Fashion designer expresses solidarity with Goan tribals

December 11th, 2008 - 12:34 am ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 10 (IANS) Goan fashion designer Wendell Rodricks has said he will not share a dais with Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who he said was responsible for the excesses against tribals by mining companies.Rocricks submitted a memorandum to the inspector general of police and the state chief secretary on behalf of the thousands of tribals living in the Colamb region and affected by illegal mining.

He said the state has become a perpetrator of crimes against people living in the mining belt. “I do not want to be feted by a chief minister who is doing all this,” Wendell said.

He said he along with pop star Remo Fernandes was invited to the launch of a book, “Best of Goa” at a function to be chaired by Kamat, who also holds the mining portfolio.

Both Wendell and Remo, two of Goa’s top celebrities, feature in the book.

“I spoke to Remo about this and he too has agreed to boycott the function,” Wendell said.

Illegal iron ore mining units in the south Goan region of Colamb have caused an uproar for the last several months. Activists say mining operators, several of whom are state ministers, have been using police force to break the resistance.

Among the most notable human rights offences, according to lawyer and activist Claude Alvares, was the recent arrest of an 85-year-old woman for staging a protest against illegal mining.

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