Olympics chiefs ready to meet Bhopal activists

Updated: 30 March 2012 19:19 IST

London Olympics chiefs said on Friday they were willing to meet Indian activists who have called for Dow Chemical to be dropped as a sponsor of the 2012 Games because of the 1984 Bhopal disaster.

Olympics chiefs ready to meet Bhopal activists

London:

London Olympics chiefs said on Friday they were willing to meet Indian activists who have called for Dow Chemical to be dropped as a sponsor of the 2012 Games because of the 1984 Bhopal disaster.


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has previously stated there is no prospect of Dow being axed from the London Games despite calls from activists in India calling for a boycott.

A handful of protestors shouted slogans against Dow's involvement in the Olympics ahead of a press conference in London on Friday to wrap up the IOC Coordination Commission's final visit to the British capital.

London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) chief Sebastian Coe said officials were ready to meet activists over their concerns if asked.

"The answer is yes. But actually it will be an ongoing exchange. We have been talking for some time but clearly the answer is yes," Coe told reporters when asked if LOCOG was willing to meet activists.

IOC coordination commission chief Denis Oswald meanwhile questioned whether the issue could overshadow the Games, and reiterated the organisation was comfortable with Dow's involvement in the Olympics.

"We realise the tragedy that Bhopal was and we have a lot of sympathy for what happened," he said.

"But we know that Dow was not the owner of the company and they were not running the plant at the time of this accident."

"Since then they have been tested in court twice and it's why we feel comfortable about this relationship and we know that LOCOG is engaged with them to talk."

US-based Dow is the parent company of Union Carbide, whose pesticide plant leaked gas into the central city of Bhopal in 1984, killing tens of thousands of people.

An Indian court ordered Union Carbide to pay $470 million to victims of the disaster in 1989, although in recent years the Indian government has sought greater compensation.

Dow, which bought Union Carbide 17 years after the disaster, insists that all of the company's liabilities were settled in the 1989 agreement.



Topics : Football Olympics 2012
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