Jul 21 2009

Join us at Vedanta Sterlite AGM, 27th July, London

Dongia Khond

Please join us and show your solidarity for the Dongria Khond tribe of Orissa, India, whose ancient way of life, and biodiverse and beautiful mountain home is threatened by Bauxite mining and Aluminium refineries: On Monday 27th July at 2pm,  outside and inside the  Annual General Meeting of VEDANTA RESOURCES PLC, Lincoln Centre, 18, Lincoln Inn’s Fields, LONDON WC2. This is an important opportunity to influence shareholders who have a chance in stopping the imminent decision to start bulldozing this comunity. Please come show solidarity and support to the tribal people who have fought Vedanta for over 20 years, and lost many brothers and sisters to company and government violence in the process. Their way of life has existed in harmony with the mountains for hundreds of years. Vedanta want the whole mountain top, and hence the fertility of the whole mountain area for 25 years worth of quick profit. Help us protect this mountain and its incredible community.  See the leaflet below for more info:


STOP THE CULTURAL GENOCIDE, ENVIRONMENTAL DEVASTATION, HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION, DEADLY POLLUTION

WE NEED TO UNITE AND SUPPORT GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS AROUND THE WORLD AGAINST
THE UNCONTROLLED, CATACLYSMIC POWER OF VEDANTA PLC AND SIMILAR DESTRUCTIVE COMPANIES.

Adivasi protest vs. bauxite mining Dongria Kondh

JOIN US TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE EARTH’S RESOURCES AND INDIGENOUS CULTURES

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
1.    JOIN OUR DEMONSTRATION AT VEDANTA’S AGM, LONDON, LINCOLN INN CENTRE,27 JULY,
2.    SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AT   http://www.petitiononline.com/niyam/
3.    WRITE LETTERS TO VEDANTA, VEDANTA’S MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS (CONTACT US FOR A LIST)
4.    WRITE LETTERS TO YOUR LOCAL MP, THE GREEN PARTY, ENVIRONMENT GROUPS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATIONS, YOU KNOW OF. SEND THEM THE LINK TO THE PETITION
5.    SPREAD AWARENESS ON THIS ISSUE. SEND PEOPLE THE LINK TO THE PETITION
6.    GET IN TOUCH WITH US AT whatculture@yahoo.co.uk, sdasorisa@rediffmail.com, felixorisa@yahoo.com, welliebird7@hotmail.co.uk, sdasorisa@hotmail.co.uk. Call us at 07528435541. We would love to hear from you and discuss this issue with you.
7.    BEING A UK LISTED COMPANY WE ARE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT VEDANTA DOES. LET’S TAKE THIS PERSONALLY, VERY PERSONALLY. LET’S MAKE IT OUR BUSINESS!

