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World News | Protests force Norwegian energy minister to cancel UK trip


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COPENHAGEN, March 1 (AP) – Norway’s energy minister canceled a visit to the United Kingdom on Wednesday after protesters against a wind farm said it hindered the rights of the Sami indigenous people to herd reindeer in Norway’s Arctic.

Activists, mainly teenagers, have been blocking the entrances to several ministries in the Norwegian capital since Monday.

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The wind farm is still operating despite Norway’s Supreme Court ruling in October 2021 that the construction of the wind turbines violated the rights of the Sami people, who protested the centuries-old wind farm.

Activist Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that they had “upped a few more notches. We have already said that we will close Norway sector by sector.”

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A dozen activists, including Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, were forcibly removed from the finance ministry on Wednesday. Some of them chanted “Let the mountains live”, Norwegian news agency NTB said.

Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Aasland “has chosen to reschedule his schedule and therefore will not travel to the UK as planned,” his office said.

He was due to start a two-day visit with Norway’s crown prince and his wife on Wednesday. He will be succeeded by Foreign Minister Aniken Whitfield, the ministry said.

On Tuesday, Aasland spoke to activists, some of whom wore traditional brightly colored Sami clothing, and said the government would make “new decisions” on the wind farm, but he could not give any specifics “until we have enough evidence.” . knowledge base. “

That angered activists, who said in a statement that “after Terje Aasland’s usual empty talk, our will to fight will only grow stronger.”

Activists have been protesting outside the Energy Ministry since Thursday. On Tuesday, they began blocking entrances to other ministries.

In a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Jose Francisco Cali Tzay, Norway’s Sami Parliament urged the UN agency to “consider communicating with the Norwegian authorities”.

In a letter posted on the parliament’s website, Speaker Silje Karine Mutoka said: “The windmill must be removed and the area restored to reindeer grazing.”

The 39-seat Sametinget is the Norwegian representative body of the Sami people living in Lapland, which stretches from northern Norway through Sweden and Finland to Russia.

They used to face cultural oppression, including banning the use of their mother tongue. Today, nomads mostly live a modern lifestyle but still keep reindeer. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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