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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Thousands protest China’s mining of sacred Tibet mountain

June 3, 2013

 May 29, 2013 – A tense situation prevails at Dathang Town in Driru (Chinese: Biru) County of Nagchu (Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, where on May 24 thousands of Tibetans staged a protest against China’s mining of a sacred hill there, said the exile Tibetan administration at Dharamsala on its website May 28 and other reports.

The statement said that more than 4,500 Tibetans gathered near the mineral-rich Naglha Zamba hill. It added that more than “fifty military convoys” were now deployed at the site. Local Tibetans were reported to fear that the development might trigger clashes between the local Tibetans and Chinese security forces.

Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) May 28 suggested that the authorities were already cautious about starting to mine the hill, given the fact that there were Tibetans protests there two years ago. It quoted a local resident as saying, “On May 24, about 100 members a Chinese company arrived at Naglha Dzambha on the pretext of putting up cable towers and power lines and building hydroelectric projects for the benefit of the people.” But the local Tibetans already knew that they were there to begin mining work.

The report added that when Tibetans, numbering about 5,000 protested, the Chinese deployed 50 truckloads of troops at the mining site.

Local Tibetans were said to ignore the lucrative caterpillar fungus harvesting season to join the still ongoing campaign to protect their sacred hill from being ravaged and plundered by the Chinese. The authorities were said to be trying to win over the protesters by telling them the project would bring development and other benefit to the region.
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