Friday, May 11, 2012

Urgent Action Alert: Koodankulam Protesters Face Imminent Arrest

Courtesy: Amnesty International via

see also

What is Illegal at Koodankulam: Protests or the Reactors? —

End Intimidation of Peaceful Protesters at Koodankulam: Human Rights Watch —

Suppression of Democratic Rights in Koodankulam: Invitation for A Public Hearing —

MAY 11, 2012 11:42 PM | India -

At least 330 people who have been on hunger strike in protest against a nuclear power plant project in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu face imminent arrest, after police issued orders prohibiting the protest and surrounded their village.

The peaceful protestors, including more than 300 women, have been on hunger strike against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant project since 1 May. This is part of ongoing protests against the project during the past 10 months. They could be arrested at any time after the Tamil Nadu police issued orders prohibiting the assembly of more than four people within seven km of the project site and surrounded their coastal village of Idinthakarai.

People in large numbers protested in Idinthakarai yesterday. Photo Courtesy: Amirtaraj Stephen

The Largest, Most Important, Anti-Nuclear Protest You Don't Know About is in Southern India - NIRS

Support Indian Protesters; Stop Kudankulam!

March 27, 2012

On March 19, 2012, the Indian government gave approval for operation of two Russian-designed nuclear reactors at Kudankulam in southern India. These dangerous reactors have been under construction since 1988 and are obsolete before they even start up. Three million people live within 30 kilometers (18) miles of these reactors, some less than a half-mile away.

Meanwhile, a large protest movement has risen in the region and there are currently some 10,000 people protesting nearby. They are being surrounded by thousands of armed police. One of the leaders of this nonviolent resistance is Dr. S.P. Udayakumar, who is also a leader in our NIRS/WISE international network. On March 22, 2012, he was able to get a moving letter to us describing the situation at the protest site. He since has sent two more letters, including one today that indicates more than 170 protesters have been charged with serious crimes. You can read these letters, watch videos, and get more background information here. The Indian government is threatening to arrest Dr. Udayakumar and charge him with terrorism and "waging war" against India.

We are asking every one, from every country, to take action and tell India's top government officials:

1. Leave the protesters alone.

2. Close Kudankulam before it opens. These reactors are simply too dangerous--to Indians and to the rest of the world--to allow their operation.

Thank you and please share widely.

Support Indian Protesters; Stop Kudankulam!
In March 2012, more than 180 people were arrested for protesting against the nuclear power plant and all but two were released within a month. Some of the protestors, led by teacher Dr S P Udayakumar, already face charges of sedition (crimes against the state), waging war against the state, conspiracy and rioting with deadly weapons for their involvement in the protests, and if convicted of these charges they could face sentences as high as life imprisonment. Amnesty International believes the charges are false, and constitute a deliberate attempt by the authorities to silence the protests.

The protestors are members of the People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy (PMANE). They have been campaigning against plans for commissioning a Russian-built nuclear power plant next to the coastal village of Kudankulam, because they believe it poses a danger to local communities, especially after the serious problems caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. They fear that the site will affect at least 15,000 people living nearby.

Dr Udayakumar informed Amnesty International that the police, who have surrounded Idinthakarai village, were not allowing visitors to enter the village and meet with the protestors or allowing the villagers to leave.

Please write immediately in English or your own language:
* Calling on the Indian authorities not to arrest the peaceful protestors and drop any false charges against them;
* Calling on the Indian authorities to release the two remaining peaceful protestors currently in detention;
* Calling on the Indian authorities to immediately end restrictions on the freedom of movement of those seeking to enter or exit Idinthakarai village and respect the protestors’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly in accordance with India’s obligations under international law.


Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi 110 00, India
Fax: +91 11 2301 7931
Email: Through website:

Salutation: Dear Prime Minister

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
Ms.J. Jayalalitha
Fort St George
Chennai 600 009
Salutation: Dear Chief Minister

Solidarity messages may be sent to:
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy
Dr S. P. Udayakumar
Idinthakarai PO 627104
Tamil Nadu

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the fourth update of UA 367/11. Further information:


The People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy has been leading the protests against the commissioning of the nuclear power plant for 10 months. Kudankulam’s neighbouring villages were hit by the tsunami that struck South and South-East Asia in December 2004, and local residents are fearful of a radioactive leak if such a disaster strikes again. Dr Udayakumar states that the expert panel established by the Indian authorities to conduct a safety assessment for the project had failed to respond satisfactorily to several site and safety concerns raised by an independent group of experts.

Name: Dr S P Udayakumar (m), and at least 330 others
Gender m/f: Around 30 male and 300 female

Further information on UA: 367/11 Index: ASA 20/020/2012 Issue Date: 11 May 2012

India: Further information: Release Tamil Nadu nuclear plant protestors | Amnesty International: Index Number: ASA 20/016/2012 Date Published: 10 April 2012 Categories:
India Of the 180 people detained in March for protesting against a nuclear power plant project in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, 148 have been released on bail. While 25 more may be released on bail during the next few days, seven others are likely to remain in jail.

Urgent Action Alert: Koodankulam Protesters Face Imminent Arrest — |

see also

As the World Awakes, India Sleepwalks Into Nuclear Peril —

High Noon in Koodankulam | Niranjan Ramakrishnan (Courtesy:

Many countries are rethinking their nuclear plans post-Fukushima. Some are proceeding to draw down their nuclear power operations. According to an AP report,

“Germany…turned decisively against nuclear power after the Fukushima crisis, shutting down eight reactors and planning to close the remaining nine nuclear power plants by 2022.”
Last June in the wake of the Japanese disaster, Italians held a referendum and rejected nuclear energy for their country, leading then Prime Minister Berlusconi to concede that his country would have to bid “addio” to nuclear power.

Having known nuclear devastation up close, first during wartime in 1945, and then in peacetime last year upon seeing the writing on the tsunami wall, Japan has acted with alacrity, From the same AP report,

“Japan will be free of atomic power for the first time since 1966 on Saturday, when the last of its 50 usable reactors is switched off for regular inspections. The central government would like to restart them at some point, but it is running into strong opposition from local citizens and governments.”

As Harvey Wasserman writes in CounterPunch, the recent election may hasten France’s move away from nuclear energy,

“And France has replaced a vehemently pro-nuclear premier with the Socialist Francois Hollande, who will almost certainly build no new reactors. For decades France has been the “poster child” of atomic power. But Hollande is likely to follow the major shift in French national opinion away from nuclear power and toward the kind of green-powered transition now redefining German energy supply.”

Wasserman’s article also declares that the chances of the United States building any new reactors are slim to none – the price tag of around $10 billion a reactor puts it at a decided disadvantage compared to – renewable energy!

Following Fukushima, China is engrossed in a bottom-to-top reevaluation of its nuclear energy strategy.

Thus is there a pensive re-examination of faith even among fervent believers in nuclear power. Theoretical argument is one thing; the sight of one of the world’s most efficient and advanced populations struggling to cope with a nuclear emergency gives an entirely different aspect to the matter.The slightest chance that huge centers of population might not just be devastated, but rendered unlivable for hundreds of years, alters the mental odds-making completely, as well it should.

This is the setting in which an establishment high on the ‘development’ narcotic and tantalized by the apsara of growth rate has decided to commit India to building no less than 30 new nuclear reactors in the next 20 years...

more > As the World Awakes, India Sleepwalks Into Nuclear Peril —

see also

whats up: Urgent Message from Koodankulam: Police Seige Around Idinthakarai Again

whats up: Kudankulam protests | Jaitapur

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