Tag Archives: Tuticorin

Cairn Lanka and the corporate takeover of the Tamil seas

map-of-CIL-activity-in-tamil-seas26th January 2015Just five days before January’s Sri Lankan Presidential elections former Minister of Power and Energy Champika Ranawaka dropped a bombshell, accusing Mahinda Rajapaska’s government of failing to collect $7 billion in inflated share value from Cairn Energy – the first oil company to discover gas in the Mannar basin. His firey argument (aimed at shaming the then incumbent President) was that mineral exploration rights had been sold to British oil company Cairn Energy for a song following meetings between Rajapaksa and British Prime Minister Tony Blair (who was a school friend of Cairn Energy boss Bill Gammell) in 2006. In 2011, after gas was discovered in their Mannar block – SL 2007-01-001, the value of shares skyrocketed and Cairn Energy sold them on at a highly inflated value to Vedanta Resources, a British-Indian company, who bought Cairn Energy’s South Asian oil and gas subsidiary Cairn India, assisted by the British Prime Minister David Cameron.

 

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International protest call out! Vedanta AGM, Friday 1st August

Guardian front page August 2012Protest call out!                                 Join us at Vedanta’s AGM,                                                        Friday 1st August. 14:00-16:00        

The Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED
Join us for our major annual demonstration at Vedanta’s AGM.
We will bring the defiant energy of communities fighting (and winning) against Vedanta around the world to London: from the miners associations, to the looted people of Zambia, and the Dongria Kond tribe.
Parallel demonstrations are already planned in Zambia, Odisha and Delhi in India on this international day of action. Please contact us on foilvedanta@riseup.net if you would like to plan a demonstration at any Vedanta affected community, or in solidarity ANYWHERE!
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Please find more info on the Delhi demonstration here.
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download leaflets for your community and spread the word here:

Bring drums, placards, banners and lots of energy!

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Copper Colonialism in Zambia – report launch, discussion and demonstration.

Copper Colonialism Sussex talk poster

You are warmly invited and encouraged to attend one of these events in the coming weeks to launch our groundbreaking report, and join us in developing much needed grassroots solidarity at our demonstration over Vedanta and the UK government’s neo-colonialism of Zambia for copper.

For a summary of the issues read our two page newsletter on Vedanta in Zambia HERE: Copper Colonialism newsletter

28th March 2014, 12:00 – 14:00Official UK launch of Foil Vedanta’s groundbreaking report – Copper Colonialism: British Miner Vedanta KCM and the copper loot of Zambia which is currently shaking Zambia at Activism and Academia forum, room A04, Arts A, Sussex University, nr Brighton.

 

2nd April 2014, 18:00Official UK launch of Foil Vedanta’s groundbreaking report – Copper Colonialism: British Miner Vedanta KCM and the copper loot of Zambia, Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, London.

Speakers: Samarendra Das and Miriam Rose from Foil Vedanta
Cecil Gutzmore, Chair of Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum
Chaired by Esther Stanford-Xosei, Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe

 

9th April 2014, 12:00 – 14:00 Demonstration at Zambia High Commission in London, in solidarity with communities poisoned and exploited by Vedanta KCM in Zambia. Meet at Zambia High Commission, 2 Palace Gate, London W8 5NG with placards, banners and loud voices.

 

Speakers: authors of the report – Samarendra Das and Miriam Rose from Foil Vedanta

Following their visit to Zambia in December, the speakers report on tax evasion, environmental devastation, worker’s rights abuses, and the interests behind copper mining companies – from financiers to the UK government (DfID), as well as the suppressive role of NGOs as ‘parasites of the poor’.
The report published after their trip remains a top news item in Zambia today, and is changing the narrative of resource exploitation in Afrika created by corporate colonialism. Vedanta’s executives are battling to cover up the evidence presented.
Vedanta is a British FTSE 250 company known as the ‘world’s most hated mining company’ for their pattern of abuses and illegalities. It is 68% owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal.

Foil Vedanta is a London based international solidarity group, linking and supporting grassroots struggles against Vedanta, and carrying out cutting edge research on the company, and the UK’s role in global mining.

 

Copper Colonialism report shakes Zambia

Picture 310th March 2014.  Over the past few weeks Foil Vedanta’s report Copper Colonialism: British Miner Vedanta KCM and the copper loot of Zambia has been creating national level debate in Zambia and even globally. Vedanta’s executives have now flown out to Zambia four times in the last month to try to minimise the reputational damage caused by the evidence presented in the report, including tax evasion, misdeclaring of profits, environmental devastation and abuses of worker’s rights. Following a series of closed door meetings the Government of Zambia has now made a deal with Vedanta which claims that they will not sack any workers and will pay off debts. The truth in this claim in yet to be seen but many other issues remain unaddressed. Primarily, Zambians must demand that the Annual Reports of KCM and the government’s investigation into the company are made public.

This is a compilation of some of the articles covering these issues in chronological order, with a few key excerpts from each one.

Copper gate scandal deepens

03 February 2014. Zambian Daily Nation

Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has instituted investigations into a report by Foil Vedanta which shows that KCM made $360 million in the year 2013.

MUZ general secretary, Joseph Chewe confirmed having received the report which has since been given to the union technocrat team comprising director of research Charles Muchimba and his deputy Yoya Kumwenda.

The report contains various contentious issues such as how much KCM was bought by Foil Vedanta and how much it makes which the Zambian people do not know about.

The report also shows that KCM contaminated water supply in Helen and Shimulala communities which are located near KCM’s Nchanga mine in Chingola as well as the Mushishima stream which runs nearby.

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Copper Colonialism – Foil Vedanta Zambia report launched

Picture 321st January 2014.  In December Foil Vedanta activists made a trip to Zambia to investigate the operations of Vedanta subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), Zambia’s biggest copper miner, and to make links with grassroots movements, academics, journalists and those in the political system who may be questioning the unjust terms of copper mining in their country.

We were shocked to discover the environmental and social devastation wrought by Vedanta’s operations, and the lack of information held by policy makers and regulators in Zambia on this multinational as well as on wider issues with copper market manipulations, material flows and the real interests controlling their country. This report is a comprehensive account of the origins of, and interests behind the rapid loot of Zambia’s copper resources which is currently taking place.

The Mine Workers Union of Zambia have now launched a full investigation into the evidence in the report, and Vedanta Executive Tom Albanese has been flown out to Zambia to refute the evidence we have published.

Download the report here, or read the full (35 page) report online below.

To download the report click here: Copper Colonialism: British Miner Vedanta KCM and the copper loot of Zambia

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Thirty women’s groups tell Priyanka Chopra to pull out of campaign

Dongria girlThirty women’s organisations and other groups have now signed this open letter to Priyanka Chopra asking her to officially pull out of Vedanta’s shameless Our Girls Our Pride PR campaign. The TV campaign with Indian channel NDTV aims to paint the notorious mining company as a saviour of women’s rights, rather than the human rights abuser they have been repeatedly proven to be. (See previous article ‘Vedanta’s Our Girls Our Pride campaign is a farce and a sham’).

We hope Priyanka will see sense and respond to the call of worldwide and Indian women’s movements to stand by India’s women and girls and withdraw her part in this PR scam on the part of Vedanta.

 

Dear Priyanka Chopra,

 

We the undersigned, representatives of the women’s movement in India, the UK and the USA are deeply shocked and dismayed to hear that you have agreed to become a Brand Ambassador for a campaign ‘Our Girls, Our Pride’ launched by one of the most notorious mining companies in the world – Vedanta Resources. Are you aware that Vedanta’s activities are destroying the lives of thousands of girl children in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and other states of India where the company is active and also in many countries of Africa? Are you aware also that the struggle against Vedanta’s activities has been led by women and girls?

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Anil Agarwal denies everything inside Vedanta AGM

While our loud and colourful demonstration was going on outside Vedanta’s Grosvenor square Annual General Meeting, activist shareholders joined other investors inside the AGM to hold Anil Agarwal and his board directly accountable for the company’s many crimes. This year the board seemed to have done some planning. Anil Agarwal had a list of standard answers which were rolled out in response to any question he was asked, and a Far Eastern investor took up the majority of the meeting, edging the dissident shareholders, who usually dominate the meeting, out.

Anil Agarwal is again attempting to paint himself as India’s saviour of poverty. When asked about Lanjigarh refinery and the scandal that is the attempted Niyamgiri mine he responded with a dreamy speech about believing that Niyamgiri was meant for Vedanta. he talked about hearing about Kalahandi as a child – a ‘black spot’ on India, and its ‘poorest poorest place’, and how he’d always wanted to do something about it. He said:

“We took courage to go there, no road even or bridge, it was all isolated, we created infrastructure, 7000 got work, not a blade of grass was moved in Niyamgiri .”

This blade of grass is very famous now. It is the same blade he claims he hasn’t touched during the last ten years AGMs. Meanwhile the refinery has been built and expanded – displacing families who are now destitute, and the Dongria have been harassed, threatened and even killed.

The report from London Mining Network below gives a detailed account of the proceedings.

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Vedanta AGM disrupted by worldwide protests again!

1st August 2013. Foil Vedanta’s report with pictures:

An inflatable monster representing Vedanta with the subsidiaries as snake like heads

Today protesters from Foil Vedanta and other organizations held a loud carnival demonstration at the AGM of controversial FTSE 100 mining company Vedanta at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square London. A parallel demo was held in Johannesburg. Yesterday in Delhi almost a hundred people braved rains to raise their protest at Odisha Bhawan. Meanwhile, the majority of tribal village meetings given legal power by the Supreme Court of India have unanimously voted against Vedanta’s flagship Niyamgiri mine.

 

Please see the video of the London demo here, video of the Delhi demo here, pictures here, and details of coverage of the demo’s in South Africa, Delhi and London below.

Vedanta’s London AGM was again disrupted today by protesters from Foil Vedanta and other organisations who raised a number of human rights concerns. Chanting and singing was continuous throughout the two hour protest and could be heard inside the AGM. Protesters held placards painted with defiant anti-company quotes from the Dongria Kond tribe in Odisha, India, where the company has been trying to mine illegally for ten years, and has now been stopped. Another group performed street theatre holding a giant inflatable monster with Vedanta Resources painted on it, and snake like heads bearing the names of Vedanta’s subsidiaries. Some Sri Lankan protesters played Parai drums (a Tamil drum of revolution) outside the Mayfair venue. Vedanta subsidiary Cairn India is drilling in the fragile Mannar basin off Sri Lanka. At the peak of the protests a sit in was staged as the Vedanta monster was used to block the road.

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Protest at Vedanta HQ as Supreme Court decision announced

Indian Supreme Court judges today handed the final decision on Vedanta’s Niyamgiri mine to the Dongria Kond tribe and farmers living around the mountain. Two Gram Sabha’s (village councils) or local self-government within 10km of the proposed mine should announce their decision to the Ministry of Environment and Forests within three months1. The decision will have a major financial and reputational impact on Vedanta and may force them to close their Lanjigarh refinery, costing them billions.

In London, activists from Foil Vedanta and other grassroots groups descended on Vedanta’s nominal Mayfair headquarters later today celebrating what they see as a victory for local self-determination, but calling for thorough independent oversight of the decision making process which they say is wide open to abuse by Vedanta officials and state police. They held a loud noise demonstration, and held a banner stating ‘MoEF: No u-turn on Niyamgiri’ while shouting slogans with a large megaphone. The protesters again called for Vedanta to be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange for poor corporate governance and human rights crimes.

See the video of today’s demo here, and another short clip here.

More photos on demotix here.

See video of celebrations on Niyamgiri mountain as the verdict was delivered and an interview with Kumuti Majhi here.

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Sterlite copper smelter closed by authorities

Following mass rallies after a major gas leak last weekend Vedanta subsidiary Sterlite’s copper smelter in Tamil Nadu has been closed until further notice. On Tuesday (2nd April) the fate of the plant will be decided once and for all in the Supreme Court.  This news note is from Nityanand Jayaraman;

 

30 March, 2013 — The Tamil Nadu Government has relented to public pressure and shut down Sterlite Industries’ copper complex today. According to a worker, officials from 10 government departments arrived by the vanload in the plant last night at 8 p.m. The management then called a meeting of all staff and workers, and announced that the plant was shutting down. Sterlite requested time till about 12 midnight for phased closure, and this was conceded by the Government. By 1210 a.m. all plants except the smelter were shut down. Electricity connection to the copper complex has been disconnected.
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