In a landmark ruling, the Indian Supreme Court today rejected an appeal to allow Vedanta Resources to mine the Niyamgiri hills. In a complex judgement, the court decreed that those most affected by the proposed mine should have a decisive say in whether it goes ahead.
The court recognized that the Dongria Kondh`s right to worship their sacred mountain must be 'protected and preserved`, and that those with religious and cultural rights must be heard in the decision-making process. The tribe now has three months to decide whether to allow mining of their sacred hills, but there are serious concerns over the pressures that might be heaped on the community during this crucial time.
The Dongria’s determined fight against the FTSE 100 mining company has been likened to the story of 'Avatar` and has won them the support of celebrities. British actress Joanna Lumley said today, ‘It is wonderful to see justice finally prevail. For the court to allow the mine would ...