Kabhi Haan ,Kabhi Na – Left Parties stand on Nuclear issues


A timeline of statements by Left parties on the Kundalkulum / koodankulam power plant. Just a few days ago when ten thousands of  police forces were moblised by the state against the protestors at the same time CPI state seceratary D.Pandian went on the media and said, if u dont want the Nuclear plantto run please come take your compensation and run out of this place.

On Feb 25,2012

A. Raja, CPI leader,  said, if America-based NGOs are playing a role in Kudankulam, then they should be isolated and action should be taken against them.

On Feb 28th 2012 S.P.Udayakumar who leads the people’s non violent struggle at Kudanklam said in an interview that both   The CPI and CPM are confused. CPM is anti-nuclear in Jatapur, but pro-nuclear in Kudankulam; they are against nuclear weapons, but are pro-nuclear for energy.

On March 1, 2012

CPI (M) general secretary G. Ramakrishnan stated that based on former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam‘s recommendations, the Centre should ensure the safety of those in and around Kudankulam and allocate Rs.200 crore for development activities.
On the same day CPI TN Seceretary D.Pandian

Expressing concern over the deteriorating power situation, Mr. Pandian said that power cuts were increasing, affecting all sections of society. The government should initiate all necessary steps to find a solution quickly and overcome the shortage. The CPI supported the commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. The just demands of the local people, such as providing employment opportunities, should be addressed. 

March 23, 2012 Stop Repression at Koodankulam

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
 Stop Repression at Koodankulam-The CPI(M) condemns the police repression on the people protesting against the commissioning of the nuclear power plant at Koodankulam. Those arrested are being charged with sedition and for waging war against the State which is baseless and unwarranted. There are reports of water supply being cut off and other essential supplies being blocked to the Idinthakari village. The CPI(M) calls upon the state administration not to resort to repression and force against  peaceful protesters. Since there are a number of issues still agitating the people regarding the nuclear plant, the concerned authorities should immediately begin talks to address these issues.

On March 24th

The State unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday called upon anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) protestors to give up their agitation, as panels of experts appointed by the Centre and the State governments had vouched for the safety of the plants.

In a statement here, State secretary of the party G. Ramakrishnan welcomed the State government decision to go ahead with the commissioning of the plants. He requested the local people to extend their support for the functioning of the plants.

Mr. Ramakrishnan said that instead of resorting to repressive measures such as filing criminal cases against the protestors, the State government should take steps to allay the fears of people about the technology and safety aspects of the Kudankulam project.

On March 25 th

CPI seceratary D. Pandian also backed the CM’s decision to support commissioning of the Koodankulam plant and demanded that the entire power generated from it be given to TN. The State should initiate dialogue with protesters and demand that the entire 1,000 MW generated in the first reactor should be given to TN till the power crisis in the State was solved.and he also went further to state that

“Their apprehensions are borne out of ignorance. It cannot be cleared,” CPI state secretary D. Pandian said, demanding immediate commissioning of the nuke plant.

Accusing anti-nuke protesters of “holding the country for ransom” the CPI leader said, “It is a national asset and it must be utilised.”

Some links on their statements

CPI(M) seeks commissioning of Kudankulam project

Today’s Paper » NATIONAL » TAMIL NADU

CHENNAI, March 1, 2012

Special Correspondent

The State Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday urged Central and State governments to initiate steps for commencing operations of the Kudankulam project soon after reviewing the reports submitted by the expert committees.

In a release, CPI (M) general secretary G. Ramakrishnan stated that based on former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s recommendations, the Centre should ensure the safety of those in and around Kudankulam and allocate Rs.200 crore for development activities.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article2948357.ece

 

Give up anti-KKNPP protests: CPI (M)

Today’s Paper » NATIONAL » TAMIL NADU

CHENNAI, March 24, 2012

The State unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday called upon anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) protestors to give up their agitation, as panels of experts appointed by the Centre and the State governments had vouched for the safety of the plants.

In a statement here, State secretary of the party G. Ramakrishnan welcomed the State government decision to go ahead with the commissioning of the plants. He requested the local people to extend their support for the functioning of the plants.

