'Vedanta' Tag Archive

Jul 11 2011
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“We stand in solidarity…” – Protest at the Vedanta Annual General Meeting in London, July 27th


vedantaagm2010-4 Call for protest at the Vedanta AGM (Annual General Meeting) 2011, 3pm on 27th July, Queen Elizabeth II conference centre, London, SW1P 3EE.

Please join us for the 7th annual protest outside the AGM of Vedanta Resources, the now infamous UK registered Indian mining company who have this year been exposed by the Indian government for serial environmental and human rights violations. We stand in solidarity with the Dongria Kondh and other inhabitants of Niyamgiri and Lanjigargh who have lost land, health and livelihood to Vedanta’s refinery, and faced repression and struggle in fighting Vedanta’s plans for a 73 million tonne bauxite mine and a six fold increase in the refinery’s capacity. We oppose Vedanta’s attempted take-over of British Oil company Cairn Energy who plan to drill in Greenland and Sri Lanka.

In 2010, protests outside Vedanta’s AGM made headlines as protesters on the outside shouted slogans targeting CEO ad majority shareholder Anil Agarwal for the ‘blood on his hands’, as well as David Cameron who was in India promoting joint UK-Indian business ventures at the time. Meanwhile activist shareholders held Vedanta to account inside the AGM, and key investors Aviva threatened to pull out due to the company’s ‘disdain’ for OECD environmental law. One month later the Indian government’s Saxena Report damned Vedanta for violations of tribal rights and environmental law at the Niyamgiri hills. Vedanta is also being investigated by the Indian government’s Lok Pal anti-corruption ombudsman for massive corruption over the illegal acquisition of 3000 acres of land for a ‘Vedanta University’ in Puri, Orissa. Read More

Jun 04 2011

Fundamental Questions About Modern Civilization Itself – Arundhati Roy on “Broken Republic”


In the video above, Indian author Arundhati Roy talks about her recently published book, Broken Republic: Three Essays, and how the Indian government is, along with international mining corporations, violating the indigenous of India, destroying their lands and displacing them, leading to a constantly increasing gap between the rich and the poor. One of the book’s essays, titled “Mr Chidambaram’s War”, focuses on the Dongria Kondh tribe in Odisha, who have fought against Vedanta’s and ALCAN’s bauxite mining for aluminium production over the last decades.

The following text explains Broken Republic’s content briefly:

War has spread from the borders of India to the forests in the very heart of the country. Combining brilliant analysis and reportage by one of India’s iconic writers, Broken Republic examines the nature of progress and development in the emerging global superpower, and asks fundamental questions about modern civilization itself.

May 24 2011
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Red Mud Spill and People’s Resistance at Niyamgiri: A First Hand Report From the Struggle


Women sit on the tracks, with the factory behind. From Miriam Rose

On 16th May after heavy rain, toxic red mud poured from a breach in one of Vedanta’s Lanjigarh refinery red mud ponds, spilling onto the village below. The next day landless people displaced by the project held two blockades demanding adequate compensation; a five day walking protest ended with a meeting of 500 people on the threatened Niyamgiri hills; and the funeral of a tribal movement leader, killed by factory pollution, was held. Two months before Vedanta’s often-subverted AGM this will be bad news for the company. This is a direct report from the scene. Read More

Apr 12 2011

Press Release on Red Mud Pollution by Vedanta PLC


Adivasi protest vs. bauxite mining South Asia Solidarity Group, London / Simon Chambers

On 5 April, in a similar but much smaller scale repeat of the Hungarian red mud pond disaster last year, the wall of the red mud pond at Lanjigarh collapsed, resulting in caustic toxins to flow into the Vansadhara river.  This was after several warnings from the Orissa State pollution control board (which were ignored by Vedanta) that the wall to the RMP was badly built.  See below for a link to a very good video made by locals. Read More

Apr 12 2011

People Can’t be Made to Bathe in Red Mud


red-mud-waste Felix Padel/ Samarendra Das

First Published : 20 Oct 2010 on Expressbuzz.com

When news spread that the red mud pond in a Hungarian alumina refinery had broken open on October 3 [2010], spilling toxic sludge over a huge area, killing people and livestock, this confirmed our worst fears regarding new refineries going up in Orissa [India] and neighbouring states. For Hungarians a nightmare scenario has begun, as their country faces to its worst-ever environmental disaster. Apart from villagers killed or maimed by the toxic sludge, many farmers face economic ruin, as their fields are contaminated beyond repair. How much worse would a similar disaster be in India, where the population density of farmers is much higher? Read More

Jan 29 2011
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Victory in India! – The Tribes of Orissa Conquer British Mining Giant Vedanta


Dongria Kondh These news about Dongria Kondh’s victory against Vedanta are not recent, but from August 2010. Unfortunately we were not able to publish the story until now.

