Vedanta won’t give fight over Orissa hill tribe’s sacred mountainFebruary 1st, 2011 - 8:06 pm ICT by ANI
London/Bhubaneswar, Feb.1 (ANI)Vedanta is still trying to get back into the Dongria Kondh’s Niyamgiri Hills.
FTSE 100 mining giant Vedanta is challenging a ban on mining the sacred mountain of India’s Dongria Kondh tribe.
The Orissa High Court will hear the case on February 2.
The Dongria Kondh, whose plight has been compared to the fictional Na’vi in Hollywood blockbuster Avatar, won an historic victory against Vedanta last year. India’s Environment Ministry blocked Vedanta’s multimillion-dollar bid to create an open-pit bauxite mine on the Dongria’s sacred mountain, stating that Vedanta had shown ‘blatant disregard for the rights of the tribal groups.’
Since the victory, both Vedanta Aluminium (a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources) and the Orissa Mining Corporation have filed petitions in Orissa challenging the decision, as well as an associated decision to restrict the growth of an alumina refinery also operated by Vedanta.
Speaking to Survival International recently, one Dongria Kondh man said, ‘We do not think that we have won. We hear that mining has been stopped but whilst the factory [refinery] is still there our people, our land, may be taken away some day.’
Vedanta’s billionaire chairman Anil Agarwal held separate meetings with India’s Prime Minister and the Environment Minister recently.
Following their meeting, the Environment Minister told journalists, ‘mining is a closed chapter, but so far as the expansion project is concerned we can consider it…provided they meet some conditions.’
In an interview, Agarwal said recently, ‘I am more sensitive about our people, about our adivasi [tribal] people, than anybody else’.
However two independent investigations commissioned by the Indian Environment Ministry each concluded that Vedanta’s plans were likely to ‘destroy’ the Dongria Kondh.
Demonstrations against Vedanta have continued since the Ministry’s decision, with thousands marching to the gates of Vedanta’s alumina refinery, demanding it be shut down.
Stephen Corry, Survival’s Director, said ‘The Dongria’s David and Goliath battle is not over yet, and their supporters around the world are still watching. Last year sense and justice prevailed in Niyamgiri; let us hope that it continues to do so and Anil Agarwal finally gives up on his disastrous plan.’ (ANI)
- Troubled Vedanta loses appeal for controversial Orissa refinery - Oct 22, 2010
- India junks Vedanta's mining bid on environment concerns - Aug 24, 2010
- Indo - Americans Applauds India - Aug 25, 2010
- Church of England sells Vedanta shares over Orissa human rights - Feb 06, 2010
- Third blow for Vedanta in a month as mine faces new probe - Jul 15, 2010
- Government panel says no to Vedanta's Orissa project - Aug 16, 2010
- Vedanta's controversial mine gets backing of India's PM - Jun 30, 2010
- UK Government blasts Vedanta for mistreatment of Oriya tribals - Oct 12, 2009
- Government panel nixes Vedanta's Orissa project (Lead) - Aug 16, 2010
- British government slams Vedanta Resources - Oct 12, 2009
- Vedanta mine project rejection, a major win for Dongria tribe: Survival Intl. - Aug 24, 2010
- Church of England withdraws from India mining project over human rights issue - Feb 06, 2010
- Vedanta taps Gujarat for bauxite for Orissa refinery - Sep 02, 2010
- Oriya tribals say plans by Vedanta to mine holy land will destroy their way of life - Oct 13, 2009
- Central team probes land grab charge against Vedanta - Jan 30, 2010
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