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Breaking News – Peoples Peaceful Protest WINS in Koondakulum

Anti-nuclear activists, spearheaded by S P Udayakumar, today called off their 9-day- old fast launched by them after government gave the go-ahead for the controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. Udayakumar’s decision came hours after a delegation of his supporters met senior district administration officials who assured them that their charter of demands would be conveyed to the government for consideration. “The officials promised to look into the seven demands placed by PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy).

We hope that the officials will talk to the government and meet our demands,” Udayakumar, who was on fast along with his associate Pushparayan and some others, told reporters here. Udayakumar broke the fast by accepting fruit juice offered to him by Madurai Bishop Peter Fernando. Besides Fernando, the 13-member delegation which included Rimond, Arivavalavan held talks with Collector Selvaraj, DIG Varadaraju and other officials and presented their seven demands for withdrawing their fast.

The Collector said he could withdraw prohibitory orders in all the areas except KNPP premises and had to convey their other demands to the government. The protestors demanded immediate withdrawal of cases filed against them, recognition of their struggle against nuclear energy and withdrawal of prohibitory orders in Radhapuram taluk. Other demands are release of all those arrested for organising protests, training for people in 32 villages in disaster management, an ‘open and frank’ nuclear liability bill and explanation to locals on how safely nuclear waste would be disposed. The anti-nuclear activists led by PMANE were on fast after Tamil Nadu government gave its go-ahead to the Indo-Russian nuclear project on March 19, clearing the decks for resumption of the work now in full swing. Udayakumar had yesterday said he was ready for talks with government provided cases against PMANE members were dropped.

The decision on actual details of where section 144 will be lifted, and release of prisoners, will only be confirmed by the DM tomorrow – presumably after consultations with high command!

 So until then the relay fasts will continue; kids will not go to school; boats will not put out to sea; and shops will not re-open, until the orders are final and the comrades return home from prisons where they are being held.

This is a victory for the people, for truth and nonviolence.

 there is a long battle ahead.

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