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Bhopal update - 12-06-11

Released on 2012-02-27 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 404678
Date 2011-12-06 19:28:35
Scot, Tomm,

The Reuters article reported earlier does not appear to have gotten much
more pickup at this time.

In other media

- Channel 4 News posted a brief article and video report on India
protesting Dow's Olympic sponsorship. The text article contained the basic
items about the IOA, LOCOG and Dow statements. The video, however included
an approximately 4-minute interview of Tessa Jowell by Channel 4 news
reader Jon Snow. Snow asked if Jowell had "seen this problem coming," to
which she replied by describing events of her trip to India last week.
Jowell was to have spoken at a sports conference but was cancelled, she
thinks because the GoI was afraid she would use that platform to talk
about Bhopal and Dow. She said she would not have done so.

Jowell said she met with "a number of people who are concerned, including
the senior counsel for the Indian government on the Indian Olympic
Association issue and the five NGOs."

Snow prompted her about the original question, and Jowell began to list
"options," including that Dow could withdraw since the wrap was only to
"enhance the appearance of the stadium for television." On further
prompting, she admitted she did not know about the sponsorship until
September and has "been pursuing it ever since."

India's Siaset Daily posted a lengthy article by Pervez Bari about Aslam
Sher Khan making statements to the press about writing to Sonia Gandhi,
Barry Gardiner, Keith Vaz and Tessa Jowell about the Dow sponsorship. The
letter to Gandhi, which was copied to "all the members of the Congress
Working Committee," called for IOA to make a formal protest to LOCOG. To
the British MPs, Sher Khan offered his support and had a reply from Vaz.
He called for Indian MPs to "take up the issue," as have the UK MPs, and
claimed he would "not hesitate to don the (anti-corruption) role of Anna
Hazare in getting proper justice to the victims and survivors...." He also
said he will bring up the Bhopal issue "in a big way at the former
Olympians meeting" as part of the Dec. 15 IOA meeting.

- PTI and UNI also reported more briefly from Sher Khan's press event.

Business Standard reported IOA executive board members C P Singh Deo and
Parsh Nath Mukherjee said the Dow sponsorship issue is not on the agenda
for the IOA's 12/15 meeting, that the issue is being handled by the
government and is not up to the IOA to address.

The UK's Guardian reported both Rachna Dhingra and Barry Gardiner made
statements about the IOA's message to the IOC. Dhingra said the NGOs had
asked for that action six months ago, and "welcome it, but it needs to go
further." Gardiner said the GoI and IOA "have done the right thing by
standing up to Dow's involvement.... LOCOG must realize that this issue
will not go away, and the longer they leave the decision to kick out Dow
the larger the protests will grow."

No online article, full text available on request.

The Guardian also published a commentary by Richard Williams criticizing
the stadium wrap, Dow's sponsorship and quoting BMA activist Lorraine
Close in describing contaminated water and surroundings in Bhopal. Readers
are encouraged to sign Close's petition asking Lord Coe to drop
Dow's sponsorship.

Several Indian media outlets published further reporting on the IOA's
statement on Monday to the IOC and LOCOG:

- Telegraph India reported the part of the concern over Dow's sponsorship
is its position as an IOC partner through the 2020 Games, for which India
had planned to bid. It also reported the letter to IOA from the Sports
ministry was written by Rahul Bhatnagar, a joint secretary at the

- The Hindu and NDTV also reported India would like to bid to host a
future Games, and has asked the "Indian mission in London to get more
details from the organizers" about Dow's sponsorship. Hindu noted Liveris
is an India-US CEO Forum member, "but has stayed away from the
meetings...due to the sensitivities involved."



- Times of India and PTI reported Sports Minister A J Maken urged the IOC
to "consider the sentiments" involving Bhopal and Dow, said he "won't let
Bhopal down," and that it "would be embarrassing that on one hand we are
asking for extradition of [Warren Anderons] and on the other hand we are
partnering with those people."



Express News Service, SportzPower, Economic Times and the Statesman also
posted reports on the IOA statement.

CNN-IBN reported the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission criticized the
MP government for the "police brutality on protesting Bhopal gas victims"
and asked to be given a detailed report on the violence.

IBNS reported the ICJB issued a press statement condemning the violence at
the rail roko and stating they will perform their own enquiry into the
matter, "presided over by a retired judge of the High Court or Supreme
Court." They have called again for the release of all 14 men still in
police custody and said they will help survivors "gather evidence and
initiate formal proceedings against those responsible for the violence,
including the police." The NGOs apologized to the media people who were
injured. The article was not available for online access, full text
available on request.

The Pioneer, however, reported Abdul Jabbar and the BGPMUS said the ICJB
NGOs are partly responsible for Saturday's violence. He criticized the
state government for not fulfilling projects and programs it promised to
the gas victims.

A second Pioneer article reported Congress Party Member of Parliament
(Ujjain) Premchand Guddu filed a memorandum with the MP government saying
the state is "responsible for all that happened on Saturday." He said the
police and state officials had plenty of prior notice the rail roko was

Ann Sigsby

Senior Analyst

Allis Information Management


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