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Gojo Tibetans held for protesting mining of sacred mountain

Tibetan protesters block construction equipment in Sangchu in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
Tibetan protesters block construction equipment in Sangchu in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(TibetanReview.net, May03, 2015) – Chinese police had detained a number of Tibetans who had appealed or protested against the resumption of work to build a road in Gojo County of Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu or Qamdo) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, for the purpose of extracting mineral ore from a sacred mountain, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) May 1. A number of Tibetans were also injured in a violent crackdown on protest by resident of the county’s Awong Village, the report added.

The Authorities had halted work on the road building and Mini Mountain mining project last year after appeals and protests by local Tibetans. When work resumed around Apr 2 this year, a group of 10 village representatives visited local officials to seek an explanation. The officials told them that the work had been approved by the county head Norbu Dondrub and advised the Tibetans to accept the compensation money being offered and not create trouble. They detained the village representatives when the latter threatened further protests to stop the road building and mining work.

Following this development, there was a clash between local Tibetans and Chinese police, which led to an unknown number of more Tibetans being detained and many others seriously injured. Government hospitals were reported to have turned away the injured, leaving them to seek medical help from private clinics.

In Tibet’s capital Lhasa too, a group of Gojo traders were detained when they visited the Chamdo Liaison office to plead for an end to mining work in their hometown and threatened to appeal to central government authorities in Beijing.

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