Chinese security forces firing tear-gas over Tibetan anti-mining protestors
DHARAMSHALA, August 17: Hundreds of Chinese armed forces deployed in Gedrong Zatoe in Eastern Tibet clashed with local Tibetans reportedly injuring many Tibetans who were protesting against illegal mining in the area.
Speaking to Phayul, Kunchok Dhondup, a Tibetan monk living in exile with a close contact in the region said, “Hundreds of Chinese armed forces yesterday arrived at the three townships of Gedrong Zatoe County and warned the Tibetans to surrender otherwise will be killed, arrested or subjected to torture."
The security forces fired tear-gas into the crowd. In a photograph that we obtained of the scene many Tibetans can be seen lying unconscious.
According to Dhondup, a local Tibetan leader named Khentsa Soedor while responding to the Chinese ultimatum said, “You can kill us but we will not let the mining take place here. It is our responsibility to protect our environment which is a source of water to many other countries.”
The Chinese authorities have detained Soedor’s wife and later released her. His whereabouts however remains unknown.
It is also reported that a Tibetan attempted to kill himself in the anti-mining protest.
“Sogpo Choedup tried to kill himself by stabbing twice in his stomach and was taken away by the Chinese forces,” said Dhondup.
Although the Chinese officials said that Choedup is out of danger and is currently in a hospital in China, the local Tibetans express doubt over this statement.
Dhondup further said that one of his friends managed to visit a hospital and witnessed 14 injured Tibetans. He was blocked from visiting other hospitals in the region where mobile phones are banned.
The accurate numbers of injured and arrested cannot be confirmed at the time of filing this report.
As a response to Chinese miners' claim of having permission from so-called Qinghai province, the Tibetans in the region showed them a Xi Jinping’s speech on environment protection. They have made copies of the same and put it up on the entrance gate.
The angry Chinese miners tore down Xi’s speech.
The current situation in Gedrong Zatoe is “tense” with all roads blocked, markets shut down and mobile phone services blocked.