Geoff Law

  • New Adani mine project puts remote Indian villages at the coalface

    In November 2020, Adani won the bidding to develop a huge coal deposit near the quiet Indian village of Gondalpura. In June 2021, Adani officials met with affected villagers and were told, in no uncertain terms, that the people would not give up their land for Adani’s coal project. The stage was set for a very familiar conflict in the rural hinterland of India – between indigenous villagers fighting for land, livelihoods and a way of life, and the Adani conglomerate with its insatiable appetite for coal.

    The town of Gondalpura and its many surrounding villages occur in the state of Jharkhand, about 400 km north-west of Kolkata. Jharkhand is a relatively new Indian state, cleaved from Bihar in 2000. Of its population of 20 million, about 28% is tribal and a further 12% belong to ‘scheduled castes’, generally people from a poor socio-economic background. Most people live and work in the rural areas, where farming is the main source of income. Jharkhand has a very rich biodiversity, with many species of birds, reptiles and mammals inhabiting the sub-tropical forests.

    Jharkhand forest, farmland and villages in the path of Adani's next big coal mine

    In June 2020, the central Indian government of Narendra Modi launched an auction of 39 ‘coal blocks’ throughout India. These are undeveloped deposits of coal, generally occurring beneath forest and farmland. The Adani Group has been a keen bidder, winning the right to exploit at least five of the blocks. This agenda comes on top of the Group’s existing coal projects in India which include three operating coal mines and several under development.

    The coal block near Gondalpura, in Jharkhand, has been mis-named Gondulpara. In November 2020, it was reported that Adani Enterprises had placed the winning bid for Gondulpara (sic) and its reserve of 176 million tonnes of coal. The annual production capacity has been reported at four million tonnes. It is not the Adani Group’s first foray into Jharkhand, with a subsidiary of Adani Power developing the Godda power station, the intended destination for coal from Adani’s infamous Carmichael project in Australia.

    The proposed Gondulpara (sic) coal mine is in the Hazaribag District of Jharkhand, about 30 km north of the state capital. According to the government’s official description, the ‘project area’ is 520 ha and contains within it the villages of Phulang, Hahe, Gondulpara (sic) and Gali. In other words, these villages will be wiped off the map if the proposed mine proceeds. This document says that about 500 households will be directly affected by the massive excavation required to extract the coal, but another estimate puts the figure at 1950.

    Local people in the Gondalpura area, where villages, farmland and forests are earmarked for destruction by another Adani coal mine.

    Aerial images of the Gondalpura environs show a mixture of forest and lightly wooded farmlands dotted with dwellings and hamlets. On-the-ground photographs show crops of rice and sugarcane as well as mango and mahua trees. The land clearly produces a lot of food for its inhabitants and those in nearby towns and cities.

    A green and fertile land about to be obliterated for Adani's Gondulpara (sic) coal mine

    In this part of India, the steeper hills are generally covered with natural forests that are the home of local wildlife. Various documents state that one quarter of the area proposed for development is forested. About five kilometres from the proposed coal mine is the Isko cultural-heritage site with its caves, overhangs, outcrops and rock art. It’s not known what impact the mine, with its great influx of outsiders, will have on these sensitive features.

    An example of rock art at Isko. Courtesy Subhashis Das

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  • Indigenous tribal leader calls for support to stop Adani

    Statement from Adrian Burragubba, Wangan and Jagalingou tribal leader & Nagana Yarrbayn senior cultural custodian

    Friends, 

    Adani threatens our sacred Doongmabulla Springs with destruction. And as Adani drains and pollutes the underground water for its massive mining project, we have put the Environment Minister under fire.

    The Queensland Government is failing in its duty of care to guarantee the human rights of all Wangan & Jagalingou people. We need your support!

    Write to the minister now and urge her to meet with the Nagana Yarrbayn Cultural Custodians, to hear our concerns and take the actions we have requested.

    Doongmabulla Springs, a W&J sacred site threatened by Adani's Carmichael mine

    We are witnessing the rapid destruction of our land, water and culture by Adani.

    The government is responsible for this yet continues to ignore our calls for urgent action. We won’t be fobbed off. The Environment Minister, the Hon. Meaghan Scanlon, has the power to stop work on Adani's mine and order an independent investigation into the mounting threats to our sacred Doongmabulla Springs.

    We are asking the Minister to show us proper respect and meet with us to hear our story and learn what's happening on our country.

    Take action: let the Queensland government know you want them to work with W&J cultural custodians to protect the sacred Doongmabulla Springs and uphold W&J human rights.

    Our lawyers are preparing legal challenges while we stand our ground on Country. The government must enforce environmental protection laws. But if the Government won’t act, we will take enforcement action ourselves.

    Adani must stop work!

    People can hear about the Nagana Yarrbayn cultural custodians, and protecting the water, in the latest W&J video.

    We’re the real custodians – we’re the ones who stand up and fight for our country and the survival of our people, our law, our culture and our language. That’s why we’re here. This is our life – we lay our life down for the law of the land.

    This government hasn’t heard anything I’ve told them. They are acting at the behest of Adani. We asked them to stand with us and fight against this mining company – and all they did was gang up and fight against us.

    Our human rights are threatened, right here and now.

    We need your support to bring legal challenges to protect the water and defend our human rights

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  • published Will Adani benefit from big palm-oil push by Modi? in Blog 2021-09-02 09:39:41 +1000

    Will Adani benefit from big palm-oil push by Modi?

    In August, India’s government announced a scheme to increase dramatically the area of India producing palm oil, a product used in the manufacture of hundreds of consumer goods. It’s part of a $US 1.5-billion push for self-sufficiency in edible oils. It comes despite warnings from wildlife authorities about the impacts of large-scale conversion of forests and farms to plantations. Meanwhile, an Adani joint venture in palm oil has hit a road hump in its own push for expansion.

    In August 2021, India’s Modi government launched a US $1.5-billion push to make India self-sufficient in edible oils, with a focus on increasing oil-palm plantations in the north-eastern states and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

    PM Modi said palm oil constitutes 55 per cent of India’s imports of edible oils and that there was a need to change that situation. He announced a ‘national edible oil mission-oil palm’ (NEOM-OP) to provide raw resources as well as the technology to extract oil.

    ‘Oil-palm cultivation can be promoted in north-eastern states and Andaman and Nicobar Islands,’ Mr Modi said.

    The move comes despite warnings about the impacts on biodiversity of converting large tracts of natural forests to plantations.

    Will forests like this in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands be destroyed for plantations of oil palm? Photo Pinterest

    The Indian Express reported on interactions between the courts, relevant governments and expert bodies on the issue. In 2019, the administration of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands approached India’s Supreme Court seeking an end to the court’s 2002 ban on plantations of exotic oil palm in the archipelago. The Supreme Court, in turn, asked an expert body for its opinion. That body was the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), an autonomous institute under the Environment Ministry.

    In January 2020, ICFRE submitted its report recommending that introduction of oil palm ‘should be avoided’ in biodiversity rich areas, including grasslands, without detailed studies on its ecological impact.

    However, it appears that subsequent machinations by officials from the departments of environment and agriculture are clearing the way for the plantations to proceed. An Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research (IIOPR) has taken up the cudgels on behalf of the industry.

