IN SPITE OF GREAT ADVANCES IN FORMAL METHOD IN SOCIAL SCIENCE, MUCH OF THE UNDERSTANDING OF PERSISTING AND GENERAL RELATIONSHIPS DEPENDS UPON A GRASP THAT IS TOTALLY INDEPENDENT OF SOME FORMAL METHOD. IN ADVANCING SOCIAL SCIENCE, WE INVENT AND PRACTICE TECHNIQUE AND CULTIVATE A HUMANISTIC ART. (Robert Redfield)

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Showing posts with label Mining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mining. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

MNCs Operated Destruction Of India

The Chenchus themselves may not be fully aware of the presence of Kali (Chenchu Lakshmi) in Nallamalais. They sleepwalk on her lap blissfully. She guards not just the life but also the ancient man-made treasure as well as diamond mines. Those who tried to steal from her got disappeared in her vicinity. If the present rulers don't grasp this and follow their predecessors thinking that their god Lucifer or the Illuminati can save them, they are mistaken. Let history not repeat itself!
OM SHANTI
Vandemataram
JAI ADIVASI


Government of India collects many statistics every year on everything and anything except on the displaced people from the resource rich forests or river banks or fertile lands. None in India in government circles have any figure for the number of people that have been or are being displaced by big developmental projects or sacrificed on the altar of Developmental Mantra by every national government.


Where do these displaced people go?

Eventually they end up in slums of urban centers on government lands or on disputed lands. They become vote bank for urban political parties. In most cases once the land title is allotted these slum dwellers are uprooted from these slums so that big corporation can build shopping malls or apartment complexes for the development of the nation.

Various courts in India including the Supreme Court are either silent on this human tragedy of forcible displacement or in rarest cases sided with the government and big MNCs in pursuing their agendas. In many cases even if there were no environmental clearances for such huge ecology damaging projects like Tehri Dam or Tata and POSOCO or Vedanta, still they went ahead grabbing the lands of poor and destroying the ecology for MNC interests.

It would appear as though these problems are just the result of bad management, planning and a general lack of oversight and holistic perspective. However true that maybe it is just the partial truth. Upon a closer observation infact one would find that these problems are not the result of mis-management, instead they are the results of a very systematic and strategically charted out policies in motion through a very long time.

Most of these above mentioned displaced people are from virgin forests from where coal to diamonds, rare earth metals to gold could be hauled out at throw away prices, which would be used to make high technology cutting edge products again to be sold to India at 10,000 times more profit than the actual cost of the materials/products hauled out.

MNCs want these tribal Indians to go away from their resource rich lands sometime like yesterday. But they are afraid just like the East India Company, that such evacuation (read rehabilitation) may create revolt among people. To avoid such inconvenience MNCs are now using the very democratically elected governments to do the eviction of population in the guise of protection of wildlife and sustainable development.

A massive such eviction is taking place in the State of Andhra Pradesh from the virgin forests of Nallamala range for the exclusive benefits of De Beers, a diamond mining corporation that wants the kimberlite or diamonds from the forest. But that is not the only thing De Beers is after. What De Beers is after is the buried wealth of Vijayanagara Empire to be hauled permanently into western fold.

The efforts of De Beers started at least 13 years ago when it was told to us that “they realized the massive diamond, gold and granite deposits in Mehaboob Nagar and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh”. These deposits are spread under the thick jungles of Nallamala Forests. These forests needed to be cleared first for the diamond mining or De Beers should have to resort to the latest technology called horizontal drilling under the forests.

Now here comes the kicker. East India Companies when they ruled India tried to locate these kimberlite mines and declared that they were all exhausted and thus shifted their focus to South Africa. In South Africa they found diamonds and set up African gold and diamond mining companies under the ruthless exploitative ownership of Openheimers, who were one of the owners of the East India Companies. It is these Nallamala diamond mines that were the source of the riches of all the kingdoms of India including the Vijayanagara Kingdom, which at its height sold diamonds on streets not in carats but in kilograms. This fact was recorded by Portuguese, Russian, French and other chroniclers who had business and diplomatic ties with Vijayanagara kingdom. Every crown jewel of every European kingdom in those days came from India and from these mines along the banks of Krishna or Tungabhadra rivers.

For a detailed understanding kindly read our research report The Hunt for the Treasures of Vijayanagara Empire.

In the year 1600 East India Company was formed and given exclusive right to trade with India and South East Asia by the British Monarchy under the concept of Free Trade and Globalization. It was also given the right to civilize India. In the year 1965 the Club of Rome (top industrial houses-real owners of EICs or MNCs) divided the world in 10 economic segments and gave unbridled authority to ruthlessly exploit Segment 9 (India belongs to this segment 9), a group of mineral (diamond, gold, uranium, life saving medicinal plants, organic food and drinking water) oil and natural gas rich South East Asian nations consisting one third of the population of the world- under liberalization (liberalize domestic economy to globalize its owners) and privatization (privatize so that Free Trade can further control domestic economy via global owners) to a group of MNCs.

Commenting on the mercantile political economy, Mayer Rothschild (one of the owners of the East India Company) once made a historic comment which is resoundingly true even after centuries – “give me the control of the currency of any nation and I care not who rules it…”

Liberalization and Privatization were the tools of the mercantile world in the long history of 400 year struggle to dominate resource rich Asia in general and India in particular. Since the beginning of liberalization of Indian economy for the supposed ‘development’ of India many Indians within the border of India became second-class citizens or non-citizens in their own native lands, country and cultural settings. They became the Helots of India, a derogatory term used by the Romans to indicate non-Romans in their country, intermediate in status between slaves and citizens. However still for whose sake is this development, is still not yet answered as it is tacitly understood that it is for the western countries to continue their geopolitical fight with their yester year cold war adversaries.

It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that in the name of development India is now run only for the profit maximization of giant western Multinational Corporations (MNCs) which are in their latest avatar from the erstwhile East India Companies (EICs). In fact all the owners of current MNCs are the grand children of the previous East India Companies, in lineage, spirit, methods, tactics and business policies (read Business Intelligence).

For a detailed study of the origin of these EICs, their motives and the motives of MNCs along with the commodities EICs dealt with and MNCs plan to deal with or are already dealing with; along with the elusive owners of these MNCs tracking them back to their East India Company roots kindly refer to our East India Company Series – Part I Noble Motives.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

MNCs Operated Destruction Of India

"In an industrialized India, the destruction of the aboriginal life is as inevitable as the submergence of Egyptian temples caused by the dams of the Nile. As things are going there can be no grandeur in the primitive's end. It will not be even simple extinction which is not the worst of human destinies. It is to be feared that the aboriginal's last act will be squalid, instead of tragic. What will be seen with most regret will be, not his disappearance, but his enslavement and degradation.
(Nirad C.Choudhury)

MNCs Operated Destruction Of India

Government of India collects many statistics every year on everything and anything except on the displaced people from the resource rich forests or river banks or fertile lands. None in India in government circles have any figure for the number of people that have been or are being displaced by big developmental projects or sacrificed on the altar of Developmental Mantra by every national government.

Where do these displaced people go?

Eventually they end up in slums of urban centers on government lands or on disputed lands. They become vote bank for urban political parties. In most cases once the land title is allotted these slum dwellers are uprooted from these slums so that big corporation can build shopping malls or apartment complexes for the development of the nation.

Various courts in India including the Supreme Court are either silent on this human tragedy of forcible displacement or in rarest cases sided with the government and big MNCs in pursuing their agendas. In many cases even if there were no environmental clearances for such huge ecology damaging projects like Tehri Dam or Tata and POSOCO or Vedanta, still they went ahead grabbing the lands of poor and destroying the ecology for MNC interests.

It would appear as though these problems are just the result of bad management, planning and a general lack of oversight and holistic perspective. However true that maybe it is just the partial truth. Upon a closer observation infact one would find that these problems are not the result of mis-management, instead they are the results of a very systematic and strategically charted out policies in motion through a very long time.

Most of these above mentioned displaced people are from virgin forests from where coal to diamonds, rare earth metals to gold could be hauled out at throw away prices, which would be used to make high technology cutting edge products again to be sold to India at 10,000 times more profit than the actual cost of the materials/products hauled out.

MNCs want these tribal Indians to go away from their resource rich lands sometime like yesterday. But they are afraid just like the East India Company, that such evacuation (read rehabilitation) may create revolt among people. To avoid such inconvenience MNCs are now using the very democratically elected governments to do the eviction of population in the guise of protection of wildlife and sustainable development.

A massive such eviction is taking place in the State of Andhra Pradesh from the virgin forests of Nallamala range for the exclusive benefits of De Beers, a diamond mining corporation that wants the kimberlite or diamonds from the forest. But that is not the only thing De Beers is after. What De Beers is after is the buried wealth of Vijayanagara Empire to be hauled permanently into western fold.

The efforts of De Beers started at least 13 years ago when it was told to us that “they realized the massive diamond, gold and granite deposits in Mehaboob Nagar and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh”. These deposits are spread under the thick jungles of Nallamala Forests. These forests needed to be cleared first for the diamond mining or De Beers should have to resort to the latest technology called horizontal drilling under the forests.

Now here comes the kicker. East India Companies when they ruled India tried to locate these kimberlite mines and declared that they were all exhausted and thus shifted their focus to South Africa. In South Africa they found diamonds and set up African gold and diamond mining companies under the ruthless exploitative ownership of Openheimers, who were one of the owners of the East India Companies. It is these Nallamala diamond mines that were the source of the riches of all the kingdoms of India including the Vijayanagara Kingdom, which at its height sold diamonds on streets not in carats but in kilograms. This fact was recorded by Portuguese, Russian, French and other chroniclers who had business and diplomatic ties with Vijayanagara kingdom. Every crown jewel of every European kingdom in those days came from India and from these mines along the banks of Krishna or Tungabhadra rivers.

For a detailed understanding kindly read our research report The Hunt for the Treasures of Vijayanagara Empire.

In the year 1600 East India Company was formed and given exclusive right to trade with India and South East Asia by the British Monarchy under the concept of Free Trade and Globalization. It was also given the right to civilize India. In the year 1965 the Club of Rome (top industrial houses-real owners of EICs or MNCs) divided the world in 10 economic segments and gave unbridled authority to ruthlessly exploit Segment 9 (India belongs to this segment 9), a group of mineral (diamond, gold, uranium, life saving medicinal plants, organic food and drinking water) oil and natural gas rich South East Asian nations consisting one third of the population of the world- under liberalization (liberalize domestic economy to globalize its owners) and privatization (privatize so that Free Trade can further control domestic economy via global owners) to a group of MNCs.

Commenting on the mercantile political economy, Mayer Rothschild (one of the owners of the East India Company) once made a historic comment which is resoundingly true even after centuries – “give me the control of the currency of any nation and I care not who rules it…”

Liberalization and Privatization were the tools of the mercantile world in the long history of 400 year struggle to dominate resource rich Asia in general and India in particular. Since the beginning of liberalization of Indian economy for the supposed ‘development’ of India many Indians within the border of India became second-class citizens or non-citizens in their own native lands, country and cultural settings. They became the Helots of India, a derogatory term used by the Romans to indicate non-Romans in their country, intermediate in status between slaves and citizens. However still for whose sake is this development, is still not yet answered as it is tacitly understood that it is for the western countries to continue their geopolitical fight with their yester year cold war adversaries.

It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that in the name of development India is now run only for the profit maximization of giant western Multinational Corporations (MNCs) which are in their latest avatar from the erstwhile East India Companies (EICs). In fact all the owners of current MNCs are the grand children of the previous East India Companies, in lineage, spirit, methods, tactics and business policies (read Business Intelligence).

For a detailed study of the origin of these EICs, their motives and the motives of MNCs along with the commodities EICs dealt with and MNCs plan to deal with or are already dealing with; along with the elusive owners of these MNCs tracking them back to their East India Company roots kindly refer to our East India Company Series – Part I Noble Motives.

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Join the GreatGameIndia Forum for debates and discussions related to geopolitics and international affairs from an Indian perspective.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Peru Now has a 'Licence to Kill' Environmental Protesters


Peruvian security forces arrest a protester in June 2009
during conflict that led to more than 30 people dying and over 200 injured.
Photograph: AP 

Some of the recent media coverage about the fact that more than 50 people in Peru - the vast majority of them indigenous - are on trial following protests and fatal conflict in the Amazon over five years ago missed a crucial point.


Yes, the hearings are finally going ahead and the charges are widely held to be trumped-up, but what about the government functionaries who apparently gave the riot police the order to attack the protestors, the police themselves, and - following Wikileaks' revelations of cables in which the U.S. ambassador in Lima criticized the Peruvian government's, "reluctance to use force" and wrote there could be "implications for the recently implemented Peru-U.S. FTA" if the protests continued - the role of the U.S. government?

The conflict broke out in northern Peru after mainly indigenous Awajúns and Wampis had been peacefully protesting a series of new laws which were supposedly emitted to comply with a trade agreement between Peru and the U.S. and which made it easier, among other things, for extractive industries to exploit natural resources in their territories. 
 
Following a blockade of a highway near a town called Bagua - and an agreement that the protestors would break up and go home, reached the day before - early on 5 June the police moved to clear it and started shooting.
 
In the ensuing conflict, 10 police officers, five indigenous people and five non-indigenous civilians were killed, more than 200 injured - at least 80 of whom were shot - and, elsewhere in the Bagua region, a further 11 police officers were killed after being taken hostage.
"So far only protesters have been brought to trial," said Amnesty International in a statement marking five years since the conflict and pointing out that human rights lawyers have said there is no serious evidence linking the accused to the crimes they are being prosecuted for - which include homicide and rebellion.

"[S]o far little progress has been made to determine the responsibility of the security forces. Likewise, no progress has been made to investigate the political authorities who gave the orders to launch the police operation."
Does this desperate failure of justice not effectively constitute a "licence to kill" for the police?
 
Maybe, maybe not, but whatever the answer Peru has now formalized that licence by emitting a law that, as the Dublin-based NGO Front Line Defenders (FLD) puts it, grants:
...members of the armed forces and the national police exemption from criminal responsibility if they cause injury or death, including through the use of guns or other weapons, while on duty.
 
Human rights groups, both nationally and internationally, the Human Rights Ombudsman (Defensoria del Pueblo) as well as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights all expressed deep concern about the law.
 
In the words of the [Lima-based] Instituto Libertad y Democracia [IDL], the law equates, in practice, to a "licence to kill."
That law, no. 30151, was promulgated in January this year and is, according to the IDL's Juan José Quispe, a modification of existing legislation passed by the previous government.
 
The modification consists of replacing three words - "en forma reglamentaria" - with another five - "u otro medio de defensa" - which Quispe says means that any soldier or police officer can now kill or injure a civilian without needing to use his or her weapon "according to regulations", or by using something other than his or her weapon.
"We continue considering this law as one that grants the armed forces as well as the national police a licence to kill," Quispe told the Guardian.
 
"It permits a high degree of impunity. During the repression of social protests, police officers and soldiers who cause injuries or deaths will now be exempt from criminal responsibility."
Quispe says that the exemption will also apply to police or soldiers who, in the fight against narco-terrorism in particular, accidentally kill civilians.
"It's a dangerous law and constitutes a threat to everyone," he says.
 
"It permits the use of weapons by contravening existing law and international parameters such as the United Nations' Principles. It gives soldiers and police officers a carte blanche to commit crimes with impunity."
The controversial law was highlighted by the FLD in a report published this month titled "Environmental Rights Defenders at Risk in Peru."
 
What that report makes clear is that if you're Peruvian and you publicly express concern about the environmental and social impacts of mining operations you can expect the following:
death threats, rape threats, physical and electronic surveillance, smears and stigmatization by national mainstream media, police acting as, "private security" for mining companies, confiscation or theft of equipment, "excessive use of force by police" during protests, arrest, or detention, and prosecution on charges of, "rebellion, terrorism, violence, usurpation, trespassing, disobedience or resistance to an official order, obstructing public officers, abduction, outrage to national symbols, criminal damage, causing injury, coercion, disturbance or other public order offences."
While the FLD's report acknowledges that the "vast majority" of court proceedings have ended in acquittals or with the charges dropped, it argues that the "extraordinary use" of lawsuits constitutes an,
"abusive use of the judicial system" and impedes "the work of the [accused], affecting their reputation and furthering the view - often upheld by national media - that they are violent extremists. This is especially the case when accusations of terrorism, rebellion or violence are levied."
It states that almost 400 people currently face court proceedings, and cites one man as an example, Milton Sanchez Cubas, who has faced roughly 50 but never been convicted.

