More on the atrocities by JSPL on innocent men & women of Angul, Odisha, India

More on the atrocities by JSPL on innocent men & women of Angul, Odisha, India

source: mailed by Suresh Bhat

   Sharing with you a few video clippings of the atrocities by Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) on the innocent men & women of Angul, Odisha, India. This incident is of Jan 25, 2012. The victims are the land oustees, on who’s land, the JSPL plant has been installed on. These poor victims were given very low amounts of money by JSPL for their land. JSPL along with a few from the Govt. of Odisha had promised these land losers with adequate jobs, Resettlement & Rehabilitation etc. No, jobs or very few menial (very low paying) jobs (not permanent jobs with JSPL) have been provided for ‘via’ contractors of JSPL. When the land losers were not paid and when they visited the JSPL plant for talks with the management, the attached video clippings will explain you what the JSPL guards and their goons did to the innocent men & women.  This is to let you know that SNSMT has a few more video clippings which have been deliberately withheld from posting on public space, as the same are very gory and extremely disturbing. This is a highly condemnable and punishable  gruesome act of violence  and attack on basic human rights by JSPL officials & Govt. of Odisha officials. A phenomenon which many term as ‘Corporate Terrorism’.

We hope that you will stand in solidarity with the several voice less poor men & women who have been oppressed, environmentally abused, financially cheated and are now being beaten up for merely standing up for ‘their’  ‘very own’ lawful rights. Do forward this message to all your friends, family and associates as a mark of signing your support, sensitivity and compassion for the victims. This is the least you can do, give in your voice to the fight for justice. Click on the attached links and the same will take you through this horrifying incident.

Video No. 1:

Video No. 2:

Video No.3:

Video No.4:

Video No.5:

Yours truly,

Pema Wangdi
Sr. Coordinator SNSMT

Ps- It is to be noted that JSPL has time and again been falsely propagating through media purchasing about being a Socially Responsible Corporate house. Several small awards have been managed by JSPL in respect with their sensitivity for the environment where as this company plans to install a Coal to Liquid (CTL) plant at Angul, a zone in Odisha which already figures in the top 10 critically polluted zones of India. JSPL is also contesting for climate finance. JSPL has been showing unprecedented financial growth but the naked truth of their so called success is  very very ugly and sorry.


300k farmers hope for lawsuit against Monsanto

300k farmers hope for lawsuit against Monsanto

Around 300,000 organic farmers think that Monsanto, the biotech giant known for genetically modifying Mother Nature’s handwork for profit and pushing over the little guys all the while, is pretty seedy.

Now a judge in New York is debating if Monsanto’s questionable methods will go before a jury.

Judge Naomi Buchwald of the Southern District Court of New York says she will have a decision on March 31 in regards to whether a lawsuit waged against the mega-corporation Monsanto should make it to trial.

Last year, 270,000 organic farmers from around 60 family farms tried to take Monsanto to court over issues pertaining to a genetically-modified seed masterminded by the corporation. Not only were the smaller farms concerned over how the manufactured seeds had been carried by wind and creature alike onto their own plantations, but the biggest problem perhaps was that Monsanto was filing lawsuits themselves against farmers. Monsanto went after hundreds of farmers for infringing on their patented seed after audits revealed that their farms had contained their product — as a result of routine pollination by animals and acts of nature. Unable to afford a proper defense, competing small farms have been bought out by the company in droves. As a result, Monsanto saw their profits increase by the hundreds of millions over the last few years as a result. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto tackled 144 organic farms with lawsuits and investigated roughly 500 plantations annually during that span with a so-called “seed police.”

Farmers have been concerned that unless Monsanto is stopped, their reign over the world’s agriculture will surpass anything imaginable. They are seeking pre-emptive protection from those questionable lawsuits and next month Judge Buchwald will weigh in on if the matter should go to trial. Her honor recently listened to oral arguments on Monsanto’s Motion to Dismiss, which the corporation hopes to win to cease the charges being brought by a total of 83 plaintiffs representing now over 300,000 organic farm-affiliated businesses. The legal team for the small-time farmers also offered their arguments.

“Monsanto’s threats and abuse of family farmers stops here,” says Jim Gerritsen, president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. “Monsanto’s genetic contamination of organic seed and organic crops ends now. Americans have the right to choice in the marketplace — to decide what kind of food they will feed their families — and we are taking this action on their behalf to protect that right to choose.”

