13 Oct 2009

UK government blast attack on indigenous

I am not a fan of Gordon Brown's government and Cameron will be even worse.

However fair is fair, and when some one does good, I will praise (go on John Gormley cheer me!)

So very pleased to be sent this from Survival International (I am a bit sceptical of NGOs but SI do a superb job)....I hope it makes a difference and also now that horrible Chris Bryant MP has moved to 'Europe' the Brown government will support indigenous people in Peru and Colombia.

any way on to the news from Survival International

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.

Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy has said, ‘If Vedanta is allowed to go ahead with its plans for mining the Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa for bauxite it will lead to the devastation of a whole ecosystem, and the destruction of not just the Dongria Kondh tribal community, but eventually all those whose livelihoods depend on that ecosystem.’

Martin Horwood MP, Chair of the All-Party Group for Tribal Peoples, said today, ‘I am delighted that the UK government has issued this damning verdict on Vedanta. This is further powerful evidence that Vedanta must fundamentally change the way it operates.’

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘We’re very pleased that the UK government has finally taken a stand on this – it’s already one of the most notorious mining projects in the world. Vedanta failed even to inform the Dongria Kondh that it plans to turn their sacred mountain into a vast open-pit mine, yet the tribe has the right under international law to give – or withhold – their consent. This is, after all, something which will have a dramatic, terrible impact on their lives.’

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