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Old 19-01-2013, 02:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tibet ; Chinese Mine Ruins River, Destroys Farms

Mine Ruins River, Destroys Farms
Reported by Lumbum Tashi for RFA’s Tibetan service.
Translated by Karma Dorjee.
Written in English by Richard Finney.
2013-01-18

A Chinese mine pollutes Tibetan farms and grassland, driving herders away.


Map shows the site of the development project.
RFA

Chinese mining operations are damaging the environment in a county outside Tibet’s regional capital Lhasa, destroying farmers’ fields and forcing herders to move away from traditional grazing areas, Tibetan sources say.

Citing local sources, an exile-based Tibetan described the impact on local forests, grassland, and drinking water as “severe.”

“Waste from the mines has been dumped in the local river, and mining activities have polluted the air,” the source told RFA’s Tibetan service, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Pollution has hampered the growth of grass in the area, and many animals have died of hunger,” the source said.

“Many fields located at a distance of seven to eight kilometers [about four to five miles] from the mine have dried up, and crops cannot be grown.”

“As a result, Tibetans living in the area have been forced to move in search of better grazing sites,” he said.

Work on the mine, located near Dun village in the Khartse township of Lhundrub (in Chinese, Linzhou) county, began in 2005, the source said.

Chinese miners are said to be extracting “white gold” from the site, and local Tibetans have observed as many as 10 trucks moving materials each day from a blue-roofed building set up at the mine in 2006.

“Many years have passed since then,” the source said.

Appeals rejected

Local Tibetans have appealed both to local and to higher authorities to address their concerns, with one letter in 2006 calling the grassland “an important source of livelihood for 3,000 Tibetan residents and needed for the support of over 20,000 head of cattle.”

“[In addition], different species of wild animals and birds that were abundant in the area have been driven away by the frequent use of explosives and other kinds of demolition,” the letter said.

“But the officials refused to speak with them,” RFA’s source said.

“Instead, the authorities have accused them of engaging in ‘politically motivated’ activities and have threatened them with unspecified consequences if they continue to complain.”

Of the 10,000 miners believed by locals to be working at the mine, only three are known to be Tibetans, he said, adding, “The Chinese workers were all brought in from the mainland.”

“Work starts each year in March and goes on for the whole year, except for a few months during the winter,” he said.

Frequent standoffs


Mining operations in Tibetan regions have led to frequent standoffs with Tibetans who accuse Chinese firms of disrupting sites of spiritual significance and polluting the environment as they extract local wealth.

In August 2012, Tibetan nomads drove Chinese gold miners away from a sacred mountain in China’s Qinghai province, vowing to give up their lives if necessary to protect the site, the abode of a local god, according to Tibetan sources.

In the same month, Chinese security forces shot dead a Tibetan and detained six others as they dispersed a crowd of 1,000 Tibetans protesting the resumption of mining operations in Markham county in Tibet.

Chinese official media reported in 2011 that investment in the exploration of mineral resources in the Tibet Autonomous Region will be accelerated over a five-year period.

Tibet has large proven and potential reserves of vital deposits, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Initial studies show that the Tibet Autonomous Region has China’s largest chromium and copper reserves, while most of its iron, gold, silver, potassium, oil, and natural gas reserves remain unexplored, the report said.

rfa.org
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Old 30-03-2013, 07:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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More Than 80 Trapped in Tibet Gold Mine Landslide
Reported by Dolkar for RFA's Tibetan Service and Lin Ping for RFA's Mandarin Service.
Translated by Jennifer Chou and Karma Dorjee.
Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai.
2013-03-29


View of the Kharola glacier, west of Tibet's capital Lhasa, Sept. 15, 2009.
AFP China Xtra


Chinese authorities have launched a massive rescue operation after more than 80 workers were buried Friday in a landslide in a contentious mining area in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), Tibetan sources and state media reported.

Workers of a subsidiary of China National Gold Group Corp., a state-owned enterprise and the country's largest gold producer, in Lhasa prefecture's Maldro Gongkar (in Chinese, Mozhugongka) county were swept through by huge wave of mud, rock, and debris as they were resting, the sources said.

"There are also Tibetans among those who disappeared under the collapsed mine," a Tibetan source told RFA's Tibetan Service.

The official Xinhua news agency said almost all of them were national ethnic majority Han Chinese migrant workers from the provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, and Sichuan, and two of them were ethnic Tibetans who worked for the mining firm.

There was no news of survivors from the vast affected area covering around 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles) in the mountainous region.

"So far, no," a staff at the office the ruling Chinese Communist Party's Maldro Gongkar office told RFA's Mandarin Service when asked about the prospect of survivors. "So far we have not had any news."

"We are not very clear on the situation on the ground. It’s in a high-altitude area with no telephone signal. We cannot get in touch [with people in the area]."

Asked about the cause of the landslide, the staff said, "That also is unclear."

"All our supervisors have gone there. We are at the county level. Leaders from the Autonomous Region and Lhasa City are in charge. We have not received too much information."

The largely mountainous areas of the TAR are prone to landslides worsened by heavy mining activity pursued by Han Chinese backed by the state-owned groups.

"In the past the local Tibetans lodged complaints against the Chinese mining company for its excavations and their impact on the local population and livestock," the Tibetan source said.

"The leader of the local Tibetan community was detained for protesting against the mining activities. Under the impact of mining in the area, several livestock perished."

Relief efforts

A total of 1,000 police, firefighters and doctors were sent to the disaster site, at an altitude of 4,600 meters (1,5092 feet), with 200 vehicles and 15 dogs, and sets of life-detecting equipment, Xinhua reported.

It said the landslide struck at about 6 a.m. and that rescue efforts would be "very difficult" due to the size of the affected area.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have told local authorities to spare no efforts to rescue the buried and prevent secondary disasters, Xinhua said.

They also urged officials to determine the cause of the landslide.

Mining concerns

Mining operations in Tibetan regions have led to frequent standoffs with Tibetans who accuse Chinese firms of disrupting sites of spiritual significance and polluting the environment as they extract local wealth.

In August 2012, Tibetan nomads drove Chinese gold miners away from a sacred mountain in China’s Qinghai province, vowing to give up their lives if necessary to protect the site, the abode of a local god, according to Tibetan sources.

In the same month, Chinese security forces shot dead a Tibetan and detained six others as they dispersed a crowd of 1,000 Tibetans protesting the resumption of mining operations in Markham county in Tibet.

Chinese official media reported in 2011 that investment in the exploration of mineral resources in the TAR will be accelerated over a five-year period.

Vast reserves

Tibet has large proven and potential reserves of vital deposits, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Initial studies show that the TAR has China’s largest chromium and copper reserves, while most of its iron, gold, silver, potassium, oil, and natural gas reserves remain unexplored, the report said.

In January, Tibetan sources told RFA that Chinese mining operations are damaging the environment in a county outside Lhasa, destroying farmers’ fields and forcing herders to move away from traditional grazing areas.

Citing local sources, an exile-based Tibetan described the impact of the mine, located near Dun village in the Khartse township of Lhundrub (in Chinese, Linzhou) county, on local forests, grassland, and drinking water as “severe.”

Waste from the mines in operation since 2005 "has been dumped in the local river, and mining activities have polluted the air,” one source said.

“Pollution has hampered the growth of grass in the area, and many animals have died of hunger,” the source said.

Of the 10,000 miners believed by locals to be working at the mine, only three are known to be Tibetans, the source said, adding, “The Chinese workers were all brought in from the mainland.”

rfa.org
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Old 30-03-2013, 04:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Chance of survivors "slim" in Tibet landslide search
March 30, 2013


AFP

BEIJING
(AFP) - A huge search and rescue operation Saturday failed to locate any survivors, more than a day after a giant landslide in Tibet buried 83 mine workers under two million cubic metres of earth.

One rescue worker described the chance of survivors being found as "slim", while an emergency response team attempted to prevent a secondary disaster. A three-kilometre (two-mile) section of land buried the copper mine workers' camp in Maizhokunggar county, east of Tibetan capital Lhasa, at 6:00 am on Friday (2200 GMT Thursday).

Rescue teams using sniffer dogs and radar combed the mountainside Saturday in a huge search and rescue operation that was hampered by bad weather, altitude sickness and further landslides.

Chinese officials made the grim announcement that no survivors had been found at 10:00 am Saturday, 28 hours after the landslide, while rescuers continued their search.

"The miners' survival chances were slim due to the scale of the landslide," a Xinhua report said, citing a rescue worker.

The Tibetan landslide came on the same day as a gas blast in a northeast China coal mine killed 28 people. State media said 13 others were rescued after the accident at Babao Coal Mine in the city of Baishan in Jilin province.

State-run China National Television (CNTV) said on its news website that "rescue workers have established three defensive lines" around the landslide disaster zone to prevent "secondary disasters", without giving details.

It also said that some of the 2,000-strong rescue team had set up temporary accommodation half-way up the mountain as a safety measure against further landslides. The disaster zone is located 4,600 metres (15,000 feet) above sea level.

The Xinhua report quoted a rescue worker saying there were cracks along nearby mountains, which indicated further landslides were possible.

It also said that rescuers had been suffering from slight altitude sickness and that "further minor landslides" had hampered their efforts.

