STOP VEDANTA's KILLINGS, DISPLACEMENT AND DEVASTATION!
THROW THEM OUT OF INDIA AND the UK! STOP VEDANTA'S AGM!
3pm, Wednesday, 28 July 2010,
The Institute of Civil Engineers, 1, Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA
Vedanta plc's record in Orissa, India :
· More than 100 men, women and children have been killed in accidents, police firings, forced displacement, injury and illness
· More than 1000 people have been displaced and more than 8000 under threat
· More than100 square miles of land have been devastated and an equal area of forest under threat
· Rivers and streams which are the lifeline for tens of thousands of people are drying up
· Thousands of acres of fertile agricultural land have been destroyed in a region which has seen famines every year since 2007
· Drinking water sources are being contaminated by dumping of fly ash and toxic red mud into river streams
· The Niyamgiri hills – known as the most beautiful mountains in India - are under threat. The ancient civilization of the Dongria Kondh adivasi community, who regard the Niyam Dongar mountain and forests of the area as their Gods, is being wiped out
· Vedanta is causing mass unemployment and destitution as farmers, fishing communities and forest dwellers are being displaced and abandoned in shanty-towns
Why is this happening?
Mega-profits for billionaires with blood on their hands
Anil Agarwal, billionaire CEO of Vedanta is determined to mine for bauxite in Niyamgiri despite massive opposition of the local people, and a national and international campaign against it, which recently led shareholders including the Church of England and Rowntrees, to pull out.
London –based Anil Agarwal is worth 4.1billion pounds and is currently the tenth richest person in Britain, whose personal wealth has grown even in the recession by 583%. Agarwal's empire – Vedanta Resources – now spans four continents, with offices in London and operations in Zambia, Australia and India. Vedanta and Agarwal have been accused of ‘corruption, fraud, forgery, manipulation of share prices, and insider trading.' as Norway's Council of Ethics describes.
Who else is benefitting?
Anil Agarwal and Vedanta have close links with the Sangh Parivar, the umbrella group of Hindu right-wing organizations in India . These organizations have been held responsible for genocidal attacks on India's minority Muslim and Christian communities, in Orissa, Gujarat and elsewhere.
Vedanta has connections with many powerful figures. Its Board members have included P.Chidambaram, India's Home Minister, Naresh Chandra, former Indian Ambassador to the US, and David Gore-Booth, former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and High Commissioner of India.
What is the role of the British Government?
Vedanta was launched on the London Stock Exchange in December 2003 with the help of Britain's Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for International Development (DfID). More recently, massive publicity of Vedanta's crimes forced the British government to criticize it for not having a human rights policy.
BUT the British Government has continued to actively support Vedanta. For example, DfID has set up and continues to fund Business Partners for Development (Now renamed as Building Partnerships for Development) whose aim is to counter the effect of the powerful people's movement against the company. And in 2005 DfID commissioned “Orissa Drivers for Change” a research project which urges mineral intensive industrialization of the region and supports Vedanta and other companies.
Organised by FOIL VEDANTA
Supported by: South Asia Solidarity Group, South Asian Alliance, Brent Refugee and Migrant Forum, London Development Education Centre
Details: firstname.lastname@example.org , tel: 07846873341