Letter to Citizens of Australia by the Koodankulam Children
KUDANKULAM ANTI-NUCLEAR SATYAGRAHA, INDIA, 24 Sep 2012
From: “The Koodankulam Children”
C/O People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
To: The Citizens of Australia
(Through) The Australian Consulate General
9th Floor Express Chambers
Express Avenue Estate
Whites Road, Royapettah
Chennai 600 014
September 6, 2012
Dear Sisters and Brothers of Australia:
Greetings! We, several thousands of children from the southernmost tip of India, are writing to you to send our love and seek your support for the peaceful and nonviolent struggle that we and our parents have been waging for the past thirteen months against the Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP). This mega nuclear power park is being built with Russian loan and technology against the will and wishes of the local people.
The Indian authorities have not conducted any public hearing to seek our permission or consent for this project. They have not shared the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, the Site Evaluation Study, and the Safety Analysis Report with our people. After a long and hard struggle of more than 22 years, we have just obtained a copy of the EIA report which is outdated and so full of inaccuracies and incomplete information.
After two years of application and appeal, we got an order from the Central Information Commission (CIC) of India that we must have copies of the Site Evaluation Study, and the Safety Analysis Report to ensure and enhance public safety. But the authorities refuse to give us a copy of these reports. Our people have no information about the Koodankulam project and whatever little information we have is in English which most people in our area do not understand. Moreover, the authorities have not given us any disaster training or evacuation exercise to safeguard our families in case of an accident at the Koodankulam site. With high and dense population in our area, we desperately need complete safety and evacuation drills.
Our expert team claims that there are serious hydrology, geology, oceanography and seismology issues involved in the Koodankulam nuclear project and hence we demand a complete and thorough probe into all these issues. After all, this area has been hit by the 2004 tsunami, and there have been several small to big earthquakes in the Indian Ocean rendering the Koodankulam site vulnerable. But the Indian authorities summarily reject our legitimate demand to study these concerns. Similarly, both the Indian and the Russian governments have signed a secret Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on liability and they refuse to share a copy of that with us. Our officials are silent about the amount and management of the nuclear waste from the Koodankulam project also. Worst of all, our country does not even have an empowered and independent nuclear regulatory authority to monitor the commissions and omissions of the nuclear installations.
Now we hear that The Honorable Prime Minister of Australia, Ms. Julia Gillard, has agreed to sell Uranium to India and visit our country. While we welcome Ms. Gillard to India at any time, we would very much like to request her government and the people of Australia not to sell Uranium to India, to facilitate nuclear arms race among India, Pakistan and China, make South Asia even more dangerous and spoil the futures of us, the children of India and other countries.
Please do understand that we want your country to prosper and become strong. We also like our country to do business with Australia at the bilateral level and through multilateral institutions. But we certainly do not want any business in the dangerous nuclear sector. Would you please request your lawmakers not to support Uranium sales to India. We desperately need your kind cooperation and help to safeguard the right to life and livelihood of millions of our fisherfolks, farmers, workers, women, youth and children.
Please take all efforts to secure the interests of the children of India and Australia and leave a clean, green and safe Earth for us all. Looking forward to your support and solidarity, we send you our best regards and all peaceful wishes.
The Koodankulam Children
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 24 Sep 2012.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Letter to Citizens of Australia by the Koodankulam Children, is included. Thank you.
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