Press Statement

Halt Port Facilities to US Naval Ships

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) now in session in New Delhi has issued the following statement:

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly opposes the decision of the Vajpayee government to allow US Naval warships participating in the military operations in Afghanistan, docking and refueling facilities in Indian ports.

As part of this agreement, on November 5, a US destroyer of the Seventh Fleet, the USS O’ Brien docked at Chennai port for refueling and "rest and recuperation" for the ships personnel. The next US ship, USS John Young, is docked at the Chennai Port from November 26.. It is reported that an American helicopter took off from the ship and went around for nearly two hours without obtaining permission from the aviation or defence authorities.

The Vajpayee government is surreptitiously giving logistical facilities to the US armed forces. Further, "rest and recuperation" would mean US armed forces personnel being allowed to utilise recreational facilities which has invariably led to an increase in prostitution and other vices in places where such facilities have been given in other countries.

The CPI(M) appeals to all political parties and democratic forces to oppose this dangerous step of the Vajpayee government. It demands an immediate halt to such cooperation.