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Archives for : Anti-nuclear movement

#MadrasHC- issues notice for withdrawal of cases against anti-nuclear activists

Chennai, June 18, 2013

PTI

 The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered issue of notice to Tamil Nadu Government asking why steps were not taken to withdraw cases filed against anti-nuclear activists protesting against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

First Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, ordered notice to the state government and sought reply within three weeks.

The notice was issued on a petition which sought a direction to the state government to withdraw all criminal cases filed against anti-nuclear activists, who have been protesting against the Indo-Russian project in Tirunelveli District.

The petition referred to the Supreme Court’s direction to the state government to withdraw all criminal cases against the protestors.

 

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Call to address concerns of Kudankulam protesters

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, The Hindu

A chord with the masses:Film director T.K. Rajeevkumar launching the campaign ‘A rupee for Kudankulam’ on the Shanghumughom beach in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.— Photo: S. Mahinsha

 

The concerns of safety, loss of livelihood, and displacement raised by the villagers of Kudankulam are not the isolated concerns of 18,000 fisherfolk. Every individual should see this struggle as the right of another for existence and support it, film-maker T. K. Rajeevkumar said. The agitation against the Kudankulam nuclear plant has crossed 600 days.

Addressing hundreds of people on the Shanghumugham beach on Sunday evening, Mr. Rajeevkumar said the people of Kudankulam only want to convey to the world that none in high places had ever actually explained to them the benefits or disadvantages of building a nuclear plant in their village. They want to tell the world to understand the depth and implications of the concerns they have raised and see it as a concern of humanity and not marginalise it, Mr. Rajeevkumar said.

He was speaking after inaugurating the ‘A Rupee for Kudankulam’ campaign, organised by a State-level action council expressing solidarity with the Kudankulam movement

He said his reaction to the issue was that of a citizen and that of an individual who was apprehensive about what the proximity to a nuclear plant could mean to his world and the safety of people. The government had the responsibility to reassure the people about the concerns they had raised, he said.

Video installation

Mr. Rajeevkumar said a video installation on Kudankulam, explaining the entire anti-nuclear campaign from a human perspective, was being planned, the shooting for which had already commenced. The video installation would travel across the world so that the anti-nuclear voices from an isolated community would be heard across the world, he added.

S. P. Udayakumar, who is spearheading the anti-nuclear protests at Kudankulam plant, addressed the campaign via video conferencing. He said the people of the village were only seeking basic information about the nuclear plant project. But the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government were only concerned about enriching the Russian economy and scuttling the non-violent and democratic agitation being carried out by the villagers.

“Why is the government hell bent on going ahead with the nuclear plant project in such a hasty manner? The Prime Minister says we are approaching the issue emotionally and that we should come forward for a dialogue. But to initiate a dialogue, we need all information about the project – give us details about the site analysis, safety evaluation and emergency preparation and management reports,” Dr. Udayakumar said.

He pointed out that in other States too, proposed nuclear projects had been dropped following people’s opposition. “There is no need for any haste; let us have a national debate on the issue in the next elections,” he said.

He said the agitation will continue and that the people of Kudankulam were determined to fight for their right to live safely in their land till their last breath.

 

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Nuke activist Udayakumar tops TOI poll

Chennai: Anti-nuclear activist S P Udayakumar has topped the poll conducted by TOI on role models who made news in 2012 for their vision,work and commitment.
By winning over 50% of the votes,he left luminaries like acclaimed liver surgeon Dr Mohamed Rela,sportspersons Dipika Pallikal and Viswanathan Anand,actor-director Kamal Haasan and Carnatic singer T M Krishna far behind.
Even Magsaysay award winner Kulandei Francis ranked much lower as compared to the anti-nuclear activist,who is campaigning against the Kudankulam power project.
Speaking to TOI on Monday,Udayakumar said that the struggle of the people in Idinthakarai would continue in a peaceful and non-violent manner.He also promised that the people would stand their ground against the project and take the struggle to a political plane.

 

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Protesters plan sea siege at Kudankulam on December 10, Human Rights Day

PTI

  • In this October 8, 2012 photo, fishermen shout slogans as they protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. Activists have planned a similar protest on December 10, 2012.
    APIn this October 8, 2012 photo, fishermen shout slogans as they protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. Activists have planned a similar protest on December 10, 2012.
  • A file photo of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy leader M. Pushparayan.
    The HinduA file photo of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy leader M. Pushparayan.

With the commissioning of the much-delayed Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project expected by this month-end, anti-nuclear activists are planning to lay siege to the facility on December 10 to press for scrapping the project.

“We will lay a siege to the Kudankulam nuclear plant on December 10, Human Rights Day. Our support organisations and some political parties are going to block the roads on that day. We will lay a siege from the seaside,” M. Pushparayan, a leader of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, spearheading the over year-long stir against KNPP, told PTI over phone.

The activists had on October 8 laid a similar siege to the site, pressing their demands.

“Our demands remain the same. Scrap the plant, release those who were arrested and stop the police control on our activists,” he said, adding fishermen and supporters from 10 fishing hamlets would take part in the siege.

Preparatory work is in full swing at Kudankulam, as the commissioning of the plant is expected during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin this month-end.

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board has already granted the plant its permission for the ‘second heat up’ — a process which will put to performance tests various systems of the nuclear reactor.

“We are busy with the preparatory works at the plant. But every step has to be reviewed by AERB. But it is possible to start the operation by the end of this month,” official sources had said.

According to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, units 1 and 2 of the project were initially scheduled to start commercial operation in December 2007 and December 2008 respectively. But, as of October this year, units 1 and 2 have completed 99.63 per cent and 92.66 per cent of physical progress.

Commissioning of the first unit of the Indo-Russian project was originally scheduled for December last year but has been delayed due to protests.

The anti-nuclear activists on Saturday held a meeting at Idinthakarai, the epicentre of the protests for over a year, to plan the siege.

“Both the Centre and state governments are continuously violating the human rights of people from this area. The continuous promulgation of Sec 144 here is against the wishes of the fishermen and locals of this area,” S.P. Udayakumar, PMANE convenor, told reporters at Idinthakarai.

The siege was to highlight the “violations” of rights by the Central and State governments, he said.

Struggle committee members, village committee members and locals participated in the meeting.

 

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#INDIA-Activists, academics take out anti-Kudankulam protest in #Bangalore #nuclear

BANGALORE, October 25, 2012

Staff Reporter

Safety first:Anti-nuclear activists and members of the New Socialist Alternative protesting at the Town Hall in Bangalore on Wednesday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Safety first:Anti-nuclear activists and members of the New Socialist Alternative protesting at the Town Hall in Bangalore on Wednesday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Academics, activists and students gathered at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening to express solidarity with residents of Kudankulam, who have been resisting the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

Organised by the New Socialist Alternative, the demonstration saw participation from various anti-nuclear activist groups and organisations that have been campaigning for the rights of the Tamil-speaking population in Sri Lanka.

Protesters spoke about the repression of people in Kudankulam, and on the perils of nuclear energy and plants in the wake of the massive nuclear meltdown of reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.

“With such nuclear plants, there is always a possibility of great accidents. We need to look at other possible alternatives such as solar energy,” said Atul Chokshi, professor from the Indian Institute of Science. Prof. Chokshi emphasised that the consent of residents should be taken before any such development plans.

Ambrose Pinto, principal of St. Josephs’ College of Arts and Sciences, said the government’s role in and response to the Kudankulam issue has been “entirely disappointing”.

“This is a very strong example of being anti-democratic. There are so many people living close to the plant. The radiation will affect them,” he said.

Condemned

The protesters singled out the former president A.P.J Abdul Kalam, and condemned his call for support for the nuclear project. They demanded that all existing and future nuclear projects be suspended.

 

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Are you going to Kudankulam?

Bela Bhatia | Agency: DNA | Thursday, September 27, 2012

On Tuesday this week, three Japanese visitors who are part of the anti-nuclear movement in Japan were refused entry to India and deported on arrival at Chennai. Reading the account sent by them from Kuala Lumpur makes for not-exactly-pleasant reading.

“When we got off the plane and approached the immigration counter, one personnel came to us smiling… [and took] us to the immigration office. [There were more than five personnel there.] … one asked me [Yoko Unoda] whether I am a member of No Nukes Asia Forum Japan. ‘You signed the international petition on Kudankulam, didn’t you?’ … another person asked, ‘Mr Watarida … he is involved in the anti-nuclear movement in Kaminoseki, right?’
‘Are you going to Kudankulam? Who invited you all? … Who will pick you up at Tuticorin airport? [they had a copy of the itinerary of the domestic flight] Tell me their names. Tell me their telephone numbers. Will you join the agitation?’ They asked many questions and surprisingly, they knew our names. I felt scared. I felt something wrong would happen to you. So I didn’t answer anything. Mr [Masahiro] Watarida and Mr [Shinsuke] Nakai also refused to answer.

At first they talked in a friendly manner. They told us that we can enter India if we gave them information about the movement in Kudankulam. But gradually they got irritated. [After] .. more than one hour … they said ‘Answer within five minutes, otherwise you will be deported.’ We answered …but they didn’t get satisfied with our answer. …We were taken to the Air Asia air plane and it took off immediately.”

This is a telling statement about our democracy. So, only certain kinds of imports are allowed. A harmful technology that more advanced nations like Germany are pulling out of is allowed. The French Areva and its 18 billion euros to fund the EPRs (European Pressurized Reactors) in Jaitapur, a dangerous and expensive experiment to say the least (these will cost many times more than the indigenous reactors that have been used in India so far and pose unforeseen hazards since it is untried technology) are allowed. The scientists and other advocates of nuclear energy are allowed.

Allowed, so unquestioningly that hundreds of policemen are deployed to wield their lathis on a peacefully protesting people, thousands can find false cases slapped on them, and non-bailable arrest warrants can be issued against their leaders.

Their crime? Saying ‘No’ to the violence of a technology that represents “poisonous development” to them. It is a sad day for India when activists of a movement like PMANE (Peoples’ Movement Against Nuclear Energy) that has used non-violent and democratic means of struggle for the last three decades are forced to go underground.

So let’s get this straight. What are Indian citizens supposed to do? Are we supposed to, with quiet acquiescence, only say “yes”.Yes to plunder and loot of natural resources; yes to dehumanising poverty and growing inequalities despite national “growth”; yes to endemic corruption; yes to intimidation and strong arm tactics; yes to fabrication of charges and ignominy of faceless undertrials; yes to the definitions that the State imposes on us – of what construes “development”, “national”, “public-interest”, “legal”, “democracy”? When law is misused by a legal authority — authoritatively — such an “authority” makes you shudder.

Perhaps the government should be reminded of the long history of another kind of “globalisation” that has existed between peoples of the world. To give one example, Buddhism travelled to Japan and is today more embedded in Japan than in India.Knowledge knows no borders. Nuclear-related mistakes made by one government need not be repeated by another. In this respect, the experience of the people of Japan – regarding nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants – is unparalleled.

The three activists were going to visit India for only a few days. They had hoped to avail of the tourist visa on arrival to visit the “temples of modern India”. They came in solidarity, good will and peace. Neither they nor their friends in India had imagined that being “anti-nuclear” would be seen as a threat by the Indian government.

Kaminoseki and Kudankulam are two struggles that started at roughly the same time. The fisher-folk and farmers of Kaminoseki have been protesting the proposed Kaminoseki nuclear power plant arguing that their present way of life was harmonious with nature and that they did not want the “development” that the nuclear power plant offered, especially with its concomitant dangers. The struggle of the people of Kaminoseki and Kudankulam is a struggle for determining a way of life – a different kind of self-determination.

People in many parts of the world today have enough evidence at their command to come to the conclusion that there can be no “peaceful” use of a technology that has seeds of destruction and annihilation. I am not a member of the No Nukes Asia Forum. But I will soon be. And am I going to Kudankulam?Definitely. Coming?

Bela Bhatia is honorary professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai l[email protected]

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SONGS OF FREEDOM!


A get-together of activist singers took place in Bangalore on Aug.14, 2012 at UTC, Bangalore.Adivasis from Coorg, Chickamanglore, Budakkattu Krishikara Sangh Nagarhole, Adivasi Aikya Samithi Wayanad, fisherwomen from Theeradesa Mahilavedi (Women’s Wing of KSMTF), activists from anti-nuclear movement of Koodankulam, Students from Salsabeel Green School -Thrissur, Activists from VIBGYOR, Meghnath and Madhu Mansoori from Jharkhand, Bhoomi Thaye Balage, Karnataka Vidhyarthi Sanga (KVS), Sammanita, Tribal Joint Action Forum (Siddi Group) participated and sang songs related to the contemporary concept of freedom.

