Soja Kotha Desk report: It was revealed that the London Stock Exchange is likely to investigate into the alleged activities of Global Coal Management Resources PLC, known as GCM, which formerly traded as Asia Energy on Phulbari coal mine project in Dinajpur.
GCM is listed in the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investors Market and the UK branch of the National Committee to Protect Natural Resources of Bangladesh had been protesting for long to press home their demand to investigate against GCM and delist it from the LSE.
On the 14th anniversary of Phulbari Tragedy Day on August 26, the committee staged a demonstration in front of the LSE and offered memorandums to the LSE and Financial Conduct Authority of UK.
‘The LSE informed us that they would initiate the process of investigation against GCM,’ said Dr Akhter Sobhan Khan Masroor, the committee’s member secretary.
He said that the FCA acknowledged their memorandum. In the memorandums, the committee urged all concerned to stop GCM from selling shares in the project since they did not have any valid or legal permission to mine at Phulbari and did not hold any asset there.
They drew the attention of all relevant authorities regarding the human rights abuse, trampling of democratic freedoms and environmental damage that would ensue if a massive open-cast mine was built in Phulbari.
‘We urgently remind the authorities that the Bangladesh Government has refused to renew the company’s licence in 2010 and therefore it is wholly inappropriate and “illegal” to trade in shares relating to that project,’ the memorandum said.
‘We can assure you that London Stock Exchange takes very seriously allegations relating to companies listed on our markets that could impact the integrity and reputation of those markets. In this context, AIM Regulation considers all enquiries as regards the conduct of AIM companies in respect of their compliance with the AIM Rules for companies and takes action where appropriate,’ the email reply from LSE said on Tuesday.
It, however, said that their remit did not extend to the investigation of alleged human rights abuses or alleged environmental damages arising from commercial activities.
On August 26, 2006, three demonstrators — Amin, Salaken and Tarequl — were shot dead and hundreds of people injured when Bangladesh Rifles (now Border Guard Bangladesh) personnel opened fire to disperse the protesters against Asia Energy’s move to go for open-pit coal mining at Phulbari in Dinajpur.
The observers said, if London Stock exchange carried out the investigation then it will be a milestone development in the movement of save energy and environment in Bangladesh.