‘Knock down St. Paul’s to raise awareness of Orissa desecration’

August 1st, 2008 - 10:55 am ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 1 (IANS) A global anti-poverty charity wants the hallowed St Paul’s cathedral in London to be demolished in protest against the move by a British mining company to extract bauxite from a mountain in the Indian state of Orissa which is considered sacred by a resident tribe. ActionAid raised this demand in an application to the governing body of St Paul’s to highlight its opposition to mining activities of Vendanta Resources Plc at the Niyamgiri mountain. The mountain is revered by the 8,000-strong Kondh tribe which lives there, it said.

Brendan O’Donnell, an ActionAid campaigner, said: “This is a David and Goliath struggle - we’ve applied to knock down St Paul’s to raise awareness of Vedanta’s outrageous plan to destroy the Kondh’s spiritual home. Just as Londoners wouldn’t tolerate the demolition of their cathedral to make a quick buck, so the Kondh people won’t allow their treasured mountain and forests to be destroyed.

He said Vedanta’s investors should be “appalled that their money is backing the desecration of a sacred Indian site and the destruction of forests on which people rely for food, clean water and a living”.

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