Concerns about Kudankulam not baseless, says Susai Pakiam

Metropolitan Archbishop of the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram Susai Pakiam said here on Friday that the authorities should address the fears and concerns of the local population before going ahead with the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant project.

The Archbishop was delivering the concluding message after the ‘Way of the Cross' procession organised by the Catholic denominations in the city in connection with the Good Friday observance.

“Although experts repeatedly claim that the project is safe, incidents such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster only reaffirm the fact that the concerns aired by the local people about Kudankulam are not baseless. However, instead of addressing the fears of the people of this small fishing hamlet, their agitation is now being suppressed,” Archbishop Susai Pakiam said.

Referring to the Vilappilsala solid waste treatment plant issue, the Archbishop said that turning a village into the dump yard of a city was totally unfair. He added that making the people of the village scapegoats to keep the city clean was similar to the distortion of justice that led to the crucifixion of Christ.

Earlier, delivering the opening message ahead of the ceremony, Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church Baselios Cleemis said that human life was more precious than development and growth.

Expressing concern over the alarming rise in road accidents in the State, Archbishop Cleemis said that it was high time that a review was done on the present day social life.

The ‘Way of the Cross' procession began from St. Joseph Metropolitan Cathedral, Palayam, around 7 a.m. Archbishop Susai Pakiam, Archbishop Cleemis and Auxiliary Bishop of Thiruvananthapuram Samuel Mar Irenios led the procession. Also called ‘Nagarikanickal' ritual, the ‘Way of the Cross' ceremony is a re-enactment of the Christ's final journey to Mount Calvary along 14 Stations of the Cross.

Special services

Faithful turned up in large numbers in churches across the city to attend special prayers as part of the Good Friday to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Good Friday services at St. George Orthodox Syrian Cathedral at Spencer's Junction began at 7.30 a.m. and went on till 3 p.m. Church vicar P.G. Jose led the ‘Way-of-the-Cross' ceremony held on the church premises.

At the Mateer Memorial Church, LMS, special meditational service on verses on the cross was held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Different fellowship groups of the church led the service. This was followed by praise and witness service in the afternoon and renewal meeting at 6.30 p.m.

Good Friday observance is part of the Holy Week observance and is marked by penance, fast and frugality by the faithful. Marking the end of the Holy Week celebrations, the Easter service will begin late in the night on Saturday in most churches, with overnight prayers.