Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India,
Common Concerns over Koodankulam Nuclear Power Installations
We as a group of concerned citizens of Sri Lanka, 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.
Our concerns are on,
safety issues that should be in place 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, that we are made to understand would be dumped in the sea beyond Kanniakumari
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 using brute force with the Central government of yours providing all necessary support and advice. 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 note that the Indian Supreme Court had on Wednesday, 17 October had requested the operator of the Koodankulam nuclear power plant, “Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd.”, to provide the Court with specific details on waste disposal. It has very specifically asked, “Where would it (spent fuel and uranium waste) go and what impact would it have on environment and people’s health, if it is transported to another place? How much and how long can such waste be stored?”
In such context that demand transparency, we take note of the fact that such waste if dumped in the sea around Kanniakumari, would further aggravate the conflict on livelihood between Sri Lankan fishermen from the North Western coast and those from South India. We fear this would also adversely effect marine fishing and all marine resources that is being ruthlessly exploited in our seas, even now.
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,
Mano Ganesan – Leader, Democratic People’s Front – Sri Lanka.
Siritunge Jayasuriya – General Secretary, United Socialist Party, Sri Lanka
Anton Marcus – Joint Secretary, FTZ & General Service Employees’ Union, Sri Lanka
Kusal Perera – Journalist and political critic, Colombo – Sri Lanka
Srinath Perera – Senior Attorney at Law, Member, Bar Association of Sri Lanka
Copies to: Hon. Chief Minister, TN, Ms. Jeyalalitha Jeyaram
Convenor, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
(The above proposed statement would be handed over to the Indian High Commission in Colombo Sri Lanka and released to the press there shortly)