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Indian tribe's Avatar-like battle against mining firm reaches supreme court

Dongria Kondh people pledge to carry on fight to prevent Vedanta Resources from mining bauxite in Niyamgiri hills

Source:  Copyright 2012, Guardian
Date:  April 8, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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The leaders of thousands of forest-dwelling tribesmen who have fought for years to preserve their ancestral lands from exploitation by an international mining corporation have promised to continue their struggle whatever the decision in a key hearing before India's supreme court on Monday.

Dubbed the "real-life Avatar" after the Hollywood blockbuster, the battle of the Dongria Kondh people to stop the London-based conglomerate Vedanta Resources from mining bauxite from a hillside they consider sacred has attracted international support. Celebrities backing the campaign include James Cameron, the director of Avatar, Arundhati Roy, the Booker prize-winning author, as well as the British actors Joanna Lumley and Michael Palin.

On Monday the court will decide on an appeal by Vedanta against a ministerial decision in 2010 that stopped work at the site in the Niyamgiri hills of India's eastern Orissa state.

Lingaraj Azad, a leader of the Save ...

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