MAC: Mines and Communities

South Asia Update

Published by MAC on 2006-09-30

South Asia update

30th September 2006

Since the cold-blooded killing of seven demonstrators against UK-based Asia Energy's proposed coal mine in Phulbari, last month, the Bangladesh government has vacillated over implementing the agreement made with the local people to scrap the deal. Now, the prime mininster's office appears to be taking steps to do just that.

Those opposed to siting POSCO's vast steel plant on their land in Orissa find their pleas falling on death ears. The Indian government has announced that the South Korean company is among thirty one enterprises to be granted permission to set up a Special Economic Zone - a mechanism which gives massive tax breaks to corporates, skirts basic environmental scrutiny and threatens to infring the rights of workers.

The Aditya Alumininum company has been "explaining" its plans for an alumininum complex in Orissa which would dig bauxite from a forest reserve and smelt it in Jharsaguda (where the UK company Vedanta also plans an alumininum smelter).

Despite a recommendation from the Indian High court earlier this year, that workers at Bharat Gold Fields in Karnataka should be allowed to re-open their mine under collective management, the government still wants to close it down.

In the face of conclusive evidence of the deadly impacts of asbestos, India has been increasing its use of the carcinogenic materia, backed by companies and articles they've planted in the media . A Delhi physician urges scientists to join with peoples' organisations in exposing the dnager and the lies.

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