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Tibetans demand hunter Dickinson to pull out mining operation in Tibet

June 26, 2009

Northern Voices Online
Jun 24th, 2009
By NVO Bureau

Tibetans and supporters staged a die-in protest at the main Mcleod Square,
Dharamshala this evening to protest mining in Tibet by Hunter Dickinson’s
subsidiary Continental Minerals. The action is a part of the global campaign
demanding Continental Minerals to immediately cease all mining operations at
Shethongmon [Ch: Xietongmen] in central Tibet.

“We are here to call for the immediate withdrawal of HDI/Continental
Minerals from Chinese-occupied Tibet.” said Tenzin Choedon, Program Director
of Students for a free Tibet – India (SFT-India), “Under Chinese occupation,
Tibetans are denied the internationally recognized right to determine the
use of their own land and resources.”

The developments in the few years have raised huge concerns amongst Tibetans
and Tibet support groups throughout the world. With a lot of junior mining
companies engaging in mining operations in Tibet, it poses threat to the
highly fragile ecosystem of Tibet, destroying vast regions of grazing land
for animals, and polluting water sources.

Tibet has the source of 10 of its major rivers, including the Yarlung
Tsangpo/ Brahmaputra, the Sutlej and the Indus. Most of the mining sites
falls along these major rivers and its tributaries. Chemicals from the
mining sites are released in these rivers, poisoning the water and has
already shown its effect on the livestocks in Tibet.

“Almost 47% of the world’s population depend on the water sourced from the
Tibet plateau and 3 of our major rivers comes from Tibet. If the mining in
Tibet continues, we will have to suffer the consequences as well.” said,
Kirti Kapoor, a student from Delhi University and a member of SFT-India ,
“Chinese government and the foreign companies involved in mining Tibet
should be responsible for their destruction of not only the fragile
ecosystem of Tibet but also for destroying the lifeline of almost half of
the world population.”

In the past month, Tibetans in Tibet have successfully stopped mining
operations at a mountain considered sacred by the local Tibetan community.
Facing arrest, imprisonment, and even death, Tibetans in Markham County
peacefully blockaded the main road leading to Ser Ngol Lo Mountain. Even
when Chinese officials deployed hundreds of armed security forces to stop
the the protest, the Tibetans vowed to stay to protect what is rightfully
their land, and they ultimately succeeded in permanently closing the mine
operations at that site.

Report on phayul.com states that – ‘the villagers of Gyama Township near
Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, are protesting against a mining company that is
carrying out a water-diversion project in upper Gyama region. The
large-scale facility is being built to channelize water to the mining site.
The pipes are laid across agricultural lands, which have been forcefully
taken away from farmers without compensations. The mining has been going on
in the upper hills of Gyama for nearly two decades. Toxic wastes dumped into
Gyama Shingchu river resulted in the death of a large number of cattle last
year.’

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) works in solidarity with the Tibetan people
in their struggle for freedom and independence. We are a chapter-based
network of young people and activists around the world. Through education,
grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action, we campaign for
Tibetans’ fundamental right to political freedom. Our role is to empower and
train youth as leaders in the worldwide movement for social justice.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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