|By Tenzin Choephel
ICT’s Mary Beth Markey and Kate Saunders at the press briefing in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu, December 12: Two key members from a Tibet advocacy group, while briefing a group of media people on the actual current situation in Tibet here in the Nepalese capital city today, urged Nepal to hold debates on China’s policies that are likely to have serious territorial and ecological concerns on its side .
Talking to media people this evening, Mary Beth Markey and Kate Saunders of International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) shared their findings of the current situation in Tibet focusing on three main areas; environment, resettlement of Tibetans and the new railways in Tibet. The speakers from the Tibet advocacy group suggested that changes in these three areas are leading to a serious impact on the whole geo-political scenario of Tibet and its people and thereby adversely affecting its immediate regions and the world at large.
In this regard, Mary Beth Markey believes that Nepal should be in the “frontline in the Tibetan people’s struggle for human rights and human dignity”.
She also said that people of Nepal and Tibetans share a strong historic and cultural affinity, which is in many ways very close to each other.
Kate Saunders, Director of Communications at the ICT, gave a slide show presentation explaining the Chinese policies in Tibet that is impacting the lives of Tibetan people and environment of the region.
“Old versus new Tibet” photo displayed by China at the ongoing photo exhibition in Kathmandu. (Photo by Tenzin Choephel/Phayul)
According to their findings, the coming of Railways to Tibet is bringing in a large number of Chinese migrants into Tibet resulting in marginalization of Tibetans in their own land. There is even danger to the survival of the Tibetan antelope due to infrastructural development and continued poaching, the ICT members claimed.
The slide show also depicts impact of resettlement of Tibetan nomads in Amdo Region [Ch: Qinghai
] that the group says has rendered many Tibetans jobless and an insecure future. They warned that this kind of forced resettlement of Tibetans by China would lead to an increase in Tibetan refugees fleeing from the region. Chinese authorities have reportedly resettled over 100,000 Tibetan nomads in Amdo forcing them to give up their traditional lifestyle and settle them down in shoddily built towns on the outskirts of major towns and cities.
ICT members alerted Nepalese about the dangers of the degradation of the high plateau ecosystem of Tibet that would inevitably have an adverse impact on the subcontinent. The ICT members noted that China’s economic policies are based on a political agenda coupled with huge negative impact on environment. Accordingly the ICT members said it was necessary for Nepal to hold debates on Chinese policies that could increase Nepal’s territorial and ecological concerns in the near future.
The ICT’s talk comes amidst China’s photographic Art exhibition on Tibet in Kathmandu.
Commenting on the ongoing ‘China-Tibet Photographic Art Exhibition’ in the city, apparently to give a rosy picture of today’s Tibet, Miss Kate warns that “there is some very significant truth that you won’t see in that exhibition”.