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Politics Bhopal case exposes US double standards

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by kds1980, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Bhopal case exposes US double standards: India Today - Latest Breaking News from India, World, Business, Cricket, Sports, Bollywood.

    While the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy received a measly compensation, the US government is demanding from British Petroleum (BP) 50 million dollars to restore the coastline ecology after the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

    So does Washington consider Indian lives cheaper than those of American dolphins and pelicans?

    Union Carbide paid 470 million dollars as settlement to the victims of the Bhopal disaster. The families of the dead got an average of 2,200 dollars while the wounded got 550 dollars.

    Compare this to the compensation being demanded by the US from BP. The company is liable to pay a fine of up to 4,300 dollars per barrel. The final compensation may run into billions of dollars.

    US President Barack Obama has made his intentions clear. "I don't have a problem with BP fulfilling its legal obligations, but I want BP to be very clear that they've got moral and legal obligations for the damage that has been done," Obama said.

    "And what I don't want to hear is when they're spending that kind of money on their shareholders and on TV advertising, that they're nickel-and-dimming fishermen or small businesses in the Gulf who are having a hard time," he said.

    Clearly, for the US it's a case of different strokes for different folks. Bhopal is an environmental disaster that continues to unfold even after 25 years.

    Union Carbide was bought by Dow Chemicals and the Bhopal activists are now seeking to get Dow to clean up the gas disaster plant site. But so far, they have been unsuccessful.

    Ironically, Dow on the other hand has set aside 2.2 billion dollars to cover potential liabilities for the Union Carbide's American Asbestos production.
     
    #1 kds1980, Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2010
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Re: Punjab farmers demand special trains from Bihar and UP to bring labourers for Paddy plantation

    One thing i cannot get background on -- and find this extremely curious: What is the reasoning behind the US refusal to extradite Warren Anderson? This has been discussed frequently in the Indian media. I am still trying to find some US media intelligence on this.

    The Hindu : Front Page : Case against Warren Anderson is not over, says Moily

    New Delhi: The former Union Carbide chairman, Warren Anderson, can still be tried in the Bhopal gas tragedy case if he is brought to India, as he is a “proclaimed offender,” Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily said here on Tuesday. He simultaneously promised “within six months” a new stand-alone law to deal with man-made disasters, a law that would not “be vulnerable to judicial interpretation.”

    Dismissing as “irresponsible” the claim made by the former Central Bureau of Investigation joint director, B.R. Lall (who handled the investigation in 1994-95), that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had written to the CBI asking it not to pursue Mr. Anderson's extradition, Mr. Moily said, “After retirement, people try to become martyrs by making such statements.”

    The United Progressive Alliance government found itself in an embarrassing position on Tuesday as victims and activists began to remind it that it was a Congress government that was in power in 1984, both at the Centre and in Madhya Pradesh, and that Mr. Anderson, who came to India after the disaster, was actually allowed to fly out quietly.

    Meanwhile, MEA sources too refuted Mr. Lall's contention, saying repeated requests for Mr. Anderson's extradition were turned down by U.S. authorities on the plea that he was not personally culpable. Apparently, in 2003 a request for his extradition was made under the India-U.S. bilateral extradition treaty. That request was reiterated, but with no results.

    Mr. Moily said, “Legally and technically” the case against Mr. Anderson was not over. “The case against him is still on ... he can be procured, he can still be tried,” he said, as Mr. Anderson's name figured in the CBI charge sheet.

    But when pressed whether he would take up the issue again with the Prime Minister or the MEA, and whether the government would again try to get Mr. Anderson extradited, Mr. Moily said he could not comment on that. But he repeated that a stand-alone law for manmade disasters was needed and that provisions for class litigation needed to be explored. “Currently, there is no provision for class action. It is limited to insurance liability.”
     
  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Re: Punjab farmers demand special trains from Bihar and UP to bring labourers for Paddy plantation

    Digging back into the history of this, Diane says she won’t go to jail until Warren Anderson is extradited to India

    The reporter Diane Andersen, who blew the whistle on Union Carbide, was sentenced to 4 months in jail, while Warren Andersen jumped bail.

    “I’m going to go on the lam,” Wilson told Corporate Crime Reporter today. “I realize I have to go to jail. I’m quite willing to do that. But Warren Andersen – who jumped bail 13 years ago – needs to go to jail too. I’m going to stay out to expose the inequality – corporate executives don’t go to jail for high crimes and little citizens go to jail for misdemeanors.”

    All I can find easily on the US legal position is the following. This is part of a longer article at, LOATAY.COM - Bhopal Tragedy: Who is Warren Anderson?

    In 1992, Anderson was declared a fugitive by the Bhopal court for failing to appear for hearings in a case of culpable homicide. Once he was declared absconding, the cases were separated and so Warren Anderson was not a part of the case in which eight Indians then employed by Union Carbide have been convicted today.

