A WikiLeaked cable from US embassy, Dhaka shows that Moriarty urged Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, the prime minister’s energy adviser, to authorise coal mining in Phulbari, saying that ‘open-pit mining seemed the best way forward’ (Guardian, December 21).
But for whom? He privately noted that ‘Asia Energy, the company behind the Phulbari project, has sixty percent US investment. Asia Energy officials told the Ambassador they were cautiously optimistic that the project would win government approval in the coming months.’
According to the cables, Chowdhury admitted to Moriarty that the coal mine was ‘politically sensitive in the light of the impoverished, historically oppressed tribal community residing on the land’ but agreed to build support for the project through the parliamentary process.
Asia Energy is owned by London-based GCM Resources.
See http://www.defence.pk/forums/bangladesh-defence/86229-wikileaks-bangladesh-asia-energy-gcm-govt-collaboration.html.