inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #301 of 367: David Chaplin-Loebell (dloebell) Tue 9 Nov 99 10:00
    
Pam informs me that her snapper did not in fact have a cream sauce.  My
apologies for the error.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #302 of 367: Indra Sinha (indra) Wed 10 Nov 99 04:08
    
David, Pam, great that you enjoyed the meal and hope the book
continues toothsome. I had asked Girasole (I think it was the manager,
also called David) to fax me a copy of their menu. He promised to, but
hasn't. But your description makes me want to hop on a plane and go
there myself.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #303 of 367: David Chaplin-Loebell (dloebell) Wed 10 Nov 99 05:48
    
If you do, give me a call, and I'll buy *you* dinner.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #304 of 367: Libbi Lepow (paris) Wed 10 Nov 99 07:26
    

Well, your book was delivered yesterday, Indra, and I'm looking forward to
reading it.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #305 of 367: (jeffk) O o . o O (jeffk) Tue 16 Nov 99 22:01
    
I just finished it about an hour ago.  A very good read, but I can't help
but wish that it had been just a little longer.  I'm pondering joining
Amnesty International, too.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #306 of 367: Blue Radio with a Crank (vasudha) Wed 17 Nov 99 06:13
    

Report from Manhattan
At the Suggestion of <Indra>

Another example of people from the etheric land
of computer communication meeting through meat interface:

Indra suggested I write to Sathyu after the interview was over.
And I was confirmed in my intention to become more
educated about the history of the Bhopal chemical
explosion and the legal, social, and medical aftermath.

But with a very short notice Indra told me that Sathyu
would be in Manhattan. From what I heard from S., when he
came here, he had been on very short notice himself.
4 days.

We exchanged e-mails and were able to connect by
telephone last Sunday morning. He wasn't arriving 'till
Monday and leaving the same day.

So I took the train down to Manhattan, since I usually am upstate on
a Monday. (Visitation with my son). I had a short errand to
do then went to 100 Park Ave where there was suppose to be
a Press conference.

The building is right up a short hill from Grand Central
Terminus. South of it. Only the first or second
building south on Park. I arrived there 40 minutes early
and realized I needed to get a gift. Chocolates were
definitely out. A food gift is too perishible. I walked
down to the Grand Central looking for a newstand
since I hate waiting anywhere with nothing to read
and realized I was early. And on the way realized
Grand Central likely had gift shops.

Walked down the broad marble rampway. Saw a
cake store on the right. No. Saw a book store. Big gift book
of photos of New York. Heavy, not good for travel.
Beside, it's too self -centered. All about NY.

Wandered around the Discovery gift shop and finally
decided on a mechnically powered radio. Perfect
for Y2K. No batteries. The radio demonstrates the potential
of technology to bypass the need, to some extent,
of creating toxic chemicals.

(MY initial connection to the Green/bio-regional/ecological
consciousness movement was through campaigns
related to toxic waste issues in NY State)

Everything else in that gift shop looked like gew-gaws
and throw away trinkets/ garbage. So I was lucky
and found a cute blue well made radio with a crank.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #307 of 367: Erik Van Thienen (levant) Wed 17 Nov 99 08:11
    
If this a BayGen Freeplay windup radio, than this a very appropriate gift.
They are made in South Africa by handicapped people for devellopping
countries where batteries are too expensive. The more they sell in
devellopped countries, the more they can lower the price for Third World
countries.

<http://windupradio.com/windup.htm>
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #308 of 367: Blue Radio with a Crank (vasudha) Wed 17 Nov 99 11:05
    

Yes, well that was it <Levant>. Guess that there are not too many
companies making them.

On the web page it is the little blue one in front.

The inventor is now working on a windup for laptops.

http://windupradio.com/newdev.htm
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #309 of 367: Indra Sinha (indra) Wed 17 Nov 99 15:38
    
Hi Marguerite, Sathyu is currently here with me in England. Loves the
radio, and has been demonstrating it to everyone who comes to the
house. We've had a terrific time. He goes tomorrow morning. Was
supposed to have gone this morning, but we got stuck in traffic on the
motorway and missed the plane. 

The big news is that on Monday 16th the survivors' organisations filed
a new lawsuit against Union Carbide. I'll put the Reuters story in the
following response.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #310 of 367: Indra Sinha (indra) Wed 17 Nov 99 15:42
    
BHOPAL VICTIMS SUE CARBIDE OVER 1984 DISASTER

Gail Appleson, Law Correspondent

11/16/99 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fifteen years after thousands were killed in a
poison gas leak at a Union Carbide Corp. pesticide plant in Bhopal,
India, survivors and relatives of victims sued the company on Monday
for ``depraved indifference to human life.'' 

The suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, also names former chairman
Warren Anderson as a defendant. The case seeks unspecified damages and
wants the federal court to take back control of litigation that was
first filed here against Union Carbide by the Indian government but was
moved to India in 1986 for jurisdictional reasons. 

Although the Indian government's civil case against Carbide was
settled in 1989 for $470 million, criminal matters against the
defendants are still pending in India. Kenneth McCallion, plaintiffs
lawyer for the victims and family members, said a key issue in the suit
filed on Monday is the 1986 ruling that granted Union Carbide's
request to have the government's case tried in India.

However, to have the case moved to India, where damage awards are much
lower, Union Carbide had to agree to submit to the jurisdiction of
Indian courts.

The suit alleges that Union Carbide and Anderson have violated that
ruling by failing to appear in Indian court on criminal matters over
the past seven years.

The suit alleges that they violated international law and fundamental
human rights for their ``depraved indifference to human life'' in the
design and operation of the Indian plant. The suit also seeks to have
the defendants held liable for civil contempt and fraud for failing to
comply with orders from courts both in India and the United States.

Carbide said in a statement that it had not reviewed the suit but
``all personal injury and related claims ... were settled in 1989 when
Union Carbide and Union Carbide India Ltd. agreed to and paid $470
million to the government of India on behalf of all the victims.''

The litigation stems from the December 2, 1984, disaster that occurred
at Union Carbide of India's pesticide plant when a tank leaked five
tons of poisonous methyl isocyanate gas into the air. Authorities said
at the time it was the worst industrial accident in history, killing
more than 3,000 people and permanently injuring tens of thousands.
Victims groups now put the fatality toll as high as 6,000.

Although the Indian government accepted the $470 million payment from
Carbide, victims groups challenged the settlement as too low. There
was also a dispute over claims by Union Carbide that the terms of the
settlement protected it from criminal proceedings.

In 1991, the Supreme Court of India affirmed the settlement figure but
ruled that the accord did not stop any criminal case against Carbide.
Criminal proceedings against Carbide and Anderson have been pending
since 1992 in India, McCallion said, but the lawsuit filed on Monday
alleges that Carbide has failed to appear in court to respond to the
charges.

The suit alleged that Carbide had been served with summons through the
U.S. Justice Department and Interpol and a notification for the
company to appear for trial was even published in the Washington Post.

A Bhopal court ruled that the company and Anderson were ''proclaimed
absconders,'' or fugitives under Indian law, and ordered forfeiture of
their property, the suit said.

ENDS
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #311 of 367: Indra Sinha (indra) Wed 17 Nov 99 15:53
    
As I write this Sathyu is in the other room giving an interview by
phone to the Australian Broadcasting Commission. I can hear him arguing
back and forth with the interviewer in Canberra. 

If any journalist reading this would like an interview, please contact
Sathyu directly by emailing <sambavna@bom6.vsnl.net.in>. He'll be back
in Bhopal by Friday morning US time.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #312 of 367: Blue Radio with a Crank (vasudha) Wed 17 Nov 99 17:42
    

Don't mean to gloat

Not necessarily related since the stock seem to rise
on the filing on the lawsuit. but today:

Hartford, Connecticut, Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Connecticut stocks fell, led
by Union Carbide Corp. and TranSwitch Corp.

and

Danbury-based Union Carbide, the world's biggest maker of chemicals used to
make antifreeze and some plastics, fell 2 3/16 to 61 9/16.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #313 of 367: Big news was Good news (vasudha) Wed 17 Nov 99 18:13
    

I didn't finish the story and Indra made the scoop.

