India: Massive Hunger Strike at Idinthakarai on September 11, 2011
Press Release – September 1, 2011
People Resume the Struggle against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant
The people of Koodankulam, Idinthakarai and other neighboring villages decide to withdraw from the ongoing “peace” process and resume their peaceful, nonviolent Gandhian satyagraha by holding a massive hunger strike on September 11, 2011 at Idinthakarai in Tirunelveli district.
The “Peace Committee” constituted by the people of Radhapuram Taluk in Tirunelveli district has been engaging in a dialogue with the authorities regarding their demand of closing down the Koodankulam nuclear power plants. But Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Dr. Srikumar Banerjee has announced that “one of the two [Koodankulam plants] would attain criticality by September and the second by early 2012” as reported in some sections of the press. This is a clear violation of the ongoing process. We are afraid that the government is secretly trying to open the Koodankulam plants even as they are talking to us about closing down.
The people of Koodankulam, Idinthakarai and other neighboring villages are very happy and grateful that Mrs. Brinda Karat, a senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has said that “her party would support any agitation against nuclear power plants, such as the one going on in Tirunelveli against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant.” We also welcome her call to put on hold all nuclear power plants in the country as they lack adequate safety measures.
We would like to thank Arundhati Roy, Indian writer and activist, for mentioning our struggle in her recent op-ed article; Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam for supporting our struggle in his address to the Australian Senate; and the Ecodefense in Moscow for expressing their solidarity with our struggle. They have said: “Technical flaws of Russian VVER-1000 design may lead to nuclear accident. …’Rosatom’ earlier stated it will not build new reactors if there is public opposition. This is the time to follow this statement with action.”
We are inviting some of the leading social activists of India such as Anna Hazare, Medha Patkar, Arundhati Roy, Swami Agnivesh, Shabana Azmi, Vandana Shiva, Aruna Roy and others to come and participate in our struggle and help us build a New India that respects Indian citizens’ rights to life and livelihood and make our country a world leader with New Energy, appropriate technology and sustainable development.
We are also appealing to the MPs and MLAs from Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi districts and the leaders of all political parties in Tamil Nadu to come and help us protect our land, water, air, sea, seafood and most importantly, our children and grandchildren. We earnestly hope that they would respect the lives and values of the Tamil people who are facing huge risks in Koodankulam, Kalpakkam and Thevaram in Theni district as we are getting ready to choose our local body representatives.
Peoples’ Movement Against Nuclear Energy
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 5 Sep 2011.
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KUDANKULAM ANTI-NUCLEAR SATYAGRAHA, INDIA: