By Phuntsok Yangchen
undated Photo of Phakpa Gyaltsen/RFA
DHARAMSHALA, May 8: A 32-year-old Tibetan man died on the spot after stabbing himself and jumping from a building on Wednesday in protest against Chinese mining activities in Tongbar region of Zogang County in Chamdo, reported the US funded Radio Free Asia
Phakpa Gyaltsen, 32, reportedly told local Tibetans that he would do something to express the Tibetans’ collective opposition to the mining activities in the area, a Tibetan source who did not want to be named told the radio service.
Gyaltsen, a source said, climbed onto a high building at the town center, and called out for Tibetan freedom before officials tried to stop his protest.
“When attempts were made to stop him, he stabbed himself twice and jumped off the building, dying instantly,” the same source was quoted as saying.
According to the RFA
, Chinese had started mining operations at a site near Madok Tso called Ache Jema two months ago by claiming that they were building a dam. Local Tibetans, however, knew about the actual plans of mining in the area and decided to thwart the plan by taking turns to guard the area. Some of the Tibetans guarding the site were arrested but later released.
The same source said Chinese authorities tried to lure Tibetans to comply by offering each family 10000 Yuan but that the Tibetans refused the offer saying mining would negatively affect them.
Gyaltsen, the elder son Choeshoe family, is survived by his pregnant wife and three children, the source said.
“Phone connections to the area are now blocked, and it is difficult to learn anything more about what is happening,” he said.
Tibetans have long argued that China’s grand projects in Tibet are planned and implemented without consultation, consent, and knowledge of the local Tibetans. Protests against mining by Tibetans in various regions of Tibet were reported in the past.
The Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration maintains that Beijing, “under the guise of economic and social development, encourages the migration of Chinese population to Tibet, marginalising the Tibetans in economic, educational, political and social spheres.”