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  • Four new coal blocks feed Adani’s ‘deadly addiction’ to coal

    The year 2021 has seen urgent calls by international authorities for an end to new coal developments. The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency have both warned that reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 means no new coal developments as of now. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, called for the world to end its ‘deadly addiction’ to coal. Yet in the face of these dire warnings, Adani is planning more and more new coal mines, opening new coal-power stations, and expanding its coal ports. This is an update to an earlier story about the Adani Group and coal, since which the Group has taken on the development of another four major deposits of coal in India.

    Adani’s Carmichael coal project in north Queensland has acquired international notoriety. Most profile pieces on the Adani Group’s multi-multi-billionaire founder, Gautam Adani, refer to it. However, few commentators go into detail about the juggernaut of coal exploitation the Adani Group is piloting in India or the trail of misery left in its wake.

    In June 2021, AdaniWatch outlined the components of Adani’s ‘burgeoning love affair with coal’. In July, Market Forces itemised Adani’s plans to massively expand its fossil-fuel businesses, most of which are in coal. The issue was taken up by Bloomberg Green. On 31 July, the Caravan described ‘the devastating cost of India’s push towards a coal-based economic recovery’. In August, the Global Energy Monitor warned that India risked creating US $40 billion worth of stranded assets if it proceeded with planned new coal projects. Adani’s response to these warnings was to deepen its commitment to coal even further, by winning the rights to open up four huge new ‘coal blocks’ in the rural hinterland of India.

    The Adani Group has ignored the call by UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres for the world to end its 'deadly addiction' to coal. Photo Britannica

    The four ‘coal blocks’ are Khargaon and Jhigador in Chhattisgarh, Dhirauli in Andhra Pradesh, and Gondkhairi in Maharashtra. They occur, of course, beneath land currently relied upon by traditional farmers or roamed by wildlife such as tigers and elephants. To India’s Modi Government, they are simply state possessions to be auctioned off to the highest bidder in a process that advertises the government’s commitment to the free market.

    Each of these four new Adani coal-mine developments is described in more detail below. In the meantime, it’s worth taking in the cumulative effect of Adani’s coal-exploitation agenda:

    • Adani plans to increase its extraction of coal by between 240% (if the proposed Carmichael mine operates at 10 million tonnes per aannum) and 520% (if Carmichael expands to 60 million tpa).
    • Adani plans to double its coal-fired power capacity from about 12 GW to 24 GW.
    • Adani is expanding its coal-handling capacity in at least five ports in both India and Australia.

    Quite apart from the catastrophic impacts of this agenda on the Earth’s climate, the consequences of this expansion will be disruptive, disempowering and downright deadly for huge numbers of India’s most vulnerable people. Poor farmers will be displaced with inadequate compensation. Neighbours of coal pits, coal dumps, coal washeries, coal trains and coal power stations will suffer debilitating respiratory illnesses. Crops, people and animals will suffer as roads, powerlines, industrial installations and gaping holes in the ground exacerbate conflicts between farmers and wild animals such as elephants. Laws protecting forests, wildlife and tribal people will be broken with government connivance, forcing people into costly and protracted court actions.

    The coal industry's mines, roads, power stations and transmission lines will exacerbate conflict between people and wild animals such as elephants. Image courtesy Wikipedia

    The greenhouse emissions attributable to the Adani Group’s program will push human society 7% of the way towards a rise in global temperatures of 1.5 degrees, the limit to warming set by the Paris Agreement. In tandem with the emissions of other global culprits, Adani will be pushing the Earth well beyond 1.5 degrees. According to the Global Energy Monitor’s Global Coal Plant Tracker (GCPT), the lifetime emissions from Adani Group’s coal power expansions would be 1.8 billion tonnes CO2. This is more than the total 2019 emissions of Japan and Indonesia combined.

    Like a heroin dealer ruthlessly pushing its product on to a sick victim, the Adani Group is profiteering from the world’s addiction to coal.

    The Adani Group’s colossal coal agenda is as follows.

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  • Protests occur in India as Adani solar-power installations encroach on farmland

    Adani’s heavy-handed development of new solar-power installations has provoked protests by farmers in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Villagers allege that farmland has been forcibly occupied by an Adani Green company preparing to install a large array of solar panels. The encounter highlights the need for better regulation of these developments to ensure that the rights and livelihoods of local people are respected, otherwise the solar-energy industry could be brought into disrepute.

    In August 2021, India’s Economic Times reported on a protest by traditional farmers against ‘a private solar power company’ in the north-western Indian state of Rajasthan. AdaniWatch has been informed that the company is a joint venture between Adani Green and JV Rajasthan Solar Park Company Limited, a corporation owned by the Rajasthan state government. The project concerned is the 1500-MW Fatehgarh Ultra Mega Solar Park.

    The villagers staged a protest outside a government office on Saturday 17 August, alleging that the company had encroached on ‘khatedari’ land. This is land not formally owned but to which certain farmers have legally-enshrined rights by virtue of long-term use. The report said that protesting farmers alleged that company works had damaged the land with industrial infrastructure, and that company workers had ‘misbehaved’ when women working the land had protested. Local members of the BJP (India’s dominant political party) supported the farmers and wrote to a senior local official demanding action against the company. They claimed that local police were in cahoots with the company and state government in attempting to forcibly possess the land.

    The escalating encroachment of large-scale solar installations on land traditionally worked by indigenous farmers has created rural unrest in India, as reported by AdaniWatch in December 2020.

    The issue of ‘khatedari land’ is a vexed one in Rajasthan, with government authorities frequently arguing that it is unoccupied ‘wasteland’, a position at odds with that of the people who depend on the land in question. The courts have issued various judgments in particular cases, but, generally, the rights of traditional users have been upheld.

    An array of solar panels at an Adani installation, Rajasthan. Courtesy Mercom India

    In the part of Rajasthan concerned, almost 1500 families, mostly landless and belonging to marginalised communities, depend on this land for their livelihoods. In the Jaisalmer area, the government has identified around 95,000 hectares of land for large solar projects. There are around 15 cases in various Rajasthan courts filed by communities against such projects that are pending. 

    Many of these projects threaten oases in arid lands, with potentially devastating impacts on the habitat of the severely endangered Great Indian Bustard.

    AdaniWatch will provide more stories on this conflict in coming weeks. In the meantime, an article in ‘Down to Earth’ provides excellent background.


  • published Calls for BlackRock, HSBC to blacklist Adani in Blog 2021-08-19 10:06:50 +1000

    Calls for BlackRock, HSBC to blacklist Adani

    With the release of the IPCC’s forecasts of alarming rises in global temperatures, calls have mounted for the world’s financiers to dump companies that are involved in the exploitation of fossil fuels. Many Adani Group companies are on the blacklist because of their unadulterated enthusiasm for coal. However, some influential investment companies, such as BlackRock and HSBC, have failed to withdraw funds from relevant Adani companies. The excuses they proffer are downright lame.

    The Australian climate-campaign group Tipping Point says that many finance companies have failed to withdraw their funds from companies involved in fossil fuels, despite the compelling reasons to do so. It gives the example of US-based financier BlackRock as one such recalcitrant, saying the company has an investment of US $650 million in Adani companies. Another example is HSBC.

    ‘We’re starting to see Adani’s investors try to make excuses for inaction,’ said Tipping Point spokesperson Isaac Astill.

    ‘BlackRock and HSBC have said that they can’t pull their money out of Adani because the money is managed passively – that is, automatically invested by software,’ Mr Astill said.

    ‘This is bulldust. There’s no such thing as truly passive investment. All investments involve humans actively making tweaks. There is definitely nothing stopping these investors from tweaking the software to pull money out of Adani.’

