June 24, 2009

Tibet: Protests Over China's Mining Project in Tibet

Active ImageTibetans and Chinese authorities clash in protest against the government’s initiative to block irrigation for water Gyama residents, leaving 3 Tibetans seriously injured.

 

 

Below is an article published by Tibet.net :

At least 3 Tibetans were seriously wounded after clashes broke over attempts by Chinese authorities to divert the Gyama river to a mining site, blocking irrigation water for the residents of Gyama township in Meldro Gungkar county near Lhasa. The incident took place on 20 June [2009], sources said.

One of the seriously injured person, who was denied admission by a county hospital, has been referred to another hospital in Lhasa and it is not known whether he is dead or alive.

The sources attribute the incident to mining project started by the Chinese government in Gyama County in 1990, for which a large number of Chinese miners have been sent to the area.

Recently, the Tibetan residents approached the local government protesting the diversion of Gyama river, which is used for irrigation, to a mining site. As the authorities refused to consider their appeal, the residents clashed with a group of Chinese miners on 20 June [2009].

Following the incident, two or three Tibetans representing each family from the thirteen farming communities, protested in front of the local government office.

Subsequently, the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region dispatched a group senior authorities, head of the county, staff members and some security forces to the region on 21 June [2009]. The authorities summoned the local residents for a meeting during which the angry residents cried and demanded an end to the mining activities.

The residents strongly criticized the government for its refusal to stop the mining project, which resulted in deaths of more than 1000 domestic and wild animals, and drying up of pastures and poisoning of drinking water caused by toxic waste.

The residents said if the mining project is not halted, either they would move to another area to live or if they are allowed to do so, then they want all the miners to move out. After hours of intense discussion, a large number of Chinese mining team along with security forces left the area on 21 June [2009]. The protest in front of the government office continued till next day.