Social action all over the world has been shaped and inspired by songs. Through songs activists informed, inspired, motivated and touched the hearts of people on various aspects of social reality all over the world, using minimum words. And in reality, these minimum words could achieve what large essays and long speeches could not achieve.

During the last few decades in India, a large number of songs have emerged in the dalit movement, anti-nuclear movement, anti-dam movement, farmers’ struggles, fisher-folk’s movement, adivasi movement, women’s movement, movement for the rights over natural resources, child rights movement, sexuality movement, anti-communal movement, human rights movement, environment movement , anti-displacement movement and the struggle against destructive development in general.

 

One thing is clear from this: Songs unite people.
Through songs, the activists of today are expressing a different notion of freedom – much different from the earlier notions of freedom struggle. The activists today recognize the existence of a neo-colonial exploitation even today but the struggle which unites them is through multiple resistance movements on diverse issues. We feel the need to strengthen such songs and popularize them.

The event was organized by:Pedestrian Pictures, Department of Women’s Studies (UTC), Visual Search, Solidarity Youth Movement, Karnataka Janashakthi, ALF, Moving Republic, Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, PDF, Vishtar, INSAF, Sichrem, National Adivasi Alliance, New Socialist Alternative, Lesbit and Other

Source- post by K P SASI

 

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Manmohan Singh Japan jao, Japan jaa ke sushikhao: Anti-nuke activists

 

Published: Monday, May 21, 2012, 9:00 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Anti-nuclear demonstrators gathered on Sunday evening at Dadar’s Chaityabhoomi along with National Award-winning filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, activist Dr Binayak Sen and his wife Ilina, and members of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, Konkan Vinashakari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti, and Konkan Bachao Andolan Priyar Dravidar Kazhagam. They were protesting against the controversial nuclear reactor project in Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu.

The activists raised slogans such as “Nuclear power plant nahin chaiye”, “Jhutha vikas nahi chalega” and “Manmohan Singh Japan jao, Japan jaa kesushi khao.”

They appealed to the citizens of India to protest against the nuclear reactor, and safeguard the lives, dignity, resources and livelihoods of the people of Koodankulam.

Addressing the gathering, Patwardhan said, “People in Idinthakarai village had to end their 14-day fast this week. It is appalling that nobody from the Tamil Nadu or central government came to speak to them, and that the police strength in the area has been identified with every possible intimidating tactic, including taking away the food ration cards of agitating villagers.”

Dr Binayak Sen appealed to passersby to pay heed to the testimonies of independent experts and scientists highlighting the dangers of constructing the reactor. “At this critical juncture, we urge that a wider consultation is necessary before continuing the large-scale nuclear expansion that this government is already deeply engaged in,” he said.

Bringing the protest to a close, Ilina, Sen’s wife, said that the outright repression and silencing of the Koodankulam people’s movement wouldhave adverse implications for all future individual and collective struggles.

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T.N. ups vigil as anti-Kudankulam activists threaten to intensify stir

A view of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tirunelveli district. File photo
The Hindu–A view of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tirunelveli district. File photo
 PTI, mAY 9, 2012

Authorities on Wednesday extended prohibitory orders and beefed up security in and around the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant as anti-nuclear activists threatened to intensify their stir against the Indo-Russian project from Thursday.

The district administration has extended the prohibitory orders from 2 km to 5 km radius of the plant since Wednesday morning.

Besides, 11 companies of Tamil Nadu Special Police and Tamil Nadu Armed Police have been deployed, in addition to the existing force in the area.

The police action followed information that People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the protest against the nuclear plant, was planning to intensify its stir from Thursday, since the State government did not respond to its demand for talks.

“It has been nine days now and the state government has not responded to our hunger-strike. So, we have called our supporters from five villages and would have a meeting to decide further course of action tomorrow,” PMANE activist M. Pushparayan said.

The activists’ move comes against the backdrop of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s assertion that the plant would go critical in the next 10 days and power generation would begin then.

Keywords: Anti-nuclear protests,

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