Protest against GCM’s Phulbari project
The London-based GCM Resources Plc (formerly Asia Energy) has announced the formation of a new board of directors headed by Polo Resources Limited Managing Director Michael Tang.
The change in the board of directors has been made after the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) agreed last month to consider complaints of human rights violation against GCM in the process of its planned coalmine exploration in Phulbari in northern Bangladesh.
The acceptance of the complaints by OECD for investigation into the alleged human rights violation at Phulbari coalmine site dealt a serious blow to GCM, which has been struggling since late 1990s to get government approval for exploration of the coalmine with an estimated reserve of 572 million tonnes of high-quality bituminous coal. The complaints lodged by the International Accountability Project and the World Development Movement alleged that the planned exploration of Phulbari coalmine would violate the human rights of indigenous people from 23 different tribal groups, and destroy nearly 12,000 acres of Bangladesh’s most fertile and productive farmland, according to recent media reports. GCM appealed to the OECD to reject the complaints, but the UK National Contact Point, the governmental body that addresses violations of the OECD guidelines by British companies abroad, has agreed to pursue the issue.