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TIBET - CHINA Gansu: police fires on Tibetan protesters, 15 wounded and four arrested

May 23, 2010

Residents in 11villages near Madang Township demonstrate against a local
cement factory for polluting unchecked and illegally occupying a
religious side. Police fire on demonstrators and arrest alleged leaders.
Beijing bans printing and photocopying of documents in Tibetan.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

By Asia News

Spero News

Lhasa ? Residents in 11 villages near Madang township, in predominantly
Tibetan Gansu province, clashed with police after lodging numerous
complaints over the pollution caused by a cement factory that was built
illegally on a religious site and uses a road it forcibly took over
(pictured). Four demonstrators were arrested whilst another 15 were sent
to hospital with gunshot wounds caused by police agents who opened fire
on protesters.

The incident was witnessed by an ethnic Chinese woman, who confirmed the
arrest of four Tibetans last Sunday. According to the International
Campaign for Tibet, which spoke to the woman, Tibetan protesters met
outside the Amdo Cement plant in an attempt to submit a petition letter
to the authorities demanding greater pollution controls.

As soon as the gathering was formed, anti-riot police moved it and
opened fire on them, wounding 15.

According to the South China Morning Post, the petition demanded tougher
control of the dust coming from the factory. It also called on the
factory to withdraw from a religious site and an old road that it
forcibly occupied.

The cement factory opened in 1985 as a state-owned enterprise, but
privatised in 1998. It has since become one of Gansu's major cement makers.

Villagers complained that after the factory increased production last
year, their lives were negatively affected.

?For those who live near the cement factory, agricultural yields have
dropped significantly, by more than 60 per cent, because of the huge
amount of dust emitted by the factory," the letter said.

?The cows and sheep no longer eat the grass growing on contaminated
slopes, forcing us to buy pasturage somewhere else. Our natural pasture
has lost its function to feed the livestock. This has significantly
affected our life," the letter added.

In the meantime, the central government has stepped up its repression in
Tibet and Tibetan-populated areas since deadly protests broke out in the
spring of 2008.

Tighter security measures have not however stopped protests from
becoming more frequent.

One of the government?s latest steps has surprised Chinese analysts.
Beijing has in fact ordered a crackdown on printing and photocopying
documents in Tibetan. For the government, this measure was necessary to
"prevent illegal activities?.

Han Chinese experts on Tibetan affairs have complained about the move,
which in their view can only fuel tensions and invite further resistance
in the region.

Source: Asia News
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