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Alarm as Britain to ship dangerous waste through Caribbean Sea

Monday, December 31, 2012    

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The tourism-dependent Caribbean has sounded the alarm as Britain prepares to send a shipment of dangerous waste through the Caribbean Sea en route to Japan.

The shipment will pose grave risks, should there be an accident, to the lives and livelihood of the people of the region, said Caribbean Community (Caricom) chairman, Dr Kenny Anthony, who is also prime minister of Saint Lucia.

In a statement Friday, Anthony called on the United Kingdom to stop the imminent transshipment of Vitrified High Level Waste to Japan via the Caribbean Sea, saying:

"The United Kingdom's imminent shipment of radioactive waste follows 14 such shipments to date, each of which has been strenuously objected to by Caricom Heads of Government, Caribbean business communities and civil society.

"In this regard, the region is particularly disappointed by the continued disregard shown by the United Kingdom for the objections to such shipments given the historical relations which the Caribbean shares with the United Kingdom," Prime Minister Anthony said in his statement.

The full text of Anthony's statement reads:

"It has come to the attention of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) that a new shipment of Vitrified High Level Waste will soon leave the United Kingdom for Japan transiting the Caribbean Sea.

"It is with gravest concern that the Caribbean Community (Caricom) reiterates and intensifies its opposition to the passage of shipments of High Level Waste through the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean Sea constitutes not only a part of the way of life of the Caribbean people but also a principal source of livelihood and socio-economic activity.

"The United Kingdom's imminent shipment of radioactive waste follows fourteen such shipments to date, each of which has been strenuously objected to by Caricom Heads of Government, Caribbean business communities and civil society. In this regard, the region is particularly disappointed by the continued disregard shown by the United Kingdom for the objections to such shipments given the historical relations which the Caribbean shares with the United Kingdom.

"Caricom intensifies its call upon all those involved to halt these shipments given the risk they pose to the lives and livelihoods of the Caribbean people."

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