India sends another protest letter against Dow sponsorship

With no response coming from either the International Olympic Committee or the London Olympics organisers to their previous protest, the Indian Olympic Association on Friday shot off another letter to both bodies, demanding Dow Chemical's removal as sponsor of the upcoming event.

Last updated on Friday, 27 January, 2012 18:07 IST
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New Delhi: With no response coming from either the International Olympic Committee or the London Olympics organisers to their previous protest, the Indian Olympic Association on Friday shot off another letter to both bodies, demanding Dow Chemical's removal as sponsor of the upcoming event.

"There is no need to carry this Toxic Legacy," IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said in a statement here.

In a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge, a copy of which has also been sent to London Games organising committee (LOCOG) chief, Sebastian Coe, Malhotra said there is a growing world opinion against this sponsorship and the resignation of Meredith Alexander from the Games' Ethics committee on Thursday is vindication of IOA's principle stand.

"I am sure that you are well aware of the growing opposition to this sponsorship world over with, NGO's, intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, Members of British Parliament and civil society openly coming out against it.

"Ms Meredith Alexander echoed, our position/stand, when she said the organisers "are falsely legitimising Dow's assertion that they have no responsibility for the Bhopal tragedy"," wrote Malhotra.

Malhotra requested the International Olympic Committee and the organisers not to legitimise Union Carbide's role in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy by granting sponsor's status to Dow in the Olympic Movement.

"On behalf of the IOA I again urge you to take steps to remove Dow as sponsor and settle the matter as early as possible. We are waiting for your response to our communications," stated Malhotra.

"I had written you a letter on December 18, 2011 conveying you Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) concern and apprehensions regarding Dow Chemical's being sponsors of the London Olympic Games. The Copy of the letter was also forwarded to LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe.

"Though it is well over a month, the IOA has yet not received any response either from the IOC or the LOCOG regarding the above mentioned letter. I am again writing you the letter," Malhotra further said.

The IOA chief said he had reiterated their opposition to Dow to British High Commissioner in India, James Bevan.

"In my meeting with British High Commissioner in India, James Bevan who had called on me at my residence on January 19, 2012, I had reiterated IOA's opposition to Dow's sponsorship.

"I also informed Mr. Bevan about the letter I had written to you and Mr. Coe and further asked him to convey IOA's position and concerns to the Games Organising Committee.

"In my earlier letter I had said that Dow has bought Union Carbide, whose plant was responsible for gas tragedy that took place in Bhopal in 1984, killing and disabling thousands in one of worst industrial disasters in recent history. I had clearly said that "the case is still pending in the court and no final compensation has been made"."

Story first published on: Friday, 27 January 2012 18:05 IST

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