Yes, that is why Sathyu was visiting Manhattan. It was
the historic occasion of the filing of a new complaint
against Union Carbide for their "unlawful, reckless and
depraved indifference to human life..."

From what I was able to understand and gather both
from speaking to Sathyu and reading his paper on
the subject:

http://www.corpwatch.org/trac/feature/india/profiles/bhopal/original.html

The Union Carbide corporation was originally granted it's
request to change the venue of the trial to India under
the condition that it submit to the courts and the law there.
This it has failed to do for seven years.

I felt this was a very positive and guardedly happy occasion, because
I believe in the pursuit of justice and I believe that those
who harm others without compunction should be sought
out, faced up to and accused. Whatever is the final outcome of the
case,  the moment was an occasion of rejoicing, in my opinion.

That's a lesson really I picked up from the Bhagavad Gita. Krsna tells
Arjuna, originally a doubtful and apathetic warrior. "Arjuna,
fight, whether you win or lose you must do your duty.
You must stand up for what is rightfully yours. You mustn't
recoil from the fight." [paraphrase]

But of course it's nice to win too.
And I believe and hope they will.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #314 of 367: Big news was Good news (vasudha) Wed 17 Nov 99 18:25
    


So I felt very honored to meet Sathyu on this day.
November 15, 1999.

I had been feeling affected by reading the stories
of the pain and the harm done. In fact so upset by
it that I was feeling sickened in a way and sort
of haunted. Unsettled. Ill at ease.

I read an article in the New Yorker about a man
who made a lawsuit against the govenrment of
Argentina for the disappearance of his family.
He finally won after the case had been pending
for twelve years. The horror of what happened
to this man and his family dove-tailed in my
mind with the stories from Bhopal. And too
there was a serious release of toxins from a chemical
plant next to my son's school on the 23 of October.
The kids had to be sealed into the school and
over 150 were sickened. All these things
seemed to come together last week for me.
(I started to research the case of what had happened
at my son's school. And he has had an unusual
number of sick days since starting the school).

I was feeling restless just reading about these
things and dealing with the relatively minor
incident (no one outright died of it) at my
son's school.

So I really marveled at the poise of Sathyu.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #315 of 367: Sathyu Sarangi (sathyu-bhai) Thu 18 Nov 99 07:39
    
the court case is great news. the best. the following email came for
me from Bhopal to Indra's place. it is from Yogesh, who is managing the
Clinic in my absence. he's really enjoying himself and it made us
laugh so Indra suggested I share it. it opens a window into our world.


From: yogesh
To: sathyu
Subject: Clinic General
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 23:42:01 +0500

     
Dear Sir,
Everything is fine over here and hope same for you.
Few things at a glance:-

(1) Most frustrating is that since 10'th Sep. there is 4 hour 
daily (9am to 1pm) power cut down in Bhopal which is why work 
is suffering a lot. (Seminar is also going to be affected by it
overhead, slide, video projector are all available there).

(2) Mirza has gone injured badly in accident, not coming 
since 4/5 days and will have to take rest for one week. Because 
of his accident and power shutdown work of computer and pathology 
is getting affected worst.

(3) There is strange increase in follow up visits and new
registrations
since few days.

(4) German journalists - Done

(5) News regarding ATCA case is in almost all the papers at front
page.

(6) Kamla, Sharma, your badi bhabhi called for you from Pune
(general).

(7) Sally, Tom, Amy all are well and enjoying.

(8) Ask BG to come in seminar.

(9) Arvind couln't open the file and gone currupt, sending it again.

(10) Fax machine will be get repaired in 10 days. System A Couldn't 
get repaired yet because of over work here.

(11) We are in touch with Tim and bicycle, he has reached Pakistan. 
next he is going to cycle from Lahore to Delhi.

(12) We have called the travel agent accordingly, he will call us 
back tommarow. I will write to you back as soon as it gets clear.

(13) I am feeling it difficult to manage dost bhai, Vidyarthiji,
E mail, press, visiters, guests, staff, opds, data etc and my 
own work all at a time. Learning  a lot and realising challanges 
of your work as managing trustee.

Currently spirit in our clinic is very good, things are going well 
over here (slightly different according to plan), in many urgent
priorities. finishing work is to be done by you.