WHY VEDANTA RESOURCES PLC MUST BE STOPPED:-
•    Vedanta Resources is a multinational mining company, listed in the London Stock Exchange whose spectacular rise involves violating Environmental Laws, Human Rights Abuse, Financial scams & Political corruption in Zambia, Armenia, India etc. 
•    In Orissa, India, Vedanta’s Refinery, built on tribal land in Lanjigarh, is critically polluting. Major rivers of Orissa, including River Bansadhara, has already been polluted at its source. Toxic wastes have ruined fertile agricultural lands, polluted air, contaminated drinking & bathing water, & caused severe illnesses in people & wildlife. Mining will compound these effects. 
•    Hundreds of the local indigenous population have been killed in work and road accident in and around this Refinery because of Vedanta’s criminal negligence. The Community has been violently split and is terrorised by thugs in Vedanta’s pay.   
•    Vedanta plans to begin mining in the Niyam Dongar Mountain from Oct 2009 & increase operations 6 fold by 2011. Niyam Dongar is the most densely forested mountain in the Niyamgiri range. It is home to the ancient civilization of the Dongria Kondh tribe, who have preserved their sacred mountain, prevented deforestation, lived sustainable & self sufficient lives.
•    Cultural Genocide is imminent with Mass Unemployment and Destitution as farmers, fishermen and forest dwellers will be displaced and abandoned in shanty-towns. Delicate social structure will be torn apart with the collapse of traditional Economic systems, Kinship system, Egalitarian power structures and Religious values. Already displacement and the invasion by an alien industry has led to a sharp rise in illegal liquor shops, fraudulent schemes, drunken violence, wife beatings, suicides, prostitution & serious fractures in the community. Cultural Genocide will also affect Majhi Kondh tribe.   
•    These Bauxite-capped mountains are the reason for the region’s exceptional fertility and bio-diversity. Bauxite, which contains the Aluminium ore, soaks up rainwater, holds this water and releases it to numerous perennial streams and rivers, which are essential Lifelines in Kalahandi, one of the most drought prone regions of India. Removing this Bauxite will be catastrophic for the fragile ecosystem, endangered wildlife and for tens of thousands of people who rely on these rivers.
•    If mining starts on Niyamgiri, at least 50 other major mountains are next in line! Already tribal people and ‘Dalits’ (Untouchables) have movements to protect Bapla Mali, Mali Parbat, Deo Mali, Gandhamardan and other mountains in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. BHPBilliton, Alcoa, Rio Tinto, Jindal & Dubai-based companies are poised to set up Bauxite mines.
•    In Dec 2000 police opened fire on tribal campaigners, killing three at the Utkal project. While an Inquiry into the police firing was holding up this project Vedanta made its move, building its refinery before applying for permission to mine! Clearance for mining has only been granted after a case lasting over three years at India’s Supreme Court, which witnessed some outrageous distortion of facts and a major miscarriage of justice. Vedanta has repeatedly violated Government Pollution Guidelines, illegally occupied village land, criminally started construction work without Environmental Clearance, dumped toxic pollutants into rivers and cleared ‘Reserve Forest’ land despite valiant efforts by villagers to protect their forests.
•    Mountains of North Orissa are some of the last pockets of wild elephants, who are being devastatingly affected by the rampant mining. Magnificent forests, waterfalls and many tribal cultures are in danger of being wiped out forever. 13 tribal protestors were shot by police in January 2006 for demonstrating against a new steel plant being built by Tata on their land.

WORLWIDE REACTION & MOVEMENTS:-
•    In early 2009, in a breathtakingly beautiful non-violent protest over 10,000 villagers and concerned citizens held hands to form a 17 kilometre human chain around Niyamgiri hills. On July 9, 2009- Amnesty International demanded immediate withdrawal of Vedanta’s permission to mine. Norwegian Govt Pension Fund blacklisted Vedanta and withdrew its investments citing “environmental malpractice” and “human rights violation”. Martin Currie Scottish Trust Fund also withdrew investments. Orissa State Pollution Board had issued more than 3 notices to Vedanta for violating pollution norms. CEC Committee of Indian Supreme Court had highlighted irregularities and corruption in Vedanta and recommending that Environmental Clearance for mining  should NOT be give. Both Vedanta’s subsidiaries Sterlite and MALCO have been charged in court with the criminal violation of Environmental laws, callous dumping of toxic wastes and illegal construction.
•    In Vietnam, the tribal people of the Central Highlands are being invaded by the world’s top aluminium companies. General Vo Nguyen Giap – a war hero, now aged 97, who helped defeat the French and American invasions – is among a large group of the country’s leading citizens who are opposing this new invasion by mining companies. Scientists are prominent in the campaign. In Peru’s Amazon region opposition against oil extracting companies gained worldwide attention after a blockade by about 30,000 people was met by severe police violence on 5-6 June 2009, which killed at least 85 Indians. In Nigeria the assault on indigenous communities involved the outrageous ‘execution’ of writer and environmental activist Ken Saro Wiwa, who was non-violently opposing multinational oil companies. In the Phillipines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Burma, Tibet etc mining, oil and logging companies are destroying forest simultaneously with the livelihood of the indigenous peoples. Scientists believe that Swine Flu outbreak in Mexico could be due to the horrendous pollution spread by the big meat companies. In Western Australia, Erin Brockovich, the famous Environmental lawyer is representing the local community against Aluminium giant Alcoa after an outbreak of respiratory illnesses.
•    We need to understand that the Financial Crisis, Global Warming & Pandemics are linked to these exploitive industries, which pollute callously, devastate crops and arable land, destroys communities & cultures, leads to the loss of rare animals & medicinal plants, death of rivers, infliction of sickness and terminal diseases. All for the sake of a few greedy years of corporate profits. We need to join with the Grassroots movements in India, Vietnam, Peru and other countries in opposing these monstrously destructive corporations and in choosing genuinely sustainable development, which will be genuinely beneficial for the local communities and be ecologically sustainable for many generations to come.





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