Solidarity statement from Pakistan in support of the Kudankulam anti-nuclear struggle

Dr. Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister of India,

New Delhi,

India.

Dear Sir,

Common Concerns over Koodankulam Nuclear Power Installations

We the trade union and social activists representing different national organisations in Pakistan as the neighbouring member country of the South Asian Association of Regional Corporation (SAARC), have been paying much attention to the controversy around nuclear power installations across the Palk Straits, in Koodankulam. We fully support this just struggle and the demands of the protesting people.

We are concerned that such nuclear projects in both India and Pakistan are helping both the countries to continue with nuclear race which means billions of dollars will be spent on these projects instead of health, education and to eradicate the poverty.

There are safety issues around this project that should be addressed according to the satisfaction of the people living in the area. The government should measures for the safety of people in neighbouring villages as well as concerns over possible fallout, if ever there would be a most unfortunate situation as in Chernobyl or Fukushima – Daiichi.

The method and procedure of nuclear waste disposal, which we are made to understand, would be dumped in the sea beyond Kanyakumari.

About the safety for people living around the nuclear power installations, there are ever growing protests reported in the media, that the Tamil Nadu State government is accused of suppressing the protesting people using brute force with the Central government of yours providing all necessary support and advice. This state repression and brutal treatment meted out to peaceful protestors’ shows that your administration is least interested to respect the basic democratic rights of the people. Such unstoppable, protracted mass protests and very brutal suppression goes to prove, both the State government and the Centre has not been doing convincingly enough to satisfy the concerns over safety of its own citizens.

We therefore share the concerns of all the protesting people and their neighbours, with your government continuing with the project, without adequately and satisfactorily addressing the issues raised by your own citizens on their safety that seems to emerge more with disposal of nuclear waste.

We thus call upon your government to intervene immediately in addressing the concerns of protesting villagers in and around Koodankulam, Kanniakumari, Tuticorin and Thirunelveli and also make a public statement with all necessary details on your government’s method of handling nuclear waste disposal, including the locations used for such disposal.

Yours most sincerely,

Syed Fazal Abbas Shah – Secretary General Progressive Workers Federation of Pakistan (PWFP)

Khalid Bhatti- Secretary General Socialist Movement Pakistan (SMP)

Faqir Muhammad Hamiati – President Trade Union Rights Campaign Pakistan (TURCP)

Samina Naz –-National Coordinator anti Nuclear Campaign

Rukhsana Manzoor– National Coordinator Campaign against Domestic violence and Sexual harassment in Pakistan

Fazal-e-Wahid – Secretary General Railway Workers Union Workshops

Ilyas Soomro– President Agriculture Workers organisation

Zaheer Ahmad – National Organiser General and Commercial Workers Union