Mythological beings descend on Kings Lynn

KINGS LYNN 13 MAY 2003. Two mysterious beings appeared this morning at the Dow Chemicals factory in the tiny, remote English town of Kings Lynn, Norfolk. “We are from the UK branch of the ICJB and we come bringing a gift” they told plant managers who stared at them in wonder and said, “We have heard of you. You delivered soil and water.” Yea verily. The long arm of the ICJB reacheth out even unto the furthest ends of Dow’s realm of chemical despair.

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Global hunger strike begins

Bapuji, if you could see the terrible things that are being done to the poor, we know that you would be fasting beside us.

WASHINGTON DC, 12 MAY. Watched by the statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, the three hunger strikers today marked the end of their personal fast by calling on supporters and justice campaigners around the world to take over and fast in relays from now until the 19th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster. STATEMENT AND APPEAL HEREJOIN THE GLOBAL FAST FOR JUSTICE HERE

BHOPAL ACTIVISTS END HUNGER STRIKE ON 12TH DAY, LAUNCH GLOBAL RELAY FAST

Washington, D.C. 12 May, 2003 — Two women survivors and a long-time Bhopal activist today ended their 12-day hunger strike for justice in Bhopal at the Gandhi Statue in front of the Indian Embassy today in Washington, D.C. They called upon supporters worldwide to sign on to the Worldwide Relay Hunger Strike for Justice in Bhopal and keep it alive until the 19th Bhopal anniversary on December 3, 2003.

More than 40 people, including representatives from PACE International Union, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm, D.C. Collective, Code Pink Women for Peace and Association for India’s Development attended the gathering, and issued statements in solidarity.

Mr. Anil Chowdhry, Minister for Personal and Community Affairs, met the Bhopal delegation and assured them that he would communicate to the Government of India their demands, extradition of Anderson and inclusion of Dow Chemical as an accused in the Bhopal criminal case.

The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, a global coalition led by survivors, declared December 3 as the Global Day of Action Against Corporate Crime and has appealed to trade unions, public interest organizations and those protesting the abuses of globalization to observe the day by organizing activities to fight for justice against corporate crimes in their localities.

“Justice delayed is justice denied. The Indian Government should expedite the extradition of Warren Anderson and move rapidly to include Dow in the criminal case against Union Carbide in Bhopal,” said Rashida Bee, president of the Bhopal Gas-affected Women Stationery Workers Association, a trade union that is a member of the global coalition. Despite repeated orders by the Bhopal district court to expedite the trial, the Indian Government has been reluctant to bring UCC and Anderson to justice fueling speculation that it has succumbed to pressure from the US multinational.

On May 8, the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal confronted Dow Chemical, the new owners of Union Carbide, outside its annual shareholders meeting in Midland, Michigan. Addressing shareholders, Dow chairman William Stavropoulos stated that Union Carbide – a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical – does not face criminal charges in the Bhopal court. However, as recently as April 9, 2003, the Central Bureau of Investigation had indicated to the court that it will submit a report on including Dow as an accused in addition to Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in the ongoing criminal case. In 1986, UCC, its former chairman Warren Anderson and ten others were charged with manslaughter among other crimes. Neither Anderson nor UCC have appeared in court to face trial.

“In merging with UCC, Dow has acquired a fugitive from justice. By failing to subject itself to the Indian legal system, Dow is trying to evade its responsibilities and has exposed its callous disregard for the law of the land,” said Satinath Sarangi of ICJB. Sarangi, along with Bee and her colleague Champa Devi, began an indefinite fast from New York’s financial district on May 1.

Having handed over the hunger strike to supporters around the world, the Bhopal delegation will travel around the United States raising awareness about Dow’s crimes in Bhopal and build resistance against
the company. More than 200 people from 19 countries have already joined the global fast.

The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal is a global coalition led by the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal. Billed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, the Union Carbide gas leak killed 8000 within three days of the disaster and exposed more than 500,000. ICJB calls upon Dow, the new owners of Union Carbide, to face longstanding criminal charges against Carbide in India, release toxicological information regarding the poison gases, arrange for long-term medical rehabilitation and monitoring, provide economic rehabilitation and social support for survivors’ children, and clean up the toxic wastes and contaminated groundwater in and around Carbide’s old factory site. The demand to the Government of India is to ensure that Dow is held accountable.

