This video gives the background info on:

  • more than 8,000 people of the Dongria Kondh tribe,
    • who live in the Niyamgiri Hills which form a mountain range in the Eastern Indian state of Orissa
  • Dongria Kondh’s successful fight in 2010 against Vedanta Resources, a company that was determined to mine their sacred mountain’s rich seam of bauxite (aluminium ore):

In March, 2012, Orissa Mining Corporation Ltd was appealing India’s decision not to allow mining in the Niyamgiri Hills.

The final hearing was scheduled for April 9, 2012.

Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said, ‘It’s astonishing the lengths Vedanta will go to pursue its goal of mining in the Niyamgiri Hills. Not content with losing its fight against the Dongria Kondh in 2010, it’s now spending millions of dollars trying to change attitudes and convince the world that it’s working in the interests of local communities.”

However, the appeal was adjourned on Monday, April 9, 2012, and India’s Supreme Court has yet to issue a new date for the hearing.

Presently, hundreds of Dongria Kondh tribal peoples are protesting against renewed efforts of the  UK mining company Vedanta from building an open-pit bauxite mine in the Niyamgiri Hills, as well as standing firm to:

  • not allow mining on their sacred mountain
  • protect natural resources and tribal peoples for their ancestral land, for Niyamgiri

“The plight of India’s Dongria Kondh has been likened to a ‘real-life Avatar.”

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE

April 9, 2012

Indian tribe stands firm as Vedanta mine appeal adjourned

Hundreds of Dongria Kondh protest against the
Vedanta mine appeal. © Bikash Khemka/Survival

One of the world’s most controversial mines is back in the spotlight after hundreds protested against renewed efforts to mine India’s Niyamgiri Hills.

Dongria Kondh
and Niyamgiri supporters held their own ‘public hearing’ in Orissa state, where they restated their resolve not to allow mining on their sacred mountain.

The meeting coincided with a Supreme Court appeal in Delhi, which sought to overturn a 2010 ruling preventing UK mining company Vedanta from building an open-pit bauxite mine in the Niyamgiri Hills.

However, the appeal was adjourned on Monday and India’s Supreme Court has yet to issue a new date for the hearing.

Shortly after the announcement, Indian activist Prafulla Samentra from the National Alliance of People’s Movements, spoke to Survival International.

He said, ‘I hope India’s Supreme Court endorses the government’s ruling not to mine in Niyamgiri. This is in the interests of protecting natural resources and tribal peoples.’

Miles away in the Niyamgiri Hills, two years after the Dongria Kondh historically defeated Vedanta, protesters continue to make their position clear.

The plight of India’s Dongria Kondh has been
likened to a ‘real-life Avatar’. © Survival

Dongria elder Dodhi Sikaka said, ‘Those who are fighting for their rights are beaten up and put behind bars. Now all we Dongrias are together in resisting this. We are fighting for our own people, for our ancestral land, for Niyamgiri.’

Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘By once again postponing this decision, the Supreme Court judges have left a sword of Damocles hanging over the Dongrias’ heads. But on Sunday the Dongria held their own day of judgment – a public hearing at which they vowed to protect their sacred mountain. Whatever the court may decide far away in Delhi, in the Niyamgiri Hills the Dongrias’ decision is clear.’

To read this story online: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/8253

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