Dharamsala June 14 - A standoff over a planned gold mine in Tibet’s Markham county has been resolved after authorities and the local residents negotiated a settlement, according to a report by Radio Free Asia on June 9.
The dispute over operations at the mine, built by a Chinese firm at Ser Ngol Lo (Year of gold and silver), a mountain considered sacred by Tibetans, had continued for weeks. Chinese mining and Lumbering firm, Zhongkai Co, had been authorized to excavate the area where Tibetan protesters were facing armed Chinese security forces at the site.
However, both sides agreed June 8 that the mine would stop operations, RFA reported citing sources.
“It was agreed in writing that there will be no mining in the area,” RFA quoted a local Tibetan man as saying.
“All the Chinese security forces deployed in the area will be withdrawn. The Tibetans who are blocking the road will also return to their respective areas.”
“Chinese authorities will build concrete barriers to block the poisonous residue of earlier mining in the area so that this will not filter down into the drinking water,” he added.
All points of agreement were set down in writing in the presence of prefecture- and county-level officials, the source said.
RFA report said a local security official confirmed that a settlement had been reached.
“The issue of mining in the area has been resolved, and the area is quiet,” a Markham Public Security Bureau officer surnamed Wang told RFA.
But disagreement remains on the question of handling poisonous waste from the site, Wang said.
“The government has offered to clean the whole area, but the Tibetans want to hold [the residue] as evidence. So it was decided that the Tibetans will hire a professional group from China to examine it, and the government will assign the TAR Environmental Protection Department to carry out its own examination.”