Demonstrators protest Bombardier railway project in Tibet
AFP[Saturday, November 05, 2005 04:25]
MONTREAL (AFP) - Demonstrators in Canada and several other countries protested against Canadian firm Bombardier's construction of a railway line in Tibet, organizers said.

Some 30 protestors picketed in front of the airplane and train manufacturer's headquarters in Montreal.

"We're opposed to a Canadian company participating in a project that the Dalai Lama himself called a cultural genocide," said Maude Cote of Students for a Free Tibet. "The construction of this railroad will only increase China's control of Tibet."

"We hope Bombardier will reconsider the contract," she added. "(Otherwise), they will have to explain themselves."

In fact, the company is scheduled to appear before a House of Commons committee on foreign affairs and international trade in December to explain its actions.

Beijing chose Bombardier and its partners in May to deliver 20 high-speed trains for the Golmud-Lhasa line. The total contract is worth 382 million dollars (323.5 million US).

Opponents of the project claim the line will facilitate the influx of Chinese colonists into Tibet, threatening the survival of Tibetan culture.

Demonstrations were organized in 18 other cities around the world, including St. Louis and Minneapolis in the United States, Berlin, Vienna, Goteborg and Brisbane, according to organizers.

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