Tibetans threatened with police action for protesting mining activity on sacred hill in eastern Tibet

DHARAMSALA, Aug 24: Tibetans in Zoege county in eastern Tibet were threatened with police action after they tried to dissuade a Chinese mining unit preparing to carry out mining activities on a sacred hill in the area.

On Aug 10, local Tibetans blocked the way to a sacred hill known as Dragzong in Dingwa township in Zoege county in Amdo province’s Ngaba prefecture and tried to dissuade a Chinese mining team from carrying out mining activities on the hill citing religious and environmental concerns. However, the Chinese miners threatened the Tibetans with police action if they persisted with their protest and forced their way onto the sacred hill. The mining team carried with them numerous mining equipments and are now said to be ready for operations, raising much concern among the local Tibetans.

Chinese miners on their way to the sacred hill.
Chinese miners on their way to the sacred hill.

Local Tibetans consider two caves on the sacred hill as the abode of the local protector deity, Amnye Dragzong and believe that disturbing the sanctity of the area will bring misfortune and ill health to the local residents. The two caves on the sacred hill have attracted Tibetan pilgrims from afar who visit the caves to pay their respects and seek blessings.

Though it could not be ascertained which government office or department the mining unit falls under, local Tibetans believe there are in search of Uranium, the mineral used in nuclear reactors for both civilian and military purposes.

Earlier, mining activities carried out for more than thirty years from 1960 to 1995 in Zoege county’s Kyantsa, Thewo and Dingwa township by mining units known to the local Tibetans as 792, 405 and 407 have resulted in destruction of local environment and loss of livestock, thus leaving a huge impact on the local Tibetan’s livelihood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *