STATEMENT OF CONCERN ON NIYAMGIRI

Here is statement on the recent Supreme Court order on bauxite mining in Niyamgiri, Orissa.

STATEMENT OF CONCERN ON NIYAMGIRI

We the undersigned are deeply concerned over the recent order of the
Supreme Court in T.N. Godavaraman Thirumulpad vs. Union of India and
Others in the matter of M/s Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd. This
Order will pave the way for forcible displacement of thousands of
adivasis for the mining of bauxite by Sterlite Industries Ltd., a
frontal company of the notorious Vedanta Alimunium Industries, which
is already tainted with its corporate malpractices.

We note with deep anxiety that most of the inhabitants here are
Dongria Kondhs who are classified as Primitive Tribes (which itself is
a colonial construct) who know no other way of life hence need to be
dealt with due sensitivity and precaution and who will be uprooted and
marginalized once they are removed from their natural habitat. Today,
where the UN bodies, all the governments, international and national
civil societies including the progressive and democratic organisations
world over are worried and deliberating on global warming and the
impending ecological disaster and death of the planet. The issue
raised by this judgement has become of crucial importance. The Dongria
Kondhs who live a harmonious and symbiotic relationship with their
environment show the way to mankind on how to lead a sustainable,
meaningful and egalitarian life.

It is also to be noted that the present order of the Supreme Court
contradicts the 89th Amendment of the Constitution which clearly
stipulates that no industry, mines or townships or any other
construction activity can be undertaken without the consent of the
Gram Sabhas of adivasis residing in the areas demarcated under the
Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.

This order will also nullify the implementation of the recently passed
Forest Rights Act, under which the adivasis tilling forestland should
get the ownership of the land they have been tilling since years.

We are also deeply concerned that mining in Niyamgiri area will
seriously upset the ecological equilibrium; this area is very rich in
bio diversity including rare flora and fauna and many species of rare
medicinal herbs. Niyamgiri hills are also the source of important
rivers like Nagavali, Vansdhara, which caters to the need of many
districts in Orissa including the southern coastal districts. The
mining in that area will contravene the provisions of the
Environmental Protection Act 1986 because it will seriously violate
the letter and spirit of the Act.

We urge the political parties especially the three most important
pillars of our democracy i.e. the Executive, Judiciary and the
Legislature to take cognisance of the aspirations of innumerable
anti-displacement movements and progressive and democratic
organisations in the country and scrap the draconian and colonial land
acquisition act of 1894. Thus we call upon the Supreme Court,
Government of India and Orissa to reconsider the case of mining in the
Niyamgiri Hills and rescind the permission given to Sterlite
Industries for mining in Niyamgiri.

Kamal Mitra Chenoy School of International Study,JNU

Thomas kochery World Forum of Fisher People ,Special
Invitee,NAPM,NFF,NCI

Professor Arun Kumar Centre for Study of Economic and Social
Planning, School of Social Science, JNU

Vijay Pratap Convenor, Lokayan

Babulal Sharma Convenor, Global Gandhi Forum

Rakesh Bhatt Coordinator, SADED/CSDS

Faisal Khan Asha Parivar, NAPM, New Delhi

Anil Thakur Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, New Delhi

Chandrasekhar Hota Research Scholar, Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Science, JNU

Jeet Bhattacharya Research Scholar, Film Studies, School of
Art and Aesthetics, JNU

Peeyush Pant Editor, Lok Samvad, New Delhi

Sayantoni Datta SADED/CSDS

Asit Social Activist-Researcher, New Delhi

Kumar Sameer Social Activist, New Delhi

Shabnam Hashmi Anhad, New Delhi

Kavita Krishnan Editor, Liberation

Kiran Shaheen Media and Social activist, New Delhi

Kundan Kumar Activist,Researcher,Orissa

Felix Padel Anthropologist,U.K.

Subrat Kumar Sahu film Maker and Freelance Writer, New Delhi

Mamta Dash Social activist and
researcher, New Delhi

Prof Manidra Nath Thakur Centre for Political Studies ,SSS,JNU

Prof Vivek Kumar Centre for Study of Social
System, SSS, JNU

Prof Rohan D'Souza Centre for Study of Science
Policy, SSS ,JNU

Prof Mohan Rao Centre for Social Medicine and
community health, JNU

Prof Janaki Abraham Women's Study Programme, SSS, JNU

Prof Vanitha Damodarah University of Sussex, Sussex, U.K.

Prof Asha Sarangi Centre for Political Studies,JNU

Prithpal Singh randhawa Research Scholar, Instutute of
Development Studies,Sussex, U.K.

Rona Wilson Research Scholar and social
activist, New Delhi

Sunil Kumar Social Activist, New Delhi

G.N. Trivedi Lecturer, Moti lal Nehru
College, Delhi University

Amit Student, CESP/SSS, JNU

Sumandro Research Scholar, JNU

Debolina Biswas Student, CESP/SSS,JNU

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