I am quite exhausted. It is realy hard to handle with Dost. 
I don't know what kind of man is he? How do you manage him? 
He is totally autocratic and thankless. I have strictly warned 
him on phone as any kind of bossing is unbearable to me, 
although i have cooperated much with him last 4-5 days but today 
i couldn't stop my outbreak of anger, sometime he simply uses 
us for its own sake. Anyway i think he has realised his mistake 
in his own filmy style, disgusting....

Rest all is well.
Regards
Yogi
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #316 of 367: Erik Van Thienen (levant) Thu 18 Nov 99 08:21
    
LOL!
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #317 of 367: carol adair (rubicon) Thu 18 Nov 99 08:40
    
Laughing here too. But that poor man. What a tangle!
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #318 of 367: Sathyu Sarangi (sathyu-bhai) Tue 23 Nov 99 18:15
    
thanks vasudha for continuing with the story.within two hours of
filing the suit at the federal court in the southern district  of nyc
bud holman, union carbide's chief counsel (and legal strategist) called
up our lawyers requesting a copy of the complaint.and now we have
their public relations director tom sprick claiming there are no
criminal charges pending against them in indian courts.[fact is that
they have charges of homicide, grievous assault, poisonng and killing
of animals and other charges pending, and they (and their former CEO,
warren anderson)are absconding since april 1992!]
the filing of the suit has got very good newscoverage in the indian
papers.we should have some news about carbide's legal response within a
month.
vasudha, i hope you have been able to do something about that leaking
factory next to your sons school.your present [self powered radio] is
the top curiosity item for the kids who come to the clinic.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #319 of 367: Indra Sinha (indra) Wed 24 Nov 99 00:44
    
Our old friend Lord Archer has got himself in a terrible tangle here -
it appears that he had planned to perjure himself in a libel case
which he brought some years ago against a newspaper, the Daily Star,
which accused him of consorting with a prostitute, and mentioned a
certain date. Jeffrey got a friend, BBC TV producer Ted Francis, to
write a letter saying that they had had dinner on the night in
question. Ironically, this turned out not to be needed, because the
newspaper subsequently changed its allegation to another date. He
subsequently won his case with the judge famously eulogising his wife,
Mary Archer, "...Has she not elegance? Has she not fragrance?", and was
awarded damages of £500,000.

After all these years, with Archer standing as the Tory candidate for
Mayor of London, Francis (who happens entirely coincidentally to be
launching a career as a novelist) has blown the whistle and now
everyone from the laughable William Hague to the hangers on who used to
enjoy Archer's Krug and shepherd's pie bashes have deserted him. This
year's parties (for the 12th, 13th and 14th of December, 7.30pm at the
Penthouse, Alembic House, Albert Embankment) have been cancelled and
Jeffrey is holed up in his house near Cambridge, busily penning letters
of apology. Meanwhile the Daily Star is seeking the return of its
money, which, with interest, now amounts to some £3 million, and the
entire British press is full of stories which show with impeccable
hindsight that Jeffrey was always a fraud, always a liar, always a
chancer.

So Handirin (in life and Cybergypsies the leader of the Kurdish
Cultural Centre in London) and I have sent the following to the editors
of the Times, Telegraph and Guardian.

On the principle that a man's good deeds should return to aid him in
times of trouble, we wish to recall the considerable help that Jeffrey
Archer gave us at the time of the Kurdish refugee crisis that followed
the Gulf War. He initiated the Red Cross's Simple Truth concert,
visited the Safe Haven in Iraqi Kurdistan, and lobbied for more help
for displaced people in the area and widows of Anfal operations. Later
he returned to Kurdistan to help mediate between the warring peshmerga
factions. He gave much unpublicised help, including a sizeable 
personal donation to our relief effort, the Kurdish Disaster Fund. For
all of this, we will always be grateful to him.

HANDIRIN MAROUF
INDRA SINHA
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #320 of 367: Evan Hodgens (evan) Wed 24 Nov 99 20:42
    

So, this "friend" supplies a letter in aid of Lord Archer commiting
perjury, and has now announced to the world that he did so?  I presume
the statute of limitations for aiding and abetting perjury is safely
behind him?
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #321 of 367: Indra Sinha (indra) Thu 25 Nov 99 04:04
    
There is speculation in the press that Ted Francis will face charges 
if Archer does. The journos are not entirely happy about this as it
will deter other whistleblowers from coming forward -- there is
apparently a long queue waiting in the wings.

