立場新聞 Stand News

China’s Hunger for Minerals Continues to Threaten Livelihood of Tibetans

2016/5/17 — 11:18

In recent days, news reports emerged from Tibetan regions about land-grabbing for mining and water contamination with chemicals leaked from mining.

Images coming out of Karze (Chi: Ganzi) prefecture in Sichuan province on May 4 show a group of ordinary Tibetans protesting against Chinese mining company Ganzizhou Rongda Lithium that had contaminated the river with chemicals and as a result countless fish in the river and domestic animals died from poisoning. In the video footage, you can hear the women telling the policemen to drink the water to see themselves. After petitioning the local county government in Dartsedo (Chi: Kangding), the mining operations are suspended until an agreement is reached between the company and the local people.

廣告

Suspending mining operations is just a tool to defuse the tension and after sometime they would restart the operations. In 2009, hundreds of Tibetans in Markham (Chi: Mangkang) protested against gold mining and managed to shut down the mining operations but it resumed a year later. When the Tibetans protested again, the security forces opened fire on them and arrested several protesters.

Many anti-mining protesters face jail terms as long as 13 years and several were shot dead in the last few years and some died in Chinese custody as a result of brutal torture.

廣告

According to a news report on Tibet Times published on May 8, a Chinese mining company had started digging the summer grazing of a Tibetan nomad named Lodro Gyaltsan in Thrindu (Chi: Chenduo) County of Yushu Prefecture in Qinghai province on May 3. The mining project was planned two years ago and Lodro Gyaltsan petitioned the local government in vain as the officials were bought by the company.

Confiscating land from farmers and nomads is a commonplace for Tibetans. In March 2016, another Tibetan nomad named Nyima Tsering protested against Chinese building mining site on his summer grazing after he had exhausted all his options including petitioning the local government, which ignored his grievance. When he protested at the mining site, which had started two months before, Chinese security forces immediately arrested him and interrogated him for four days. He was later released with fine of over $3000 for protesting.

In 2010, the Ngaba (Chi: Aba) Prefectural authorities confiscated the land of about 20 families from Thangkor Village No 2 in Dzoge (Chi: Ruo’ergai) County. The Tibetan nomads were told at the time that their land was going to be used for a rural development project but the project never materialized. Instead the land was leased to some private group.

The Tibetans repeatedly appealed to the authorities to no avail. In January 2015, they staged a protest in front of provincial government building in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province. The only response they received from the provincial government was a severe warning that if they took the issue any higher authorities, they would face jail time, which four of them did on April 11, 2016 although they were granted parole.

Between 2006 and 2012, 2 million Tibetans were resettled. Many of them were forcibly uprooted from their traditional nomadic land with their livestock sold and moved into houses with little or no prospect of making a new living. In many cases the emptied lands are used for damming the rivers and mining minerals.

 

發表意見