The Voice of Global Tamils



Public Hearing on the proposed 1820 MW Coal Based Power Plant by M/s. Tridem Port and Power Co. Ltd.,& 150 MW Coal Based Power Plant by M/s. Nagapattinam Energy Pvt. Ltd. 30.10.2009 at Karapidagai Village, Kilvelur Taluk, Nagapattinam District of Tamilnadu.

The Collector of Nagapattinam District          &         Officials of Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board.

Respected Representatives of the Government of Tamilnadu

 On the eve of the public hearing on the proposed1820 MW Coal Based Power Plant by M/s. Tridem Port and Power Co. Ltd., & 150 MW Coal Based Power Plant by M/s. Nagapattinam Energy Pvt. Ltd, we are submitting our views to oppose the coal based thermal power plants.

We would like to bring to your notice that within Union Cabinet there is difference of opinion which came to public light after The Hindu, a daily carried out the following news:

▼ The Hindu, English daily reported on July 5 th of 2009 that Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh has written to Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde seeking to put an end to laying of foundation stones for projects without proper and formal clearances and advising all state power PSUs like National Thermal Power Corporation, National Hydro Power Corporation , Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation to show greater sensitivity to environmental concerns at the highest level.

Under such situation we would urge the Nagapattinam District Administration and Tamil nadu Government to have a re-think on all coal based thermal power projects.

▼  Recent news from our neighbor China as reported in China Daily dated October 28 th of 2009 states that Chinese Environment ministry had suspended or rejected 29 applications of new construction in petrochemical, steel-making and electricity-generating industries with a total investment of 146.7 billion yuan (US$21.5 billion).Chinese government has promised that its economic stimulus plan would not compromise anti-pollution efforts and policies would not be loosened to allow more projects to pass environmental examinations. Environmental Protection Minister Zhou Shengxian said the government would abide by strict environmental standards when evaluating new projects.

Unfortunately Tamilnadu is not observing strict environmental standards. It craves for power at all costs. 

►Tamilnadu has 4 major thermal power plants producing 2970 MW of power. The Hindu, daily dated 6 th February 2009 carries a confession by the Chairman of Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board. Mr.R.Balakrishnan admits that thermal power plants in coastal areas of the state are not meeting pollution control standards. If truth could come out of Chairman’s mouth, our voices in protesting power plants stands justified by international, national and regional yardsticks.

 ► Thermal Power Plant in Tuticurin, a joint venture between Neyveli Lignite Corporation 89% and Tamilnadu Electricity Board with 11% stake is a 4000 crore project aiming to generate 1000 MW. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and Tamilnadu Electricity Board have joined together to start 1600 MW power project at a cost of Rs.8700 crore in Tuticurin District.

The coal from Neyveli has to be carried by congested roads to Tuticurion. It can be argued that it goes within our state from one part to other. Also by sea route coal may get transported. One can say within the source of raw material i.e. our state power project comes up.

Even this could be assimilated for argument sake but not bringing 4.6 million tons of coal annually from Orissa to Ennore port in order to enable Tamilnadu Energy Company, a joint venture between National Thermal Power Corporation and Tamilnadu Electricity Board to generate 1000 MW at Vallur in Tiruvallore District of Tamilnadu. The cost is 4500 crores. 

█There is a national policy to set up power plants near mine heads, where coal is mined. Under such policy instead of bringing coal from Orissa to Ennore, Tamilnadu could have planned to set up power plant in Orissa and pass on power to national grid and then draw equal quantum here through national grid. By this way Tamilnadu could have had power as well as avoided unnecessary construction of new harbors and unnecessary pollution of our soil.

Mind boggling statistics reveals that Ashok Leyland Project, First Corp Petrochem project, UTL Utility Systems project, Essar Power, GMR Power, Trichy Power Project and Coal and Oil Company of Dubai’s project which have planned to produce 1000 MW power each could be avoided if the policy to set power projects at mine head is observed. After all even if power projects are set up same Orissa and Bihar labour have to be brought to work here, since all industries of Tamilnadu and Puducherry uniformly follow a policy to engage only Orissa and Bihar labour and never to disturb local labour from watching free television and eating Rs 1 per kg rice given by noble leader Dr.Kalaignar.

Empee Power and Infrastructure Ltd aim generation of 1200 MW. A company from Spain aims 2000 MW. Then comes the 4000 MW power project by National Thermal Power Corporation near Thirukuvalai, Chief Minister Dr.Kalaignar’s birth place. Central University coming in his home district is welcome but not polluting industries. The rice bowl of Tamilnadu should have agro-based industries and should promote agriculture and fisheries, the traditional people pursuing these professions for centuries or millennium. Similarly 2000 MW power project near Cheyyur also will erase the ecology of Kaluveli tank; a place of haven for migratory birds, and the tourism potential of ECR road will have to be wiped out to dump fly ash everywhere, congesting roads with coal transport.

We urge the Tamilnadu Government to re-think its energy policy. The Memorandum of Understanding signed with Tri-Sakthi Energy P Ltd for 525 MW of power. India Power project, SPIC Energy Private Limited, Chennai Power Company etc for 1000 MW each and Cuddalore Thermal Power Project to generate 1320 MW too are coal based. Reliance plans 3000 MW power project. All these projects are coal based environmental hazards. 

☼☼►Dravida Peravai lauds only 2 initiatives of Tamil Nadu Power Minister. The Memorandum of Understanding signed with an American firm for generating sea solar power is welcome. The Project that comes in Udangudi of Tuticurin District to generate 100 MW of Solar Thermal Power is welcome. As on January 31st of 2009 out of total national production of 9756 MW of wind energy Tamilnadu produces 42 percent and this is a good development. We whole heartedly welcome these solar, wind, and ocean thermal power projects. But we oppose the Coal based Thermal Power projects that are coming up in Nagapattinam Districts, for which this public enquiry is called for.

►National Thermal Power Corporation of India is pumping 500 million US dollars in a joint venture with Ceylon Electricity Board to set up a power project at Sampur in Srilanka. India that could not ensure safety sail for Indian fishermen in Bay of Bengal more particularly in Gulf of Mannar and Pak Straits is going to ferry coal to Srilanka from Orissa. From Anuradhapura in Srilanka to Thalaimannar of Tamilnadu both India and Srilanka had planned under sea link to transmit power at a cost of Rs 2200 crore. India that for 30 years had not linked its rivers to help Indian farmers, but now wants to link Srilanka and Tamilnadu by under sea link to bring power to boost the growth of all polluting industries in Tamil soil. If India had annexed Tamil areas of Srilanka and merged North and East Districts of Srilanka with Tamilnadu and created a Tamilnadu State within Indian Union on both sides of Pak Straits, then such link between Tamil states may be welcomed but not the current project.

► Dravida Peravai mooted an idea when the undersigned was Trustee in Tuticurin Port Trust, and took up with Planning Commission and through then Defence Minister Comrade George Fernandes apprised then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the need to create a National Seaway Authority like National Highways. Every state government has minor and intermediary ports under its control but they are idle monuments with no revenue generation with the exception of Gujarat’s minor ports. Hence to interlink these 138 minor and intermediary ports for passenger and cargo traffic, creation of such authority is must, we suggested. Accepting that during his visit to Kanyakumari, then Prime Minister announced Sagar Mala scheme for this purpose, which is yet to take off. We now also urge Indian Government and Tamilnadu Government to go for reviving that idea, to use existing harbors for passenger and cargo traffic, thereby creating jobs for educated fishermen coming out of maritime university. It will ease traffic congestion in roads. Unfortunately the regular hidden incomes through frequent laying of roads will be the only loss to the officials and political bosses. Instead of using Sagar mala scheme to purposefully use existing harbours there seems to be a craze to allow harbours under private only to ferry coal to coal based power plants. This ridiculous policy causes the new creation of Ports in Nagapattinam District which we oppose.

▼Tamilnadu must give clearance to biomass power plants. Times of India dated 29 th October 2009 states that 9 companies have approached Tamilnadu Energy Development Agency for permissions to start biomass power plants. Tamilnadu Electricity Board must give clearance for these 9 companies to generate 487 MW of power. The speed with which clearances came for coal based power projects is lacking here, that too for small quantum of power, which can be termed as tokenism too TN Government lacks political will. The biomass energy produced currently is 111 MW writes Vivek Narayanan in Times of India. Hence according clearances for clean energy is must in days when we sing lullabies on climate change.

