Graphic via @tibettruth
Graphic via @tibettruth
Graphic from @tibettruth/photos from a very brave Tibetan inside occupied Tibet
Following several days of reports of Anonymous attacks against Chinese mining companies that are causing major environmental issues in occupied Tibet hacktivists #Op_Tibet have released across Twitter a video statement detailing their intention to target a number of websites of mining corporations that are operating within Tibet. Thanks to @AnonymousTibet for the headsup on this development.
Cell phone footage of Tibetans protesting against pollution of a river near Lhagang in Kham region of occupied Tibet, increased mining by Chinese companies is having a disastrous effect upon the Tibetan environment.
Within Tibetan culture fish are considered sacred and so the poisoning of this water and the death of so many fish causes anguish, as can be heard from the protestors.
This footage was uploaded across a number of social sites by Tibetans and also featured May 6 by Voice Of America. Unfortunately VOA reports repeat and endorse Chinese propaganda claims regarding Tibetan territory and so are misleading those who know little of Tibet.
Graphic: via @tibettruth/original photo:chinanews
Image:ferroatlantica/graphic courtesy of @tibettruth
With a tragic inevitability the establishment of such profit-seeking ventures in what was formerly a pristine ecology has resulted in pollution, affecting wildlife and Tibetan communities who depend upon such water.
According to a local Tibetan whose testimony featured in a Radio Free Asia report: “On or around Oct. 13, 2013, contaminated water from a mining site at Balang township overflowed into a 20-30 mile stretch of the river, resulting in the deaths of countless numbers of fish and other animals,” including horses, sheep, and goats. The spill has also contaminated the drinking water of five to six villages,”
What has the high-profile Spanish corporation to say of such eco-terrorism?
Maybe we are a touch under-informed, idealistic but is there not legislation operating within the European Union which restricts or prevents European corporations from activities and or partnerships which raise issues of ethics and/or can impose suffering or environmental damage to people’s beyond the EU? Furthermore, does that fragile institution not have policies, and a moral integrity, which impose a number of regulatory requirements upon European companies that seek to collaborate with China’s regime. Particularly in which an oppressed people, such as Tibetans are marginalized and whose lands and culture are negatively impacted as a consequence of such a venture?
That being so would someone at the European Union or Parliament care to explain the presence of Ferro-Atlantica, a Spanish Corporation operating near the Tibetan town of Dartsedo, in Tibet’s Eastern Region of Kham. See Here Has this company been subject to any environmental, ethical regulations, or assessed in terms of the ecological effects of its operation upon Tibetans and their environment? Have procedures been diligently followed? If so by whom and when?
We consider these to be important questions for the EU to address, which is always ready to issue platitudes in praise of the Dalai Lama, yet seems less outspoken on China’s environmental record in its colonialist exploitation of occupied Tibet. Surely it has something to say on the role of a Spanish corporation operating inside Tibet and the serious environmental consequences of locating a Silicon processing plant in such a pristine environment,apart from troubling questions on the ethics of collaboration with a regime that is viciously suppressing local Tibetans.
If you are based with the European Union you can be a real force for good by raising this issue with your MEP. Ask them to submit questions on Ferro- Atlantica and its presence in occupied Tibet, along with the environmental and ethical concerns mentioned above. Request your MEP to obtain documentation as to what regulatory, environmental or ethical policies were exercised by the EU in endorsing this venture, to identify if an independent, EU approved, ecological risk assessment was carried out, and what system of monitoring it has put in place to properly evaluate any environmental impacts.
We received recently a copy of an article ‘The Global Cost Of China’s Destruction Of The ‘Roof Of The World’ from the respected English journal, The Ecologist on the subject of environmental issues arising from China’s presence in occupied Tibet, a catalog of ecological degradation, fueled by an un-sleeping exploitation of Tibet’s natural resources, principly mineral extraction (including Uranium), state approved logging on a massive scale in Eastern Tibet that has transformed once verdant mountain forest into a lunar like landscape, and ill-considered hydro-schemes which are seriously reducing lake and river levels, along with access to clean water for Tibetans. The environmental impact of China’s occupation of Tibet is severe indeed, ask Tibetan nomads who have seen their formerly free and open grasslands, eroded and denuded of minerals following China forcible annexation of such regions, imposing insane agricultural policies that have poisoned the land, generating desertification along with over-grazing caused by China imposing fences across the region.
Any investigation and critique of China’s ecological record in Tibet is very welcome and adds much-needed exposure to a subject that, for whatever reason appears to draw relatively little concern from the wider environmental movement. Within that important context we applaud The Ecologist for running the article, however those who are aware, and knowledgeable regarding the nature of China’s occupation of Tibet, will in all likely hood share our sense of disappointment at some of the assertions featured in the article, with respect to what is described as ‘The Benefits Of Chinese Occupation’. The following extracts illustrate the concerns we have, to which are added our critical response.
“Chinese government has tried to win over the people by improving the material wealth of the country. They have increased the average national income, developed industry and in certain areas improved living conditions. Many Chinese believe that they liberated the Tibetan peasants from exploitation by a medieval feudal state and a religious establishment…….No one disputes the fact that Beijing has poured both money and resources into the Tibetan Autonomous Region.” Source:The global cost of China’s destruction of the ‘roof of the world’, Sylvia Downes, The Ecologist May 11, 2012
Whatever the claims of China’s propaganda, which has distorted the understanding of its people on Tibet since 1950, resulting in the warped perception that China was a force for liberation and improvement, the reality is that we are in truth looking at military annexation, followed by colonization, exploitation with the aim of assimilating and eradicating Tibetan national identity. It is curious why The Ecologist seems so willing to consume as fact claims, which owe their origin to China’s Ministry Of Disinformation, that the supposed investment into Tibet, has had as a target the improvement of Tibetan lives. While considerable funds have been directed to develop and maintain transport infrastructure, tourism development and industrial projects, these are to consolidate China’s control over Tibet. Such funding sustains and encourages Chinese colonization of Tibet, which is on a scale that seriously threatens the stability of a future Tibetan population, aided by the forcible sterilization of Tibetan women. In accepting Chinese disinformation that it’s occupation of Tibet is seeing a material improvement for Tibetans the article is endorsing what is in essence an argument used by all imperialist aggressors, that justifies the suppression and virulent exploitation of a people by insisting its presence is improving the lot of the ‘natives’!
However, the only people who are truly gaining advantage in occupied Tibet are China’s colonists and its regime, leaving Tibetans a grossly deprived and viciously oppressed people in their own land, the misery of which can never be compensated for by the questionable benefits of China’s crass consumerism. What operates in occupied Tibet is economic, educational and health provision apartheid in which Tibetans are a subject people, living under the tyranny of a violent and illegal occupation. Is that the material improvement The Ecologist is so happy to assert as a fact? We wonder if the Editors of that journal would have been so ready to repeat the propaganda claims of South Africa’s former racist regime, that the lives of black people in Soweto, were improved by the commercial successes emerging under a system of Apartheid?