    He said BlackRock and HSBC have used the same excuse for inaction. They say they do not ‘actively’ manage this money, that software decides where the funds go. He says the companies have said the software automatically invests in lists of companies called ‘indices.’ The indices are usually a simple list, such as the biggest 200 companies in Australia (often called the ASX200), or the biggest 50 companies in India (often called the Nifty Fifty).

    However, Mr Astill said there is no reason why such investments can’t be actively tweaked to divest from Adani companies.

    ‘It's normal for a company like Blackrock to take these indices and then make in-house tweaks to exclude companies that BlackRock doesn't want to invest in,' he said. ‘This is called creating an exclusion list. BlackRock's software would then avoid investing in companies that are on the exclusion list.’

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  • Adani’s palm-oil IPO a potential threat to water, farmers, tribal lands and wildlife

    Adani Wilmar, India’s biggest importer and retailer of palm oil, is inviting the public to buy shares in the company. Media reports say that the ‘initial public offering’ (IPO) is aimed at expanding the company’s operations, repaying debts and acquiring other industry players. It comes during an aggressive push by the Indian government for more self-sufficiency in the production of food and edible oils. The global environmental impact of the palm-oil industry has already been devastating, with losses of orangutans, tigers, elephants and vast tracts of rainforest in South-East Asia. An expansion of oil-palm plantations in India could have similarly catastrophic consequences for nature.

    On 2 August 2021, Indian media reported that Adani Enterprises and its Singapore-based partner, Wilmar, were seeking to raise over US $600 million through a fresh issue of equity shares. Adani Wilmar was established in 1999 as a 50:50 joint venture between the Adani and Wilmar groups. By 2015, the company had 17 palm-oil refineries in India and had established its Fortune brand as the highest-selling brand of cooking oil in the country. According to Forbes, Adani Wilmar posted a net profit of over US $800 million in the year 2020-21, up 67% from the year earlier.

    According to its website, Adani Wilmar 'was created with a vision of ‘Nation Building’ by developing assets of national economic significance. Wilmar’s business activities include oil palm cultivation, oilseed crushing, edible oil refining, sugar milling and refining, specialty fat, oleo chemical, biodiesel and fertilizer manufacturing and grain processing. It has over 850 manufacturing plants and an extensive distribution network covering China, India, Indonesia and 30 other countries.' Adani Wilmar owns the 'Fortune' brand of foods, with some of India's 'most chosen brands', many of which rely on palm oil.

    Most of the world’s palm oil comes from plantations that have replaced rainforests across Malaysia and Indonesia. Companies involved in the production and trade of this versatile but notorious commodity have come under international scrutiny for their impacts on tropical rainforests and associated habitat and indigenous peoples. Compliance by big players such as Wilmar with self-imposed environmental and social standards has been patchy at best.

    The Sumatran orangutan - pushed closer to extinction by the global trade in palm oil. Photo Geoff Law

    In February 2020, AdaniWatch published a story about the Adani and Wilmar groups’ involvement in an industry that has wreaked havoc across rainforests, habitat and ancestral lands across south-east Asia. It described the forwards-and-back progress of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a forum in which growers, manufacturers, conservationists and non-government organizations have attempted to establish criteria for certifying sources of palm oil as ‘sustainable’. While positive progress has been made on some fronts, rainforests have continued to be destroyed.

    Species put at risk of extinction by the rampant operations of certain players in the palm-oil industry include the Sumatran orangutan and the Sumatran tiger in Indonesia. In neighbouring Malaysia, oil-palm development makes up 47% of the deforestation that has occurred in that country over the past 40 years.

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  • The Adani Group’s shadowy offshore investors – calls grow for a full investigation

    Pressure has been building in India for a full investigation of at least six shadowy offshore investors in Adani Group companies. In June, reports about a freeze on some of these investors prompted a short-lived crash in the share price of some Adani companies. This forced Group founder Gautam Adani to make public statements defending the shareholdings. In response to the calls by an opposition MP for a probe, India’s Finance Minister announced that one of the regulators was doing just that – followed by a denial from Adani. Meanwhile, the issue has been picked up by international media.

    Here, AdaniWatch encapsulates the story so far.

    Prominent media reports have quoted an Indian opposition MP’s call for an investigation into offshore investors in Adani Group companies. According to Al Jazeera, ‘Mahua Moitra, an opposition lawmaker and former investment banker, questioned the ultimate ownership of the funds in parliament last week, saying that the information should be public given the Adani Group holds stakes in strategic Indian infrastructure like ports, airports and power plants.’

    ‘We want to know whose money is it,’ Moitra was quoted as saying in a text message to Bloomberg News. ‘If it is Adani’s money, then minority shareholders are being screwed. If it is not, then which foreign actors have so much say in our strategic assets?’

    On 21 June 2021, Ms Moitra wrote to India’s Central Board of Direct Taxation arguing that there was an ‘urgent and important’ case for an investigation of certain Adani investors under legislation dealing with money laundering, black money, tax and foreign exchange. She referred to six foreign companies with significant investments in the Adani Group that allegedly shared a common address, directors and secretary. She said the companies concerned owned over US $5.6 billion worth of stock in Adani companies but did not have websites or independent addresses.

    ‘This is extremely suspicious’, she said.

    She said that two of the companies, Cresta and Albula, had been mentioned in the ‘Paradise Papers’, a trove of leaked documents pertaining to companies registered in ‘secrecy jurisdictions’ uploaded by the International Consortium of Investigate Journalists.

    ‘Further, it should be known that Mr Vinod Adani (brother of Gautam Adani) had tried to change his name and use trusts, intermediaries, lawyers, accountants and affiliates to hold assets overseas,’ the letter went on. ‘It would be important not just to trace the funds of the [foreign companies] but in fact get down to the ultimate beneficial owners of every constituent entity of these [foreign companies] to see whether in fact, these are nominees, representatives and other benami owners of the Adanis.’

    ‘I humbly request you to investigate this matter with the seriousness it deserves’, she concluded.

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  • Adani Ports and its inextricable links to coal, environmental destruction and the murderous Myanmar military regime

    The flagship of the sprawling Adani Group is its ports company. The enterprise is a major player in the Indian transport industry and has operations in Myanmar and Australia. It enjoys the support of major finance companies such as BlackRock, reported as having an investment of US $108 million in the company, and has recently raised $70 million in bonds on the international market.

    However, Adani’s ports have also been implicated in human-rights controversies, the destruction of coastal ecosystems, and a huge expansion of the coal industry in Australia and India. In April 2021, the company was removed from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index because its business arrangements in Myanmar are enriching the regime that carried out the illegal coup of February 2021 and which has subsequently killed hundreds of protesting citizens. The operations of Adani Ports have caused protests by indigenous groups, fishing communities, human-rights campaigners and other citizens across two continents. Adani's ports are an instrumental part of the Group's intention to double its coal power-generating capacity and to open huge new coal mines, including the infamous Carmichael mine project.

    Fishing communities protest on the water against Adani's Vizhinjam port expansion

    According to its website the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone company (APSEZ or ‘Adani Ports’) is India’s largest private port operator with operations at 12 locations in India, including the country’s largest special economic zone. Its annual report outlines its ownership of companies in Australia and Myanmar. It describes itself as ‘one of the greenest port operators in the world’, with policies to protect the coastal environment and assist local communities. Yet Adani Ports has been criticised by environmentalists, human-rights organisations, scientists and health experts for its impacts on coastal communities and the ecology they depend upon.

