Letter from the Philippines to Manmohan Singh

Sent April 3rd, 2008.
His Excellency Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
His Excellency Rajeet Mitter
Ambassador to the Philippines
Embassy of India
2190 Paraiso Street, Dasmariñas Village
Makati, Metro Manila
Dear Prime Minister Singh:

We write to urge you to act on your two year old promise to the victims of the Bhopal gas disaster of 1984.
On April 2006 you assured welfare measures for Bhopal survivors and their families. In your statements, these measures included the provision of clean water, the clean up of toxic wastes, and the creation of a national commission for medical and economic rehabilitation.  None of these promises have so far been realized.
This month, Bhopal survivors and their families have once again undertaken a 38- day padayatra from Bhopal to New Delhi. The Bhopalis have made a huge sacrifice in leaving their homes and their livelihoods, walking 800 kms for 38 days in order to seek audience with you.  They have undertaken this grueling walk to demand justice that has remained elusive for more than 24 years. Meanwhile, the poisoned soil and waters of Bhopal will continue to cause monumental damage to the lives, health, and livelihoods of these survivors and their families for several more generations.
The Bhopal Gas Leak is one of the worst chemical disasters the world has ever faced, snuffing out thousands of lives on the night of the disaster, the count reaching about 20,000 within a month. Yet, full accountability from the perpetrators, Union Carbide (now Dow Chemicals), have not been exacted.
As early as a month ago, requests have been filed before your office to arrange a meeting between yourself and the fifty Bhopalis and their supporters so that they may follow up on your promises. Sadly, these requests have been ignored.
We wish to express that we support the Bhopalis in their demands for:
1. the creation of a specially empowered commission, headed by a person of unquestionable integrity who enjoys the confidence of the Bhopal survivors, to oversee the implementation of legal and rehabilitation measures in Bhopal; and
2. unyeilding sincerity on the part of the Government in pursuing the existing cases against Dow Chemicals and Union Carbide.
We believe that your assurances to the Bhopal victims should finally be set to motion so that justice may finally be served in their favor.
Ira Beau L. Baconguis
Toxics Campaigner
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Beau Baconguis
Toxics Campaigner
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
24 K-J St., Brgy. East Kamias
1102 Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. + 63 (2) 4347034 loc 102
Mobile: + 63 917 8036077

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