"Temperatures as low as minus three degrees Celsius have also affected the sniffer dogs' senses of smell," the report added.

State broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) Saturday showed dozens of bulldozers shifting earth as others headed to the disaster area in Tibet.

The Tencent news website said 15 dog teams and 15 teams using radar monitoring equipment were accompanying 200 bulldozers and heavy lifting vehicles.

The victims of the disaster worked for a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corporation (CNGG), a state-owned company and the nation's biggest gold miner by output.

Almost all of them were Han Chinese, the national ethnic majority, with only two of them ethnic Tibetans, Xinhua said. Most were migrant workers from the provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan.

China's new president Xi Jinping, who is currently visiting the Republic of Congo in Africa, and new premier Li Keqiang had ordered "top efforts" to rescue the victims, Xinhua added.

Mountainous regions of Tibet are prone to landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy mining activity.

In recent years China has discovered huge mineral resources in Tibet, including tens of millions of tonnes of copper, lead and zinc, and billions of tonnes of iron ore, according to state media reports.

CNGG could not be reached by AFP Saturday. An official from Maizhokunggar county said all of her colleagues were at the scene, but could not be reached for updates.

More than 300,000 cubic metres of debris had been removed by noon Saturday, officials told Xinhua.

nz.news.yahoo.com
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Old 30-03-2013, 05:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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03/30/2013

Rescuers in Tibet have found one body after 83 workers were buried in a massive landslide at a gold mining site. The fate of the other victims is unknown.

China finds 1 body; 82 still buried in mudslide - San Jose Mercury News
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Old 13-04-2013, 03:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Landslide Man-made says the exile government report

DHARAMSHALA,
April 11: The environment researchers of the exile Tibetan administration conducted a detailed probe into China’s mining activities in Tibet and concluded that the landslide in Gyama was a ‘man-made disaster.’

The 16-page report “Assessment Report of the Recent Devastating Landslide in Gyama Valley: It’s Possible Cause and Impacts” gives the detail account of the mining disaster and its collateral issues.

On March 29, a major landslide hit a mining area in Medro Gungkar near Lhasa burying 83 workers, including two Tibetans.

“Whole swaths of land have been excavated in several sites and in some cases the whole face of a mountain has been ripped in the process of exploration, water diversion, mining and road construction. It was just a matter of time that such a large scale and aggressive expansion out of the mine was going to cause a big disaster,” the report says.

The Environment and Development Desk (EDD) of the exile Tibetan government reports that the landslide in Gyama is ‘a man-made’ phenomenon rather than a natural disaster and the steepness of the slope and disintegration of rock has been the key players in causing this landslide.

Earlier, EDD has expressed their fear that this tragic incident could be a result of the aggressive expansion and large-scale exploitation of mineral in the Gyama valley and said thie is a “man-made phenomenon’’ rather than just a “natural disaster”.

“At a point, when the slope could no longer hold the weight of several million tons of debris, the whole pile which has low cohesion plummeted down the valley and the ensuing force pushed it 3 km's away.” The report reads. “This situation resembles the process of ‘debris avalanche’ or ‘waste avalanche’, which is a type of landslide characterized by the chaotic movement of rocks soil and debris mixed with water or ice.”

The report demands a full investigation from an independent party to investigate and report the real cause of this landslide.

The exile government also called upon Chinese government to ensure active participation of Tibetan people in all decision making process in Tibet; social, environmental (Environmental Impact Assessment) and cultural impacts are fully investigated; natural resources are not depleted; migration and settlement of non-Tibetans into Tibet are not facilitated; ownership of Tibetan land and resources are not transferred to non-Tibetans; and large-scale, capital-intensive and commercial projects are not facilitated inside Tibet.

phayul.com
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Old 13-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mid View Post
The exile government also called upon Chinese government to ensure active participation of Tibetan people in all decision making process in Tibet; social, environmental (Environmental Impact Assessment) and cultural impacts are fully investigated; natural resources are not depleted; migration and settlement of non-Tibetans into Tibet are not facilitated; ownership of Tibetan land and resources are not transferred to non-Tibetans; and large-scale, capital-intensive and commercial projects are not facilitated inside Tibet.
Hear hear ! Let's encourage more of these detailed, reasonable and sensible requests.

Unfortunately Tibetan mineral wealth does not make the last one sound very promising though.
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Old 15-04-2013, 01:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wonder who is funding the "exiled government" and who the unnamed quoted sources are?
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Old 29-05-2013, 06:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thousands of Tibetans Protest Against Mine
Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service.
Translated by Benpa Topgyal.
Written in English by Richard Finney.
2013-05-28


A map of Driru county in Nagchu (Naqu) prefecture in Tibet.
RFA

As many as 5,000 Tibetans have protested against Chinese mining operations at a site considered sacred by local residents, drawing a large security force to the area and prompting fears of clashes, according to Tibetan sources this week.

The protest last Friday took place at Naglha Dzambha mountain in Tibet’s Driru (in Chinese, Biru) county, the scene of similar protests two years ago, sources said.

“On May 24, about 100 members a Chinese company arrived at Naglha Dzambha on the pretext of putting up cable towers and power lines and building hydroelectric projects for the benefit of the people,” a resident of the area told an RFA Tibetan Service call-in show on Saturday.

“Actually, they were there to mine minerals,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

About 5,000 local Tibetans then gathered in Driru to protest, he said, and of that number, 3,500 went to the pilgrimage site to demand an end to the project, saying “Please leave our resources where they are.”

Six men chosen to represent the people of Driru approached the Chinese company with a petition not to further harm the local environment, but authorities on Saturday deployed security forces in about 50 trucks to the protest site, RFA’s source said.

County authorities later “gave in to the popular outcry and made an announcement to that effect,” easing immediate fears of a crackdown, but Tibet’s India-based exile government in a separate report described the situation in Driru as “tense.”

Frequent standoffs

Mining operations in Tibetan regions have led to frequent standoffs with Tibetans who accuse Chinese firms of disrupting sites of spiritual significance and polluting the environment as they extract local wealth.

In March, operations at the Gyama mine in Tibet’s Maldro Gongkar county near Lhasa caused a catastrophic landslide that killed 83 miners.

And in January, Tibetan sources told RFA that Chinese-operated mines in Lhundrub county, also near Lhasa, have caused “severe” damage to local forests, grasslands, and drinking water.

Waste from the mines, in operation since 2005, “has been dumped in the local river, and mining activities have polluted the air,” one source said.

rfa.org
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Old 14-10-2013, 05:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Four Tibetans Shot Dead as Protests Spread in Driru County
Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service.
Translated by Karma Dorjee.
Written in English by Richard Finney.
2013-10-11


Chinese troops moving into Garchung Valley in restive Driru county, Oct. 9, 2013.

Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.

Chinese security forces have shot dead four Tibetan villagers and wounded 50 others in a continuing crackdown on protests in a Tibetan county opposing a government campaign of forced displays of loyalty to the Chinese state, sources said.

The shooting deaths in Driru (in Chinese, Biru) county in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Nagchu (Naqu) prefecture on Tuesday were the first reported fatalities since the authorities began a crackdown last month on Tibetans protesting against orders to fly the Chinese flag from their homes, the sources said, citing the tight security situation for the delay in transmitting the news.

Last Sunday, security forces shot and wounded at least 60 Tibetans as they fired into a crowd demanding the release of a villager who had led protests against the Chinese orders.

The latest shooting occurred as Chinese paramilitary police flooded the county to suppress the unrest.

“On Tuesday morning, three Tibetans from Sengthang village and one Tibetan from Tinring village were killed when the Chinese opened fire on protesters,” a Tibetan source in exile told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Friday, citing sources in the region.

“Around fifty Tibetans from Yangthang village were also injured,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Additional paramilitary forces have been sent to Driru from [the Tibetan capital] Lhasa and from Nagchu, and some have also been sent from the Karmo region,” he said.

“Driru is now flooded with Chinese paramilitary police, and Tibetans are being stopped from traveling with no reason given.”

Many detained

Separately, a Driru resident confirmed the deaths of those killed in Sengthang, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Today, I learned that three Tibetans were killed in the area of Sengthang,” he said. “I was also told that many Tibetans from Driru who now live in Lhasa are being detained.”

The names of those killed in the shooting were not immediately available.

Speaking from exile, a Tibetan with contacts in Driru said that Chinese police are confiscating the mobile phones of Lhasa residents with contacts in the county.

“Some contacts told me that if no messages are received, I should assume they have been detained by the police,” the source, named Tashi Gyaltsen, said.

'Better to die'

Many said that even if they are detained or killed, “it is better to die than to live under these conditions,” Gyaltsen said.

“They say that now they cannot move from place to place, and are prisoners in their own homes.”

On Sept. 3, an elderly Tibetan was detained and severely beaten for shouting slogans for Tibetan freedom at a Driru cultural show where Tibetans were required to wave Chinese flags, triggering protests.

Dayang, 68, who is recovering in hospital with internal injuries resulting from alleged police torture, has been ordered jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Sporadic demonstrations challenging Beijing’s rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008.

A total of 122 Tibetans have also set themselves ablaze in self-immolation protests calling for Tibetan freedom, with another six setting fire to themselves in India and Nepal.

rfa.org
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Old 14-10-2013, 05:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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And just another few years and they'll run the World.

Great.
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