With no response coming from either the IOC or the London Olympics organisers to their previous protest, the Indian Olympic Association today shot off another letter to both the 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, copy of which has also been sent to London Games organising committee chief, Sebastian Coe, Mr. Malhotra said there is a growing world opinion against this sponsorship and the resignation of Meredith Alexander from the Games’ Ethics committee 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 Mr. Malhotra.
Mr. 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 you response to our communications,” he stated.
“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,” Mr. Malhotra said.
The IOA chief said he had reiterated British High Commissioner in India, James Bevan, about their opposition to Dow.
“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. 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”.”