Survival International will protest tomorrow, Wednesday 28 May 2008, outside London PR firm FINSBURY urging them to resign their account representing Anil Agarwal and his company Vedanta, in the interest of human rights.
Finsbury is a subsidiary of advertising group WPP.
Survival has launched a new campaign targeting British FTSE-100 company VEDANTA, whose plans to mine a sacred mountain in India will, if approved, destroy the remote Dongria Kondh tribe. Vedanta is owned by London-based Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal.
Vedanta’s subsidiary, Sterlite, is currently awaiting permission from India’s Supreme Court to mine bauxite, the raw material for aluminium, from Niyamgiri mountain in Orissa, eastern India.
The 8,000 Dongria Kondh, one of India’s most isolated tribes, vehemently oppose the mine, saying it will end their way of life forever. Sterlite plans to construct a huge open cast mine, which will destroy a vast swathe of forest, as well as a large part of the mountain itself. The Dongria Kondh have lived on the slopes of Niyamgiri since time immemorial, and are totally dependent on its forests. They view the mountain as sacred, grow crops on the slopes, and gather wild fruit in the dense forests.
Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘People who care about human rights should boycott British companies which dispossess tribal peoples, or any of the companies working for them. That includes British PR companies like Finsbury, which parrots Anil Agarwal's denials that the Dongria Kondh peoples face destruction. It has a responsibility towards its staff and shareholders, and to human rights.'
For further information please contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]
Notes to Editors:
- Survival International has a track record of successful campaigns targeting companies who operate on tribal peoples’ lands without their consent. Following lobbying by Survival, De Beers sold its concession to mine diamonds on the land of the Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana. In the 1990s, Mobil backtracked on plans to explore for oil in the Peruvian Amazon after a long Survival campaign.
- Anil Agarwal, one of the richest men in India, is worth an estimated $12.7 billion. He lives in Mayfair, London.