By Tenzin Dharpo
Kham Yushul in the Qinghai Province. file
DHARAMSHALA, July 12: Tibetan villagers protesting against mining operation in Kham Yushul, Qinghai province in occupied Tibet’s eastern region were beaten and tear-gassed. The two-month long protest culminated in the Tibetan protestors getting severely beaten up with many left in unconscious state.
According to a report by Radio Free Asia,
on July 7, around 100 Tibetans were assaulted by Chinese police using tear gas after villagers protested at Upper Dechung in what they called was “illegal mining” operation in the region.
“The protesters were willing to put themselves at risk to stop the mining, but the Chinese police were called in to disperse the crowd, using tear gas. Among them was a 70-year-old man called Sogrui Pewang, who had to be rushed to a hospital to be treated for his injuries,” RFA’s source said.
The same source said that around 50 to 60 local residents approached the provincial authorities for intervention and help. However, the authorities did not respond.
Local Tibetans suspect that the whole “on and off” mining operation is a joint venture between authorities and miners involving “corruption”. When the digging began, villagers were told that the same was done to build a road which never saw the light of the day.
Mining operations carried out recklessly in the Tibetan plateau by China constitute a vital and steady stream of revenue to Beijing. Tibetans are experiencing drastic rise in natural calamities that experts say are caused by the mining operations. The callous disregard for sentiments of Tibetan people and environmental consequences also pollutes the major rivers in Tibet that are a lifeline to a large chunk of downstream Asian nations.