Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangarsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
NEW DELHI, 14 JUNE, 2008. Sixteen US Congresspersons, led by Padma Bhushan Frank Pallone Jr, have sent a letter to the Prime Minister expressing their support to the Bhopalis “epic march” and demands, and urging the PM to bring Dow Chemical and Union Carbide to justice. The Congressional letter is the latest in a tide of support that has flowed in from overseas, including endorsements from British and Scottish MPs, Amnesty International, and more than 100 eminent writers and people in the arts.
The US congressional letter sent on June 5, 2008, is strong in its criticism of US-based Dow Chemical and Union Carbide. “The conduct of American corporations outside the US is a long-standing concern of ours. . .In this case, US corporations have refused to submit to the jurisdiction of foreign [Indian] courts. . .It is outrageous that the executives of Union Carbide and its successor, Dow Chemical, have yet to be brought to justice.”
Besides expressing their support for the Commission proposed by the Bhopalis, the 16 US legislators added wrote: “We hope that the Indian Government pursues Union Carbide and Dow Chemical for their civil and criminal liabilities in the country.”
British MP Des Turner also coincidentally issued a press statement on June 5 expressing his outrage at the continued neglect of the Bhopal survivors. “It is morally totally indefensible that in a situation like this that many local communities are exposed to this toxic threat and the Dow Chemical Company continues to abrogate its responsibility for one of the greatest human tragedies in history. I shall be bringing this to the attention of the Indian High Commission.” An Early Day Motion tabled in the British Parliament in support of the Bhopal campaign by Turner was endorsed by 68 British MPs, including himself.
Meanwhile, 60 organisations, including 17 US-based NRI organizations sent a letter to the Prime Minister, and a copy of the same to Ms. Sonia Gandhi seeking an urgent resolution of the Bhopal demands.
“International pressure will escalate. People are outraged at the Government’s insensitivity in handling the Bhopalis’ demands, and will find ways of expressing their opposition to the Government’s lackadaisical attitude,” said Aquene Freechild, a US-based supporter and member of the Students for Bhopal campaign.
Already, more than a 100 people from 7 countries have signed up to fast with the Bhopalis for a day or longer. Of these, 9 people from USA, France, Argentina and India have started an indefinite fast in their own homes. They are: Indra Sinha (France), Diane Wilson, George Stadnik, Amy Harlib, Jeevan Pendli, and H. Halen from the US, Catalina Farias Rodriguez from Argentina, and Alok Nayak, Shweta Narayan and Bharati Mamani from India.
Till date, the Prime Minister’s Office has received more than 5027 faxes urging the PM to meet the Bhopalis and their demands. However, Bhopal organizations have received no response from the Government yet.
For more information, contact:
Satinath Sarangi. 9717516003