The FLD's report ends with a serious of recommendations to Peru's government, including that the "licence to kill" law is repealed.
"All documented instances of intimidation, death threats, physical attacks, surveillance, stigmatization, smear campaigns, and judicial harassment appear to be directly related to legitimate and peaceful work," it states, "in particular in supporting... local communities opposed to mining projects and their impact on their environment, territory and livelihood."

AMAZONIA FOR SALE by ORE-MEDIA

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tribal Affairs Minister says govt's inclusive growth is making 10 billionaires at the expense of 10 million starving tribals

Bhuvan Bagga   |   Mail Today  |   New Delhi, July 14, 2013 | UPDATED 11:26 IST

The Prime Minister's model of economic growth has come under burning criticism from one of his own ministers who says it is one of the factors responsible for the spread of Maoist insurgency.

Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo has hit out at what he alleges is the increasing propensity within a section of the government to justify pervasive industrialisation as a step necessary to achieve a high growth rate.

"The Prime Minister has said many times that the UPA is for inclusive growth. (But) What does inclusive mean? Pushing up your growth rate targets by making 10 billionaires at the expense of 10 million starving, impoverished tribals...by exposing them to diseases and depriving them further?" stormed the minister who is known to be a close aide of Sonia Gandhi.

"I am against the growth of a crony capitalistic society at the expense of the most exploited and deprived," Deo, a tribal himself, added, warning the authorities against treating the issue of Maoism as a "mere law and order problem".

Deo has been a staunch advocate of banning mining activities in tribal areas, even if it means a lower growth-rate figure.

But this argument has been countered by several senior UPA ministers, who criticise the restrictions on development in key mineral-rich tribal and forest areas saying such an approach would prove detrimental to the country's growth rate.

Without naming anyone, Deo came down heavily on the proponents of this argument, insisting that his stand was a "constitutional one".

"I don't know about them but I have taken oath on the Indian Constitution - first as a MP and then a minister - and I stand by its principles," Deo said.
Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo
Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo
"If they (leaders within and outside the government) have taken some other oath, I don't know. Otherwise, they too should take the same constitutional stand," he added, in a veiled attack on Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Ahluwalia has often been criticised for his "fetish" for economic liberalisation. Deo's outburst is symbolic of a growing sentiment among some Congress leaders that the government's capitalist policies were alienating their aam admi flank and would neutralise the gains of their pro-poor poll sops.

Talking about efforts to weed out Maoism, Deo said the government will soon get a first-of-its-kind accountability Bill that will track every penny of the thousands of crores of rupees allocated each year under various welfare and social sector schemes for Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections.

The legislation is being jointly worked out by the Union ministry for tribal affairs and the ministry for social justice and empowerment. "At present, our ministries don't have any idea about how the funds are utilised. This legislation will ensure accountability," Deo said.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bangladesh: Human Chain Formed Across The Country Demanding Constitutional Recognition As Indigenous Peoples

On 19 March 2011 indigenous peoples of Bangladesh organised human chain across the country demanding constitutional recognition as indigenous peoples.

Human chains were formed at least 16 places through the country including Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban districts in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) region; Joypurhat, Dinajpur, Naogaon, Sirajganj, Thakurgaon, Rajshahi and Bagura districts in North Bengal region; Barguna and Patualhali districts in coastal region; Sylhet, Moulabi Bazaar and Mymensingh districts and other parts of the country where indigenous people live.

The leaders of the country's indigenous communities called upon the government to seriously consider the issue of constitutional recognition as indigenous instead of small ethnic group; otherwise, the process of amendment of constitution will remain incomplete.

Bangladesh Adivasi Forum organised human chain in front of the National Museum in Dhaka where a number of organisations, including Kapaeeng Foundation, CHT Hill Students' Council (PCP), Bangladesh Adivasi Chhatra Sangram Parishad, Hill Women's Federation (HWF), Tripura Students Forum (TSF), Bangladesh Adivasi Odhikar Andolon and national level rights organisations took part in the human chain.

On the others, CHT Citizens’ Committee and Bangladesh Adivasi Forum (CHT Chapter) formed human chains in three hill districts of CHT where M N Larma Memorial Foundation, Jum Aesthetics Council, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Marma Oikya Parishad and local CBOs and development organisations took part.

Human chains in North Bengal region were formed basically by Jatiya Adivasi Parishad while Rakhain Samaj Kalyan Samity, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum (local chapter) and Bangladesh Rakhain Students Association in coastal region.

Human chain was formed in Sylhet in the banner of all walk of indigenous peoples while at in front of Moulvibazar Press Club by Greater Sylhet Adivasi Forum, Tea Garden’s Adivasi Forum, Monipuri Social Welfare Association, Khasi Council and Khasi Student Union.

Thousands of indigenous peoples, political leaders, journalists, lawyers, university teachers, human rights defenders, indigenous rights activists, women rights activists had joined the human chains and rallies, raising their voices for the constitutional recognition of indigenous people of Bangladesh.

Expressing dissatisfaction at the recent speech of Co-chairman of Special Parliamentary Committee for Constitution Amendment (SPCCA) Suranjit Sengupta, MP, indigenous leaders accused him of not being aware about the proper definition of indigenous in the country's context. They said, the rights of the indigenous communities should be recognised incorporating their rights in the Constitution as indigenous peoples but not as small ethnic group.