    This article describes the contentious operations and legacy of Adani Ports. It is divided into three sections:

    • the company’s port operations in India;
    • the company’s association with the illegal and murderous military regime in Myanmar;
    • and the company’s servicing of what is arguably the world’s most controversial coal project – the Carmichael coal mine.
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  • Tribute to a courageous campaigner against Adani’s Godda coal-power station

    On 4 May 2021, Ramjeevan Paswan, a dedicated defender of the rights of Indian indigenous farmers, passed away after contracting the COVID-19 virus. Ramjeevan had campaigned against the proposed Godda coal-power plant, the intended destination for coal from Adani’s Carmichael mine. A retired schoolteacher, he was about 66 years old.

    Ramjeevan, whose farm was compulsorily taken over by state authorities for Adani’s power plant, had challenged the controversial acquisition in the courts. He had also lodged an official complaint against his treatment by local police during the land-acquisition process. During the course of the controversy, he gave numerous interviews to media outlets, including AdaniWatch. The death of Ramjeevan came less than two and a half years after his wife, Sumitra Devi, also passed away. The trauma of losing the family’s farm, the sole source of long-term livelihood, was a contributing factor to her death.

    In February 2019, Ramjeevan and 15 other petitioners filed a case in the High Court of the Indian state of Jharkhand, asking for a stay on the Adani Group’s construction works at Godda and for the court to quash the acquisition of their lands for the power plant. The case has languished for more than two years. With the deaths of Ramjeevan and Sumitra, it is a poignant case of ‘justice delayed is justice denied’.

    In February 2019, Sumitra broke down during an emotional interview with IndiaSpend about the loss of the family land. She passed away days later.

    In February 2020, AdaniWatch visited some of the affected villages. Freelance journalist Abir Dasgupta and AdaniWatch reporter Geoff Law were met in Godda by Ramjeevan, who escorted us throughout the day. Noise and clouds of dust were emitted by Adani’s machinery just over a fence from the villagers’ crops. The hulking skeleton of the Godda power station was taking shape 500 metres away, on land that three years earlier had been cultivated for corn, cauliflower, lentils and mangoes.

    Adani's Godda power plant devours fertile farm land. Geoff Law / AdaniWatch

    Despite the unfolding calamity over the fence, Ramjeevan and his fellow villagers conducted themselves with stoic dignity.

    ‘The land-acquisition processes have been marked by forgery, lies and intimidation,’ Ramjeevan told IndiaSpend in 2019. ‘There has to be some accountability for this.’

     

     

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  • published Adani’s burgeoning love affair with coal in Blog 2021-06-11 09:49:54 +1000

    Adani’s burgeoning love affair with coal

    On 5 June 2021, World Environment Day, Gautam Adani tweeted in favour of clean, green energy, pledging to accelerate its development. On the face of it, this is a positive statement. Dig a little deeper, however, and you find unadulterated greenwash.

    The Adani Group is wedded to coal. It is investing in new coal mines, new coal power stations, new markets for coal-fired power, and new infrastructure for transporting coal. It is doing so in Australia, India and Bangladesh. This comes on top of the Group’s set of coal mines and coal power stations that are already operating in Indonesia and India. Adani is also participating in the Indian Government’s auction of coal blocks, a process aimed at encouraging the exploitation and burning of India’s extensive untapped reserves of coal.

    The Group operates coal power stations whose capacity exceeds 12 GW. Another 7 GW of coal-fired capacity are in the pipeline. Coal mines operated by Adani extract 25 million tonnes of coal each year. An addition of 75-125 million tonnes per annum from new mines (including the infamous Carmichael mine in Queensland) is proposed. The Adani Group is investing in new coal-transport infrastructure across India and in Queensland.

    Gautam Adani's tweet on World Environment Day 2021

    Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland is notorious. But this is just one of the Adani Group’s multitude of coal-based enterprises. The list below is not necessarily comprehensive:

    Existing Adani Coal Mines (about 25 million tonnes per annum)

    Parsa East & Kanta Basan Coal Block (India)

    Situated in the Hasdeo Aranya forests of Chhattisgarh, this mine commenced production in 2013, is operated by Adani on behalf of a Rajasthan power authority, and has the capacity to extract 15 million tonnes of coal per annum. The mine has destroyed forests that are a physical and spiritual resource for the local Gond people.

    The Parsa East & Kanta Basan mine, Hasdeo forests, Chhattisgarh. Image Abir Dasgupta

    Gare Pelma-III Coal Block (India)

    Located in the midst of a dense cluster of coal mines and coal power stations in Chhattisgarh, the Gare Pelma III mine has a capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum and is operated by Adani on behalf of a state-owed electricity company. It is likely that this mine has contributed to adverse health effects that have been documented by health professionals monitoring the local population.

    Lamindo Inter Multikon Coal Mine (Indonesia)

    Located on Bunyu (North Kalimantan), a small island at the mouth of one of Borneo’s big rivers, this mine produces about 5 million tonnes of coal per annum. A community advocacy group has argued that the very existence of the mine violates a regulation aimed at protecting small islands from mining. The overall impacts of mining on the island have been blamed for degradation of water supplies, fishing resources, forests and local food production.

    Adani's coal mine on the island of Bunyu, North Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo courtesy JATAM

    Existing Adani Coal Power Stations (total capacity 12.5 GW)

    Mundra (India)

    The enormous Mundra power plant (4620 MW) is part of Adani’s sprawling port complex at Mundra (Gujarat). Operation of the power plant (with its fumes, fly ash and coal dust) has contributed to local health problems, as documented by expert reports quoted in this AdaniWatch story.

    Tiroda (India)

    Located in the state of Maharashtra, the Tiroda coal power station has a total capacity of 3300 MW.

    Kawai (India)

    The Kawai coal power station in Rajasthan has a capacity of 1320 MW.

    Udupi (India)

    The Udupi coal power station in Karnataka has a capacity of 1200 MW.

    Raipur (India)

    According to Adani's website, Adani operates a 1370MW coal-based plant near Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh.

    Raigarh (India)

    According to Adani's website, Adani operates a 600MW coal-based plant near Raigarh, part of a cluster of coal mines, coal power plants and other coal infrastructure that has been blamed for the bad health of part of the local populace.

    Existing Adani Coal Transport Infrastructure

    Abbot Point Port (Australia)

    The Abbot Point port, rebranded by Adani as the North Queensland Export Terminal, has the capacity to export 50 million tonnes of coal per annum. The terminal is 100% owned by the Adani Group, and while the company’s website studiously avoids use of the word ‘coal’, that is the main product exported. It is the proposed destination for coal from the proposed Carmichael mine via the Carmichael rail project (above). From Abbot Point, Adani’s coal would be exported to its Dhamra port in India (below).

    Dhamra Port (India)

    Situated in the north-eastern Indian state of Odisha, Adani’s Dhamra port is the intended entry point for coal from the proposed Carmichael mine. From here, the coal would be railed approximately 700 km (past many existing coal mines) to Adani’s proposed coal-fired power station at Godda (see below). The Dhamra port occurs in a tropical setting of estuaries, mangroves, islets, beaches and sandbars that comprise important habitat for the vulnerable Olive Ridley sea-turtle.