For more information, visit: www.bhopal.net
Contact: Nityanand Jayaraman. Cell: 520 906 5216.
Email: nity68@vsnl.com
Krishnaveni G. Cell: 832.444.1731. Email: krishnaveni_g@sbcglobal.net

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Do you know the whereabouts of Warren Anderson? The Government of India has asked for his extradition.

Warren Anderson, ex Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation is wanted by a court in Bhopal, India, to answer criminal charges of “culpable homicide” relating to the deaths of 20,000 people. The Government of India on 6 May 2003 requested the United States to extradite Anderson and hand him over to face trial in Bhopal. To date, no answer has been received from the US authorities.

In India Anderson is listed as a “fugitive from justice” having for 11 years ignored the summons to appear before the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Bhopal. We appeal to anyone who knows where he is hiding to come forward and inform the proper authorities. You may also contact us directly and in complete confidence with any information about Warren Anderson and his current whereabouts on THE ANDERSON HOTLINE.

Anderson’s last known addresses were: 929 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton,
New York, and 111 South Catalina Court, Vero Beach, Florida.

Broken bail bond (7 December 1984)

Proclamation from Bhopal Court published in Washington Post (1 January 1992)<

Arrest warrant (10 April 1992)

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Bhopal survivors arrive in the US

April 22nd – Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla, gas affected survivors and leaders of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karamchari Sangh (Bhopal Gas Affected Women’s Stationery Workers’ Union / BGPMSKS), and Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action arrived in Texas, US today for a 40 day tour. During their tour, Rashida Bee and Champa Devi will visit various communities affected by Dow Chemical, and also engage in strategic discussion with support groups to strengthen their struggle for justice. The survivors will also be confronting senior executives of Dow and shareholders at the company’s annual shareholder meeting with Dow’s pending liabilities in Bhopal, on May 8th in Midland, Michigan. Mrs. Champa Devi stated, “It’s been two years since we first met with Dow officials in India, and in this time we’ve not received a single concrete proposal on how they’ll address their responsibilities in Bhopal. So long as babies in Bhopal nurse on mothers milk that contains toxic chemicals, DOW’s name will remain internationally associated with corporate injustice.”

See the survivors’ full tour schedule and press statement here.

Find Tour information resources here.

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Answered: the $333 million question

March 21 – An affidavit sumitted to the Indian Supreme Court on March 9 has at last unravelled the missing money mystery, confirming that R1,505 Crores of the 1989 civil settlement between the Government of India and Union Carbide remains undistributed. Addressing a press conference today three survivors’ organisations demanded immediate payment of the money, which the government has already agreed in principle to do. In the short term, the balance of the settlement fund could make a significant positive difference to the lives of survivors, tens of thousands of whom face destitution.

Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh said “Thanks to the relentless efforts of our lawyer Mr. S Muralidhar, our stand that there is a balance of over Rs. 1500 crores left in the settlement fund has been vindicated. The government has earlier agreed “in principle” that this belongs to the claimant victims, now it must practice the principle it holds.” The survivors’ organisations also announced a March 25 meeting with the Gas relief Minister to discuss the need for piped water in the contamination affected communities.

You can read the affidavit of the Reserve Bank of India affirming the $333 million of remaining compensation in this DOC1.

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Could survivors finally receive what the Indian government was first given 15 years ago?

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
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March 21, 2004
Press Statement

Addressing a press conference on ‘urgent issues of Bhopal’ today, three organizations active among the survivors of the December ’84 Union Carbide disaster in this city demanded immediate payment of the balance of compensation fund among the claimant victims. They said their claim that over Rs. 1500 crores was left as balance has been vindicated by the affidavit submitted before the Supreme Court of India by the Reserve Bank of India recently. Leaders of the organizations also spoke about the issue they will be discussing with the Minister, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation at their meeting on March 25, 2004 on supply of piped drinking water to the communities affected by water contamination.

