Secretary Kerry mum over pleas to end investment in Chinese company in Tibet

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, July 7: US Secretary of state John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz continues to ignore a campaign launched by the London based liberal activist group Free Tibet exhorting them to disinvest in Tibet Water Resource, Ltd., a Chinese-owned water bottling company which operates in the most repressed part of Tibet.

Free Tibet launched the campaign in May pleading the Secretary of the State to ensure that the investment comes to an end immediately as it is exploiting Tibet’s natural resource and doing harm to its environment without the consent of Tibetan people.

www.the /image source
www.the /image source

“We believe this investment runs counter to the values that you and the Heinz family have upheld through your philanthropic work and I urge you to give very strong consideration to ensuring that this investment comes to an end,” wrote Free Tibet Director Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren and further urged the Heinz Family Trust to divest its shares in Tibet Water Resources Ltd., according to reports on The Daily Caller News Foundation, July 7.

But so far, both Kerry and his wife have remained tight-lipped, refusing to respond to the appeal made by Free Tibet.

In the US State department’s latest human rights report released in April, Secretary Kerry has acknowledged that the Chinese government’s respect for, and protection of human rights in the Tibetan Autonomous Region(TAR) and other Tibetan areas remained poor.”

In contrast, Norges Bank Investment, a Norwegian institutional investment firm which owns 46 million shares in the Chinese company responded positively to Free Tibet and indicated that it will review its investment in the controversial company.

“Secretary Kerry is not a beneficiary of these trusts, and Mrs. Heinz Kerry also exercises no control over the investment decisions made by the independent trustees,” The Daily Caller News Foundation Admiral quoted John Kirby, the State Department’s official spokesman as saying in its reports.

Leaders of the activist group said the campaign has just started and promised to intensify to force divestment over time.

“The campaign and the problem is not going away. This is an unwise and unethical investment and now it has been exposed, every day these corporate investors put off getting out of the business they are exposing themselves to more risk,” said Alistair Currie, a Free Tibet spokesperson, in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.