Miriam Rose

After 13 years of continuous battle, the people’s movements to save the Niyamgiri hills from bauxite mining have won their land and livelihood back from the jaws of extinction. Niyamgiri is one of a series of threatened bauxite capped mountains in Orissa. On August 21st 2010 a review of the Vedanta mining project carried out by the Ministry of the Environment exposed the company’s “total contempt for the law”, having violated a number of environmental regulations, and revealed “an appalling degree of collusion” by local government officials with Vedanta. A few days later Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh called a halt to the project. Read More

Jul 15 2010

The Suffering of the Humble.. and Our Complicity


Orissa invaded by VedantaOrissa is the most mineral rich state in India. It is green and fertile, a patchwork of tiny fields and thickly forested mountains with waterfalls tumbling over their red rocks. Like many of the world’s remaining areas of natural fertility, these mountains are largely populated by tribal peoples, which in India are called Adivasis – meaning literally ‘the original inhabitants’ – and are thought to be one of the oldest civilisations in the world. One quarter of the Orissan population are tribal, making it also the ‘poorest’ state in India according to the World Bank. But its figures judge well-being only by monetary exchange, and fail to mention that there has never been a famine recorded here, and that many Adivasis rarely use money, living in balance with the mountains, streams and forests which provide everything they need. In thanks for natures’ providence many Adivasi cultures worship the mountains on which they depend as Gods, and vow to protect their bountiful natural systems from damage. Some of the Orissan mountains are among the last ancient forest capped hills in India, thanks to the determination of tribal inhabitants against British colonial efforts to log them.

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Jul 06 2010

Out of This Earth: East India Adivasis and the Aluminium Cartel


Out of This Earth Out of This Earth: East India Adivasis and the Aluminium Cartel
By Felix Padel and Samarendra Das
Published by Orient BlackSwan

Aluminium is a metal that many take for granted in hundreds of artifacts but fewer understand where it comes from and its real costs. Behind the shining image of aluminium is a dark side of environmental catastrophes, political manipulations and cultural genocide.

Out of This Earth: East India Adivasis and the Aluminium Cartel written by Felix Padel and Samarendra Das is an extraordinary book that explores the aluminium industry over its entire life cycle, from the mining of Bauxite to its various end uses.

With a foreward by Arundathi Roy it focuses on the Adivasis struggle against  mining activities in the state of Odisha (former Orissa). There industrialization is imposed under the guise of development, growth and poverty alleviation, a process that has already displaced thousands of people and destroyed tribal society‘s structures. The book traces a hidden history of how one country after another has swallowed promises of prosperity and plunged into a cycle of exploitation and unrepayable debt. One of the real contributions of Out of This Earth is the commendable effort of the authors to painstakingly trace the forces that actually drive and control the global aluminium industry – how it is driven by a cartel that fuses mining companies, investment bankers, government deals, metals traders and arms manufacturers. Read More

Feb 22 2010

Mining and Refinery Projects Devastate Communities in India


From Amnesty International, February 2010 vedanta-refinery-in-orissa

Plans to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills in the Indian state of Orissa threaten the very existence of the Dongria Kondh – an indigenous community that has lived on and around the hills for centuries.

The Dongria Kondh depend entirely on the hills for their food, water, livelihoods and cultural identity. They consider the Niyamgiri Hills as sacred.

The proposed mine could have grave repercussions for their human rights to water, food, health, work and other rights as an Indigenous community in respect of their traditional lands. International law requires that governments seek their free, prior informed consent before beginning such projects.

In Lanjigarh, at the foot of the Niyamgiri Hills, air and water pollution from an alumina refinery run by Vedanta Aluminium are threatening the health and well-being of local communities.

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Oct 13 2009

Guilty: UK Government Blasts Vedanta in Unprecedented Attack – Resistance Continues to Grow


A 3,000 peoples protest against Vedanta From Survival International – On the 12th of October the UK government blasted FTSE-100 company Vedanta Resources over its treatment of the Dongria Kondh tribe in Orissa, India.

The damning verdict came after a nine month investigation into a complaint submitted by Survival International against Vedanta’s proposed bauxite mine on the Dongria Kondh’s sacred mountain. The complaint, upheld by the government, was brought under the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises – the key principles for ethical corporate behaviour.

In an unprecedented attack on a major British company, the government ruled that Vedanta, ‘did not respect the rights of the Dongria Kondh’; ‘did not consider the impact of the construction of the mine on the [tribe’s] rights’; and ‘failed to put in place an adequate and timely consultation mechanism’. Devastatingly, it concluded, ‘A change in the company’s behaviour’ is ‘essential’.

Astonishingly, despite repeated requests from the UK government, the company ‘failed to provide any evidence during the examination’. This is the only time a company has refused to participate in an OECD investigation.
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