India: Amnesty Intl. says Vedanta continues to abuse human rights of indigenous peoples

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Company response
4 September 2012

Vedanta's response to news appearing in London media

Author: Vedanta

Vedanta believes in continuous dialoguing with all the stakeholders and always endeavors to address the issues raised by any of them…Vedanta refuted all such allegations as baseless and responded to the shareholders accordingly. During AGM, some of the shareholders also raised objections on flaring of such irrelevant issues without any rationale and insisted for conducting the AGM adhering to the agenda so that their main concerns could be duly addressed. Vedanta has clarified that being a responsible and law abiding Corporate, it shall under no circumstances contravene the law of the land…Vedanta shall ensure that all relevant Acts and Laws applicable to the Tribal Communities living around its Lanjigarh Project are fully complied without fail.

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Article
28 August 2012

Briefing Vedanta's perspectives uncovered: Policies cannot mask practices in Orissa [India]

Author: Amnesty International

…Amnesty International repudiates Vedanta’s attempts to exonerate itself, and renews its recommendations to address the persistent human rights concerns associated with the company’s operations in Orissa. Amnesty International draws attention to Vedanta’s continuing failure to recognise the rights of Indigenous peoples and the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). Far from abiding by international standards relating to rights of Indigenous peoples, Vedanta attempts to redefine them to serve the company’s interests…The claim made in Vedanta’s Perspective that the company has consulted the local communities is not supported by the evidence gathered by Amnesty International.

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Article
28 August 2012

Protesters challenge Vedanta on human rights [India & UK]

Author: Simon Goodley, Guardian [UK]

Campaigners highlighting environmental and human rights breaches by...Vedanta Resources have been intimidated by police forces and subjected to trumped up charges...The allegations were made by...Amnesty International at the FTSE 100 group's annual meeting...An Amnesty report claimed: "An ongoing inquiry by India's Human Rights Commission [has found] that the police in both the framing of false charges and the suppression of dissent have acted to promote the interests of the company". Amnesty's Peter Frankental asked the meeting: "Do you take these findings and allegations seriously and what are you going to do about them?"...Vedanta non-executive director Naresh Chandra said: "Give us the information and we will have it investigated"...Standard Life Investments, which holds 9m Vedanta shares, said it would abstain on the re-election of members of the nominations committee because the board contained too few independent directors. Aviva said it was "pleased to note considerable progress...[while] concerns over the company's environmental and social record remain"...

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Article
28 August 2012

Vedanta besieged by protesters at meeting [India & UK]

Author: Helan Thomas & Amy Kazmin, Financial Times

Vedanta’s annual shareholder meeting was…besieged by angry protesters, as institutional investors and campaign groups peppered the London-listed Indian miner’s board with questions regarding its patchy record on community relations, corporate governance and the environment… Aviva Investors called on the miner to improve its sustainability efforts, while Standard Life said the company needed to strengthen its board. Vedanta investors passed the company’s resolutions at the meeting…Vedanta has a chequered history in India and has been dogged by allegations of flouting environmental laws, trampling over local communities and proceeding with projects before obtaining the necessary permission…Anil Agarwal, Vedanta’s founder and executive chairman, told the sometimes-hostile crowd that sustainability was the “topmost priority” for the miner.

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