    Dhamra port (Odisha), north-east coast of India

    Mundra Port (India)

    According to Adani, Mundra is India’s largest commercial port and the ‘world’s largest import coal terminal’. The coal is imported for Adani’s Mundra power plant (see above) and for the huge coal power station owned by Tata. According to numerous reports, port construction here has destroyed great swathes of the coastal environment of the biodiverse Gulf of Kutch in the Indian state of Gujarat.

    Mormugao Port (India)

    According to Adani, Mormugao port (in the state of Goa) is a ‘fully mechanised coal-handling facility’ and a ‘strategically located coal terminal on the South-West coast of India’. Local opposition to the expansion of coal-handling facilities and coal-transport railways in the hinterland have led to passionate outbursts of protest by the people of Goa.

    Tuna Port (India)

    According to Adani, its Tuna port (Gujarat) handles coal.

    Vizag Terminal (India)

    According to Adani, the Vizag terminal in Andhra Pradesh was developed to handle steam coal and has a coal-storage yard of 25 acres.

    Krishnapatnam Port (India)

    According to Adani, the Krishnapatnam port (Andrha Pradesh) has been equipped to enable ‘faster discharge of coal cargo’.

    Proposed New Coal Mines (between 75 and 125 million tonnes per annum in total)

    The Carmichael Coal Mine (Australia)

    Located in north-central Queensland, the proposed Carmichael coal mine (under development) is currently licensed to export 10 million tonnes of coal per annum, but if the mine proceeds, this could increase to 60 million tonnes per annum (the original proposed amount). It could also pave the way for additional massive coal mines in the Galilee Basin, a giant coal deposit that is currently undeveloped. The business plan for the Carmichael mine is heavily dependent on taxpayer subsidies. However, the coal mine has effectively been subject to a boycott by financial institutions around the world, putting strain on the Adani Group’s continued support for the project. As well as the obvious and substantial climate impacts, the mine would also destroy local habitat and culturally important Country of the indigenous Wangan & Jagalingou people.

    Parsa Coal Block (India)

    According to Adani, this proposed mine in the Hasdeo Aranya forests of Chhattisgarh would produce 5 million tonnes of coal per annum.

    Kente Extension Coal Block (India)

    According to Adani, this proposed mine in the Hasdeo Aranya forests of Chhattisgarh would produce 7 million tonnes of coal per annum.

    Elephant habitat and coal country collide in the Hasdeo forests, Chhattisgarh, site of proposed new coal mines by Adani. Photo Brian Cassey, www.briancasseyphotographer.com

    Gidhmuri Paturia Coal Block (India)

    According to Adani, this proposed mine in the state of Chhattisgarh would produce 5.6 million tonnes of coal per annum.

    Gare Pelma-I Coal Block (India)

    According to Adani, this proposed mine in the state of Chhattisgarh would produce 5.6 million tonnes of coal per annum.

    Gare Pelma-II Coal Block (India)

    According to Adani, this proposed mine in the state of Chhattisgarh would produce a colossal 23 million tonnes of coal per annum. It would add prodigiously to the environmental and health impacts already documented by health professionals in the Raigarh region of Chhattisgarh.

    Talabira II & III Coal Block (India)

    According to Adani, this proposed mine located in the state of Odisha would produce an enormous 20 million tonnes of coal per annum. Development of the site has provoked opposition and protests by indigenous farmers.

    Gondulpara (sic) (India)

    According to media reports, the Adani Group won a contract for the Gondulpara (sic) coal block in the state of Jharkhand. (The relevant local town is actually called Gondalpura but a mis-spelling appears to have been perpetuated by government authorities and Adani) It is reported that the mine has geological reserves of 176 million tonnes of coal.

    Proposed New Coal Power Stations

    Godda Coal Power Station (India)

    Under construction near the town of Godda in the north-eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, the Godda power station would, if completed, be the final destination for coal from Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine (above). Located in its own ‘special economic zone’, the 1600MW plant would export power to Bangladesh under an arrangement which exempts the Adani Group from most of the customs duties and other taxes that would ordinarily apply to such developments. Reports have been published of dirty tricks and coercion used by local authorities to acquire the land from the local indigenous farmers. AdaniWatch visited villages adjacent to the Godda construction site in February 2020.

    An Adivasi (indigenous) farmer at a family grave plot - over the fence is land confiscated for Adani's Godda power plant. Photo Geoff Law

    Pench (Chhindwara) Coal Power Station (India)

    In the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the proposed 1320MW Pench power plant (otherwise known as the Chhindwara power plant) has become mired in controversy and court cases pertaining to its environmental approval and the displacement of local farmers. In 2011 and 2015, protest leaders were viciously assaulted by assailants described as ‘company goons’. Work (other than a boundary wall and some administration buildings) has yet to commence on the tainted proposal.

    Villagers (including some injured by pro-Adani assailants) march in protest at Adani's proposed Pench power station near Chhindwara. Photo courtesy KSS

    Dahej, Udupi Expansion and Kawai Expansion Coal Power Stations (India)

    Dahej (Gujarat state) is planned to be 2640 MW. The Udupi (Karnataka) expansion is planned to add 1600 MW to the existing 1200 MW. And the Kawai (Rajasthan) expansion is planned at 1600 MW. Together, these would comprise a colossal 5840 MW of expansion.

    Proposed New Coal Transport Infrastructure

    Carmichael Rail (Australia)

    Adani is building a 200-km railway to link with existing rail infrastructure in order to transport coal from its Carmichael mine (above) to its port at Abbot Point.

     


  • New Adani coal mine in central India will worsen already toxic situation

    In April 2021, the Adani Group won the right to develop another big coal deposit in central India. The proposed mine still needs environmental approval. However, if it proceeds, a region already beset by the toxic effects of a cluster of coal mines and coal-fired power stations will have to contend with even more pollution. The harmful effects on the local people, including indigenous farmers on ancestral lands, will be significant. Meanwhile, people who have defended the rights of indigenous people against the onslaught of more and more coal developments have suffered abuses at the hands of local authorities.

    The Raigarh District in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh already has at least six coal-fired power plants, seven coal mines and two coal washeries.

    According to its website, the Adani Group operates one of the coal mines in Raigarh District, the Gare Pelma-III mine. The mine is owned by the state-owned power utility and has a maximum output of five million tonnes of coal per annum. (Adani says it has pioneered the ‘mine developer and operator’ model in which it runs mines owned by other parties) The Adani-run mine occurs amidst a cluster of other large coal mines run by different operators. However, it appears that Adani’s share of the coal-mining impact in the area is about to get a whole lot bigger.

    In April 2021, it was announced that Adani Enterprises had submitted the winning bid to develop and operate the nearby Gare Pelma-II coal block, which is owned by Maharashtra State Power Generation Co Ltd (MAHAGENCO). If it proceeds, Adani will be extracting up to 23 million tonnes of coal per annum from this site, a massive amount. This would make it the biggest of all of Adani’s operating or proposed coal mines in India.

    In the central Indian district of Raigarh, pollution from coal mines and power stations is poisoning the environment and people. Image courtesy Business Standard

    In June 2019, people in the Raigarh area protested against Adani’s proposed expansion of coal mining, saying ‘at least 13 villages will be ruined if mining starts in this area. Villagers do not want to let it happen and leave their ancestral land’.

    But it’s not just the mining of coal in the Raigarh district that’s being pursued by Adani. The Group also has a major stake in coal-fired power stations.

