Rights activists, including actors from James Cameron’s film Avatar that highlights the threat to environment, held a protest outside the venue of the annual general meeting of the mining company Vedanta here on Wednesday against its controversial plans to mine tribal land in Orissa regarded sacred by Dongria Konds.
Some protesters wore blue face paint in an echo of Avatar’s portrayal of the destruction of an “alien’’ tribe.
Carrying placards and raising slogans in support of Dongria Konds, campaigners from Foil Vedanta and Survival International called for Prime Minister David Cameron to take up the issue with Indian leaders during his talks in New Delhi.
In a statement, Foil Vedanta said the company was launched on the London Stock Exchange in December 2003 “with the help of Britain’s Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for International Development ‘’ even as several leading British organisations had divested their holdings in the company.
“A number of British shareholders, including the Church of England and the Rowntrees Foundation, have over the last year divested their holdings in Vedanta plc,’’ it said accusing the company of flouting environmental laws.
Survival International’s director Stephen Corry said the story of Avatar was ``being played out in the hills of Niyamgiri in Orissa’’.
"Like the Na’vi of Avatar, the Dongria Kondh are also at risk, as their lands are set to be mined by Vedanta Resources. The mine will destroy the forests on which the Dongria Kondh depend and wreck the lives of thousands of other Kondh tribal people living in the area,’’ he said