Between a rock and a hard place
1st August, 2008
The battle between mining giant Vedanta and the threatened tribal Dongria Kondh of Orissa, eastern India continues.
London based mining corporation Vedanta told shareholders at its London Annual General Meeting (AGM) this week that it would only go ahead with its controversial Bauxite mine in India with the ‘complete permission’ of the Dongria Kondh tribe, whose way of life is threatened by the planned development.
Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal told shareholders, ‘I can only promise that we will only start work if we have permission of the court and the people.’
Mr Agarwal’s comments were backed up by Vedanta’s Executive Director Kuldip Kaura, who said: ‘The local people have to give their consent.’
But the company’s assurances have been received with caution by campaigners. In particular, suspicion has been roused by a number of clips posted on video-sharing website Youtube on 27th July, which feature various members of the Dongria Kondh claiming that mining would have ‘no effect’ on their way of life. The videos run contrary to the publicly voiced opinions of the Dongria Kondh.
Sterlite, a subsidiary of Vedanta, is currently awaiting approval from the Indian Supreme Court to dig-up the Bauxite rich Niyamgiri mountain,...
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