Tamils in Sweden Protest against India: Sterlite Copper Plant  


Tamils of Indian origin in Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden and Tamil Diaspora staged a peaceful protest over the police action against peaceful protestors in Tuticorin in southern India who demanded the closure of Vedanta Group’s Sterlite Factory. In the peaceful procession of protest on the 100th day in Tuticorin, the police-opened fire against protestors citing a reason in which 13 people were killed and many more injured.

Participants by the fountain and statue of Såningskvinnan (the sowing woman: Johanna) at Brunnsparken

The incident is rocking India especially in the politically- and linguistically-sensitive state of Tamil Nadu.

The supporters of the anti-Sterlite unit say that the Indian governments, both at the Centre (national government) and in the state of Tamil Nadu, failed to address the issues raised by the protestors earlier. They say the Sterlite unit is causing damage to the local environment.

Kabilan Kamaraj, one of the organizsers, said “We feel the government is not in support of the people. The judicial inquiry is not … we do not trust in the judicial inquiry actually started by the government. We want to give a voice to the people in India that people around the world who came here as diaspora we want to support them. We do not want to let them down.” Kaliban stressed that the Sterlite factory (copper plant) has indulged in series of environmental violations affecting the agricultural lands, sea water (the source of livelihood for people), water table and polluted the air.

The protestors want the Indian government to ban the Sterlite unit.

Sunder Tamilappa said the governments were hand-in-glove with the factory management and most of the political parties were taking kickbacks all along in order to maintain silence over the issue.

Yaser Rawthar (left) among other participants on the sunny Saturday day, 2 June 2018, in Gothenburg

Yaser Rawthar, the key organizer of the peaceful protest, has collected signatures from the protestors for a petition to be submitted to the Indian ambassador in Sweden Ms Monika Kapil Mohta.

One of the participants in the protest accused the Tamil filmstar Rajinikanth for not supporting the people but indirectly supporting the government and the police. He said in order to teach a lesson to Rajnikanth, there is a campaign to boycott Rajinikanth’s next movie en masse.

More than hundred people from all walks of life, students and scholars and IT professionals, participated in the protest along with their family members sacrificing their day-out on a sunny Saturday morning.

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