Conspiring to commit perjury is obviously a serious offence --- former
Tory minister Jonathan Aitken is currently languishing at Her
Majesty's pleasure for having perjured himself in another libel action,
against the Guardian --- but perjury, or to put it another way,
barefaced-lying, has been a sine qua non for Tory politicians for
years. The whole truth about the Arms-to-Iraq scandal has never
emerged, but it is clear that a string of Tory ministers were, as the
late, obnoxious-yet-strangely- likeable, Alan Clarke put it,
"economical with the actualité".

Check http://www.charter88.org.uk/pubs/violations/leigh.html
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #322 of 367: Please sign Bhopal petition (indra) Fri 26 Nov 99 04:24
    
Union Carbide is about to be acquired by the Dow Corporation, and
Bhopal victims are worried that this will make it even more difficult
for them to get justice.

Sathyu has asked me to post the following on here.

1) An explanatory note from the petition organiser Neil Tangri asking
for support
2) The open letter to be sent to the Department of Justice and other
bodies
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #323 of 367: Neil Tangri's covering note (indra) Fri 26 Nov 99 04:26
    
Reply-To: ntangri@essential.org
Originator: remember-bhopal@essential.org
Sender: remember-bhopal@essential.org
From: Neil Tangri <ntangri@essential.org>
To: Multiple recipients of list REMEMBER-BHOPAL
<remember-bhopal@essential.org>
Subject: signon letter

Dear Friends,

We are seeking your endorsement of the sign-on letter below. As you
probably know, Union Carbide, the corporation that caused the Bhopal
disaster of 15 years ago, has still not been brought to account for
its
criminal acts in Bhopal, nor has it settled the matter financially.
Now, it is about to be acquired by Dow Chemical Corporation. This will
create an even larger, more powerful and less accountable chemical
giant. We are asking the US government to intercede and halt this
merger until Union Carbide can be brought to justice. To sign on to
this letter, please send your name, title and organization to me at 
<ntangri@essential.org>

Thank you,

Neil Tangri
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #324 of 367: The open letter (indra) Fri 26 Nov 99 04:33
    
AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE CAMPAIGN
FOR JUSTICE IN BHOPAL TO:

Director of Operations
United States Department of Justice
Antitrust Division
Room 3218
Washington, D.C.  20580

Richard J. Parker
Director- Bureau of Competition
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20580    

Dr. Alexander Schaub, Director-General
 for Competition
European Commission
200 rue de la Loi/Westraat 200
B-1049 Brussels, Belgium

John Scriven
Vice President, General Counsel
and Secretary
Office of the Corporate Secretary
The Dow Chemical Company
2030 Dow Center
Midland, Michigan 48674
Telephone: 517-636-1792
        
Bruce D. Fitzgerald
Vice President, General Counsel
and Secretary
Union Carbide Corporation
39 Old Ridgebury Road
Danbury, Connecticut 06817-0001
Telephone: 203-794-2000


"Principle of Nondiscrimination:  All persons shall be free from any
form of discrimination in regard to actions and decisions that affect
the environment."

-DRAFT PRINCIPLE THREE ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
        
The undersigned organizations call upon the United States Department
of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission , and the Competition
Directorate-General of the European Union to exercise their authority
to review and investigate the pending acquisition of Union Carbide
Corp. by Dow Chemical Company, and to take such action as would be
necessary to promote fair commerce and the public good, which would
also facilitate meaningful relief for the victims of the 1984 Bhopal
Disaster.
        
By merging resources, both companies seek to obtain improper
advantages in commerce and to profit unfairly from Union Carbide's
successful evasion of justice and escape from liability for its
criminal conduct that lead to the Bhopal Disaster that killed thousands
and injured hundreds of thousands more.  The combination of Union
Carbide's present unlawfully maintained corporate strength with Dow
Chemical would give the merged companies unfair commercial advantages
and would strengthen Union Carbide's ability to continue to avoid
justice.
        
Union Carbide has been a fugitive from justice for at least seven
years, having fled India where criminal charge have been brought and
are pending. 
           
Despite this frustrated criminal prosecution, Union Carbide and Dow
Chemical have jointly declared to the authorities that:
"there are no . . . criminal . . . actions, suits, claims, hearings,
investigations or proceedings pending . . . .   No investigation or
review by any Governmental Entity with respect to it or any of its
Subsidiaries is pending . . . ." Registration Statement by The Dow
Chemical Company, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on October 5, 1999, Article V: Representations and Warranties.
        
It is therefore apparent that both companies intend to continue to
gain unfair and improper commercial advantages from the corporate
strength that Union Carbide has maintained by unlawfully evading
criminal sanctions for the reckless policies that caused the Bhopal
Disaster. 
        
Furthermore, we wish to endorse the latest effort by the victims of
the Bhopal Disaster to bring Union Carbide to justice and hold it
accountable for its unlawful actions.  On November 15, 1999, a federal
class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, charging Union Carbide Corporation and its former
Chief Executive Officer with having violated international law and the
fundamental human rights of the victims and survivors of the Bhopal
Gas Disaster in India on December 2, 1984.  On the night of December 2,
1984, a deadly gas leak from Union Carbide's facility killed at least
7,000 people in Bhopal, India.

Hundreds of thousands continue to suffer from permanent disability and
chronic illnesses as a result of exposure to Union Carbide's toxic
gases.

The lawsuit accuses Union Carbide of fundamental violations of
international law and human rights based on Union Carbide's criminally
reckless conduct and conscious indifference to the grave risk of death
and serious physical injury in the design, operation and maintenance
of its Bhopal facility, as well as the complete absence of any
emergency
preparedness or adequate safety measures at the plant.  The complaint
alleges that Union Carbide officials in the U.S. were fully aware of
the magnitude of risk posed by the Bhopal plant as a consequence of a
pattern of prior leaks and internal confidential safety audits, but
deliberately chose to place profits ahead of safety based on their
racially discriminatory appraisal of the value of life of the residents
of Bhopal in India.
        
This upcoming December 2nd will be the fifteenth anniversary of this
horrific disaster which took such an enormous toll in human lives and
suffering.  Although the company has publicly acknowledged its "moral
responsibility" for this unprecedented catastrophe, Union Carbide
remains unwilling to take full legal responsibility for perpetrating
the worst industrial catastrophe in history and continues to evade the
jurisdiction of the Indian courts – the same courts which Union Carbide
had vehemently insisted were the most capable of ultimately resolving
this controversy.

The complete inadequacy of Union Carbide's settlement of $470 million
with the Indian government is shown by the fact that, of the claims
processed so far, over 90% of the individual claims have received a
meager $400 for their devastating injuries – an amount insufficient to
pay for necessary medications over a five year period in India.  Union
Carbide continues to unlawfully evade the criminal charges of ‘culpable
homicide' brought against the company in India and has stated
categorically that it will not submit to the jurisdiction of India's
courts.  The Supreme Court of India had approved this settlement with
the precondition that Union Carbide would be fully prosecuted under
Indian law in order to prevent "a miscarriage of justice".  In 1992,
the Bhopal District Court declared the company "a proclaimed absconder"
for failing to answer summons and notices to appear for trial on the
criminal charges pending before the court.
  
Despite being a fugitive from justice, Union Carbide continues to
conduct business as usual in the United States.  In its 1989 annual
report, Union Carbide boasted to its shareholders that the suffering
experienced by over a half million people in Bhopal had cost it a mere
43 cents per share.  On the day that it announced its settlement with
the Indian government, Union Carbide's stock price rose two dollars per
share.  On December 1, 1999, less than one day before the fifteenth
anniversary of the Bhopal catastrophe, Union Carbide's shareholders
will convene once again to vote on the Company's proposed merger with
Dow Chemical, which will create a much larger chemical conglomerate
with $18 billion to $24 billion in annual revenues.

Recently, Dow Chemical has publicly asserted its commitment to the
principles of ethical conduct and social responsibility.  Now, the
time has come for Dow Chemical to demonstrate the substance of that
public
commitment to ethics and social responsibility by specifying precisely
what steps it intends to take in order to resolve the outstanding
liabilities of Union Carbide under international and Indian law.

