03/09/2012, 00.00
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Bishops of the Tamil Nadu to government: Stop tormenting the Christians of Tuticorin

by Nirmala Carvalho
The authorities refuse to unblock the bank accounts of two NGOs led by the diocesan Bishop Yvon Ambroise, for alleged illegal financing of anti-nuclear protest. Spokesman of the organization: "Government is being ridiculous, those funds are used for orphanages and the sick." The services of NGOs are aimed mainly Hindus.

Chennai (AsiaNews) - The central government must stop harassing Christians and remove the negative comments against the Diocese of Tuticorin. Msge. A.M. Chinnappa, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore and president of the Bishops' Conference of Tamil Nadu, has spoken out in defense of Msgr. Yvon Ambroise, Bishop of Tuticorin, denounced by the authorities for the alleged financing of anti-nuclear protest. Since February 9, the government has frozen the bank accounts of four NGOs, including the Tuticorin Diocesan Association and Tuticorin Multipurpose Social Service Society, led by the prelate. He is accused of having used their foreign funds - intended for orphans, disabled, the prevention and treatment of leprosy - for demonstrations against the Koodankulam nuclear plant.

"When my people suffer - Mgr. Ambrose -, as a Bishop I am with them, I am suffer with them, you this is not inciting. We can not understand why the government is implicating me and my diocese. Everyone is involved, because not only Christians are protesting. "

Fr. William Santhaam, spokesman of the NGO led by the bishop, specifies to AsiaNews: "By freezing our bank accounts, the government is hitting the poorest of the poor, the marginalized, when it should protect them. One of the accounts is restricted to an orphanage. There Christian children are a minority, the majority are Hindus. These children have nothing to do with the protests, and are suffering. Those patients who need greatest assistance now find themselves in even more trouble. It's ridiculous " .

Signed in 1988 but started only in 1997, the Russian Koodankulam nuclear power plant project has suffered several postponements, or delays due to the supply of components and the obstructionism of the people. On 11 September 2011, more than 127 people from the village of Idinthakarai began a hunger strike  in protest. After 12 days, the people stopped the hunger strike on the promise (not kept) by chief minister of the State J. Jayalitha to stop the project.

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