The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, also known as the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, has made a statement on mining in Tibet on Sept 22-23, 2009, at a London roundtable discussion on Shethongmon mining project. Shethongmon is situated near the city of Shigatse in southern Tibet. The roundtable meeting was organized by TibetInfoNet, which is also a consultant for the Canadian company, Continental Minerals, which is investing in the project.
The CTA statement is clearly against any mining project in Tibet but it does not condemn or express the seriousness of these investments. Despite having its pleas and moral suasions repeatedly ignored by Canadian mining companies, the exile Tibetan leadership continues to engage in these discussions. For the purposes of this blog, I think it is better to highlight the injustice and crime that these mining projects perpetuate than to write about about these exchanges.
The CTA statement cites three major protests in Tibet in 2009 against mining projects (Bathang county in March, Ser Ngul Lo in Markham county in May, and Meldo Gungkar county in June). It does not mention that a protest actually also took place against the Shethongmon mining project on 19th June 2006. Soon after the protest, disciplinary officials of the Party started “education campaigns” about the benefits of the project among the farmers.
Local protests against mining in Tibet are not new. Farmers in Meldo Gungkar have been protesting against mining at least since 1991 (see chapter 6 of CTA’s report, Tibet: Environment and Development Issues 2000). Even as recent as two months ago, there were reports of clashes between local Tibetans and Chinese miners at the Gyama mine site. And two weeks ago, this intensely disputed mine was bought by another Vancouver based company named Jinshan.
As usual, here’s a question for you readers: How is Canada attracting such deals in Chinese controlled Tibet? Canada is the only Western country with significant investments in Tibet. Any informed person would tell you that such deals must include heavy corruption and deep connections with the Party…. Read the full post here.