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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

'Die-in' to protest Canadian mine in Tibet

June 26, 2009

Thursday , 25 Jun 2009

Tibetan supporters wrapped themselves in Tibetan flags and played dead
outside a shareholders meeting of a Vancouver mining company Wednesday to
press the company to pull out of a planned mine in Tibet.

The "die-in" at the Continental Minerals meeting was in solidarity with
Tibetans, who they say can't consent to the massive removal of mineral
wealth under their feet, said one of the organizers, Students for a Free
Tibet Canada director Tsering Lama.

"They have no right to be in Tibet," Lama said. "As long as Tibetans have no
voice, the company has no right to take what is not theirs."

Continental Minerals is working with Hunter Dickinson Inc. to conduct
exploratory drilling at the Shethongmon mine site in central Tibet. They
plan to build a gold and copper mine there.

It's one of at least seven Canadian mining companies either exploring or
mining in Tibet. The largest such mine is the El Dorado property, which
produces some $42 million in gold each year.

Continental says it is building schools and roads and training local people
to work. It says it's following the Canadian government's lead in
recognizing that the Chinese government has a claim to the area.

"We're operating in the People's Republic of China in a Tibetan ethnic
area," said Dickson Hall. "We want to employ as many local Tibetans as
possible and work to enhance their lives and we think we can do this in form
of the development of the mine."

At the Vancouver protest, Lama read out statements and presented letters to
the shareholders. Protesters who attempted to film her doing so were led out
by company and hotel security.

The three protesters in the "die-in" lay outside the meeting for at least
half an hour before they too were escorted off the property.

After the event, Lama said she knew the shareholders were listening, but
said she didn't know if they believed her when she said that the company was
looting an occupied territory.

"They felt it was not different than B.C. or Mexico, which I thought was
incredible because in B.C. people don't get arrested and killed for calling
for free speech," said Lama.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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