    According to its website, Adani Power owns a 600MW coal-fired power station in the Raigarh District and a 1370-MW coal-fired power near Raipur, the state capital. A global database of coal plants run by an NGO identifies these as being the Korba West and Raikheda plants respectively. The site's interactive map shows clusters of power stations and smelters throughout the area. When the Adani Group acquired the Korba West power station, the Group founder, Gautam Adani, said Adani’s footprint was expanding in India’s coal belt and that ‘we are bullish of expanding our presence further.’

    Read more

  • Cycle for Country by W&J supporters a great success

    More than 100 people have embarked on the Tour de Carmichael – a 105-km cycle for Country through sacred Wangan & Jagalingou homelands to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine site, led by Wangan & Jagalingou man, Coedie MacAvoy, son of Cultural Custodian Uncle Adrian Burragubba.
    For the next 5 days, Coedie is leading a guided tour through Wangan & Jagalingou Country, sharing stories, culture, sites and totems, and exposing Adani’s destruction of W&J land and water first-hand.
    The Queensland Government stole Wangan and Jagalingou land, extinguished native title, and handed it over to mining giant Adani to dig their dirty coal mine. The Wangan & Jagalingou people assert their obligation to protect our homelands and culture. They remain determined to protect Country.

  • published India's tragic second wave of COVID-19 infections in Blog 2021-04-30 11:31:55 +1000

    India's tragic second wave of COVID-19 infections

    Everyone has seen media coverage of the calamity unfolding across India. The scenes of distressed patients outside hospitals and makeshift funeral pyres are horrifying. AdaniWatch sends a message of solidarity and admiration to all of our brave contributors from India, who are continuing to send reports despite the grim predicament faced by their communities.

    For those who wish to make donations to assist the people of India, a list of verified charities can be found here.

    The circumstances that have led to proliferating infections have been described in numerous stories emanating from India. Here is a selection.

    Internationally acclaimed author Arundhati Roy writes a passionate and compelling indictment of the government of Indian PM Narendra Modi in The Guardian:

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/apr/28/crime-against-humanity-arundhati-roy-india-covid-catastrophe

    A paywalled story in The Economist describes how India's giant second wave is a disaster for the rest of the world as well:

    https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/04/24/indias-giant-second-wave-is-a-disaster-for-it-and-the-world?utm_campaign=the-economist-today&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=salesforce-marketing-cloud&utm_term=2021-04-22&utm_content=article-link-1&etear=nl_today_1

    The government of Modi's BJP party is criticised for organising huge political rallies in the run-up to state elections during a perilous time:

    https://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/indian-government-criticised-for-praising-political-rallies-midway-through-covid19-second-wave/news-story/0ba15c5b0713b1bebfb3f6a73429b037

    Major political rallies are described as super-spreaders of India's calamitous second wave of COVID infections. Courtesy CNN

    More on the huge crowds at political rallies by the Japan Times, which speculates that PM Modi is losing his grip on the country:

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/04/26/asia-pacific/politics-diplomacy-asia-pacific/india-coronavirus-crisis-modi/

    PM Modi is accused of being a 'super spreader' of the virus in a story published in The Wire:

    https://thewire.in/government/pm-modi-a-super-spreader-responsible-for-covid-second-wave-imas-navjot-dahiya

    A month ago, medical experts warned that an impending series of political rallies could cause a severe outbreak of new infections in West Bengal:

    https://indianexpress.com/article/india/doctors-fear-bengal-is-heading-towards-severe-outbreak-of-second-wave-of-covid-7253216/

    And the Guardian's article describes the 'triumphalism' and complacency that led to the catastrophic second wave:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/29/we-are-not-special-how-triumphalism-led-india-to-covid-19-disaster?utm_term=c7e43f60d2c6e467784353b3149298e4&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayAUS&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTAU_email

    The Morning Context describes the absence of a plan by the Modi government to tackle the crisis:

    https://themorningcontext.com/chaos/why-india-cant-get-a-grip-on-covids-second-surge/?utm_source=daily_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TMC&mc_cid=23138f14b1&mc_eid=06e1989765


  • 'Tour de Carmichael' - ride with Coedie in Wangan and Jagalingou country against Adani's mine

    Dear Friend,

    Waddamuli

    ngadyu narri coedie

    My name is coedie

    ngadyu dannga Wirdi

    My language is Wirdi

    ngadyu yamba nani wanggan yagalinggu

    My homelands are the wangan and jagalingou

    ngaya wandu-na wadirra bama gayu wurba-gu ngadyu yamba nani

    I'm asking every man and woman to come to my homelands

    yina dalgayu gundarra ngali gara banggayn

    This is a big fight and we're not afraid

    ngali wurba-na

    We're coming.

    In less than a month, I’ll be standing on Country with all of you for the Tour De Carmichael – Cycle for Country, a 5-day guided tour to learn more about my culture under the stars on Wangan and Jagalingou Country.

    For many of you that have been fighting to stop Adani’s coal mine for so long in your communities and on the streets, this is a chance to get up close and personal with Adani’s construction site and expose the damage they are doing to our sacred lands and waters, as we cycle very slowly together along the main road that services Adani’s mine construction.

    Along the journey, we’ll be stopping and sharing the significance of our Totems, Twin Hills, the Belyando, the Carmichael River and the importance of our sacred Doongmabulla Springs and other dreaming stories. You’ll be invited to the camp and ceremonial ground that I set up for a smoking ceremony in August last year where you’ll be part of some great yarns and teachings.

    Sign up to learn more about the Tour De Carmichael – Cycle for Country, May 3-7 on Wangan and Jagalingou Country.

    Already more than 50 people have registered to cycle with me – I hope you can join us.

    Tour De Carmichael – Cycle for Country: May 3-7 on Wangan and Jagalingou land

    What: A 5-day, 105-km guided cycle-tour led by Traditional Owner Coedie, son of Adrian Burragubba, to learn about Wangan and Jagalingou culture and see what’s at risk from Adani’s destructive mega coal mine. The tour is family-friendly, COVID safe and a lawful event. We will have support vehicles driving behind that will carry water, food and camping gear.

    When: Monday 3 May – Friday 7 May. 

    Where: Wangan and Jagalingou Country in central Queensland. The Tour is 105 km, taking place along the 85-km public road that services Adani’s mine construction – from the Gregory Hwy to the entrance of Adani's construction site, via a Wangan and Jagalingou ceremonial ground, with a 20-km extension to Doongmabulla Springs. 

    Registrations for the Tour are now open and close on Sunday 25th April.

    Sign up to learn how you can join the tour or help from home.

    There are plenty of important ways to be part of it, even if you’re not up for riding. Check out all the information on the Tour website here (where you can also register to confirm your place on the Tour if you are ready to take that step) and then sign up for updates here.

    For nine years we have said NO to Adani’s toxic coal mine that will rip the heart out of our Country and destroy our songlines. 

    We, as Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners of the Galilee basin, are continuing to fight. Join me in the next stage of the battle at the Tour De Carmichael – sign up to learn more.

    I’ll see you on my homelands in May,

    Coedie, Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owner

    P.S. Oh and please click click "GOING" on the Facebook event to demonstrate support for the event. If you can’t make it but want to support from home you can also chip in to cover the costs of the tour here.


  • International finance campaign against Adani’s coal mine continues to bite

    BREAKING (TUESDAY 13 APRIL 2021): Dow Jones dumps @AdaniPorts from its sustainability index. Business arrangement with Myanmar military company creates toxic reputation. This is a big rebuke to Adani from an international ratings agency! 

