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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Tibetans "ready to die" to protect sacred site

May 28, 2009

By News Bulletin, Intercontinental Cry
Axis of Logic
May 26, 2009

Hundreds of Villagers in the Tibet Autonomous
Region (TAR) are "facing off against armed
security forces" over a planned gold mine on what
the Tibetans consider a sacred Mountain.

"Tibetans have historically worshiped the site"
explains a May 24 report by Radio Free Asia
(RFA). But now the Chinese mining and timber
company, Zhongkai Co., has been authorized to go
ahead with their proposed gold mine.

The villagers have declared that they are "ready
to die" to protect the sacred site.

RFA recently interviewed several local villagers,
who provided some detail on the otherwise unreported situation.

According to one villager, the standoff began
after "a contingent of police and security forces
arrived" on May 16. The Tibetans began protesting several weeks earlier.

When the security forces appeared, the villager
continues, as many as 500 Tibetans gathered on
the road that leads to the mine site and have stayed there ever since.

Another villager explains that all cellphones and
landlines have been blocked and the protesters
have been isolared from the rest of the village.
"We can’t reach any of the protesters," the villager states.

"Today another four vehicles with roughly 30 to
40 soldiers in them went to the protest site. But
the Tibetans all put religious books on their
heads and are vowing to resist even if it means
sacrificing their lives," he adds.

The villagers also say that the soldiers and
police have declared that they are willing to
"force their way through" to get to the site.

Ransacking Tibet

This ongoing standoff is connected to a much
wider scheme to ransack Tibet of its mineral resources, particularly its gold.

According to a 2007 report by Students for a Free
Tibet (SFT), there are at least seven foreign
mining companies in Tibet right now: five of them
from Canada and two from Britain.

The People of Tibet have absolutely "no voice
when it comes to how their natural resources will
be used," says the SFT’s Stop Mining Tibet campaign website.

This ongoing standoff is unfortunate proof.

Based in Canada, Stop Mining Tibet is pushing for
a moratorium on all resource extraction in the
occupied region "until the Tibetan people can
freely determine the use of their own resources -
particularly non renewable resources."

It is an immense challenge, but also one that we
must take on as diligently as those Tibetans who
are putting their lives on the line right now: in
the name of justice and the preservation of their way of life.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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