Mr. Ramakrishnan said that instead of resorting to repressive measures such as filing criminal cases against the protestors, the State government should take steps to allay the fears of people about the technology and safety aspects of the Kudankulam project. — Special Correspondent

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article3208162.ece

CPI not to support any party in Sankarankoil

TIRUCHI, March 1, 2012

The Communist Party of India (CPI) will not support any party in the Sankarankoil by-election, its State Secretary D. Pandian said here on Thursday.

“We have decided not to support anybody in the by-election as it is not politically important and will not bring about any change. All are our friends,” he said while briefing reporters on the decisions taken at the party’s day-long State council meeting.

Reiterating the CPI’s demand for an international inquiry into allegations of war crimes in the last stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka, he urged the Indian government not to support Sri Lanka on the issue in the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Mr. Pandian welcomed the stand of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi on the issue.

India should stop all military and financial assistance to Sri Lanka and press the Sri Lankan government for an early political settlement within a specific timeframe.

The CPI cadre will observe fast in district headquarters in the State on March 6 to press the demands, stated a resolution adopted at the council. It appealed to political parties and all sections of people to participate in the agitation. Expressing concern over the deteriorating power situation, Mr. Pandian said that power cuts were increasing, affecting all sections of society. The government should initiate all necessary steps to find a solution quickly and overcome the shortage. The CPI supported the commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. The just demands of the local people, such as providing employment opportunities, should be addressed.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/article2951393.ece

Jaya absolutely right, PM ambiguous: CPI

March 25, 2012

Pandian also backed the CM’s decision to support commissioning of the Koodankulam plant and demanded that the entire power generated from it be given to TN. The State should initiate dialogue with protesters and demand that the entire 1,000 MW generated in the first reactor should be given to TN till the power crisis in the State was solved.

http://expressbuzz.com/topnews/jaya-absolutely-right-pm-ambiguous-cpi/374483.html

Oppn push for K-plant commissioning

With the state government maintaining silence on Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) issue, the Opposition parties — DMK, Congress, Left parties and BJP — are pushing for the commissioning of the project in the wake of unprecedented power crisis facing the state.

The CPI would hold a demonstration seeking commissioning of the nuke plant on Tuesday in the city.

The Opposition parties have raised their pitch for commissioning the plant after the state government appointed expert committee, which submitted its report to chief minister Jayalalithaa on February 28, expressed satisfaction over the plant’s safety aspects.

When the protest gained momentum, the CPI was among other parties which had demanded that the Centre and the state government dispel the apprehensions of the locals before proceeding with the project.

“Their apprehensions are borne out of ignorance. It cannot be cleared,” CPI state secretary D. Pandian said, demanding immediate commissioning of the nuke plant.

Accusing anti-nuke protesters of “holding the country for ransom” the CPI leader said, “It is a national asset and it must be utilised.”

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/chennai/oppn-push-k-plant-commissioning-788


Probe shows foreign hand behind Kudankulam N-protest: PMO

Feb 25,2012

A. Raja, CPI leader, too, reacted on similar lines saying, if America-based NGOs are playing a role in Kudankulam, then they should be isolated and action should be taken against them.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120225/main2.htm

Kudankulam protest: PMANE’s Udayakumar pounds PMO

Feb 28,2012

SP Udayakumar says

The CPI and CPM are confused. CPM is anti-nuclear in Jatapur, but pro-nuclear in Kudankulam; they are against nuclear weapons, but are pro-nuclear for energy.

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/kudakulam-protest-pmanes-udayakumar-pounds-pmo-227526.html/2

Must Watch- Music Video on Koodankulam Anti Nuclear Protest


The first Inter-Governmental Agreement for setting up two 1000MW light water reactors was signed between India and the erstwhile USSR in 1988. In spite of people’s opposition to the project since then the authorities were careful not to publicise the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, and the Site Evaluation Study and Safety Analysis Report.

In a radius of 2 to 5 km declared as sterilization zone, there are 15989 local residents .More than 1 million people live within a 30 km radius. The Plant’s coolant water and low-grade waste can kill fish and fish eggs as other Power Plants are doing already.

The Atomic Energy Regulation Board has said, that there should be no tourism site within a radius of 20 km from the plant when Kudankulam is only 14 kms from Kanyakumari and only 60 kms by air from Thiruvananthapuram. An accident at
Kudankulam will be unmanageable because of the high density of population.

The functioning of this Nuclear Power Plant will destabilise the livelihood of the people living in the vicinity, pollute the environment in an unimaginable magnitude; and in case of an accident, the fallout will be beyond boundaries and uncountable! This protest is for those trying to make a living now and for posterity, as a Nuclear Plant anywhere is like having a Nuclear Plant everywhere…

S. P. Udayakumar- 7th day of Fast- Message to the Nation


Dear Friends:

Greetings!
Pushparayan, the other 12 friends and I have become weaker and  tired;but we are still able to sit up and talk to people. Today is the seventh day of the indefinite hunger strike.Nobody from the State Government or the Central Government has bothered to come and see us or talk to us. A medical team came to check our health day before yesterday (March 23) but no public health officials came and offered any help even though some 10,000 people have been congregating here at Idinthakarai every day since March 19th.

Our friends from Idinthakarai have been cooking some simple meals for all these people and most of the people are sleeping here as
there is the prohibitory order of 144 still in effect. They are scared of going out of this foot-ball stadium sized space in front of the St. Lourdes church.The police are waiting for me and Pushparayan to collapse so that we would go to an hospital for treatment and they could arrest us there. How cruel and nti-people our governments could become!

In the meantime, the Tamil Nadu government has convened a meeting of some 13 Panchayat (local body) leaders to plan to distribute the 500-crore package the government has announced for the victims of nuclear development. The state police continues its crack down; they tried to arrest three men at Koodankulam and they ll managed to give a slip. The police go to some of the coastal villages
and order them to go fishing in order to create a pictue of normalcy in the area. They also ask them not to carry any food by boat to Idinthakarai andthreaten them with cases if they did. People defy this kind of intimidatory exercises.

This is a struggle (but ‘war’ in the eyes of our opponents) between rich, famous,powerful, upper-class and upper-caste pro-mega-development folks and poor,unknown, powerless, lower-class and lower-caste pro-sustainable development  masses. The governments here work for the profit of Russia and not for the people of India. The governments engaged in massive power cuts over the past few months  in order to create a huge hatred against usand opposition to our struggle. Now that they have resumed work at the Koodankulam plant, the officials say they do not know how long it will take for electricity generation.

Now people of Tamil Nadu know that Koodankulam is not the answer for our power crisis. The people of Tamil Nadu and India will wake up to many such realities soon with regards to Pechipparai dam water, reprocessing plant at Koodankulam, weapons facilities, atomic bombs etc.

India is a highly- and densely-populated country and even a small mishap at a nuclear facility will create such a havoc and meyham for millions of people and jeopardize the survival and wellbeing of millions and millions of our brothers and sisters.  We are not against the
progress of our country and state but we feel that such a progress should be longstanding and sustainable for our future generations also.

We have no moral authority to poison the resources of our future generations in order to produce electricity for us for 40 years. We say that let India be a world leader with creative and original ideas an d programs rather than the slave of Russia, United States and
France.

The governments here are taking up a new weapon  now and that is our alleged links with Naxalites (Maoists). They are fabricating evidences and concocting conversations to establish that we have connections with Naxal youth and trying to portray us as a violent group. The whole world knows that we have been struggling for the past eight months in a nonviolent manner with absolutely no
violence or terror. They will fail as they have in the “foreign hand” and “foreign money” accusations.  The governments are
desperately trying to provoke our people to prove their theory that “ordinary citizens” of our country do not have a mind of their own; they cannot think for themselves; they cannot stand up for their rights and entitlements in a nonviolent noncooperation cmapaign; and most importantly, these fishermen, Nadars, Dalits, Muslims, women and children are all dispensable for the growth of the Chennai-based and Delhi-based multi-billionaires.  Well, that is the logic of globalization and that is what we vehemently oppose.

People power or nuclear power? Moral power or money power? Citizens’ power or State power? Which side you are on? The people of Tamil Nadu, and the people of India, please think of this!

People here and I may die in this hunger strike or in a few years out of old age. Butplease think of the world, country, state you want to have for yourself and your progeny. That is what human politics is all about. I would leave the golden  lines of Martin Niemoller, a German pastor and theologian for you to reflect on:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

S. P. Udayakumar
Idinthakarai
March 25, 2012

Profits of War- cash, construction , medicine, and petrol black markets


Reuters, March 25, 2012

Syria‘s economy might be broken but illegal construction has boomed – the authorities are too busy crushing the revolution – and cash, medicine, and petrol black markets have mushroomed all over

BEIRUT:  While Syria’s economy as a whole has been crippled by violent unrest, there are some people for whom the uprising has created business opportunities. Take building contractor Ahmed, who asked to be identified only by his first name for fear of arrest. He has been artfully building unlicensed , small-scale housing while the authorities are distracted with the more pressing task of quelling a revolt. “Yes , yes, I exploit the revolution. The government is preoccupied,” the 48-year-old said from his home in Aleppo, Syria’s northern, sprawling merchant city of 2.5 million people. “I used to do some covert building before, but now I’m fairly public about it,” the entrepreneur added. President Bashar al-Assad‘s forces have killed more than 8,000 people in his drive to crush the year-long uprising, according to the United Nations , with his troops fanning out around the country to try to stamp out the opposition.

Opportunistic builders, loan sharks and black market importers have all done well from the revolt, Syrians say. Urban residents say security firms, selling closed-circuit television cameras and thick steel doors to fretful Syrians who want to beef up home safety, have also seen a boom in sales. Jihad Yazigi, a Damascus-based economist and editor of the English-language Syria Report , said that in the early days of the revolt Syrians saw that inflation would become a threat – the value of the Syrian pound against the dollar has roughly halved since the unrest started. They therefore sought to buy property or build on existing land holdings as an investment.

This strategy appears to have worked, with house values remaining fairly strong in areas not directly caught up in the fighting. “We saw a lot of illegal building in the first few months of the revolution, not only because people were afraid of inflation but because many people had plans to build but they didn’t have licences,” Yazigi said over the telephone from Damascus. He said authorities had since clamped down on illegal building in the capital, while cement and steel prices have risen sharply, making construction more expensive. But in other parts of Syria, the building boom appears to have continued . For Syrian men, owning one’s own property is often a prerequisite to getting married; high demand has driven up house prices. For Syrian fathers, slyly adding a floor or two to the family home is often cheaper than buying apartments for sons.

Cash from chaos

Other entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the chaos in the country’s banking sector, which is reeling from economic sanctions and falling foreign currency reserves; Western and some Arab countries have banned imports of Syrian oil and cut financial ties with Syrian banks, among other steps. Syria’s bank deposits have shrunk almost a third since the unrest began. Few banks are willing to sell scarce foreign currency, for which demand grows as the Syrian pound weakens, and bazaar-based currency traders selling dollars in the central markets of Damascus have profited from panic buying. Bank loans appear nearly impossible to acquire , creating opportunities for unlicensed loan sharks.

Ali, 34, works for his father, a struggling farmer who has been trying to keep the family business alive but has been refused loans from both state-owned and private banks. “My father ended up borrowing money from a loan shark,” Ali said, adding that the loan was a three-month advance at 50 percent interest, with a 25 percent surcharge for late payment. “I was so surprised at how organised it was, and how he had official papers. Everyone is having to take out these loans now and the lenders are working openly while the police are distracted .”

In an effort to preserve foreign currency reserves , the government has increased customs tariffs on some imports to prevent currency from leaving the country. Syrians who are in need of foreign-manufactured goods, such as medical drugs, have been forced to look to the black market.

Lama, a 25-year-old pharmacist in the capital , says there has been a marked increase in the trade of black market drugs. “We have been forced at the pharmacy to deal with smugglers. Medicine is not something that can be postponed. If we don’t boost our supplies using illegal means then customers, especially those with chronic diseases, will try to get smuggled medicine themselves.” And as queues to obtain heating oil and petrol lengthen and the government raises the official prices of fuel, city residents increasingly head to the flourishing black market. Issa, a mid-twenties student in Damascus, said he had noticed a change of business practice in the petrol station where he works parttime . “As fuel prices rise, my boss has hired more people to walk along the queue of cars waiting for petrol. When they see people give up waiting and drive off, they stop them and ask if they want to buy fuel at a higher price,” Issa said. Reuters | Mar 25, 2012 “The queues are so long that people are willing to pay extortionate prices.”