    Meanwhile, India’s biggest state-owned bank is wary of lending Adani money for its Queensland coal mine, according to a report in the Indian media. The list of international insurers avoiding the contentious mine continues to grow and has reached 33. The Adani Group’s business links with Myanmar’s brutal military are attracting more international criticism. And protests against the Carmichael coal mine have recently ramped up.

    Dow Jones's dumping of Adani from its sustainability index has received widespread international coverage. The campaigners at Market Forces are urging people to contact the remaining investors of Adani Ports here.

    The State Bank of India (SBI), owned by the people of India, has been torn for several months over whether to loan a billion dollars to the Adani Group for its Carmichael mine, or whether to give the controversial project a wide berth. In early April 2021, it was reported that the bank was ‘dragging its feet’ on deciding whether to provide the loan. The story was taken up by Bloomberg Green and in Australia.

    The bank’s wariness is not surprising, given the barrage of warnings and criticism it copped when news of the potential loan broke in last November. French finance giant Amundi threatened to divest from the SBI’s green bonds. And in April 2021, it was reported that a Norwegian ‘bond vigilante’ had warned relevant SBI investors of the reputational risk involved in backing Adani’s climate-wrecking coal mine.

    The SBI’s tortured deliberations have occurred as more and more international insurers rule out providing services to the infamous coal mine. In early April, it was reported that another leading Lloyds insurance company has ruled out backing Carmichael, taking the total number of insurers saying ‘no’ to 33.

    Meanwhile, the business arrangement between Adani Ports and a company owned by the Myanmar military continues to grow in notoriety. In early April, the New Zealand Super Fund was slammed by the NZ Greens for its investment in Adani Ports. Members of NZ’s two major political parties have also publicly responded to the issue, in stark contrast with the lame justifications issued by their Australian counterparts when a similar investment by Australia’s Future Fund was brought to their attention. Defenders of humanity in Myanmar have called for an international boycott of Myanmar’s military companies by all forms of investor.

    No such squeamishness was displayed by Australian citizens taking on Adani in repeated protests against the Carmichael mine. Their bravery in the face of violent reactions and state severity is an inspiring example to the nation.

    Citizens of Myanmar protest against coup by vicious military

    https://www.marketforces.org.au/adani-ports-removed-from-dow-jones-sustainability-index/


  • Adani Ports' links to Myanmar military lead to call for investor boycott

    MEDIA RELEASE BY AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE & JUSTICE FOR MYANMAR, 30 March 2021

    Pressure builds on Adani Ports investors as new report reveals Adani Ports paid tens of millions to Myanmar military company. Human rights groups call on Adani Ports’ investors to divest

    A new report by the Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ) and Justice For Myanmar (JFM) exposes shocking new links between Adani Ports, and the Myanmar military owned company Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC). Last week, the United States imposed targeted financial sanctions against MEC and another Myanmar military conglomerate, MEHL.

    The report ‘Port of Complicity: Adani Ports in Myanmar’ publishes leaked documents establishing for the first time the amount paid by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited’s (Adani Ports) Myanmar subsidiary, the Adani Yangon International Terminal Company Limited, which is constructing a container port in Yangon on military owned land. The Adani Ports subsidiary paid a minimum of US$30 million in land lease fees to MEC and a further US$22 million in land clearance fees.

    The report publishes explosive photos of Adani CEO Karan Adani exchanging gifts with the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar military,  Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, in a tour of Mundra Port in India in July 2019. At the time of his visit, the Senior General was barred from visiting the United States because of the military’s atrocities against the Rohingya ethnic minority. Further targeted sanctions, including financial sanctions, against the Senior General were imposed by the USA, Canada, the UK and the EU for his role in the military’s serious human rights abuses, and the recent military coup. The photos contradict Adani Ports’ February 2021 statement that deny engagement with military leadership.

    Adani's port development, Yangon, on land owned by a company owned by the Myanmar military

     

    The damning revelations exposing Adani Ports’ financial transactions with the MEC have prompted calls for major investors like HSBC, Norges Bank, BlackRock, PGGP and TIAA among others, to immediately sever ties with Adani Ports.

    Building on the legal analysis of the UN Human Rights Council’s International Independent Fact-Finding Mission Report in 2019, the report warns that investments in companies who partner with the MEC can help finance the activities of the Myanmar military. These activities  include systematic and widespread human rights abuses, some of which amount to atrocity crimes and are the subject of investigations by international tribunals.

    Foreign investments also facilitate endemic corruption which has allowed the military to channel crucial funds away from the public purse. The military led a violent coup on 1 February toppling the democratically elected civilian government, which has resulted in mass repression and the killings of over 250 peaceful demonstrators, and the arbitrary detention of thousands.

    The report also finds that contrary to claims made by Adani Ports, the Yangon port operation is connected to its Australia operation through shared management. In Australia, Adani Ports’ direct ties to the controversial Carmichael coal project were recently exposed. Adani Ports owns the Bowen Rail Company which will operate the coal haulage from Adani’s Carmichael mine to its port on the Great Barrier Reef.

    The groups warn that investors in Adani Ports are not only supporting Adani’s business dealings with the MEC and the Myanmar military but could also be supporting the funding of critical elements of Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal project.

    Pressure is building on Adani Ports investors with major bondholder PIMCO cutting ties with Adani Ports this week over its links to Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal project. The release of the damning new report also comes as the Adani Ports inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index is being reviewed after campaigners raised concerns over its links with the Myanmar military and the Carmichael coal project.

    Yadanar Maung, spokesperson for Justice For Myanmar says:

    “Adani Ports has continued its business in Myanmar, despite an illegal military coup, and the military’s ongoing crimes against humanity. Adani Ports’ business partner in Myanmar, now sanctioned by the US, is committing crimes against humanity as they deliberately kill peaceful protesters, torture detainees and steal public assets. Adani Ports’ stands complicit in the military’s atrocities and corruption through their direct payments to a military conglomerate. Despite repeated calls, Adani Ports has failed to take action by cutting ties with the criminal Myanmar military. We therefore call on Adani Ports’ shareholders and creditors to uphold their human rights responsibilities by cutting ties with Adani Ports for its continued business with the criminal junta. Stand with the people of Myanmar.”

    Ahsan Ul-Haque from the Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia says:

    “The images of Adani Ports hosting the Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in Mundra, India less than two years after the General led a campaign of ethnic cleansing against my people shows that Adani Ports is willing to disregard human rights in pursuit of business profits. Businesses who continue to indirectly support the military through making deals with their companies assist in shielding the military from accountability. It’s time to hold such businesses accountable in the same light. We call on investors to immediately divest from Adani Ports.”

    Former Member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, and Member of the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar, Chris Sidoti said:

    “The report establishes the links between the Myanmar military and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, which is intimately involved in the Carmichael coal project in Queensland. The question for Australia and Australians is whether we want to be hosting a company that is contributing to the enrichment of the Myanmar military. The question for investors in Adani is whether they want to fund the operations of the Myanmar military, because that is what they are doing indirectly by investing in Adani. This is a question also for sovereign wealth funds and pension funds that should have a highly ethical basis for their investment decisions.”

    Rawan Arraf, Executive Director at the Australian Centre for International Justice said: 

    “We’ve studied several statements from Adani Ports since May 2019 regarding its deal in Myanmar involving the MEC and we have no confidence it will uphold its obligations to respect human rights and disengage from Myanmar. It has been put on notice publicly by the UN on several occasions. At each turn it has denied or obfuscated its commercial operations in Myanmar.”

