Exposed - Vedanta's "lies" about tribe

'Behind the lies' - Survival's new website debunking Vedanta's PR offensive
‘Behind the lies’ – Survival’s new website debunking Vedanta’s PR offensive
© Survival

An exposé of the ‘lies’ of British FTSE-100 company Vedanta Resources was launched today by Survival International.

Vedanta plans to build a massive bauxite mine on land sacred to the Dongria Kondh tribe in India. If it goes ahead, swathes of forests will be lost, rivers polluted and the Dongria Kondh destroyed.

However, while hundreds of Dongria Kondh and neighbouring tribespeople mount large-scale protests against the mine, Vedanta’s PR machine (London PR firm Finsbury and ‘corporate social responsibility’ consultancy CO3) has launched a sustained offensive against the tribe’s efforts to stop the mine.

A host of anonymous pro-Vedanta videos have appeared on the internet in recent months in which grateful Dongria Kondh express their thanks to Vedanta for providing them with healthcare and education. Vedanta propaganda, spread in the local media, makes claims that tribal people have ‘demanded that their land should be taken’ by Vedanta and that mining will improve the quality of the rivers and forests.

Much of this material has been manipulative; some has been completely untrue. For example, Vedanta has stated that there are no Dongria Kondh villages within 12 kilometres of the proposed mine. In fact, there are more than sixty.

Survival gave Vedanta advance notice of the exposé website and invited it to provide evidence to support its claims, but the company failed to do so.

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The tactics of Vedanta and its agents are a throwback to colonialism: a mix of belief in their own superiority; the conviction that the ‘backward’ natives are really grateful for losing their land; and straightforward concealment of the facts. Vedanta may have funded some projects for those about to be destroyed by their mine, but that doesn’t buy the company a licence to violate human rights.’

For more information and images please contact Miriam Ross at Survival International on (44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (44) (0)7504 543 367 or email [email protected]