▼If India has to reduce its carbon emissions; it would mean a major reorientation of her energy strategy, especially if that warranted a shift from its current coal-based to an oil and gas based energy system. Murthy, Panda and Parikh (2000) examined the consequences of alternative CO2 emission reduction strategies on economic development and, in particular, the implications for the poor by empirically implementing an economy-wide model across India over a 35-year time horizon. A multi-sectoral, inter-temporal model is used for this purpose. The model has specific technological alternatives and endogenous income distribution with dynamic behavior; it covers the whole economy in an integrated top-down-bottom-up model. Such alternative thinking must dawn on Tamilnadu Government.

▼International Seabed Authority under the auspices of United Nations has earmarked 1,50,000 square kilometers of sea bed in Indian Ocean for mining of cobalt, nickel , copper etc. We are not aware whether any such area is earmarked in Bay of Bengal. If the pursuit to mine sea-bed begins apart from natural gas to minerals, the traditional living sources of fishermen will be totally robbed from them. Even after Exclusive Economic Zones have been earmarked under International Law of Seas by United Nations, the fishermen of India particularly Tamil fishermen could not tap the fish wealth in their countries exclusive zones. Foreign fishing vessels creep in, sneak in, and poach in our zones, and fishermen with catamarans cannot compete. Fish wealth is near their eyes yet their country allows sharks from other nations to rob that instead of arming Indian fishermen with finances and schemes to make a better livelihood. The policy to uproot people from their traditional professions is suicidal, cynical, unethical and anti-national. Yet hand in glove with corporate world that greases their palms for petty gains and better lives today, our political masters are ruining traditional fishermen and agriculturalists depriving them a decent livelihood, thus earning a historical curse on them for their historical blunder.

▼ In precious stone rich Jharkand and Orissa, mining of this wealth which remained in the bowels of earth over which indigenous tribal peoples lived for millions of years is bartered to corporate world. Dravida Peravai had incorporated in its party manifesto that if a dam is constructed or project is set up uprooting people, such uprooted people and all villagers over which these projects come up must be made share holders in the projects that come up. Share the profits with the displaced people, compensate permanently elevating the lives of the deprived than throwing paltry pittance to political class, companies must be told. This includes the harbour and power project that comes up in Nagapattinam District. If a power project comes in Chief Ministers home village, all its villagers must be made share holders in that projects, all the jobs must be given to every educated youth forbidding total hiring of outsiders, and if talent is needed it should be only from Tamilnadu. No contracts labour system, because Chief Minister’s home village must emulate a national model for development. Let Tamilnadu plan projects that will not aggravate our climate change. Let Tamilnadu go for clean technologies to generate power like Sweden. If our Chief Minister cannot make Tamilnadu a Sweden in energy, a cleaner Singapore in environment, then no one else in India can envisage and transform people’s lives.

With Regards Yours fraternally

N.Nandhivarman General Secretary Dravida Peravai




Public Hearing on the proposed 2×500 MW Coal Based Power Plant

 by M/s. PEL Power Ltd took place on 28.10.2009 at                           

Keezhaprumballam Village, Sirkali Taluk, Nagapattinam Dt. But I had mailed to the The Collector of Nagapattinam District on  23.09.2009 itself when earliar hearing was slated but cancelled in eleventh hour.

Respected Collector

 Subject: Historical and Environmental reasons cited to oppose the proposed Thermal Power plant regarding

 We appreciate the District Collector of Nagapattinam for calling for this public enquiry. Our views will be in Tamil’s historical interest and the traditional rights of indigenous communities like fishermen and farmers of Tamilnadu.

Pichavaram to Kodikarai is highly important area for unearthing our civilization since ancient harbours existed in this belt with hidden heritage at sea. It needs to be subjected to researches   highly important for marine archaeology and coastal archaeology.

Already 250 km out of 1076 km of Tamilnadu coast is without fishermen. The need for preserving the catamaran people and their traditional knowledge is important. Hence all development projects must aim at protecting indigenous communities like fishermen and farmers and should not uproot them from where for centuries they made a livelihood. In fact more assistance to these communities with new scientific equipments would enable them to earn more foreign exchange to our country’s coffers than offering soaps at the cost of public exchequer to projects of plunder. Generating alternative renewable energy like ocean thermal energy, ocean tidal energy will be more helpful. Developed countries have bid adieu to thermal power. Coal bearing ships and conveyer arrangement will be hazard for the coastal area and will stimulate global warming through carbon discharge. The waste generated from plant will create pollution at sea .Thoothukudi lost its pearl culture of the past cultural heritage by the non ocean oriented people. Bearing these in mind we urge the Government of Tamilnadu to stall all thermal power projects coming up in Nagapattinam District, more particularly the one near Poompuhar.

▼ We all are aware that apart from the Indus Valley excavations, equally important cities of our ancient civilization could not so far be unearthed in South India due to our own lethargy. We have stone inscriptions, copper plates and burial pots and this is not sufficient to establish the greatness of our past. Our literary evidences on submergence of ancient Tamil land illuminate us about our past but western scholars look for more scientific proof. Hence there is a need for undersea-archaeological search to find out our roots. No other ethnic group of Earth possesses so much literary evidences but remains lazy to go to the submerged cities of their ancient land. Though we have a place named as Poompuhar where Dr.Kalaignar M.Karunanithi during his rule erected monuments to recapture the past, it could only serve as tourist spot and could not satiate a researcher’s quest to unravel a hidden city of our ancient civilization beneath the bowels of our sea in Bay of Bengal. We all know about the changes that continuously occur and the ancient Port City of Chozha Empire is not the Poompuhar of our times, but it is within the sea nearer or far to current Poompuhar’s coast.

▼ Graham Hancock wrote many books out of which Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization by Crown Publishers, New York 2002 containing 760 pages ISBN 1400046122 hardback priced $ 27.50 is of relevance to our Poompuhar. He undertook marine archaeology in 2002 and brought out as reported in Dinamani that a city with 9500 year old civilization remains hidden off coast of Poompuhar. [Dinamani news clipping enclosed] His earlier books Fingerprints of the Gods and Heaven’s Mirror had mentioned about his findings. But in this latest book, he lays out evidence “based on modern scientific research, comparative mythology, religious and spiritual observances, first hand diving exploration of underwater megalithic structures and ancient maps to demonstrate the likelihood that a technically advanced civilization unrecognized by modern science capable of navigating the globe and with a profound understanding of architecture and building existed and was washed out by global flooding”.

▼Inundation maps created by Dr.Glen Milne of Durham University shows vast tracts of mostly coastal land which were submerged by three waves of cataclysmic flooding between 17,000 and 8000 years ago. Nearly 5 percent of Earth’s surface or 25 million square kilometers of land stands submerged. These maps and other sources made Graham Hancock to set his foot in Tamilnadu. Graham Hancock used scuba diving and found many artifacts and evidences roughly 2000 pieces which he displayed in Bangalore exhibition, as per media reports of the day. Graham Hancock had updated Tamil history to 9500 years old.

▼We like parrots were repeating 2000 years as time limit of our ancient civilization, and when Graham Hancock updated Tamil history with fresh facts, the Government of Tamilnadu which is going to celebrate World Tamil Conference, must take pains to employ more scuba divers and marine archaeologists to find out about our Kaveripoompattinam. We should honour Graham Hancock in that Conference.

▼The coast or sea near Poompuhar should not be plundered and kept free from industrialization if our ancient glory brought out powerfully by Dr.Kalaignar had to be proven scientifically. Mr.Graham Hancock investigated about our “Kumari Kandam, an anti-diluvia civilization said to have existed thousands of years ago around South India. It is believed to have been a greater center of learning with magnificent academies which may have left a legacy of cartographic and astronomical knowledge which exists today in the ancient Indian texts. Interestingly the author spoke to local fishermen who described often diving to free their nets caught on underwater temples and columns, pyramidal pagodas and buildings with doorways”.

▼Coinciding to our Poompuhar, in Gulf of Cambay to city which is 7500 years old was found but media highlighted that and did not do justice to Poompuhar’s findings. If a scientist within few weeks with the help of National Institute of Oceanography could bring out so many artifacts, is it not the duty of Tamilnadu Chief Minister Dr.Kalaignar M.Karunanithi who instilled in our hearts the greatness of Poompuhar by his powerful pen to employ all scientists, marine archaeologists, scuba divers, and constitute a multi disciplinary State-Sponsored Task Force under Anna University and Tamil University of Thanjavur to explore our exclusive economic zone and our territorial waters in Bay of Bengal at least to begin with to pick up the thread from where Mr. Graham Hancock left in 2002.

▼▼ Dravida Peravai hence appeals to the District Collector of Nagapattinam in the public hearing on Public Hearing on the proposed 2×500 MW Coal Based Power Plant by M/s. PEL Power Ltd to stop this power project.  Allowing such plants to be set up here with whatever technology will disrupt the scientific and historical research that is needed to unearth our past beneath Bay of Bengal off Poompuhar. We are enclosing a map which shows how much land near our coast had been submerged.

This is an indication of how much more land would have been submerged for centuries running into thousands of years back. My article Save the Coast in New Indian Express is enclosed.Letting out effluents or dumping waste into rivers and seas had been going on unabated though technically they will promise to use clean technology and blinded by that promise our environmental agencies will give them clearance. First of all we should bear in mind what all technology we get is outmoded and unwanted in developed countries, hence such technologies are dumped on developing countries like India. If we are really a super power we should follow the Swedish precedent to completely abandon thermal power projects to save its environment. Here it is not only to save our environment but also to prove to the world we are an ancient civilization, we need to keep Poompuhar coast and seas close to Poompuhar free from industrial garbage and litter.

▼Coal based power projects are being set up in Tamilnadu coast. There seems to be a policy which permits setting up of power plants near coal mines, so that through National Power grid equivalant quantum of power can reach the power seeking State. Under this policy a current Union Minister of State before he came to power got a Coal Block allotted in Orissa.In this project of a Tamilnadu politician Puducherry Government’s PIPDIC is a partner. This joint venture plans to set up power project in Orissa to generate power and pass on to the grid so that Puducherry Government will get power without polluting the Union Territory of Puducherry. If a tiny state like Puducherry could follow this route, what compulsion prevails for Tamilnadu to bring coal all the way by ships to set up a power plant in the Nagapattinam coast that too near ancient Port city of Poompuhar?

▼ There seems to be a race to set up more and more ports without planning what products could be brought in or exported from these ports. The Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he visited Kanyakumari announced a scheme called Sagar Mala, which means Garland of the Seas. In fact I mooted the suggestion to create a National Seaway on the lines of National Highways to introduce ship connectivity to all the 138 minor or intermediary ports to bring inland cargo that was coming by Lorries and to ferry passengers. This suggestion through Planning Commission reached then Prime Minister who wanted to make use of existing infrastructure to connect all ports in Indian coast. At that time only Gujarat particularly Gujarat Maritime Board was making good use of its minor ports. Tamilnadu which launched a Poompuhar Shipping Corporation under DMK rule lost the race by making its vessels ferry coal and did not think of diverting cargo and passengers from road use to sea lanes. Roads could be re-laid year by year but traffic congestion, loss of lives, making more and more lanes, land acquisition etc could be avoided if our existing ports could be connected under the Sagar mala scheme of Vajpayee. Instead opening new ports with no cargo to handle breeds even sand smuggling to Maldives which was caught red handed by you, the Hon’ble Collector. Hence we Dravida Peravai, a splinter of DMK but with great regard for Dr.Kalaignar in view of personal friendship undiminished by parting of ways, urge Nagapattinam to accord to priority to unearth our ancient city of Kaveripoompattinam and keep this coast free from polluting industrialization.

▼Interestingly the National Institute of Oceanography , Chennai had announced that its scientists in collaboration with Experimental Design Bureau of Oceanological Engineering of the Russian Academy of Sciences  had developed a vehicle named ROSUB 6000 capable of exploring the ocean up to a depth of 6 kilometers and can be remotely operated. Though we have to go further deep not only off the coast of Poompuhar but also even beyond our exclusive economic zone, this vehicle could be used to gather further evidences on our submerged Port City of Poompuhar.

 ▼International Seabed Authority has allocated 150,000 square kilometers of seabed in the Indian Ocean to India for exploration of cobalt, manganese, nickel and copper which are in the form of polymetalic nodules. Well Government of India will be happily exploring Indian Ocean for minerals and metals but let Government of Tamilnadu explore Indian Ocean to discover the lost continent of Kumari and the Port Cities of Chera, Chozha and Pandyas, including the ancient capitals of Thonmadurai and Kavadapuram which our literature speaks.

 With Regards Yours sincerely

 N.Nandhivarman  General Secretary Dravida Peravai



DRAVIDA PERAVAI wrote to Hon’ble Thiru.Manmohan Singh Prime Minister of India and Hon’ble Thiru.S.M.Krishna Minister for External Affairs Government of India :Justyfying China-phobia and appealing to counter Chinese expansionism detrimental to world peace….

