Rio Tinto in Serbia: Match point?

Published by MAC on 2021-12-09
Source: The Bridge, First Sportz

“Clean air, water and food are keys to one’s health”, said Novak Djokovic.

Thousands of protesters have taken the streets of the Serbian cities of Loznica and Belgrade over recent months, over the mining contract given by the Serbian government to Rio Tinto for the extraction of Lithium. They say they are witnessing an unfolding disaster in the country’s “breadbasket”, the Jadar valley, responsible for around a fifth of total agricultural production. Critics have accused President Aleksandar Vučić’s government of setting the stage for illegal land appropriations and ignoring environmental concerns. A petition against the mine has more than 130,000 signatures.

Previous coverage:

2021-09-17 Thousands of Serbians call for Rio Tinto to be expelled from the country
2021-04-15 Serbia: Thousands demand government action to stop mining pollution
2020-12-04 Discontent over Rio Tinto’s jadarite mine grow louder in Serbia

Novak Djokovic backs the growing protests in Serbia over the Rio Tinto mining

Novak Djokovic supports the growing protests in Belgrade as the Serbians continue to oppose Rio Tinto mining company and the government.

Sarthak Shitole

https://firstsportz.com/tennis-novak-djokovic-backs-the-growing-protests-in-serbia-over-the-rio-tinto-mining/

December 5, 2021

World No. 1 on the ATP Tour, Novak Djokovic‘s 2021 season came to an end after the pair of Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic lost to the Croatian pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic that ended Serbia’s campaign in the semi-finals of the 2021 Davis Cup Finals. Novak however remained unbeaten during the singles matches he played in the Finals.

As the 20-time Grand Slam champion now proceeds to get some well-deserved rest, he also raised his voice of concern amidst the growing protests in Belgrade over the mining contract given by the government to Rio Tinto company that plans to extract Lithium, which in return would be harmful to the environment and the citizens feel the government is overlooking the health for economic benefits.

Belgrade saw major highways and roads blocked by the protestors while the smaller cities also demonstrated in a similar manner against the government of President Aleksandar Vucic’s. Novak also took to his Instagram handle where he uploaded a photo of the protests and wrote in the native language voicing support for the protestors.

“Clean air, water and food are keys to one’s health. Without it, talking about ‘health’ makes no sense,” wrote Djokovic on the photo he uploaded on his Instagram stories.

After Serbia’s exit from the Davis Cup, everyone was just waiting for the confirmation from Novak whether he will play at the upcoming 2022 Australian Open which would also mean he would need to disclose his vaccination status, for which he has refused to comment on citing it is a very personal thing and it is not right to ask him about something so personal.

Speaking with the journalists, Djokovic said, “I’ve been very, very tired all season, exhausted, so now I have to focus on a time to spend some quality time with my family. Then we’ll see what the future holds.”


Novak Djokovic takes stand for protesters in Serbia

Serbia has been rocked by protests as anger swells over a government-backed plan to allow a mining company to extract lithium in the country.

https://thebridge.in/tennis/novak-djokovic-serbia-mining-protests-27172

Dec 4, 2021

Novak Djokovic has taken a stand in support of protesters in Serbia who are raising opposition to an upcoming government project. Major roads and highways have been blocked across Serbia since Saturday as anger swells over a plan to allow a mining company to extract lithium in the country.

Djokovic took to his Instagram handle where he uploaded a photo of the protests against the Serbian government’s plans and wrote in his native language:

“Clean air, water and food are keys to health. Without that, every word about ‘health’ is obsolete.”

Novak Djokovic posted support of protests in Serbia against Rio Tinto mining.

“Clean air, water & food are the keys to health. Without it, every word about health is redundant. Nature is our mother. We spend more time in nature. With her and in her, our lives are richer.” pic.twitter.com/mxINhbzQyy

“Clean air, water & food are the keys to health. Without it, every word about health is redundant. Nature is our mother. We spend more time in nature. With her and in her, our lives are richer.”

“Given the current civil protests throughout Serbia that indicate the need for a serious and concrete approach to important environmental issues, I decided to address the public, convinced of the great importance of these topics for all of us,” wrote the World No. 1 on his Instagram story.

Djokovic stated that he has always tried to be apolitical but that the current protests transcend the realm of politics. “I am aware that there are other demands that are heard at the protest, which have a political connotation. I want to distance myself from ‘position’ and ‘opposition’, political currents of any kind. I have always tried to be APOLITICAL. It bothers me that a person cannot emphasize his personal position and opinion on the basic elements for life and health such as Air, Water and Food without being “marked” as a leftist, rightist, oppositionist, democrat, progressive, socialist etc,” he said.

“I hear comments – that an athlete ‘interferes where he doesn’t belong’, but I am a man before I’m an athlete or anything. Like everyone else.

“Air quality in Belgrade (and throughout Serbia) is worryingly poor, for decades,” he pointed out. “The quality of water and food is also questionable. These are the basic elements for human health and ecosystems,” he said.

SOURCE: http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=14661

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