Speakers at the human chain said ‘Adivashi’ word does not only mean who comes first in the land rather it means the communities who posses distinct identity from the mainstream. The ethnic communities hold different culture, history, heritages, land related culture and a tendency to solve their social and legal problems by their customary laws rather than the statutory laws. Speakers pointed out the existing laws including the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act 1950, The Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulation 1900, The Finance Act 1995 where the ‘Adivashi’ term had been used. The speakers also pointed out the election mandate of the present ruling party and the constitution of the Awami league where the ‘Adivashi’ term also has been used.

The indigenous leaders demanded rights of the indigenous people with separate traditional socio-cultural-ethnic identity for their survival in different regions Bangladesh and full implementation of CHT Accord 1997.

It is mentionable that on 15 March 2011 after a meeting of the parliamentary special committee for constitutional amendment, its co-chairman Suranjit Sengupta said that the committee agreed to recognise the ethnic minority groups (Khudro Jonogosthi) in the constitution, although no minority community will be recognised as indigenous (Adibashi) people.

He said as the demand for recognising them as indigenous people could not be applicable in the context of Bangladesh, so it was more logical to recognise them as Bangladeshi, not indigenous. ‘The definition of indigenous people given by the ILO has no consistency with the situation in Bangladesh,’ said Suranjit, adding that it could be applicable for some countries like Australia where indigenous people were ousted from state power by others.

The indigenous leaders also condemned the comment of opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia in parliament on March 15 narrating indigenous leader Bangladesh Adibasi Forum president Sree Joytirindra Bodhipriya Larma (Santu Larma) as ‘terrorist’.

The indigenous leaders said that comment from a former prime minister and opposition leader was unexpected and unacceptable as communal and provocative and should be withdrawn.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

INDIA: Environment assessment is a joke, says Jairam; wants 3rd party EIA

THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
Hyderabad, March 19
“The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) in the current form is a bit of a joke as it is self-assessment by the company. Instead, we will have a third party EIA,” Mr Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Environment and Forests, said.
Speaking to reporters at the CII-Green Business Centre, Mr Ramesh said, “I have been concerned about this. Supreme Court also expressed its concerns. We want a cumulative EIA.”
“We have blacklisted three consultants for their wrong reports. Therefore, we would prefer a third party EIA for power, coal and multi-sector projects. The MoEF will seek third party assessment. The present system is deeply flawed,” he said.
Mentioning the clearance accorded to the Posco project in Orissa and the proposed nuclear plant at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, the Minister said both the clearances are conditional. In the case of nuclear power plant, third party assessment was done by NEERI and they have been directed to conform to at least 35 conditions.

IMAGERY

The satellite imagery assessment of costal areas of four States where a large number of projects are coming up, including ports and power, will be concluded within two months, he said.
The Ministry had initiated a project to assess the impact of projects coming up along the coast in Gujarat, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
“We have completed work on three States and Andhra Pradesh is expected to be covered within two months. This impact assessment study will enable us to estimate the degradation and sensitivity along some of the coastal areas of these States,” Mr. Ramesh said.
Mr Ramesh said this imagery will facilitate a comprehensive environment analysis and ensure the preservation of precious natural resources in coastal areas. “We now have a new Costal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 2011 notified on June 6. This has to be complied with,” he explained.
Referring to the two AP power projects at Sompeta of (NCC Ltd) and Kakrapalli (East Coast Energy), he said they have been served notice. “I must admit the recent firing incident did move me. I have begun to grapple with the next moves,” he said.
The Supreme Court decision on the Ministry stand on Nirma's cement plant in Gujarat has been vindicated.

POLAVARAM

Andhra Pradesh is yet to conduct public hearing for Polavaram wherein villages in Chhattisgarh and Orissa will get submerged. The State has, however, agreed to construct a 30-km long wall along Sabari and Sileru rivers.
The clearance for Polavaram was conditional. The State Government was told to handle relief and rehabilitation simultaneously. Unless they take up public hearing it would be difficult to take this forward, he said.
TRIBAL DISPLACEMENT

This film is a call for tribal solidarity. It reveals the approaching trauma of two lakh tribals who will be displaced under the Polavaram Dam Project on river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, India. The project is estimated to submerge four hundred villages and four thousand hectres of forest in Dandakaranya. Large-scale projects often created islands of development in the midst of under-development perpetuating regional imbalances. Past experiences have shown that development paradigms are often discriminatory against the tribal communities and other marginalized sections of society. Development is meaningful only when it is sustainable. India needs an alternative way of development which combines traditional methods with environmentally sustainable technologies. Only then will it be able to sustain its diverse cultures and promote the welfare of the tribals.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Development Vs Destruction in Telangana

By Sujata Surepally

The current situation is very disturbing in Telangana region. Many of you are aware that large scale destruction is going on Telangana. Now it is difficult to say who is our immediate foe. Today’s news is really shocking for many of us that the world’s richest diamond company DEBERS has entered into our Nallamala forest (TV 9 has shown exclusive story on it), Mahabubnagar and Kurnool region. This company has ruined, squeezed  entire Diamond zones of Africa.  They destroyed several regions in the world and now they had an MOU with AP Govt. For some time we have been hearing that Chenchus are asked to move out of forests.  It was for Wildlife, some said while others said it is to remove Maoists and finally it is the foreign draconian company. 

Sadly, we are not bothered about our tribal people like Koya, Konda Reddis, Chenchus and Gonds. Chenchus are known as PTGs (Primitive Tribal Groups). History says our language Telugu is originated from them. The Koya tribe in entire Bhadrachalam, Khammam district is going to disappear if the Polavaram project continues. We have already seen the Granite, open cast mining in Warangal, Khammam and Adilabad. Officially more than 500 granite mining permissions were given in Karimnagar alone. There is a struggle against these issues.

This ethnographic documentary deals with the socio-economic and religious life of the Chenchus, a Telugu speaking hunting and gathering tribe living in the Nallamalai forests of Andhra Pradesh, India. They are a conservative tribal group and have not made many changes in their lifestyle or tried to adapt to modernity. They live in the enclosed space and geography leading a life of an unbroken continuity.
http://anthropovision.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Development flows from the barrel of the gun


Police repression and administrative high-handedness is becoming a common phenomenon in India today, when the project-affected people protest against development-induced displacement and demand justice on account the serious consequences. It's but an irony that instead of ameliorating the sufferings of the displaced and the project affected people and working for their humane and just resettlement and rehabilitation, the Government machinery resorts to brutal violence on them whose lives are already at stake on account of the development projects. This is a clear case of human rights violation. While such acts of the state sponsored barbarism are to be condemned and the guilty punished by the court of law, one must understand how such crimes are committed by the law enforcing authorities on the just demands and rights of the people so that public opinion is created against such oppression.

Destruction of Adivasi Environment is built into India's Industrial Growth

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tribals happy after government rejects Vedanta Group’s plans for mining in Orissa, India

By Sharda Lehangir
Kalahandi (Orissa), Aug 25 (ANI): Locals of Orissa’s Kalahandi district expressed their happiness on Wednesday after the Union Environment Ministry rejected plans of India-focused miner Vedanta Resources Plc to go ahead with bauxite mining in the state.
Tribals professed themselves delighted with the decision of Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
“We are very delighted with the announcement made by Jairam Ramesh over rejection of plans for bauxite mining in the state. Niyamgiri Hills are our mother and we cannot destroy them. If the government will change their decision now, then we will protest again and we will not vote. As the mining has been closed, the factory should be removed from here as well,” said Kumiti Majhi, a resident of Kalahandi.
They added that for a long time they were not even able to cultivate their lands due to pollution from the Vedanta building, and welcomed the change.
“Our Niyamgiri Bachao Suraksha Abhiyan is a success now, and we are very happy for it. It is a winning moment for the jungle, water, and land of the tribals. After the company was set up here, we were not able to cultivate our land properly because of pollution. We will now start cultivating our land,” said Purna Naik, another resident of Kalahandi.
Environment Ministry on Tuesday rejected the plans of mining group Vedanta Resources Plc to mine bauxite in Orissa, saying that it violated forest laws.
The Environment Ministry’s decision came after a government panel said last week that giving permission to Vedanta would violate green guidelines, and may have a serious impact on security, in a reference to worsening Maoist insurgency that feeds partly off the resentment of people displaced by large industrial projects.
Vedanta, on its part, had said that no one will be displaced as the mining site is located in an uninhabited area, and the project would economically aid the poor district.
The committee, which was set up by the Ministry of Environment early in 2010 to investigate the alleged violations of environmental laws by Vedanta Plc, also accused the company of illegally occupying the forestland for the 1.7 billion dollars project. (ANI)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Third blow for Vedanta in a month as mine faces new probe

In the third major blow to Vedanta in a month, the Chief Secretary of the Indian state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) has ordered a new investigation into the rights of the Dongria Kondh tribe affected by Vedanta Resources’ controversial bauxite mine.
The announcement comes just two weeks after the Indian Minister of Environment and Forests ordered an investigation on the same topic, and ten days after leading Dutch investment firm PGGM sold its stake in the company over human rights concerns.
A government investigation published in March concluded that Vedanta’s mine ‘may lead to the destruction of the Dongria Kondh [as a people]’.
Under Indian law the Dongria Kondh can claim communal rights over the forest land they have historically used or protected.
Vedanta has been attempting to mine the top of the Dongria’s sacred mountain for several years, but has not received the final clearance it needs to begin.
Last year the Environment Minister said Vedanta’s mine would not receive clearance until the Dongria’s forest rights had been settled.
When Survival visited the Dongria in December, it was clear that many of them were not even aware of their right to claim communal land.
Vedanta Resources is majority owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal, who will have to address shareholders’ concerns about these delays at the company’s AGM in London on the 28th July.
Survival’s director Stephen Corry said, ‘How many more investigations will it take for everyone to finally accept that Vedanta’s mine would threaten the future of the Dongria Kondh and cause India to breach its commitments under international law?’

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tribes dig in to fight uranium

Subir Bhaumik
BBC correspondent in Meghalaya
For more than a decade, India has been unable to mine high-quality uranium deposits in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya.
Fierce resistance by Khasi tribes people has all but scuttled a $100m project drawn up by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL).
The tribes people fear radiation could damage their health.
One senior UCIL official said: "Every time we turn up at the uranium mines, the tribes people chase us with bows and arrows and swords.
"They call us the agents of death and threaten to kill us if we try to mine uranium."
Our people cannot suffer because India wants our uranium... It is our people first and India comes after that
Paul Lyngdoh, former Khasi student leader
UCIL, the only state-owned company authorised to mine uranium in India, believes that once mining starts in the West Khasi Hills region, there will be huge development, particularly in infrastructure.
"But the local tribes people are adamant and determined to stop us," the official said.
Reserves
In 1984, India's Atomic Minerals Division found huge uranium oxide deposits at Domiosiat and then at Wakhyn, both in the West Khasi Hills, not far from the state's border with Bangladesh.
In 1992, the division completed its investigation and presented a final assessment of the deposit.
That was when the mining operations were supposed to commence - but never quite did.
The division's regional director in Meghalaya, B Huda, told the BBC the Domiosiat deposit was around 9,500 tonnes while that at Wakhyn was about 4,000 tonnes.
"At present levels, Meghalaya accounts for 16% of India's uranium reserves," Mr Huda said.
He says the quality of the uranium ore at Domiosiat and Wakhyn is much better than at India's other uranium mining area - in Jadugoda in the northern state of Jharkhand.
He says the recovery percentage at Jadugoda is 0.02 to 0.06, while the percentage is as high as 0.1 in Domiosiat.
There could even be more uranium in Meghalaya but the Atomic Minerals Division is no longer digging.
"If we cannot mine what we have found, which is a lot of uranium, why should we sink more money to explore?" Mr Huda asked.
Land battles
In Meghalaya, like in many other tribal societies of north-east India, land ownership is communal, not individual, and no villager enjoys property rights on land.
Moreover, the state government does not have the power to acquire land.
That is vested in the autonomous district councils that Delhi has created for the tribes people to protect their land rights, customs and way of life.
UCIL officials say they have been "running from pillar to post" between the Khasi district council and the Meghalaya state government.
Three years ago, the state government said it had in principle given the green light to uranium mining in the Domiosiat-Wakhyn area.
But when UCIL started moving earth-cutting equipment into the area, Khasi district council officials rushed in to protest.
The council says it owns the land and the state government - or the federal authorities - cannot acquire it.
Now the district council has granted permission for UCIL to "conduct exploratory surveys" but not to undertake commercial mining.
"That does not help us. We are where we were," says the UCIL official.
Priorities
Khasi politicians and students who oppose uranium mining have raised environmental concerns not easy to brush away.
Student leader Sounder Cajees says: "Look at Jadugoda. It has been in the press about how the tribes people there have suffered from radiation hazards, how callous UCIL has been in disposing of uranium waste and how it has seeped into the local groundwater system and the crop chain."
The former president of the Khasi Students Union, Paul Lyngdoh, says: "Our people cannot suffer because India wants our uranium for making nuclear bombs and missiles. For us, it is our people first and India comes after that."
However, Khasi nuclear physicist, Mary Jwyra, says the tribal leaders are overreacting.
"If done scientifically, and if all care is taken for proper waste disposal, there will be no threat to the environment or the local people," she says.
At the moment, no politician in Meghalaya is prepared to back a commencement of mining, although some admit that allowing it would be good for the economy.
"Our royalty would be substantial and the growth of infrastructure in the West Khasi Hills would be a boon," said BB Dutta, a former economist turned politician.
But the fear of radiation, and of falling prey to diseases caused by it, still haunts the Khasis.
Until that is taken care of, mining uranium in their hills will not be easy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Indigenous Peoples’ Global Fight with Big Business


As mining and oil firms race for dwindling resources, indigenous peoples battle to protect their land, and often pay the ultimate price

By John Vidal
THE GUARDIAN, LONDON
Monday, Jun 15, 2009, Page 9

It has been called the world’s second “oil war,” but the only similarity between Iraq and events in the jungles of northern Peru over the last few weeks has been the mismatch of force. On one side have been the police armed with automatic weapons, tear gas, helicopter gunships and armored cars. On the other are several thousand Awajun and Wambis natives, many of them in war paint and armed with bows and arrows and spears.

In some of the worst violence seen in Peru in 20 years, the natives this week warned Latin America what could happen if companies are given free access to the Amazonian forests to exploit an estimated 6 billion barrels of oil and take as much timber they like. After months of peaceful protests, the police were ordered to use force to remove a road bock near Bagua Grande.

In the fights that followed, nine police officers and at least 50 Indians were killed, with hundreds more wounded or arrested. The indigenous rights group Survival International described it as “Peru’s Tiananmen Square.”

“For thousands of years, we’ve run the Amazon forests,” said Servando Puerta, one of the protest leaders. “This is genocide. They’re killing us for defending our lives, our sovereignty, human dignity.”

On Friday, as riot police broke up more demonstrations in Lima and a curfew was imposed on many Peruvian Amazonian towns, Peruvian President Alan Garcia backed down in the face of condemnation of the massacre. He suspended — but only for three months — the laws that would allow the forest to be exploited. No one doubts the clashes will continue.

Peru is just one of many countries now in open conflict with its indigenous people over natural resources. Barely reported in the international press, there have been major protests around mines, oil, logging and mineral exploitation in Africa, Latin America, Asia and North America. Hydroelectric dams, biofuel plantations as well as coal, copper, gold and bauxite mines are all at the center of major land rights disputes.

NIGER DELTA

A massive military force continued this week to raid communities opposed to oil companies’ presence on the Niger delta. The delta, which provides 90 percent of Nigeria’s foreign earnings, has always been volatile, but guns have flooded in and security has deteriorated. In the last month a military taskforce has been sent in and helicopter gunships have shelled villages suspected of harboring militia.

Thousands of people have fled. Activists from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta have responded by killing 12 soldiers and this week set fire to a Chevron oil facility. On Friday seven more civilians were shot by the military.

The escalation of violence came in the week that Shell agreed to pay £9.7 million (US$15.9 million) to ethnic Ogoni families — whose homeland is in the delta — who had led a peaceful uprising against it and other oil companies in the 1990s, and who had taken the company to court in New York accusing it of complicity in writer Ken Saro-Wiwa’s execution in 1995.

Meanwhile in West Papua, Indonesian forces protecting some of the world’s largest mines have been accused of human rights violations. Hundreds of tribesmen have been killed in the last few years in clashes between the army and people with bows and arrows.

