Santa makes special delivery to tribal rights’ violator
|Santa delivers a Christmas present to Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal: a copy of Survival’s complaint to the OECD|
Santa Claus today made a special delivery to the Mayfair home of Anil Agarwal, billionaire Chairman of UK mining giant Vedanta Resources.
Agarwal received a gift-wrapped copy of a complaint to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), submitted by Survival, slamming his company’s plans to mine a sacred mountain in Orissa, India, and destroy the entire Dongria Kondh tribe in the process.
Vedanta plans to turn the Dongria Kondh’s sacred mountain into a vast open cast bauxite mine, which will destroy a swathe of untouched forest and pollute rivers and streams crucial to their survival. The tribe has never been consulted about the mine.
The 8,000 Dongria Kondh, one of India’s most isolated tribes, vehemently oppose the mine, saying it will end their way of life forever. One Kondh elder said, 'We cannot live without our land. How can a fish live without water?'.
Hundreds of other Kondh people have already been displaced to make way for a refinery Vedanta has built to process the aluminium ore. Pollution from the refinery is blamed for soaring skin and respiratory problems, livestock diseases and poor crops.
The OECD provides a set of basic standards for good corporate behaviour to UK-based companies.
Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, 'The only Christmas present the Dongria Kondh want is for Vedanta to abandon its plans. They are in no doubt that the mine will destroy them.'
For more information or for high resolution images, please contact Miriam Ross at Survival International on (44) (0)7504 543 367 or email [email protected]