Tag Archives: shameless

Post from the Past: 2002 – Bhopal & Babylon: When Anderson Was Discovered Living It Up in the Hamptons

The post below was originally published by the editors of Bhopal.net over 12 years ago, on September 8, 2002. Even though Anderson died in September 2014, the fight for justice lives on. This post’s original conclusion, “[Anderson] and his wife must have been hoping Bhopal had gone away. But Bhopal will never go away. Not until there is justice.”  still rings true – Bhopal will never leave Warren Anderson. He will go down in history as a man who knowingly put profit and greed over  the lives of tens of thousands of people. He will go down in history as a murderer.

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BRIDGEHAMPTON, LONG ISLAND: Ex-Carbide CEO Warren Anderson is clearly startled by all the media attention focussed on him since a court in Bhopal reaffirmed on 28 August that he is wanted for the homicide of 20,000 Bhopalis, and called for his immediate extradition. He must really have thought he’d got away with it. Warren has been ignoring the court’s summonses and Interpol’s arrest warrant for more than a decade. How is it, Channel 4 asked last week, that US authorities have apparently been unable to trace him, when it turns out he has been living openly at his house in Long Island’s exclusive Hamptons district? (Channel 4 found the address, incidentally, on our website.)

Continue reading Post from the Past: 2002 – Bhopal & Babylon: When Anderson Was Discovered Living It Up in the Hamptons

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Wikileaks: “Bhopal Gas Tragedy NGOs reveal Wikileaks’ cables on Dow Chemicals; Allege Indian Govt. kowtowed to US pressure”

Original link: http://www.wikileaks-forum.com/bhopal/626/bhopal-gas-tragedy-ngos-reveal-wikileaks-cables-on-dow-chemicals/18740/

Bhopal Gas Tragedy NGOs reveal Wikileaks’ cables on Dow Chemicals; Allege Indian Govt. kowtowed to US pressure

Submitted by admin4 on 17 April 2013 – 11:01pm

By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net

Bhopal: Representatives of five NGOs (non-government organisations) working for the welfare of the survivors of 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, the world’s worst industrial catastrophe, have accused the Government of India of kowtowing to US Government pressure to serve the interests of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical in Bhopal.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday the representatives of the NGOs while citing recently released documents from Wikileaks’ “Kissinger Cables” said former Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia welcomed Dow investments in India and contradicted the Government of India’s stated position on Dow’s liabilities in India.

Representatives of five NGOs working for the welfare of the survivors of 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy addressing Press Conference.

A cable sent by Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi Steven J White on July 27, 2007 says: “During the CEO forum event in October 2006, GOI officials including Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia stated that they welcomed further Dow investment in India and did not believe that Dow was responsible for the disaster site clean-up.”

The US Ambassador David Mulford is reported to be urging the Government of India to “drop its claims against Dow” in a cable sent on September 18, 2007. In reply Ahluwalia assures the Ambassador that the Government of India does not hold Dow responsible for the clean-up but is unable to withdraw its claims against Dow because of “active and vocal” NGOs. According to the cable Ahluwalia then advised the Ambassador to discuss the issue of Dow Chemical’s Bhopal liabilities with Finance Minister Chidambaram.

The Bhopal organisations said the available cables indicate that the Government of India has consistently short-changed Indians and Bhopalis and served the interests of Union Carbide Corporation. As early as in the 1970s, the Government of India compromised on principles related to foreign exchange to help Union Carbide retain majority control over Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL).

The organizations stated that a cable sent by Deputy Chief of Mission David T. Schneider from the US Embassy in New Delhi on February 4, 1975 shows that the Government of India allowed Union Carbide, USA to bypass the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and obtain loans from American Exim Bank instead of an Indian financing agency. Another cable of September 11, 1975 from US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to the US Embassy in India shows the support the US government gave to Union Carbide, USA in securing loans from the US Exim Bank for its Bhopal operations.

The organizations presented copy of a cable sent by the then US Ambassador in India William Saxbe on April 20, 1976 that expresses satisfaction at the dilution of FERA guidelines so that Union Carbide can continue to hold majority stakes in its Indian subsidiary.

