By Tendar Tsering
DHARAMSHALA September 20: Four Tibetan labourers have been injured after Chinese mining officials opened fire on them over a wage payment clash on Saturday in Tibetan area of Chatreng in Kardze, a newly arrived Tibetan told the Voice of Tibet radio.
Mining in Chatreng began four years back, the Tibetan said. "Tibetan workers and their Chinese bosses initially had an argument over a wage payment issue," he said. "Later on, the Chinese officials called the police who opened fire on the Tibetan workers."
Sources said that local Tibetans tried to contact Chinese media to highlight the issue but no one turned up.
"Local Tibetans were helpless, and they started protesting against the Chinese authorities but the Chinese police beat up the Tibetans severely," said the same source.
China announced last month that it will intensify its mining efforts on the Tibetan plateau in the coming years. Zhang Qingli, then secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Regional (TAR) told reporters that the purpose of mining is "to benefit the local Tibetans."
“Exploitation should be conducted in an environmentally friendly way and help create job opportunities for local people and raise their income," he was quoted as saying.
However, exile Tibetans remain skeptical of China’s claims of keeping its promises while carrying out mining on the Tibetan plateau.
Head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Central Tibetan Administration, Tenzin Norbu last month said that the Chinese government is trying to green-wash its past mistakes in front of the international media and once again fool the local residents.
“Promises of job creation and raising income levels were made to the local Tibetan residents of Phondo, Lhundrup Zong and many other mining areas but they were turned down during the actual mining period. Mining protests relating to environment negligence and pollution are frequent in Tibetan areas," Norbu added.