his
erstwhile cabinet
should explain to the Tamil people what all they together did to augment
electricity generation in the state. They focused more on reaping monetary
benefits from coal deals than generating more electricity from new and
renewable energy sources. They never developed any original and sustainable
plans and projects to face the power crisis of the State. They alone are
responsible for the present sorry state of the power scenario in Tamil Nadu and
hence forfeit their right to comment on our people’s struggle.

The PMANE members and our supporter Fr. Thomas Kocherry feel
vindicated about our personal integrity and moral uprightness. Responding to
the legal notice of S. P. Udayakumar on the false charge of having received Rs.
1.5 crores from abroad, Union Minister Narayanaswamy has retracted his
story. And
similarly, the Dinamalar daily has apologized to Fr. Kocherry (issue
dated February 9, 2012) about its atrocious claim of his channeling money from
Germany to our struggle. These ridiculous episodes prove that the charges
against us are completely false and those who accuse us of these charges have
no credibility.

Having failed miserably to allay the fears and concerns of our
people, the Central Government and its intelligence agencies are now sending
spies and agents into our villages to divide our communities, create fear and
panic among the people and instigate violence. For instance, on February 8,
2012, three men had entered our relay fast site at Idinthakarai and loitering
about the complex with a few bags and boxes. Our people drove them
away and filed
a complaint with the Koodankulam police. The PMANE condemns this kind
of anti-people
tendencies and approaches and requests the Central Government and the Congress
Party to accept and respect our people’s spontaneous struggle to protect our
right to life and livelihood.

The
PMANE requests the Honorable Chief Minister to make the State Expert Team meet
with our own experts, consider their findings and engage in a genuine dialogue
with them. Shunning the usual public hearing model interactions, the Expert
Team should visit the project-affected villages and hamlets individually, listen
to the fears and concerns of the people and arrive at a conclusion in a
democratic manner on the basis of majority opinion. Only such an
action by the Government
of Tamil Nadu will ensure the democratic and Constitutional rights of
our people.


S.
P. Udayakumar, Ph.D.
Coordinator:
PMANE Struggle Committee





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[i] “50 Kelvikku Intha Varam Badhil,” Dinakaran, November 14, 2011.
[ii] “Former AEC chairman clarifies on Kudankulam plant’s safety,” The Hindu,
December 16, 2011.