The representatives of five organizations – Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha, Children against Dow/Carbide and Bhopal Group for Information & Action stated that the Wikileaks documents highlight the historical roots of the continuing injustice in the case of the world’s worst industrial disaster in Bhopal. They said that the injustice in Bhopal is being perpetuated by the support of the US and Indian government to Union Carbide and Dow Chemical as well as that by traitors such as Kamal Nath, Chidambaram and Ahluwalia.

It may be recalled here that on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984 Union Carbide pesticide manufacturing factory had spewed poisonous Methyl Iso-cyanate gas whereby 3000 people had perished virtually instantly and over the years more than 25000 have kissed death and the sad saga is still continuing uninterruptedly. About half a million are suffering from the side effects of the poisonous gas and several thousand people have been maimed for life.



A cartoon on display of Uncle Sam controlling Indian high profile leaders and officials at the venue of Press Conference.

Meanwhile, the details of the extracts from Wikileaks are as follows:-

EXTRACTS FROM WIKILEAKS

Date: February 4 1975
Sub: Union Carbide Application for Exim Loans
From: US Embassy, New Delhi, India
To: Department of State, United States of America
URL: https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1975NEWDE01606_b.html
Extract: AS SEEN FROM THE GOI POINT OF VIEW THE ISSUE IS ONE OF PRINCIPLE AND IT HAS ALREADY AGREED TO COMPROMISES NOT USUALLY AVAIL- ABLE TO INDIAN BORROWERS

Date: SEPTEMBER 25 1975
Sub: Indo-US Relations: Atmospherics: Positive Vibrations
From: US Embassy, New Delhi, India
To: Department of State, United States of America
URL: https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1975NEWDE12918_b.html
Extract: We are trying to take advantage of the opening provided by Kaul’s interest in solving economic problems by asking for finance action to resolve a large variety of problems such as the fertilizer arbitration case, remittance delays, Pan Am and TWA problems and pending investment proposals such as Union Carbide and national starch as well as an easing of the more onerous FERA guidelines. (as this cable was being prepared union carbide telephoned to say that its proposal had been suddenly approved after 6 months of waiting.) we hope to get more results. The “success stories” so far relate to GOI movement on the north Vietnam problem, a noticeable easing of “fly Indian” restrictions on Indians travelling on USG programs and union carbide.

Date: JANUARY 5, 1976
Sub: Press Release on EXIMBANK Credit to India
From: Department of State, United States of America India
To: US Embassy, New Delhi
URL: https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1976STATE001679_b.html
Extract: The Export-Import Bank of the United States has authorized a direct credit of dol1,260,000 to Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), to support a dol2.8 million sale of US equipment and services required for the construction of a plant to produce insecticides and other agricultural chemicals. The plant will be built at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, for the production of methyl-isocyanate based pesticides. us purchases will include reactors, distillation towers, heat unclassified un-classified page 02 state 001679 exchangers, centrifuges, filters, dryers, valves, control instrumentation, safety equipment. us suppliers will include Vulcan manufacturing company of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Gould pumps inc., of Seneca fall, New York, among others.

Date: APRIL 20 1976
Sub: Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) Guidelines amended
From: US Embassy, New Delhi, India
To: Department of State, United States of America
URL: https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1976NEWDE05722_b.html
Extract: the earlier guidelines had created problems for the goi in dealing with the cases of multi-product companies such as union carbide, phillips of the netherlands, imperial chemical industries and other whose contribution to indian industrial development and exports was vital but who could not match the strict criteria under the old guidelines and, at the same time, were unwilling to come down to a 40 percent foreign equity position. foreign capital is now assured of a reasonable chance to retain majority holding and management control for investment in india under conditions which, most foreign businessmen feel, are not unduly restrictive

Date: JULY 27, 2007
Sub: New Delhi Weekly ECON Office Highlights
From: US Embassy, New Delhi, India
To: Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of the Treasury, Federal Aviation Administration, India Chennai, India Kolkata, India Mumbai
URL: https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07NEWDELHI3429_a.html
Extract: During the CEO Forum event in October 2006, GOI officials including Commerce Minister Nath and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia stated that they welcomed further Dow investment in India and did not believe that Dow was responsible for the disaster site clean-up.

