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Bishop 'still supports' anti-nuclear protest

Denies media reports he wanted Church to stay away from action at site of plant

Women protesters listening to organisers Women protesters listening to organisers
  • Leo Fernando, Chennai
  • India
  • November 11, 2011
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A Catholic prelate today denied media reports that he had instructed his diocese officials to stay away from an ongoing protest against a nuclear plant.

“I am morally and spiritually with the protestors and support their cause,” said Bishop Yvon Ambroise of Tuticorin.

He was reacting to reports in two newspapers yesterday that said Tuticorin diocese had asked its priests and nuns to stay away from those protesting against the imminent opening of the new Koodankulam nuclear power plant.

The reports said anti-nuclear activists have relented in their opposition after discussions with government-appointed nuclear scientists.

People in three southern districts of Tamil Nadu state started the protest on September 11.

The US$3 billion plant, built with Russian technology, is scheduled to start operating in December. It is expected to produce 2000 MW of electricity.

Bishop Ambroise said he had asked his priests and nuns to support the protest. “But I have also instructed my people to allow the lay people to take leadership.”

He also dismissed an allegation that Church leaders have hijacked the struggle.

Related reports:

Fishermen call off anti-nuclear fast

Protesters take aim at nuclear plant

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