The affidavit of the Reserve Bank of India was submitted on March 9, 2004 in the matter of the Writ Petition filed by Mrs. Rashida Bee, Mrs. Champa Devi Shukla and 34 others on March 5, 2003. In July 2003, the Union of India had filed an affidavit claiming that only Rs. 475.76 crores were left as balance in the compensation fund.

The figures presented in the Reserve Bank of India’s affidavit have been analysed by Mr. Mohan Mani a Corporate Analyst at the Centre for Workers Management in Bangalore and they show Rs. 1505.46 crores as the balance amount on December 31 2003.

Mrs. Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh said ” Thanks to the relentless efforts of our lawyer Mr. S Muralidhar, our stand that there is a balance of over Rs. 1500 crores left in the settlement fund has been vindicated. The government has earlier agreed “in principle” that this belongs to the claimant victims, now it must practice the principle it holds.”

Speaking on the meeting with the Minister of Gas Relief Mr. Syed M Irfan, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, said “The meeting will be on one issue and that is supply of piped drinking water from Kolar reservoir to the residents of the 12 communities adjacent to the Union Carbide factory. Summer has already started and the supply of water through tankers to these communities is grossly inadequate. There are too many diseases among the 20, 000 people in these communities from drinking contaminated water and babies are nursing on poisoned milk. They must have piped water without delay.”

Mrs. Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh

Syed M Irfan, President
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha

Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi
Member
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
——————————————————————————-

Contact :
1. House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag Umrao Dulha, Bhopal Tel: 3132298,
2. B-2 / 302, Sheetal Nagar, Berasia Road, Bhopal Tel : 9826167369
For more information please visit www.bhopal.net

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Analysis of figures presented in affidavit of the Reserve Bank of India submitted before the Supreme Court of India on March 9, 2004 by Mr. Mohan Mani, Corporate Analyst, Centre for Workers’ Management, Bangalore.
Tel : 080 23631222, Email : nbamm@vsnl.net
——————————————————————————-

1. The amount received for compensation was deposited with the RBI, which created two separate accounts a rupee account (Account A) and a dollar account (Account B). The rupee account received the initial rupee payment, and all the interest from various government securities into which the money (both rupee and dollar account) was invested. The money in the dollar account was also held as rupees at a then conversion rate of $6.55 to Rs.100 (About Rs.15 per dollar).

2. All payout as compensation was made from the rupee account. Whenever there was a shortfall in the rupee account, it was made good by disinvesting the securities in the dollar account. However, at the time the government also compensated for the difference in exchange rate, i.e. the rate on the date on which it was originally credited viz Rs 100 per $6.55 and the rate prevalent as on the date of disinvesting the securities. The exchange rate compensation was also credited to the rupee account. As per para 18 of the affidavit, the total amount in the dollar account was (641.22 + 2.15) Rs.643.37 crores.

3. As per para 23 of the RBI affidavit, the total disinvestment from the dollar account was about Rs.167.60 crores. The balance in the dollar account was (643.37 167.60) about Rs.475.77 crores.

4. As per para 24 of the affidavit, the realizable value of the securities as on 31-12-2003 was Rs.578.90 crores. This includes the amount in the dollar account. If all the securities were to be liquidated, the government would in addition to the Rs.578.90 crores also have to compensate for the exchange difference on the dollar account amount.

5. To calculate the exchange difference, we first calculate the dollar equivalent of the balance at $6.55 to Rs.100. This works out to $31.16 crores. Then applying a current exchange rate of Rs.45 per dollar, the present value of $31.16 crores works out to Rs.1402.33 crores. Thus the exchange difference is (1402.33 475.77) Rs.926.56 crores. This amount has to be added to the realizable value of the securities. The liquidation value of the securities thus works out to Rs.1505.46 crores.

The table below summarizes the calculations.

Total liquidation value of securities
(as on 31-12-2003)

($crores)(Rs.crores)
Realisable value of securities578.90
(as on 31-12-2003)
Dollar account balance475.77
(as on 31-12-2003)
Dollar equivalent31.16
(exchange rate of $6.55 to Rs.100)
Current rupee value of dollars1402.33
(exchange rate of $1 to Rs.45)
Exchange difference for dollars926.56
(1402.33 – 475.77)
Total liquidation value of securities1505.46
(578.90 + 926.56)

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