“An aggressive drive is taking place to extract the last remaining resources from indigenous territories,” says Victoria Tauli-Corpus, an indigenous Filipino and chair of the UN permanent forum on indigenous issues. “There is a crisis of human rights. There are more and more arrests, killings and abuses.

“This is happening in Russia, Canada, the Philippines, Cambodia, Mongolia, Nigeria, the Amazon, all over Latin America, Papua New Guinea and Africa. It is global. We are seeing a human rights emergency. A battle is taking place for natural resources everywhere. Much of the world’s natural capital — oil, gas, timber, minerals — lies on or beneath lands occupied by indigenous people,” Tauli-Corpus said.

What until quite recently were isolated incidents of indigenous peoples in conflict with states and corporations are now becoming common as government-backed companies move deeper on to lands long ignored as unproductive or wild. As countries and the World Bank increase spending on major infrastructure projects to counter the economic crisis, the conflicts are expected to grow.

Indigenous groups say large-scale mining is the most damaging. When new laws opened the Philippines up to international mining 10 years ago, companies flooded in and wreaked havoc in indigenous communities, says British Member of Parliament (MP) Clare Short, who is the former UK international development secretary and now chair of the UK-based Working Group on Mining in the Philippines.

Short visited people affected by mining there in 2007.

“I have never seen anything so systematically destructive. The environmental effects are catastrophic as are the effects on people’s livelihoods. They take the tops off mountains, which are holy, they destroy the water sources and make it impossible to farm,” she said.

In a report published earlier this year, the group said: “Mining generates or exacerbates corruption, fuels armed conflicts, increases militarization and human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings.”

DAMS, MINES, OIL

The arrival of dams, mining or oil spells cultural death for communities. The Dongria Kondh in Orissa, eastern India, are certain that their way of life will be destroyed when British company Vedanta shortly starts legally to exploit their sacred Nyamgiri mountain for bauxite, the raw material for aluminum. The huge open cast mine will destroy a vast swath of untouched forest and will reduce the mountain to an industrial wasteland. More than 60 villages will be affected.

“If Vedanta mines our mountain, the water will dry up. In the forest there are tigers, bears, monkeys. Where will they go? We have been living here for generations. Why should we leave?” asks Kumbradi, a tribesman. “We live here for Nyamgiri, for its trees and leaves and all that is here.”

Davi Yanomami, a shaman of the Yanomami, one of the largest but most isolated Brazilian indigenous groups, went to London last week to warn MPs that the Amazonian forests were being destroyed and to appeal for help to prevent his tribe from being wiped out.

“History is repeating itself,” he told the MPs. “Twenty years ago many thousand gold miners flooded into Yanomami land and one in five of us died from the diseases and violence they brought. We were in danger of being exterminated then, but people in Europe persuaded the Brazilian government to act and they were removed.

“But now 3,000 more miners and ranchers have come back. More are coming. They are bringing in guns, rafts, machines and destroying and polluting rivers. People are being killed. They are opening up and expanding old airstrips. They are flooding into Yanomami land. We need your help,” he said. “Governments must treat us with respect. This creates great suffering. We kill nothing, we live on the land, we never rob nature. Yet governments always want more. We are warning the world that our people will die.”

Victor Menotti, director of the California-based International Forum on Globalization, said: “This is a paradigm war taking place from the arctic to tropical forests. Wherever you find indigenous peoples you will find resource conflicts. It is a battle between the industrial and indigenous world views.”

There is some hope, Tauli-Corpus said.

“Indigenous peoples are now much more aware of their rights. They are challenging the companies and governments at every point,” he said.

In Ecuador, Chevron may be fined billions of dollars in the next few months if an epic court case goes against them. The company is accused of dumping, in the 1970s and 1980s, more than 72 billion liters of toxic waste and millions of liters of crude oil into waste pits in the forests, leading to more than 1,400 cancer deaths and devastation of indigenous communities. The pits are said to be still there, mixing chemicals with groundwater and killing fish and wildlife.

CHEVRON

The Ecuadorian courts have set damages at US$27 billion. Chevron, which inherited the case when it bought Texaco, does not deny the original spills, but says the damage was cleaned up.

Back in the Niger delta, Shell was ordered to pay US$1.5 billion to the Ijaw people in 2006 — though the company has so far escaped paying the fines. After settling with Ogoni families in New York this week, it now faces a second class action suit in New York over alleged human rights abuses and a further case in Holland brought by Niger Delta villagers working with Dutch groups.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil is being sued by Indonesian indigenous villagers who claim their guards committed human rights violations, and there are dozens of outstanding cases against other companies operating in the Niger Delta.

“Indigenous groups are using the courts more but there is still collusion at the highest levels in court systems to ignore land rights when they conflict with economic opportunities,” says Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs in Washington. “Everything is for sale, including the Indians’ rights. Governments often do not recognize land titles of Indians and the big landowners just take the land.”

Indigenous leaders want an immediate cessation to mining on their lands. Last month, a conference on mining and indigenous peoples in Manila called on governments to appoint an ombudsman or an international court system to handle indigenous peoples’ complaints.

“Most indigenous peoples barely have resources to ensure their basic survival, much less to bring their cases to court. Members of the judiciary in many countries are bribed by corporations and are threatened or killed if they rule in favor of indigenous peoples. States have an obligation to provide them with better access to justice and maintain an independent judiciary,” the declaration said.

But as the complaints grow, so does the chance that peaceful protests will grow into intractable conflicts as they have in Nigeria, West Papua and now Peru.

“There is a massive resistance movement growing,” Short said. “But the danger is that as it grows, so does the violence.”