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New Year vigil at Kudankulam reactor site

From the Times of India:

By Bella Jaisinghani, TNN | Jan 3, 2013, 02.13 PM IST

MUMBAI: A rare new year vigil was held atKudankulam in Tamil Nadu, whose residents are up in arms against the nuclear reactor proposed at the site. Mumbai-based writer-activist Jatin Desai said that awareness groups from all partsof the country got together to celebrate New Year 2013 with the people of Idinthakarai and othercoastal hamlets of Tamil Nadu.

Around 300 people participated in the night-long programme. Dr Binayak Sen, Admiral (Retd) Ramdas, Achin Vinaik, Ajitha George, Colin Gonsalves, Clifton D’Rozario, Praful Bidwai, Gabriela Dietrich, Ashim Roy, Lalita Ramdas, Wilfred D’costa, Meher Engineer, T Peter and others took part in the events held atIdinthakarai church.

Jatin Desai said Activists, struggle communities and professionals from various walks of life took a midnight pledge to fight against the nuclear plant. Trade unions, environmental groups as well as human rights organisations extended solidarity to the people’s struggle. Scientists, senior activists, artists, film makers and lawyers joined the night-long celebrations at Idinthakarai beach in a spirit of resistance and democracy.”

The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) was among those who attended. Representatives from Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Karnataka, Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu all came together to oppose the undemocratic imposition of a nuclear reactor within two kilometres of Idinthakarai.

The day began with children painting a mural against the reactor followed by a vast public rally through the coastal hamlets. Music, song and dance characterised the protest march. To the beat of drums, the Janwadi Sanstrutik Andolan from Odisha opened the programme to welcome people gathered in solidarity at the Idinthakarai Lourde Matha Church. Despite speaking different languages, they raised a common voice against the proposed nuclear plant.

Cultural programmes were organised by different groups like Space theatre (Goa), DynamicAction (Kerala), Delhi Solidarity Group, Susanta Das (West Bengal). The night witnessed songs, dances and cultural performances that lasted till dawn.