Elizabeth Archerd, the director of a Minneapolis food co-op, adds in support of the farmers to the New York Times, “Pollen and DNA do not play by the USDA’s rules.” Although hundreds of thousands of farmers feel the same way, it’ll take a judge to decide the next step in the case. From there though, things could get dirty. Michael Taylor, a former attorney for the US Department of Agriculture and lobbyist for Monsanto was recently appointed to a federal role as the deputy commissioner for foods at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since then, the FDA has refused requests to label genetically modified products as such despite demands from consumer protection groups.

Hunger deaths haunt tea gardens of Assam

Hunger deaths haunt tea gardens of Assam

In a shocking revelation from the northeastern part of the country, CNN-IBN has exposed hunger deaths in the tea gardens of Silcher even as the state government has rubbished the claims of it and reopened the garden.

The malnourished and starving workers of the tea garden of Silchar don’t get the essential medical help as the area has a non-functional national rural health mission with no qualified doctors, electricity and water supply.

10 tea plantation workers died due to starvation, malnutrition and lack of medical care during the closure of the garden for 4 months from 8 October, 2011 to 9 February, 2012 in the Bhuvan Valley Tea Estate in Cachar, Assam (India). Tea garden workers get lower than minimum wage, inedible rations and don’t even get proper medical facilities.

Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN, Prasenjit Biswas of BHRPC and Anuradha Talwar, a right to food activist discuss the seriousness of the situation.


Press statement                                                                                                                                                   February 1, 2012



People’s Union for Civil Liberties is shocked at the incidence of brutal violence, on 31-1-2012, at Tirunelveli, against people’s representatives of PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy), including twenty women, opposing the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), by  democratic and peaceful means, to preserve their right to life, livelihood and safe environment. The attack was reportedly carried out by local thugs, members of Hindu Munnani and the local Congress. It occurred just prior to a scheduled fourth meeting between representatives of PMANE and members of the Central Government Expert Panel on KKNPP.

What makes this attack particularly vile and reprehensible, is that it occurred in the premises of Tirunelveli Collectorate, while the collector was present in his chambers, and in presence of police force, thereby making both effectively complicit to this attack.

PUCL condemns all forms of violence, in particular, violence which scuttle democratic processes by the State, in a variety of ways, especially by the use of violence – direct, sponsored or tacitly supported.

PUCL demands strictest action to be taken against all individuals and groups charged with direct violence.  Disciplinary action must also be taken against all police officers present, who, in a dereliction of duty, did not sufficiently safeguard PMANE members from physical harm against hooliganism on government premises. District Collector , R Selvaraj, as the Chief Executive of the District Administration, must accept final responsibility for this grievous incidence, occurring within his jurisdiction and in his office premises.


Pushkar Raj
General Secretary, PUCL

PUCL National Office:
270-A, Ground Floor, Patpar Ganj, Mayur Vihar-I, Delhi-110091
Ph. 011-22750014, 09810656100

If You Want the Peace of the Dead, Prepare for Nuclear War

If You Want the Peace of the Dead, Prepare for Nuclear War

If You Want the Peace of the Dead, Prepare for Nuclear War
By Ramesh Thakur
UN Chronicle 48:4 (October–December 2011), pp. 26–29

The world faces two existential threats: climate change, and nuclear Armageddon. Action on both is required urgently. Tackling the first will impose significant economic costs and lifestyle adjustments, while tackling the second will bring economic benefits without any lifestyle implications. Those who reject the first are derided as aerialists; those dismissive of the second are praised as realists. Although action is needed now in order to keep the world on this side of the tipping point, a climate change-induced apocalypse will not occur until decades into the future. A nuclear catastrophe could destroy us at any time, although, if our luck holds out, it could be delayed for another six decades. The uncomfortable reality is that nuclear peace has been upheld, owing as much to good luck as to sound stewardship. Because we have learned to live with nuclear weapons for 66 years, we have become desensitized to the gravity and immediacy of the threat. The tyranny of complacency could yet exact a fearful price if we sleepwalk our way into a nuclear Armageddon. The time to lift the spectre of a mushroom cloud from the international body politic is long overdue.