The worse news

However, many people in Syria believe the general economic crisis is so severe that even the most savvy entrepreneurs are probably only breaking even. The government has not provided figures for how the unrest has affected gross domestic product, but Yazigi estimated the economy may have shrunk 15 percent last year and could shrink a further 15 percent or more this year. The government has warned citizens of the possibility of wider energy rationing, blaming terrorists for the sabotage of power plants, in what economists and business leaders say is an effort to conserve scarce fuel.

The Syrian government says these “armed terrorists” have killed more than 2,000 soldiers and police during the unrest. And as the value of the Syrian pound has plummeted, the cost of living has sky-rocketed . Many Syrians are unable to buy anything but the bare essentials. The official inflation rate was 15 percent in January; some basic goods such as sugar, butter, vegetable oil and eggs have risen in price by as much as 100 percent.

Sri Lanka on trial, but case against India


, TNN | Mar 25, 2012,

By giving me electric shocks, by stripping me naked, or by brutally assaulting me and inserting stones in my rectum, will the problem of Naxalism end? When I was being stripped, I felt someone should come and save me and it did not happen. In Mahabharata , Draupadi’s honour was saved when she called upon Krishna. Whom should I have called? I was given to them (police) by the court,” writes Soni Sori, a Dantewada school teacher who is in the custody of the Chhattisgarh police for her alleged support to Maoist rebels in the state.

“Not only did she write to the Supreme Court begging that she not be kept in the custody of those who tortured her, but a medical report from a Kolkata hospital showed the presence of stones in her rectum and vagina. And yet, she was sent back to the men who tortured her,” says Sori’s mentor, Himanshu Kumar, a Chhatisgarh social activist.

Sori’s story is not an aberration; a blip on an otherwise clean state. It’s just another case of custodial torture – a routine in the police station of India, which this week voted in favour of a USbacked resolution against the Sri Lankan government for its war crimes at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

For a country that does not believe it is at war, India’s track record on human rights is rather pathetic . The government might find itself in a very uncomfortable situation if the UNHRC turned the spotlight on India — on the mini Camp X-rays that exist in police lock-ups and the secret safe houses, where people are kept in illegal detention.

Custodial killings, police abuse and torture, and failure to implement policies protecting vulnerable communities marred India’s record in 2011, says a global report by Human Rights Watch released earlier this year. “And yet, as a country, we behave like ostriches with our head in the mud, choosing to ignore what is going on around us,” says sociologist Nandini Sardesai.

Custodial violence is a norm in police stations, especially for those who are arrested for alleged anti-state activities. Arun Ferreira, a social activist and alumnus of Mumbai‘s St Xavier’s College, was recently released from Nagpur Central Jail after more than four years in prison for his alleged support to Naxalites. Out of prison, Ferriera has now written a paper on how he was tortured. According to him, the interrogations lasted 16-20 hours a day and included threats to torture and rape his family. He describes instruments of torture such as ‘Bajirao’ , a whipping strip made from conveyor belt material attached with a wooden handle on one side that causes permanent pain without any external injury marks.

Often the police don’t stop at torture. In Mumbai, the police staged the disappearance of Khwaja Yunus , a young man being interrogated for a bombblast in 2004. It later emerged that he had died in police custody. The same year, Mumbai witnessed a series of slum demolitions in which the state acknowledged 24 deaths.

The real tragedy is that no effort is being made by the government to check the increasing cases of human rights violation across the country. Despite a Supreme Court order in 2006 that directed every state to set up a police complaints authority (PCA), only 18 of the 29 states have so far set it up, and it is functional in only 10 states, says a report by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI). “Even where they are functional, they are designed to fail,” says Navaz Kotwal of CHRI.

While India has a poor human rights record, Sardesai points out that no country in the world is free of human rights violations. After all, the US, which moved the UNHRC motion against Sri Lanka , is a well-known perpetrator of war crimes in other countries.

Even small countries like Nepal and Bhutan don’t have clean records. Some 100,000 ethnic Nepalese were forced out of Bhutan in the 1980s and 1990s. Five years after Nepal’s civil war ended , a report by Human Rights Watch and Advocacy International says victims are still waiting for justice while the alleged perpetrators have “been appointed to senior government positions and sent abroad on UN peacekeeping missions…”

Nepal, Bhutan and India may have a deceptively clean image, thanks to the troubled neighbourhood they’re in. But the Sri Lankan case has opened a can of worms that may finally bring attention to its neighbours’ equally bad rights record.

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