Thailand, chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2009, will be hosting the 15th ASEAN Summit and related meetings during Oct. 23-25 in southern beach resort town Cha-am and Hua Hin, media reports. In this crucial time, Dravida Peravai, a political party from India appeals to India to discuss with the leaders of ASEAN countries the inevitability to ponder carefully each and every move of China and arrive at a common strategy to counter its conspiracies. We from India welcome regional cooperation but at same time we would like to caution the nations of the ASEAN through you about the geo-political ambitions of China which will erode the other nation’s sovereignty and cause great havoc to their economies.

 1. Beware of attack on Dollar regime: India and China are now members of the Financial Stability Board, the apex institution to monitor global risks of financial crisis. Their voting shares in the International Monetary Fund will also be slightly increased through an accelerated quota reform process. However post-reform the USA will retain its de-facto veto power with a 17 percent share and the US, EU and Japan will control 53 percent of IMF shares. Individually the shares of US, UK, France and Japan will still be larger than China’s share of fewer than 4 percent. Hence China had planned a new offensive according to Professor of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy Mr.Sudipto Mundle. “Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the Chinese Central Bank on the eve of G-20 summit suggested that dollar should be replaced with SDR’s as the new reserve currency. The huge dollar reserves held by Central Banks and other global investors would be severely eroded if the dollar were to suddenly depreciate. Yet these investors cannot easily diversify away from the dollar since this itself would trigger dollar depreciation. The Chinese are particularly concerned that an estimated 1 trillion dollars of their total reserves of around 2 trillion are held in dollar asset. The SDR exchange rate is a weighted average of exchange rates of the major convertible currencies. Accordingly under Zhou’s proposals, China and other countries could convert their reserves from dollars to SDR’s at current exchange rates without any erosion in their value. Implementing such a proposal would also mark the end of the dollar as reserve currency. This is the game plan of China which has let the cat out of its bag. If China launches SDR missiles to strike at the Dollar regime, India and all ASEAN countries economies will collapse. USA realizing the Chinese designs had been urging India to sign End-use Monitoring Agreement, Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum agreement, and Logistics Support Agreement. China causes grave concern for USA, hence USA urges India to sign these pacts. China had become emboldened to say to USA to concentrate on western Pacific and China will look after eastern Pacific. Pacific Command Chief Admiral Timothy J Keating had recently exposed this game. It is high time that all those ASEAN nations which are boasting about Free Trade be aware of the future assaults on dollar that will boomerang on their currencies and collapse their economies. India had to wage a diplomatic offensive against China.

 2. Beware of Counterfeit currencies: The crime of counterfeiting currency as a means of warfare, such as in the War Between the States in the USA in the mid-1800s and the Bernhard Operation in Europe during the Second World War is practiced. India is being flooded with counterfeit currency. The idea was to overflow the India’s economy with fake banknotes, so that the real value of the said money was reduced; therefore, attacking the economy and general welfare of a society. The INTERPOL Counterfeits and Security Documents Branch (CSDB) is responsible for establishing programs that provide forensic support, operational assistance, and technical databases in order to assist the 188 member countries of INTERPOL regarding counterfeit currency. PTI, Indian news agency reported this year about Indian businessmen given Chinese counterfeit currency at an International Exhibition in China. Hence all member nations must be made vigilant about flooding of their countries with counterfeit currencies. Hence India should seek special investigation by Interpol pumping counterfeit currencies in India and ASEAN countries.

3. Unilateral Maritime Boundary by China: China had gone for fixing unilateral maritime boundaries of the nations of South China Seas as recently reported in Times of India by seasoned diplomat G.Parthasarathy. This does not augur well for the fishing industry and fishermen of nations bordering South China Seas. International Seabed Authority had earmarked 1, 50,000 square kilometers in Indian Ocean for India to explore cobalt, manganese, Copper and nickel etc. Similarly the ASEAN countries more particularly ASEAN countries with access to South China Seas will be having rights over specified areas for them as per International Sea-bed Authority. In exercising such powers they will realize that China had put a spokes in their wheel by unilaterally encroaching their respective maritime boundary or violating the exclusive economic zones. So let common wisdom be evolved among ASEAN nations to be vigilant about the ASEAN plus nation called China. India should play its role as catalyst.

