Protest in London to stop mining project in Orissa

July 25th, 2010 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 25 (IANS) Human rights activists will paint their faces to resemble the blue-faced Na’vis in the Hollywood film “Avatar” to protest the dislocation of tribals by mining company Vedanta in the Niyamgiri hills of India’s Orissa state.
The protest will be staged Wednesday on the occasion of Vedanta’s annual shareholders meeting.

A human rights campaign group, Survival International, has hired makeup artists for the novel form of protest. It likens Vedanta to the multinational company featured in “Avatar” and the Dongria Kondh tribals of Orissa to the Na’vi people who fight the multinational’s anti-people policies.

“Vedanta should halt its operations in the region and postpone further development pending the outcome of talks with local people, whose wishes should be respected in accordance with international guidelines. Like the Na’vi, the Kondh tribals are also at risk. The (proposed) mine will destroy the forests on which the Kondh depend and wreck the lives of thousands,” Survival International said in a statement.

The controversial mining company is already facing protests from Amnesty International, the Church of England and Britain-based charity Joseph Rowntree Trust.

Vedanta is a British mining company headquartered in London.

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