Claiming that Tamils in Sri Lanka are being treated like “second class citizens”, DMK chief M Karunanidhi has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that New Delhi should move a resolution in the UN General Assembly and the UNHRC for “bestowing rights” to Lankan Tamils to “decide a political solution by themselves”.He has also asked the government to employ “all possible diplomatic strategies” to drum up support for the resolution. He has said the UN protocol on refugees should be followed in India. He has also asked the Centre to send a team to Sri Lanka to monitor use of Rs 500-crore rehabilitation aid, avoid training Sri Lankan defence personnel and ensure steps to “protect” Indian fisherman from attacks by Sri Lankan Navy.Karunanidhi has said India should “play its primary role” in implementing the solutions, including release of imprisoned Tamils, free and safe homecoming for the overseas Sri Lankan Tamils, and restoring Tamil tradition and culture. In his letter, Karunanidhi has demanded that all Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in India should be granted Indian citizenship or permanent resident status. The DMK chief’s letter, handed over to the Prime Minister by a delegation of DMK MPs led by its parliamentary party leader T R Baalu today, contained demands which were part of the resolutions adopted at the controversial conference his party organised in Chennai earlier this month to highlight the plight of Tamils in Lanka. “The camps and even the localities where Tamils live today are more like military controlled areas with the presence of Army personnel all over the Tamil traditional homeland. Lacking in civic facilities, Sri Lankan Tamils have no democratic space to air their grievances, speak out and protest peacefully. The situation is such that they live in constant fear of apprehension and anguish,” he wrote. (Indian Express)
Building on its members’ commitment to addressing climate change, The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) introduced its recently launched climate change program at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa. It is presented three new publications and hosted two on-site events that highlight the role of the mining industry in tackling the climate change challenge.John Drexhage, Director, Climate Change, ICMM, says: “The UNFCCC COP17 meeting is an important event for ICMM. Introducing our climate change program to a wide international audience and to key stakeholders is vital for bringing progress to the global policy debate around climate change.”He adds: “The mining and metals industry accounts for roughly 2% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Our member companies recognise their responsibility to address climate change effectivelyand to contribute to carbon emission reductions.”The series of three publications share insights from the perspective of the mining and metals industry on three issues important to climate change policy formation. The material is available in PDFformat and can be downloaded from the ICMM website: http://www.icmm.com/library.InBrief: Competiveness implications for mining and metals addresses the challenges the industry faces in responding to national carbon pricing policies.InBrief: The role of mining and metals in land use and adaptation focuses on the role of mining and metals companies in sustainable land and water management.InBrief: Measurement, reporting and verification and the mining and metal industry analyses the currently decentralised MRV system and likely future ‘patchwork’ of different national, regional and sub-sector specific rules that affect the mining and metals industry.ICMM members have a strong record of pioneering sustainable mining practices and developing carbon-efficient technologies. Three examples of how ICMM members have taken action on tacklingclimate change include:Gold Fields’ innovative carbon credits scheme at its Beatrix mine has just been registered with the UNFCCC. The South African Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project will result in reduced emissions of 1.7 Mt CO2 by 2018. Carbon credit revenues enabled Gold Fields to extract methane gas at source, which the company is now looking to use to generate electricity.Vale created the Vale Florestar project, where an area of over 300,000 ha of degraded land of the Brazilian Amazon is being reforested with 90,000 native and exotic trees. The sustainable development project will make significant social, economic and environmental contributions in the Amazon region.Anglo American invested almost $US100 million in a water reclamation plant to treat underground water from its mining operations in the Witbank coalfield. The plant located in eMalahleni supplies 20% of the daily water for 400,000 inhabitants of this water-stressed area.