Nuclear weapons are strategic equalizers for weaker sides in conflict relationships, but they do not buy defence on the cheap. They can lead to the creation of a national security state with a premium on governmental secretiveness, reduced public account- ability, and increased distance between citizens and Governments. There is the added risk of proliferation to extremist elements through leakage, theft, state collapse, and state capture. In terms of opportunity costs, heavy military expenditure amounts to stealing from the poor. Nuclear weapons do not help to combat today’s real threats of insurgency, terrorism, poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and corruption. As they said in the streets of Delhi in 1998: “No food, no clothing, no shelter? No worry, we have the bomb.”

Since the end of the Cold War, the risk of a Russia-United States nuclear war has diminished, but the prospect of nuclear weapons being used by other nuclear-armed states or non- state actors has become more plausible. As a result, we find ourselves at a familiar crossroads, confronting the same old choice between security in or from nuclear weapons.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has kept the nuclear nightmare at bay for over four decades. The number of countries with nuclear weapons is still in single figures. There has been substantial progress in reducing the number of nuclear warheads. However, the threat is still acute with a combined stockpile of more than 20,000 nuclear weapons; of these, 5,000 warheads are launch-ready and 2,000 are in a state of high operational alert.

The NPT enshrined multiple bargains. The non-nuclear countries agreed among themselves never to acquire nuclear weapons. They entered into a deal with the nuclear weapon states (NWS) whereby, in return for intrusive end-use control over nuclear and nuclear-related technology and material, they were granted favoured access to nuclear technology, components, and material. The non-nuclear countries struck a second deal with the NWS by which, in return for forever forswearing the bomb, the NWS would pursue good faith negotiations for complete nuclear disarmament. Article 6 of the NPT is the only explicit multilateral disarmament commitment undertaken by all NWS.

Those agreements are now under strain due to a five-fold challenge:

1. The five NPT-licit nuclear powers (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) have disregarded NPT obligations to disarm.

2. Three nuclear-armed states lie outside the NPT: India, Israel, and Pakistan.

3. As an intergovernmental agreement, the NPT does not cover non-state groups, including terrorists.

4. Some NPT members may be trying to elude their non-proliferation obligations, while the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has withdrawn from the NPT and tested nuclear weapons.

5. Many countries are interested in nuclear energy owing to rising environmental anxieties and fossil fuel price, raising issues of safety, security, and weaponization.

The disquieting trend of a widening circle of NPT-licit and extra-NPT nuclear weapons powers has a self-generating effect in drawing other countries into the game of nuclear brinkmanship. Adding to the five sets of concerns is the sorry state of global governance mechanisms for nuclear arms control. The Conference on Disarmament cannot even agree on an agenda. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has not yet entered into force and a fissile material cut-off treaty is no nearer conclusion.

After more than a decade in the doldrums, the nuclear agenda was re-energized by a coalition of four United States national security policy heavy weights—William Cohen, Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, and William Perry—and given fresh momentum with President Barack Obama’s Prague Promise in April 2009 to aim for the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. The Washington Nuclear Summit looked closely at the safety and security requirements of nuclear programmes and materials. The 2010 NPT Review Conference was a modest success. Commissions such as the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and campaigns like Global Zero have helped to mobilize key constituencies. Russia and the United States have negotiated, signed, ratified, and brought into force a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (know as START II) to cut back nuclear arsenals by one third, limiting each to 1,550 deployable warheads.

Yet, there is a palpable and growing sense that START II could mark the end of nuclear disarmament progress, instead of being the first step on the road to abolition. There is little evidence of significant demand for disarmament by domestic political constituencies in the nuclear-armed states. Tellingly, not one country that had an atomic bomb in 1968 when the NPT was signed has given it up. Judging by their actions rather than the rhetoric, all are determined to remain nuclear-armed. They are either modernizing nuclear forces and refining nuclear doctrines, or preparing to do so. For example, even after implementing START II, the United States will retain a cache of reserve warheads as a strategic hedge available for rapid uploading, should the need arise, and also build three new factories for increased nuclear warhead production capacity. To would-be proliferators, the lesson is clear: nuclear weapons are indispensable in today’s world and for dealing with tomorrow’s threats.

Reflecting the technical state of 1968 when the NPT was signed, Iran insists on its right to pursue the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes—to the point where it would be a screwdriver away from developing the bomb. The world is at a loss on how to stop Iran from crossing the weapons threshold and how to persuade, coax, or coerce the DPRK from stepping back into the NPT as a denuclearized member in good standing.

Japan is the emotional touchstone in the discourse as the world’s only victim of the bomb. The United States has a special responsibility to lead the way to nuclear abolition as the only country to have used atomic bombs, and as the world’s biggest military power. The A-bomb was developed during the Second World War by a group of scientists brought together for the Manhattan Project under the directorship of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Witnessing the first successful atomic test on 16 July 1945, Oppenheimer recalled the sacred Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita: “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One.” Birth and death are symbiotically linked in the cycle of life. Oppenheimer also recalled the matching verse from the Gita: “Now I am become Death, the shattered of worlds.”

The same duality is omnipresent in every aspect of modern day Hiroshima. The citizens of Hiroshima, in rebuilding their city, have consecrated it as a testimonial to social resilience, human solidarity, and nuclear abolition. Once again a beautiful, scenic, and thriving city, Hiroshima lives by three codes: transformation from a military city to a city of peace; to forgive and atone, but never to forget; and, never again.

The case for abolition is simple, elegant, and eloquent. Without strengthening national security, nuclear weapons diminish our common humanity and impoverish our soul. Their very destructiveness robs them of military utility against other nuclear powers and of political utility against non-nuclear countries. As long as any country has any, others will want some. As long as they exist, they will be used one day again by design, accident, or miscalculation. Our goal, there- fore, should be to make the transition from a world in which the role of nuclear weapons is seen as central to maintaining security, to one where they become progressively marginal and eventually entirely unnecessary. Like chemical and bio- logical weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons cannot be disinvested, but like them, nuclear weapons can also be controlled, regulated, restricted and outlawed under an inter- national regime that ensures strict compliance through effective and credible inspection, verification, and enforcement.

 The common task is to delegitimize the possession, deployment, and use of nuclear weapons; to require no first use and sole purpose commitments; to reduce their numbers to 10 per cent of present stockpiles (500 warheads each for Russia and the United States, and 1,000 among the rest) by 2025; to reduce the high-risk reliance on them by introducing further degrees of separation between possession, deployment and use, by physically separating warheads from delivery systems and lengthening the decision-making fuse for the launch of nuclear weapons; to strengthen the authority and capacity of the International Atomic Energy Agency; to establish a multilateral fuel cycle; and to toughen up supply- side restrictions.

Because the NPT has been subverted from a prohibition into a purely non-proliferation regime, the time has come to look beyond it to a better alternative that gathers all the meritorious elements into one workable package in a nuclear weapons convention. This will not self-materialize merely because we wish it so. Nor will it ever eventuate if we always push it into the distant future. There are many technical, legal, and political challenges to overcome, but serious preparatory work needs to be started now, with conviction and

Those who worship most devoutly at the altar of nuclear weapons issue the fiercest fat- was against others rushing to join them. The most powerful stimulus to nuclear proliferation by others is the continuing possession of the bomb by some. Nuclear weapons could not proliferate if they did not exist, but because they do, they will. The threat to use nuclear weapons, both to deter their use by others and to prevent proliferation, legitimizes their possession, deployment, and use. That which is legitimate cannot be stopped from proliferating.

Critics of the zero option want to keep their atomic bombs, but deny them to others. They lack the intellectual honesty and the courage to show how non- proliferation can be enforced without disarmament, to acknowledge that the price of keeping nuclear arsenals is uncontrolled proliferation, and to argue why a world of uncontrolled proliferation is better than abolition for national and international security.

The focus on non-proliferation to the neglect of disarmament ensures that we get neither. The best and only guarantee of non-proliferation is disarmament. If we want non- proliferation, therefore, we must prepare for disarmament. Within our lifetime, we will either achieve nuclear abolition or have to live with nuclear proliferation and die with the use of nuclear weapons. It is better to have the soft glow of satisfaction from the noble goal of achieving the banishment of nuclear weapons, than the harsh glare on the morning after these weapons have been used.

About the author
Ramesh Thakur is Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, and Professor of International Relations, at the Australian National University. He previously was the senior vice Rector of the United Nations University at the rank of Assistant Secretary-General. His next major project is The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy.

Professor Ramesh Thakur
Director, Centre for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament
ANU Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy
Hedley Bull Centre, Bldg 130
Canberra ACT 0200
Tel: +61-2-6125-0912