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article imageProtestors urge Canadian company to stop mining Tibet Special

By Andrew Moran     Sep 25, 2010 in World
Toronto - Dozens of protestors staged a protest in front of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to urge the Vancouver-based mining company, China Gold International Resources Corp. Ltd., to end its "looting of Tibet's resources."
The tale of Tibet is one of tragedy, politically motivated plans and the threat of Tibetan cultural and identity on the verge of extinction. The latest crisis in Tibet is the mining operations that bring dire environmental consequences to the land and residential areas.
To understand the current situation, one must learn about Tibet’s history, which is also contains violence, death and state sponsored oppression and tyranny.
A brief historical account of Tibet
Tibet’s independence came to an end in 1950 when the government of China invaded Tibet and installed a regime that has taken the lives of more than one million people. According to many reports, there are hundreds of political prisoners and those who dissent face detainment, detention and execution.
Since Tibetan independence was eradicated, the people of Tibet do not have the right to determine what goes on with their own resources. Therefore, mining companies attempt to seek the means to profit from the region’s natural resources.
In 1999, the Chinese government established the Western Development Strategy, which is a plan to bring development, economic growth and even national unity to the region. However, according to Stop Mining Tibet:
“The Western Development Strategy is threatening the survival of Tibetan identity and cultural in more subtle but equally destructive ways as overt force. The relocation of millions of ethnically Chinese settlers into Tibet and the exploitation of Tibet's mineral resources to feed China's industrial provinces along the Eastern seaboard are two central components of the plan.”
In 2009, local Tibetans were protesting – confronted by armed Chinese forces – because the water was being polluted and there were no precautions being taken towards the local environment, reports Phayul. There have been numerous reports of babies being born with birth defects and cattle dying due to the various mines throughout the region.
Recent business news in Tibet
Despite the environmental concerns and complaints, according to the Globe and Mail, China Gold has acquired Skyland Mining Limited for $742.3 million, which will give the company control over the Jiama copper mine in Tibet.
“The acquisition of Skyland represents the first significant step in China National Gold's goal of establishing China Gold International Resources Corp. Ltd. as its international flagship company,” said Zhaoxue Sun, China Gold’s Chairman.
In October, there will be a special meeting of shareholders where they will approve the transaction, reports Bloomberg News. The closing deal is expected to happen in November.
Activist speaking out against China Gold s mining operations.
Activist speaking out against China Gold's mining operations.
Toronto protest to stop Tibet mining
On Saturday, in front of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) in downtown Toronto, dozens of activists, protestors and concerned citizens staged a protest to urge the Chinese owned Vancouver-based China Gold International Resources Corporation to cease its mining practices in Tibet and “stop the looting of Tibet’s resources.”
Shouts of “Whose land? Our land!” and “Stop the mining – In Tibet!” could be heard by the thousands of people who were attending both the 2010 Toronto Resource Investment Conference & Expo and the Ontario Universities Fair 2010. Many of the protestors also held signs stating: “Tibet’s resources belongs 2 Tibetans,” “Stop deporting Tibetans from Nepal,” “Stop looting Tibet’s natural resources” and “Don’t undermine human rights in Tibet!”
Initially, organizers of the protest attempted to rally inside the convention centre but they were asked by security to leave.
“We’re calling on China Gold to withdraw from operations in Tibet and as well as other companies until Tibetans are in the position to freely decide the use of their own land’s resources,” said National Director of Students for a Free Tibet Canada, Tenzin Lobsang Wangkhang. “Until then, they shouldn’t be in Tibet.”
The National Director further added that they sent a letter to China Gold but have not received a response as of yet.
Other action being taken
On Wednesday, more than 300 people e-mailed, tweeted, sent text messages and posted messages to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao when he visited New York to address the United Nations General Assembly with a speech called “Getting to Know the Real China.”
The following the day, Students for a Free Tibet activists delivered messages to the Chinese Premier’s hotel, protested in front of the UN and followed Jiabao everywhere: “Inspired by the courage of Tibetans inside Tibet who continue to risk everything to speak out and to resist Chinese rule.”
The next Tibetan event will take place in Montreal at the 21st annual Tibetan Bazaar. The Tibetan cultural event is presented by the Canada Tibet Committee and the Montreal Tibetan community. It will be held in later November.
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