Date: SEPTEMBER 18, 2007:
Sub: Ambassador Discusses CEO Forum Issues with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Ahluwalia
From: US Embassy, New Delhi, India
To: Department of Commerce | Department of Energy | Department of State | Department of the Treasury | India Chennai | India Kolkata | India Mumbai
URL: https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07NEWDELHI4272_a.html
Extract: The Ambassador also cited the GOI’s continued third party claims against Dow Chemical in the ongoing Bhopal land reclamation lawsuit as a further impediment by Dow and others to invest in India, and he asked that the GOI drop its claims against Dow. Ahluwalia took the Ambassador’s points on McDermott, noting the importance of finally putting the issue to rest. On Dow, he said that the GOI does not understand Dow’s concern about future civil or criminal liability since the GOI third-party claims do not suggest a GOI presumption that Dow is responsible for the cleanup.
The GOI’s problem is that the NGOs are very active and vocal in this case, and it is very difficult for the Government to now drop its claims against Dow. The GOI was hoping for a quick resolution of the case which would have settled the issue, but Dow prevented this by asking for a stay in the proceedings. Ahluwalia noted that the issue of whether a company like Dow can be held liable for the actions of another company solely on the basis of acquiring that company after the culpable activity occurred is an important and novel legal issue in India that needs to be resolved. Ahluwalia recommended that the Ambassador discuss the issue with Finance Minister Chidambaram – a noted jurist. (pervezbari@eth.net)

http://twocircles.net/2013apr17/bhopal_gas_tragedy_ngos_reveal_wikileaks_cables_dow_chemicals_allege_indian_govt_kowtowed_

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Injured Bhopali boy may lose his hand

Anger flares as crowds hold Dow and Coe responsible

“What I’m seeing is a very violent lathi charge against people lying on the tracks, and stone throwing against police, a full-on battle. I’m seeing more fires on the road, women with blood running down their faces from head wounds, cage-like structures full of people presumably under arrest, and some of the TV cameras now appear to be shooting from behind riot shields. There are clearly thousands of people on the streets.”

Spoke on the phone a few hours ago to a survivors’ leader in Bhopal. Sorry not to get this up sooner, a lot of things are going on. Everyone flying about crazily. Here’s what she told me:

15-year old Daoud is seriously injured in hospital and may lose his hand after it was badly mangled by a rubber bullet fired by police.

It happened at Barkhedi, one of five places where the survivors lay down on the tracks to stop trains.

The survivors had announced the places where survivors were to make their way in groups and the police in riot gear with helmets, shields and cudgels (lathis) were waiting.

Police attack and beat elderly women and men

Among the survivors in this place were several older women, among the Goldman Prize co-winner and co-founder of the Chingari Trust, Rasheeda Bi (55).

Police attacked her with cudgels and fists. Her brother in law, coming to her aid, had his leg broken in three places.

Among the other older ladies attacked by police with cudgels were Hazra Bee, a grandmother whose grandchildren suffer serious birth defects, and Bano Bee (60), whose hand is badly bruised and swollen. In 2006 in Delhi, Bano was knocked unconscious by a police kick to her ribs. In hospital she was threatened being cut open. 18 year old Rafat was dragged along the stony ground till her skin was scraped off. Nafisa was also beaten. Like Rashida and Bano, Nafisa has twice walked the 500 miles to Delhi (she is the first speaker in Daniel Gosling’s excellent video of the 2008 padyatra, where at 9′:43″ you can see Rashida, Nafisa and Bano together.).

Police attack sparks angry response

The attack on the women drove the younger boys and men to a fury and they began throwing stones at the police, who responded by throwing stones back at them.

The police then fired rubber bullets directly into the mass of survivors on the tracks. This is when Daoud’s hand was injured.

Until the police attacked the women the action had been peaceful. Pictures and footage from Barkhedi clearly show the police attacking with cudgels first, after which the situation grew increasingly violent.

The protests passed off peacefully at the other four locations.

Eight women were arrested but are now released after, as reported in the earlier post, survivors leaders met the Chief Minister, who agreed to all their demands (for details of these please see the rail roko pages links at right) and wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The response to the rail roko call was overwhelming. Fifty thousand people turned out onto the streets.