 4. China gets foothold in Arabian Sea: The location of the Republic of Maldives astride the major sea lanes in the Indian Ocean is of strategic relevance to India. — Ministry of Defense’s annual report, 2000. 27 July 2001: China has engineered a manner of a coup by coaxing Maldives’ Abdul Gayoom government to let it establish a base in Marao. Marao is one of the largest of the 1192 coral islands grouped into atolls that comprise Maldives and lies 40 km south of Male, the capital. Coral islands make fine submarine pens. The Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy or PLAN proposes to deploy nuclear submarines fitted with sea-launched Dong Feng-44 missiles and ballistic missiles (SLBMs) in Marao. The base deal was finalized after two years of negotiations when Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji visited Male on 17 May 2001 on his four-nation South Asian tour. It marks a high point in China’s ambitious – and audacious – plan to encircle India and choke its emergent blue-water navy in the Indian Ocean itself. But once Marao comes up in 2010, China’s power projection in the Indian Ocean will stabilize. It will also set China on the course followed in the earlier superpower, Cold War rivalry between the US and the Soviet Union. Both states built a series of naval bases throughout the world for emergency counter-offensive measures. China is embarked on doing the same. American worry: These developments have worried the US that has proposed to its ASEAN allies and friendly countries to create a joint command to contain China and prevent its expansion in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. The US is keen for India to hasten construction of the Far Eastern Naval Command in the Andaman Islands, and this was repeated by the chairman of the US joint chiefs, General Henry H. Shelton, who visited India recently. Specific to the Marao base, the US sent navy chief Dennis Blair to Maldives a month after Rongji’s visit to take stock of China’s military diplomacy. While the US base in Diego Garcia can launch surprise offensives, the US wants to restrict Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean because of its strategic value. According to one survey, some $260 billion worth of oil and gas will be shipped through the Indian Ocean by year 2004. The oil route stretching from the Strait of Malacca to the Strait of Hormuz will be at the mercy of any power that dominates the sea lanes. A Chinese base in Marao islands puts it in a direct position to influence oil commerce. It is a prospect that daunts India, scares Southeast Asia, and alarms the US. We appeal to ASEAN summit to think about their sea-lanes and its safety in case of differences with China.

 5. China-Pakisthan-North Korea Axis: As late as October 2000, Pakistani and North Korean nuclear and metallurgical scientists were invited to observe the mating of miniaturized nuclear warheads and missile systems at China’s Lop Nor nuclear facility in Xingjian province. Of all the nuclear weapon States, China uses nuclear and missile technology transfers as part of its national security policy. It is not a coincidence that both Pakistan and North Korea owe a greater part of their nuclear and missile capabilities to China. Both were seen as important to realizing the twin goals of Beijing’s Asia policy: “contain India and restrain Japan”. The U.S. Ambassador to China, Clark Randt, has gone on record to describe China’s proliferation of strategic technologies as “a make-or-break issue for us.” That China was the chief instrument by which Pakistan got its bomb is well-known. What is not so well-known is the growing North Korea-Pakistan nuclear and missile nexus. While Pyongyang has served as a conduit for ballistic missile supplies to Pakistan, the latter has shared its weapons-capable highly uranium enrichment technology with the North Korean regime. Furthermore, Pakistan (along with China and North Korea) has a growing military relationship with Myanmar’s military junta. It is noteworthy that Myanmar had last year granted sanctuary to two Pakistani nuclear scientists wanted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) following a personal telephone call from Musharraf. The two nuclear scientists, Dr Suleiman Asad and Dr Mohammad Ali Mukhtar, were flown to Sagaing Division of Myanmar in November 2001. They were apparently moved out of the country to avoid the fate that befell their two other counterparts, Dr Bashiruddin Mehmood, the former chief of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, and Chaudhury Abdul Majid. Both Mehmood and Majid are under investigation for their alleged links with Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network. Myanmar’s growing links with Pakistan’s nuclear establishment assume significance in the light of the formers recent purchase of a nuclear reactor and a dozen sophisticated MiG-29 fighters from Russia and conventional arms shopping in North Korea. Myanmar, North Korea and Pakistan are militarist regimes, weak and failing States that have initiated conflicts against their neighbors. Islamabad and Pyongyang also have a penchant for engaging in a game of brinkmanship, belligerence and nuclear blackmail and coercion to change the territorial status-quo (at times with overt and covert backing from Beijing). Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to and from radicalized, nuclearized and volatile Pakistan or the unpredictable, regime of North Korea or military-dominated Myanmar and Wahabi clergy-dominated Saudi Arabia certainly does not bode well for peace and stability. says Professor of Security Studies at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, U.S.A. India must evolve suitable counter strategy. In fact USA-USSR cold war is past but Indo-China Cold war is ground reality.

