Languages
Page last updated at 22:16 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 23:16 UK

Protest held against Indian mine

Bianca Jagger at a protest against Vedanta in London, 27 July 2009
Bianca Jagger has led protests against Vedanta

Activists have demonstrated outside the annual general meeting of British mining company Vedanta, protesting against its plans for a mine in India.

The Kondh tribe says the opening of the bauxite mine will destroy a large part of the Niyamgiri Mountain in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

An elder of the tribe was to attend the meeting, while environmental campaigner Bianca Jagger protested outside.

They have appealed to investors to stop Vedanta going ahead with the mine.

Vedanta says the project is ethically and environmentally sound.

We have been living in harmony with this mountain, these forests, these animals for generations. Vedanta has been here for less than 10 years.
Sitaram Kulisika, Kondh tribe elder

Ms Jagger is supported by UK-based campaign groups, including ActionAid and Survival International.

They held a demonstration outside the meeting the venue of the Vedanta meeting in London, with a yellow digger to illustrate the kind of mining assault they say the firm will launch on the Niyamgiri hills, which many tribal peoples believe to be sacred.

Way of life

ActionAid bought a single share in Vedanta for tribal activist Sitaram Kulisika so that he could attend the meeting on behalf of the Kondh tribe.

"Last year Vedanta directors promised not to mine without our consent. I am here to request all shareholders to honour that promise and save our livelihood and our god," he said ahead of the protest.

"We have been living in harmony with this mountain, these forests, these animals for generations. Vedanta has been here for less than 10 years.

Vedanta factory
Critics say that the Vedanta operation is a social and environmental disaster

"They cannot tell us what is best for our future."

Ms Jagger has called on investors, including the Church of England and some borough councils, to rethink their involvement with Vedanta.

The Church has shares in Vedanta worth £2.5m ($4.1m).

Mining giant Vedanta is based in the UK but has most of its operations in India.

It is about to start mining bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills, to be processed at a refinery that has already been built in the area.

Bauxite is used to make aluminium.

The company and its Indian partner have been accused of forcing people to move from the land.

Vedanta has said it is committed to developing the project "in line with the best international standards for environmental management", and has noted that the project has been approved by India's Supreme Court.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
India mine row embroils Church of England
26 Jul 09 |  South Asia
Indians protest over mining plans
27 Jan 09 |  South Asia
Tribe takes on global mining firm
17 Jul 08 |  South Asia
In pictures: Jungle tribe fighting change
15 Jul 08 |  In Pictures
UK miner's Indian project barred
23 Nov 07 |  Business
Vedanta market debut disappoints
05 Dec 03 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific