Exposing the world of mining and Vedanta
It’s all happening in the world of mining today. The great and good of the mining industry are gathering in London for the AGM of FTSE 100 company Vedanta.
So what exactly is Vedanta? Without wishing to scream: ‘Where have you been!’ here’s a quick brief.
Vedanta. Big mining company. Dodgy operations in Orissa, India. Poor pollution record. Looking to expand onto indigenous people’s lands – although they haven’t consulted properly. And on top of that there are also claims they have been involved in intimidating journalists and human rights defenders.
And with people like Amnesty shouting from the roof tops, investors in Vedanta have begun to get spooked.
In response Vedanta issued their own report saying basically that there is nothing to worry about, and that they are truly great (OK, I've paraphrased a little). Clear?
Anyway, that brings you to up today and our new briefing Vedanta’s Perspective Uncovered: Policies cannot mask practices in Orissa (PDF). It is one of our classic reports that basically says what it does on the tin.
Were Vedanta’s claims in their report right? Not in our eyes.
Is Vedanta’s human rights record improving? Not if you look at the countless case studies Amnesty has been compiling.
Should Vedanta own up? You betcha.
To help put our side, Peter Frankental, Amnesty’s head of Economic Relations, is down at Vedanta’s AGM talking to the gathered media outside including the BBC. So keep an eye on this evening’s bulletins.
Staying with the theme of mining, there are still big issues around the Lonmin platinum mine in South Africa, where 44 protesting miners were shot dead by the police earlier this month. There are reports of fresh violence and also news filtering through that 260 miners are facing charges ranging from intimidation to murder. It all seems very much out of control.
And finally, in Italy the threat of the closure of the country’s only coal mine has led to nearly 100 Sardinian miners blockading themselves in. In normal circumstances that might be easy to remove, but these miners are accompanied by hundreds of kilogrammes of explosives.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.