Tibetans resist Chinese mining

16th August 2013

Latest protest against environmental destruction

Updated on 19 August

A large group of Tibetans have been attacked with tear gas and electric prods during an environmental protest.

They were demonstrating against China's plans to develop a new mine in Yushu, Amdo region of Tibet.

The protesters displayed posters of the Chinese President Xi Jinping, quoting a speech in which he talked about the importance of protecting the environment.

Environmental protest

Photos obtained by Free Tibet show both the size of the protest (thought to be up to 3,000) and the scale of the Chinese military presence.

After three days of peaceful protest, the Paramilitary Armed Police (PAP) violently broke up the demonstration by firing tear gas into the crowd and beating them with electric prods.

An unknown number of protesters have been arrested. Local community and protest leader Kaitsa Soldor has been missing since the incident.

Profits for China

China is constantly plundering Tibetan resources through extensive mining, damming of rivers and large infrastructure projects.

Their policy of forcibly removing millions of nomads from their traditional lands is widely perceived to be motivated by the desire to exploit even more of Tibet’s land and what lies beneath it.

Unconfirmed reports from Gedrong Zatoe County, the scene of the latest protest suggest that diamonds may be found in the area.

Tibetans have no power to determine what is done with their own land. The profits from these ventures normally flow out of Tibet, to Chinese and multinational businesses.

Flashpoints of Tibetan protest

Mining is frequently the cause of protest in Tibet.

In May, thousands resisted a Chinese company attempting to mine on a sacred site. In 2010, security forces fired on another mine protest.

Take action

action1.jpgIt's not only Chinese companies that seek to exploit Tibet's resources.

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is one of them. IHG will sell the illusion that Lhasa is a "paradise" to profit from their luxury hotel.

Please contact IHG CEO Richard Solomons and tell him to pull his company out of the deal to run the hotel.