AS A CONSEQUENCE OF ITS MERGER, DOW CHEMICAL SHOULD UNDERTAKE POSITIVE
STEPS TO ENSURE THAT PROMPT, JUST AND ADEQUATE COMPENSATION IS
PROVIDED TO THE VICTIMS OF UNION CARBIDE'S RECKLESS CONDUCT INCLUDING
THE FOLLOWING:

Provide for the economic rehabilitation of the Bhopal victims in terms
of funding initiatives to guarantee employment to the permanently and
partially disabled;

Provide for the medical rehabilitation of the Bhopal victims by
disclosing all of Union Carbide's medical and toxicological research on
methyl isocyanate and establishing a fund to obtain necessary
medicines and treatment for those affected;

Provide for legal restitution and redress for the Bhopal victims by
offering prompt, just and adequate compensation for all of their
injuries, death of family members and pain and suffering, as well as
the multi-generational genetic impact of the disaster;

Provide expertise and resources for the environmental rehabilitation
of
the Bhopal plant site and the surrounding residences of the victims by
undertaking to clean up the massive amounts of toxic effluents which
continue to pollute the soil and water at and near the Union Carbide
facility in Bhopal.

The undersigned organizations strongly support the call of the
Campaign for Justice in Bhopal to petition the U.S. Department of
Justice, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the Competition
Directorate-General of the European Union to prevent Union Carbide from
continuing to evade its moral, legal and social responsibilities to
the victims of the Bhopal Disaster, and to stop Dow Chemical from
obtaining unfair commercial advantages derived from Union Carbide's
ongoing obstruction of justice.  Under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, the
merger between Union Carbide and Dow Chemical cannot be completed until
certain assurances have been given and regulatory approval granted by,
the Federal Trade Commission, and the Antitrust Division of the
Department of Justice.  The Competition Directorate-General of the
European Union trade regulators also have authority to approve or
disapprove the proposed merger.

TODAY, WE URGENTLY APPEAL TO THESE REGULATORY AUTHORITIES TO TAKE
ACTION TO PREVENT UNION CARBIDE, A FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE, FROM
CONTINUING TO PROFIT FROM ITS ROLE IN PERPETRATING THE WORST PEACETIME
INDUSTRIAL CATASTROPHE IN HISTORY.  

Each of these governmental bodies can and should convene hearings
in which those officials responsible at Union Carbide are made to
explain their unjustifiable, immoral and illegal conduct in fleeing the
lawful jurisdiction of Indian courts, and to demand that Union Carbide
be held accountable under all applicable law to ensure that prompt,
just and adequate compensation is obtained for the victims of its
criminally reckless and racially discriminatory conduct in Bhopal, as
well as conducting an environmental cleanup of all affected environs of
that city.

The regulatory authorities can and should conduct hearings and public
inquiry into all potentially adverse consequences of the proposed
merger between Dow Chemical and Union Carbide, not only for antitrust
purposes, but in terms of safety standards, emergency-preparedness and
design and operating procedures at their worldwide operations.  

Finally, these authorities can and should demand that Dow Chemical
specify and particularize exactly what measures it will undertake to
address the outstanding liabilities of Union Carbide to the victims of
the Bhopal Disaster.

We ask that these remedial measures be undertaken immediately due to
the pendency of the merger tranaction between Dow Chemical and Union
Carbide and to prevent further delay in obtaining redress for the
victims of the Bhopal Disaster.  Moreover, since the suffering in
Bhopal has continued for 15 years, under the principles of
international law and human rights, we urge you to take action at once
to facilitate substantive and meaningful relief for the victims of the
Bhopal Disaster.
  
inkwell.vue.52 : Indra Sinha: Cybergypsies: Lust, War & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier
permalink #325 of 367: Sathyu Sarangi (sathyu-bhai) Fri 26 Nov 99 18:21
    
thanks indra, for posting on the well.now that union carbide has been
found lying to the security exchange commission and other regulatory
agencies for all these years it is quite possible that the corporation
gets more than a slap on the wrist. 
  

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