School students in Jaffna, India have staged a protest about the pollution of the community's water supply by the Chunnakam power station, run by a subsidiary of the MTD corporation. The owners dispute the claim, saying that the pollution is coming from somewhere else. The students say that when investigators came to the school they brought no equipment - just threw stones down the well and touched the water.

According to local people, who demonstrated outside the plant, holding banners with slogans like, 'Water Poison - another way to kill people?' 400,000 litres of oil has leaked out from the power station, polluting local supplies. The protestors are demanding the improvement of water supplies and the closing of the power station.

The school students are calling for an end to the pollution and for a proper investigation. They carried banners saying: 'Do not fill crude oil into the wells built by our ancestors, do not spoil drinking water, do not destroy our lives'. They showed considerable understanding of the way in which corporations regard people as primarily a source of profit: another banner read, 'One the one hand, drinking water is being contaminated, on the other hand the drinking-water [manufacturing] business is becoming popular. People’s resources are being ruined solely for the profit of business owners.

As well as the school students a group of 60 local people has been on hunger strike, including teachers and doctors.

Wanton pollution by corporations is a big issue in India - the most notorious example being the pollution of Bhopal 30 years ago by the US owned Union Carbide company which caused thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of health problems and still has not been cleaned up. Education campaigners drew attention to the problem last month, when they marched on the city demanding free public education for all children.