Friday, April 18, 2008



MUSHROOM CLOUD: Eight surviving veterans of the nuclear testing programme from the Isle of Man are set to receive compensation following a pioneering Tynwald vote in January
MUSHROOM CLOUD: Eight surviving veterans of the nuclear testing programme from the Isle of Man are set to receive compensation following a pioneering Tynwald vote in January







VETERANS of the Cold War atomic bomb tests should receive compensation from the Manx Government by the summer, according to the MLC who championed the payout call in Tynwald.

Eight surviving veterans of the nuclear testing programme from the Isle of Man are set to receive compensation following a pioneering Tynwald vote in January, in a move that could add pressure on the UK to follow suit.

Eddie Lowey, whose motion calling for the payout was unanimously carried by the court, said he expected each veteran to receive between £8,000 and £10,000 — a sum equivalent to that given to survivors of the Japanese prisoner-of-war camps.

And he believes that compensation should be awarded not just to the eight veterans living in the Isle of Man but to all Manxmen used as guinea pigs in the Pacific A-bomb and H-bomb tests in the 1950s — wherever they may live now — and to those who have subsequently made the Island their home.

Mr Lowey said: 'It's progressing well and it will happen before July.

'They will get no less than the people from the Japanese POW camps. The amount is piffling — it's a token payment. These people were experimented on. From the
government's point of view it's a win-win situation.

'Of course, Manxmen now living abroad should be eligible and those who were English nationals at the time but have spent a lifetime here. There is no such thing as first and second-class Manxmen.'

Thousands of British and American troops were ordered to watch the mushroom clouds of a series of hydrogen and atomic bomb explosions during postings to the Pacific in the 1950s.

They were given little or no protection and many suffered a lifetime of poor health as a result. Many have died of illnesses linked to radiation exposure.

The Council of Ministers is currently considering the mechanism for compensating the nuclear test veterans and will report back to Tynwald in July.

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