    In July 2009, an arrest warrant was issued for him after an appeal by a victims’ group.

    The Indian government has come in for much criticism over the way it handled the Anderson case. It took the government almost 19 years to move a formal request for his extradition. It did so in May 2003.

    In June 2004, however, the US rejected India’s request for the extradition of Anderson saying the request did not “meet requirements of certain provisions” of the bilateral extradition treaty.

    What are these "requirements of certain provisions of the bilateral extradition treaty." This is what I would like to know.

    Former General Soli Sorabjee, is quoted July 11 as saying,

    Read more: Efforts to extradite Anderson meaningless now: Sorabjee - IndiaVision News

    Talking to a section of the press yesterday, Mr Sorabjee had said, ''I had given the opinion on the basis of facts and evidence in the case and had never told the government not to pursue the case.'' The government had in fact sent a request for extradition in 2003. In reply the US said, ''The government of the US has carefully considered the government of India's request for Warren Anderson and has concluded that the request of the government of India cannot be executed, as it does not meet the requirements of Article 2(1) and 9(3) of the Extradition reaty.''

    The entire article offers more legal details.
     
  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    The secret of this is only known to either Rajiv gandhi.Ronald reagon or warren anderson himself.Some believe that anderson might be aware that disaster could happen.There are some rumours that USA might have tested some poisonous gas effect but those are not serious one
     
  6. spnadmin

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    I am still doing research on this. It gets more convoluted the more you look into it. I don't know how to find those Articles of the extradition treaty mentioned above.

    the US said, ''The government of the US has carefully considered the government of India's request for Warren Anderson and has concluded that the request of the government of India cannot be executed, as it does not meet the requirements of Article 2(1) and 9(3) of the Extradition Treaty.''

    That means the US courts knew -- and it was not a secret known only to Rajiv, Reagan and Warren Andersen.

    I do know that in court proceedings against Warren Anderson, he jumped bail.

    On the question of compensation to victims it gets even more confused. One thing I can say. The news coverage in the US on this matter of the week is nothing more than a scanty outline of the story. The way the news is covered can shape a person's sense of reality. So hardly anyone will be paying attention here because the news itself is not very deep. If you go back to the Bhopal catastrophe through 1996 you find a lot of activist outrage stateside. Moving into the era of 2003 and later, nothing.

    Will get back when I have more details. There was a lot of legal gamesmanship that I need to sort out.
     
  7. findingmyway

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    The plot thickens! No-one is who they seem to be....

    http://current.com/news/92621479_toxic-row-for-obama-after-bhopal-email-is-leaked.htm

    Toxic row for Obama after Bhopal email is leaked




    As Barack Obama's administration was attacking BP over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (death toll: 15), one of the president's most trusted advisers was writing an email to an Indian official in which it was implied that if the New Delhi government did not shut up about the 1984 Bhopal gas leak (death toll: up to 16,000), there might be a "chilling effect" on investment.

    The Bhopal tragedy (above), in which deadly methyl isocyanate gas leaked from the US-owned Union Carbide pesticide plant in the central Indian city, remains the world's worst industrial accident. Up to 16,000 people were killed and another 558,125 injured. Chemicals from the plant are believed still to be contaminating groundwater supplies in the area.

    Five years after the tragedy, Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million in compensation to the victims. The company was bought by another US company, Dow Chemical, in 2001, which claimed the affair had been resolved.

    However, the Bhopal Medical Appeal says Union Carbide remains liable for "environmental devastation", because it was not included in the 1989 settlement. And the Indian government is reportedly deciding whether Dow should be held liable for an additional $200m in compensation.

    The current furore is the result of an email exchange obtained by India's Times Now television channel.

    Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Indian Planning Commission, wrote to Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser Michael Froman to lobby for US backing in India's application for World Bank funds.

    In the course of the exchange, which neither side has denied, Froman writes: "While I've got you, we are hearing a lot of noise about the Dow Chemical issue. I trust that you are monitoring it carefully.

    "I am not familiar with all the details, but I think we want to avoid developments which put a chilling effect on our investment relationship."

    The exchange has been taken in India as implying that US backing could be relied upon only if India pulled back from its pursuit of further damages from Dow.

    Following the fuss over the BP oil spill, and the establishment of a $20bn compensation fund for people affected by it, critics are suggesting that the Obama administration believes the lives of Indians are cheaper than the livelihoods of Louisiana shrimpers.

    The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal said the leaked email showed the US government was "not pursuing the same levels of accountability from American Dow Chemical as it has from BP" and that it "values profit over people, when the profit benefits American corporations".

    Froman has denied suggestions of intimidation, saying: "I want to make clear that I was not making any link between what are two separate and distinct issues nor issuing a 'threat' of any sort."

    President Obama is due to visit India in November. With New Delhi already upset at the arming of Pakistan by the US, the president can ill afford a poisonous and intractable issue such as Bhopal to dominate headlines.
     

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