6. South China Seas: Vietnam must be vigilant: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung pledged to properly handle border and South China Sea issues on Friday while hailing bilateral trade and economic ties between the two. He pledged to work along with Vietnam to cope with the international financial crisis, promote trade and speed up cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Vietnam will keep high-level exchanges, stimulate trade and two-way investment as well as cooperate with China in regional economic development programs, Dung vowed to properly settle the South China Sea issue and other problems via friendly negotiation with China so as to preserve the development of bilateral ties. As the rotating president of ASEAN, Vietnam will play a positive role in boosting ASEAN-China cooperation, Dung acknowledged. But Vietnam must be made to think of Mekong River waters, which it wont receive due to Chinese water aggression. India must generate this awareness to Vietnam

7. MONOPOLIZING MEKONG RIVER and CHINESE: This is bad news for the 60 million people that live in the Mekong Basin. For the many poor people who depend on the abundant resources of the Mekong River, their source of protein and livelihoods from fisheries and other aquatic resources have not been affected so far by the China’s designs over Mekong. The Basin is home to fisheries that yield about 2.5 million tons of fish per year and, at first point of sale, amount to an industry worth at least US$2 billion annually. It is the largest inland fishery in the world. These communities depend on the river as a resource, and are often outside the mainstream economy. They are insulated from global economic fluctuations precisely because they depend so closely on natural systems and not the broader economy for their survival. This is the strength of the natural river system; especially the biodiversity and productivity of the wetlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, lakes and flood plains, and it underlines why the river system is so important for poverty alleviation. Mekong and its tributaries are vital links for transport and commerce in the region. A pragmatic and internationally accepted way found in the 1995 Mekong Agreement, which Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam signed when they established the Mekong River Commission (MRC). The MRC is the intergovernmental body responsible for cooperation on the sustainable management of the Mekong Basin, whose members include Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. In dealing with these challenges, it looks across all sectors including sustaining fisheries, identifying opportunities for agriculture, maintaining the freedom of navigation, assessing the sustainability of hydropower, flood management and preserving ecosystems. Superimposed on these are the future effects of more extreme floods, prolonged drought and sea level rise associated with climate change. In providing its advice, the MRC aims to facilitate a broad range of dialogue among governments, the private sector and civil society on these challenges. The MRC is working with its member governments and upstream partners, China and Burma, to ensure these factors are taken into account when planning water-based development in the region. But you all are aware that China refuses to join the MRC, while building dams across Mekong River. In 1986 China started constructing dams across Mekong River and it has now completed the 4 th biggest dam that will dry the entire Mekong River basin for which Mekong River Commission had been established by 5 countries of South East Asia. Mekong is the worlds 11 th longest river and all such plans to block the river waters within China will create great havoc and cause human losses in the countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam where Mekong empties itself in South China Seas. There won’t be any water, when all waters are arrested within China. Hence ASEAN leaders must emulate the protest lodged by Thailand Prime Minister Thiru.Abisit Vejjajiva on August of 2009 with 11000 signatures. The irony is instead of putting up a united front against Chinese water aggression, Laos , Cambodia and Thailand had woken up to construct dams within their countries leaving the tail end Vietnam to suffer like Tamilnadu in India, where states like Karnataka and Kerala show adamancy in water hijacking.

8. DIVERTING BRAHMAPUTRA: Yangtze, Indus and Brahmaputra originate in Tibet now under Chinese possession. Half of the population of the world lives in the river basins of rivers that emanate from Tibet. Brahmaputra is known as Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet. China is diverting that river waters to Yangtze known as yellow river, which flows within China. 750 Hydel power stations have been set up across Tibet. As per World Commission on Dams statistics of 2003 there are 22000 dams across China. We have no objection for China to harness its rivers that emanate and flow within its territory. But blocking Indus by dams and Pakistan protesting is another story. Indian silence over Brahmaputra waters being diverted shows sad state of Indian bureaucrats in slumber. International Rivers cannot be hijacked by one country. The Campaign Director of International Rivers.org Mr.Aviva Imhof states that “The head waters of most of the major rivers of Asia are in Tibet and damming them could have implications downstream.” Hence, Dravida Peravai urges Indian Prime Minister and Indian External Affairs Minister to discuss threadbare with ASEAN leaders the River Waters Issue, which is more serious than any other issue in their agenda. 

 N.Nandhivarman General Secretary Dravida Peravai