Current Controversy

While searching for some current events going on in Australia with the Aborigines, I was shocked and saddened to find this article.

“A mining company has been accused of deliberately desecrating an Aboriginal sacred site in central Australia by setting off an explosion that split the rocky outcrop containing the site in half.” -reported by Natasha Robinson

So, according to http://www.TheAustralian.com, a mining company that digs for manganese was carrying out their business in an area in central Australia that holds cultural significance to the country’s native people. The official name of the site, “Two Women Sitting Down,” is said to be inspired by two spirits, Bilgara and Kaladaku. These two female spirits are believed to exist in dreams where they fight with one another. Natives also believe that the color of the rock and sand in the area of destruction is red because of the ‘bloody battles’ between Bilgara and Kaladaku.

Now, I’m not a scholar when it comes to mining practices and guidelines. But from this article I am able to gather that there are, in fact, Aboriginal liaison committees that require corporate and commercial cooperation – alliteration not intended. The mining company, OM Manganese, was “issued a clearance” to mine among the sacred sites, but only because of certain restrictions that they were supposed to operate within while working in those areas. Apparently, they acted outside of that agreement and wound up making a huge crater where a very special site now used to exist.

It seems to me that corporations and bureaucratic organizations, when given an inch, always take another mile – and then blow it up, either figuratively or, in this case, quite literally. It’s unfortunate for those who are hurt by these actions, but at the same time, it serves as constant motivation to form an opposition and work toward honorably upholding a unique and meaningful culture.

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