“We had never expected so many,” said the survivors’ leader, “the people were angry about being lied to for years. They were angry that people in high places side with Dow, as the London Olympics are doing, and Lord Coe’s continual parroting of Dow PR … Even after the Chief Minister called us [the survivors’ leaders] to a meeting and agreed to all our demands – the people have learned not to trust politicians – they wanted to stay on the railway tracks.”

Even after the action was called off people were wandering with blood on their faces and clothes joined huge crowds milling in the centre of the city, who were horrified to see the state of them.

Huge public anger at Dow and Coe

Anger turned to fury when the TV networks began broadcasting reports that Dow Chemical had refused to appear before the Supreme Court and that Lord Coe was refusing to withdraw his support of Dow.

Dow’s statement, issued through its lawyers was so terse as to be insulting and its remarks dismissive, designed to provoke.

“The Bhopal victims have been more than adequately compensated.”

Really? Well, Lord Coe, check these figures. Then decide whether you’ll also start repeating Dow’s famous 2002 statement, made the year after it merged with Union Carbide:

“$500 is plenty good for an Indian”.


 

Click image for more details

 

 

Look at it another way:


 

Click image for more information

 

 

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Police fire on, stone and beat Bhopal survivors

One critical, many arrested in Rail Roko, eyewitnesses speak of people covered in blood on 27th anniversary of gas disaster

Keep visiting this site for the latest news as we get it. This post is still being written as you are reading it. Please refresh your browser

The “rail roko/stop the trains” protest in Bhopal began peacefully as planned at dawn this morning. Survivors with their families and friends gathered in groups and went to places on the railway line to lie down and begin a peaceful protest.

Police in riot gear with shields and “lathis”, long heavy clubs, turned out in force and began to attack the survivors, sparing neither the old, women and children.

Phone reports speak of people hit by stones and lathis covered in blood. One person is said to be critical in hospital. Many have been arrested. Bodies are lying on the ground in scenes reminiscient of the gas disaster of which today is the 27th anniversary.

Rail Roko facts and figures here

The “rail roko” was a desperate last attempt to get the Indian government to publish the true figures of deaths and injuries attributable to the 1984 gas disaster. It is well recognised the numbers of victims were vastly underrated.

The $470 million 1989 settlement between Union Carbide and the Indian government was based on those figures, consequently the compensation available to victims was pitifully inadequate.

That settlement was not, as Union Carbide’s alter ego Dow Chemical (they merged into one operation in 2001) claims “full and final”. It was reopened by the Supreme Court in 1991 when criminal charges were reinstated against Union Carbide.

The present government has gone back to the Supreme Court with a “curative petition” to seek additional compensation from the company on the basis of what we now, 27 years later, know to be the scale of the human toll.

While welcoming the curative petition, the survivors are frustrated because the government is still not publishing the true figures. For example the curative petition counts 5295 deaths, but the government’s own figures, obtained from the Indian Council of Medical Research and other government bodies, put the true death toll at 22,917.


 

CLICK CHART FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE FIGURES

 


That figure continues to grow. Just last week our friend Raghubir lost his battle against the injuries sustained on “that night”, 27 years ago.

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What is the value of an Indian life?

Do you know how much the US corporation had to pay to its victims in Bhopal? Can you guess? First look at what was paid in other disasters:


 

* In the Mangalore air disaster, compensation extended to an offer of employment for one family member

No one will forget the horror of September 11, 2001, when thousands of innocent people died in New York’s Twin Towers. The night of terror in Bhopal, where thousands died in horrible ways and more than half a million were injured, was no less horrific a human tragedy, but the value placed on the lives of two sets of innocent victims could hardly be in starker contrast.

The number of dead in New York was a tenth those who have died from gas-related injuries. Each American life was valued at more than a thousand times higher than a Bhopali life.

We don’t begrudge the families of the New York victims their compensation, nor are our people asking for anything remotely like the same amount, but the sum the Bhopal survivors were paid was a pittance by any standards.

The $494 they received, meant to last for the rest of their lives, hardly covered their medical bills in the first months. Over 27 years of suffering it comes to Rs 2.50 or 5¢ per day.

After Dow Chemical acquired Union Carbide a Dow spokesperson commented that “$500 is plenty good for an Indian.”

Another way of looking at it


 

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