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Monday 19 December 2011

Press Release from People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)

Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
                  December 18, 2011
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
Phone: 98656 83735

Press Release

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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