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Russia: Coal smog settles over Siberia  

Kazas is one of six towns that make up Chauvashinsky National Village in Kemerovo Oblast, in south-west Siberia. The small-numbered indigenous Shor and Teluts make up the population of Kazas. There are only about 13,000 Shors in Russia, of which Kemerovo Oblast is home to the vast majority. They are mainly farmers and beekeepers but still practice traditional hunting, fishing and cedar nut harvestingThe...

Papua New Guinea: Police raids around Porgera gold mine 

The Porgera gold mine is located in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. It is one the largest in the country and has operated since 2006 as part of the Porgera Joint Venture (PJV).PJV is 95 per cent owned by subsidiaries of the Canadian Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick), the largest gold mining company in the world; the provincial government owns 2.5 per cent, and...

Turkey: Dam deluge for Kurds 

The proposed 12,000 megawatt Ilisu dam on the Tigris River in south-east Turkey is one of the world’s most controversial hydro projects. Up to 78,000 people, mainly Kurds, but also other minorities including Arameans and Arabs will be directly affected by this project. Thousands more people will be affected in the downstream neighbouring countries of Syria and Iraq. Moreover, the 313 square-kilometre reservoir will...

India: Dongria Kondh take mining battle to Supreme Court  

'They want to take these rocks from the mountain. These rocks are the reason our children can live here. Because of these the rain comes. The winter comes, the wind blows, the mountain brings all the water. If they take away these rocks, we’ll all die. We’ll lose our soul. Niyamgiri is our soul.' - Dongria Kondh man (from Mine – Story of a Sacred...

Afro-Colombian women defend their heritage 

‘I’m really proud of mining, of course. In this region most women are miners, because that’s how we earn a living to raise our kids. For me it’s really unfair, because there are people who come from other places to occupy our mines. I mean, they want to come and take over territories where there’s mining. The mines should be just for people from...

UK/India: Dalit Documentary Screening at East End Film Festival 

Screening at this year's East End Film Festival on Saturday 7th July, 2pm at Rich Mix, Jai Bhim Comrade is a powerful documentary focusing on the spirit of resistance among the oppressed Dalit caste in India.For more information please visit: www.eastendfilmfestival.com. Shot over 14 years, veteran director Anand Patwardhan explores the plight of the Daltis, an oppressed caste in India more commonly...

Adivasis of Bangladesh: a year of broken promises  

‘My grandfather used to tell me not to go in there,’ the old man points to a wide expanse of grass where Bengali children are playing football, ‘because of the tigers in the forest’. He is a member of the Garo community; one of Bangladesh’s estimated 46 indigenous or ‘Adivasi’ peoples. He is an activist fighting for his people’s ancestral forests in Modhupur, in...

Botswana: Diamonds bring no benefits to Basarwa  

While Botswana’s government has never officially admitted to forcibly relocating the G/wi and G//ana communities of the Basarwa indigenous group to make way for diamond-mining operations in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), critics have long suspected this to be the main motivation for the removals. When it became known in late 2010 that Gem Diamonds would begin mining operations in the CKGR, suspicions...

Europe: Corporate abuse flows along BP’s oil pipeline  

Early in 2011, the UK government ruled that a BP-led oil consortium was not carrying out the human rights responsibilities of multinational companies in its operations on the controversial Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline. The 1,770 km pipeline runs from offshore oil fields in the Caspian Sea near Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and on to the port of Ceyhan on...

India: Mining, conflict and Adivasis 

Numbering 85 million, India’s 600 Scheduled Tribes or adivāsis (‘original people’) are kaleidoscopically diverse and make up nearly a quarter of the world’s indigenous peoples. Concentrated in an area of central and eastern India that stretches from Maharashtra to West Bengal, many tribal groups share their homelands with some of the most significant mineral deposits in the world – resources which have attracted increasing...

Russia: Sakha protest mining rush in Siberia 

Sakha (or Yakut) are one of the largest native ethnic groups of Siberia.  With a population of over 400,000, the Sakha are considered too numerous to fit within the official Russian category of “indigenous”.  This status is confined to groups numbering less than 50,000; maintaining a traditional way of life; inhabiting certain remote regions of Russia; and identifying themselves as a distinct ethnic community. ...

Italy: San Sperate (un)welcomes Roma 

Following their eviction from the encampment on the 554 route, 26 Roma have been moved to the small town of San Sperate, about 15 km away from Sardinia’s main city, Cagliari.On 3 July 2012 a heated public debate took place in San Sperate, where the mayor expressed his concern that “the town is unable to deal with the situation which has been created”, because...

India: Rehabilitation drive for manual scavengers 

Following a reprimand from the authorities in New Delhi for failing to curb manual scavenging, the state government of West Bengal has pledged to rehabilitate people who are still engaged in this inhuman practice. According to the Telegraph, a Kolkata newspaper, there may be as many as 12,000 manual scavengers left in the state, even though the practice which forces Dalits to empty dry...

Nepal: New report on protecting minority rights in federal systems 

Nepal is a country of minorities: 100 caste and ethnic groups, eight religious groups and more than 92 linguistic groups. Four caste/ethnic groups are the most advantaged and dominant in Nepal and rest of the caste and ethnic groups can be divided into the most disadvantaged and disadvantaged groups. Dalits have been exploited for centuries and have suffered from the worst forms of discrimination. Madheshis are excluded from all...

Sudan: Intisar Sharif Abdullah walks free, MRG letter to Minister of Justice in Khartoum 

MRG welcomes the release of Intisar Sharif Abdallah on 3 July after the Ombada court, in Omdurman,a suburb of the capital Khartoum, dropped all charges against her due to a lack of evidence. Intisar had been sentenced to death by stoning for the alleged crime of adultery.For more information visit Amnesty International's website.Click on the link below to read a letter sent...

New - full version of MRG documentary : A Journey to Imja Lake - Climate Change in the land of the Sherpa 

This 30 minute film, commissioned by MRG in 2010, and directed and produced by Anna Colom, is now available for the first time on MRG's YouTube channel.The documentary tells the story of the Sherpa people in the Everest region of Nepal, who are already experiencing the effects of climate change in the Himalayas: from the changes on the mountains, their spiritual gods, to the impact...

Nepal: Overfishing destroys minority community's livelihood 

The minority Magi, or “fisherman”, community in the district of Tanahu, Nepal, depend on fishing for their livelihood.But now the Madi river is low on fish stocks. The practices of fishing using electricity and of throwing industrial and human waste in the river have affected the fish and the organisms that fish depend on to survive. It is clearly evident that the fish are...

Ethiopia: Outrage as World Bank funds power lines linked to controversial dam 

Human rights organizations, including Survival International and Human Rights Watch, have fiercely criticized a decision by the World Bank to fund power lines in Ethiopia linked to the controversial Gibe III dam. The newly-approved project will help transport power generated by a notorious hydroelectric dam in southern Ethiopia, to Kenya’s power grid. Ethiopia’s controversial Gibe III dam is expected to be complete...

Kenya: What the Constitutional Court’s ruling on boundaries and electoral areas means for minority communities  

On 9 July 2012, a panel of five judges made their ruling on several petitions filed by dissatisfied community members against how the Indepenedent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in Kenya had gone about fixing new boundaries and electoral areas. MRG’s Africa Regional Information Officer caught up with Molu Korepu Tepo, a consultant with MRG under the Good Governance Project and asked him what...

Nepal: Time to honor the history of indigenous with the Federal Structure 

At this turning point, if Nepal fails to recognize its indigenous communities with the federal structure to honor their ancient yet prevailing history, because of the obstruction crafted by the main opposition parties – Nepali Congress and CPN UML, it will be unfortunate. Consequently, the new constitution will not be promulgated. There will be constitutional crisis. The provision of the Constituent Assembly will come...


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