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Winner of the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 Ritika Sharma, First Runner-up Palak Sharma and Second-Runner-up Ashima Sharma wave to the audience during the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 in McLeod Ganj, India, on 6 October 2018, Photo: L. Wangyal
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives to begin his four day teaching on the request of a Taiwanese group, Tsuglakhang courtyard, Theckchen Choeling, McLeod Ganj, October . 3, 2018. OHHDL Photo/Ven. Tenzin Jamphel
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the gathering during the 50th year celebration of Tibet Insitute Rikon. The event was attended by around 4000 people from all parts of Europe. Around 4000 people have come to attend the function organised by Tibet Institute Rikon with support of Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtensein. Winterthur, September 22, 2018. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
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SFT activists go airborne to campaign for Tibet’s endangered rivers
[Monday, October 01, 2018 18:47]
By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 1: On the occasion of ‘World’s River Day’, Students for a Free Tibet activists took off from India’s highest paragliding spot in Billing, Bir on Sunday to highlight the plight of Tibet’s rivers that are endangered due to China’s exploitative damming and diversion pursuits.

"Tibet Dries, Asia Dies," reads a giant banner that activists held midair as they hovered over Kangra district.

“Home to the largest store of fresh water outside the Arctic and Antarctic, Tibet is on the frontline of global climate change and under serious threat from China’s failed policies. Tibet’s environment, particularly Tibet’s rivers, is a geostrategic concern for South and Southeast Asia,” SFT said.

A string of campaigns by the activist group on the same agenda in the last few years implore attention and awareness on Tibet’s rivers that feed many downstream nations in Asia including China, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Pakistan.

Last year, SFT flagged off an initiative from Leh in the remote Tibet-India border urging downstream nations that lie in the flow path of the Brahmaputra river to push for binding treaty with China as part of their campaign, ‘Tibet’s River Asia’s Lifeline’ which highlights all the major rivers that originate from Tibet and sustain majority of Asian countries.

Similarly, in 2016, the group visited Guwahati in Assam to highlight the unending torrent of hydropower and mining projects built on the Brahmaputra river by China in occupied Tibet resulting in damages from the receding water level of the rivers to the decreasing fish population in the water affecting livelihood of the fishermen in downstream regions.

Experts say that Tibet’s permafrost reserves are giving in to global warming and China’s reckless exploitation of rivers, causing irreversible danger to Tibet.
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