India: TO STOP ASBESTOS MINING IN QUEBEC

BANI Seeks World Opinion Against Quebec Government

TO STOP ASBESTOS MINING IN QUEBEC

New Delhi 16/12/2010: Quebec government, Canada is all set to decide whether to give $58 million financing to an anonymous consortium of foreign investors to open the Jeffrey mine to export 5 million tonnes of asbestos to India and other Asian countries over the next quarter century. India is one of the biggest consumers of asbestos mined in Quebec, a province of Canada although there is ban on asbestos mining in India. In India, Human Rights Commission has ruled that exposing human beings to asbestos fibers is an act human rights violation.Quebec Premier, Jean Charest must be made to listen to public health experts of the world and his own medical experts and not finance a new generation of asbestos disease in India and other Asian countries. This brings unprecedented dishonor on Quebec in particular and Canada in general.

Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) appeals to the world civil society, global academia and world media to act in right earnest to persuade Quebec government to desist from promoting and financing mining and trade in killer fibers of asbestos that has been banned in 52 countries. What is poisonous in these countries cannot be inhumanly presented as non-poisonous in India and other Asian countries. Promoting mining and trade in lung cancer causing fibers of Quebec asbestos constitutes an act of barbarism.

BANI makes a solemn appeal to the legislators of the world to use their persuasive power to stop Quebec Premier Charest from doing the indefensible act of financing an anonymous consortium of foreign investors to open the Jeffrey asbestos mine. This will lead to an unprecedented epidemic of preventable but incurable asbestos related diseases due to export of 5 million tonnes of asbestos to India and other Asian countries in the coming years.

BANI urges Indian legislators to ensure immediate ban on asbestos trade from Canada and other countries in supreme public interest to protect present and future generation of Indians. Indian government must abandon its negotiations for a free trade agreement with Canada unless Quebec stops its naked pursuit for blind profit at the cost of asbestos victims. BANI has written letters to the Speaker of Canadian House of Commons, Yvon Vallières, President of the National Assembly of Québec and the heads of both the houses of Indian Parliament in this regard. The letter is available on BANI’s blog. Vallières is also President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie (APF).

For Details: Gopal Krishna, Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI), Mb:07739308480, 09818089660, E-mail: krishna2777@gmail.com, Web: banasbestosindia.blogspot.com

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