    “Adani Ports has had plenty of time to consider and review its operations in Myanmar. While other major multinational corporations are moving to suspend their operations in Myanmar, Adani Ports appears to have dug in its heels. And that’s appalling. If doing business with those accused of genocide does not trigger a fundamental revaluation of your business, one would have thought, that when your business partner stages a violent coup – that would be the final straw. From our point of view, Adani’s actions or omissions show that it doesn’t care about the human rights impacts of its deal in Myanmar. That’s why we’re calling on governments, investors and shareholders to act and divest from Adani Ports. By doing this, investors are showing that they support and stand with the people in Myanmar in their struggle to end the abuses and economic control of the military.”

    Labels showing the Myanmar general with key Adani personnel

    Pablo Brait, campaigner with Market Forces said:

    “Investors and bond arrangers like Barclays and BlackRock should not be risking their reputations by supporting a company that is so mired in controversy. Adani Ports’ role in the Carmichael thermal coal project – a project that will fuel the climate crisis and the extreme weather it is causing – shows it is not a responsible or ethical company. When you add its reported links to the Myanmar military you get a picture of a company with a very concerning environmental, social and governance risk profile.”

    Links between Adani Ports, Myanmar military and investors. Courtesy Australian Council for International Justice

    Footage of the Senior General of the Myanmar military meeting and exchanging gifts with Adani Ports CEO Karan Adani is available here.

    Media Contact: 

    Australian Centre for International Justice: Rawan Arraf, 0450 708 870  

    Justice For Myanmar, [email protected] 

     

     

    Read more

  • Prominent human-rights campaigner and opponent of Adani mine jailed by Indian authorities

    On 9 March 2021, Hidme Markam, a respected human-rights defender and a leader of a local anti-mining movement, was effectively abducted by the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. She was taken by police at an International Women’s Day event where she was speaking on behalf of several young women who have lost their lives as a consequence of brutal sexual violence committed by the police and security forces. She is also a staunch opponent of an Adani-operated iron-ore mine at a mountain sacred to indigenous (Adivasi) people.

    The incarceration of Hidme Markam is yet another blow to freedom of speech in India. People objecting to her detention can sign a letter of solidarity here. Supporters of Hidme are also urged to write to the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh: [email protected]

    Detailed stories of Hidme’s contribution to protection of the environment and women’s rights have been published by Survival International and Article14.

    The police eventually stated that they had arrested Hidme on multiple charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).  However, these charges appear to have been concocted post-facto. The police statement of the charge against her is riddled with contradictions. The name used in the documents does not match that of Hidme, a respected public figure whose work is entirely in the public eye, and who has met with police and other officials on numerous occasions to raise cases of human-rights abuses.

    Hidme Markam is a leader in the resistance against the Bailadila iron-ore mine which will destroy the Nandraj hill, sacred to the local Indigenous people.  Mining in the area by the Adani Group and others would also result in severe ecological damage to the local forest, land and water and is a grave breach of Adivasi constitutional rights. The issue has received widespread media coverage.

    Villagers protest Bailadila iron-ore mine in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh. Courtey Scroll.In

    As a member of the Chhattisgarh Mahila Adhikar Manch, Hidme has been present in numerous public spaces and meetings in Chhattisgarh, asserting the constitutional rights of Adivasi women, especially against displacement and state repression.  As convenor of the Jail Bandi Rihai Committee (Committee for Release of Prisoners), she has been vocal in the demand for the release of thousands of innocent Adivasis implicated and incarcerated in false cases.

    Hidme is respected by local officials and has had formal meetings with the Governor, Chief Minister and Superintendent of Police to demand the release of arrested Adivasis, an end to construction of para-military camps in the region, and a halt to mining.

    Read more

  • published Adani Hot Spots Proliferate as Controversies Grow in Blog 2021-03-04 09:18:56 +1100

    Adani Hot Spots Proliferate as Controversies Grow

    See below for the interactive map (above image is an illustration only).

    As the Adani Group's businesses proliferate, the group's geographic footprint has enlarged accordingly.

    The tentacles of the sprawling Adani Group reach into more and more aspects of the lives on people in India, including coal mines, power stations, ports, edible oils, airports, defence industries, solar power, real estate and gas. Adani in Australia is attempting to open up the vast coal deposits of Queensland's Galilee Basin. Adani in Indonesia is excavating huge quantities of coal from a tiny island off the coast of Borneo. Adani in Myanmar is developing a large container port next to the Yangon River - on land leased from a company owned by Myanmar's brutal military.

    The interactive map of Adani's hot spots has been updated to show locations featured in recent stories, such as the East Container Terminal at Sri Lanka's port of Columbo, the immense array of solar panels on farmland at Kamuthi in Tamil Nadu, and the Gondulpara coal block in Jharkhand. It also shows sites featured in numerous stories about the Godda power station and Hasdeo forests.


  • published Ben Pennings takes on Adani in Supreme Court in Blog 2021-03-02 09:27:53 +1100

    Ben Pennings takes on Adani in Supreme Court

    UPDATE THURSDAY 4 MARCH 2021:

    Following Tuesday's Supreme Court hearing, Ben Pennings thanked his crowdfunder donors and legal team.

    'Thanks to my legal crowdfunder donors, my 4 excellent lawyers clearly outshone Adani's 6 lawyers. As expected, the judge reserved her decision. But I'm more than hopeful I'll get the particulars of the case against me that Adani are currently trying to withhold.

    'It was amazing to see the #StopAdani support outside the Supreme Court. My heart swelled, especially after seeing video footage of my eldest daughter bravely addressing the crowd and media scrum.'

     

    TUESDAY 2 MARCH 2021:

    Prominent Stop Adani activist Ben Pennings is taking Adani to the Supreme Court today, arguing Adani should not be permitted to withhold key particulars of the civil case they have brought against him.

    Adani is suing Mr Pennings for alleged breach of confidence, inducing breaches of contract and conspiring with others to commit unlawful acts, amongst other things. Each of these claims is based on Mr Pennings having allegedly received Adani’s confidential information. Together they make up at least two thirds of the total claim, as well as underpinning the temporary injunction against Mr Pennings. 

    Adani wants the Supreme Court to make broad confidentiality orders in the court case. These orders would permanently ban Ben’s lawyers from telling him what confidential information Adani says he’s already received. Ben’s legal team will be saying to the Court that he will have a fundamental difficulty in defending the case if those orders are made. Kiera Peacock, partner of Marque Lawyers, said:

    “Adani says Ben has taken its confidential information, but won’t tell him what that information actually is. This creates a real tension with Ben’s fundamental right to natural justice, to know the case he has to defend. That is the tension the parties will be asking the court to resolve.” 

    Mr Pennings said: 

    'It’s impossible to defend myself against a multi-billionaire if Adani withholds details of its case against me. 

    'Adani originally followed my wife to work and our child to primary school in failed attempts to search our family home. I need to know what exactly Adani says I did wrong, so that I can actually defend this case and end the ongoing pain this is causing my family.'

    Greens MP Michael Berkman and Ben’s eldest daughter Isabella will be available to the media at the court solidarity event organised by Stop Adani Brisbane. Ben will hold a press conference after the day in court as needed. 

    When: Tuesday March 2, 9:15am

    Where: Supreme Court of Queensland - 415 George St, Brisbane City

    Contact: Ben Pennings on 0418 164 014

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Wilderness conservationist, author and bushwalker, partner of Amanda Sully, father of Elliott. 2010 Churchill Fellow.