Students for a Free Tibet Canada organized a national day of action yesterday, November 29, 2010, calling for the immediate withdrawal of China Gold International Resources from Tibet. China Gold International Resources (formally Jinshan) has come under fire by Tibet advocacy groups for purchasing the Gyama (Chinese: Jiama) mine operation near Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, that is opposed by Tibetans in the region and abroad.
In Toronto, dozens of Tibetans and Tibet supporters protested outside the Toronto Stock Exchange targeting Vancouver-based China Gold International Resources (listed on the TSX as CGG) as the company prepares to start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx). The company is reported to have raised HK$2.4 billion ($309 million) in a recent IPO on the HKEx to expand and intensify its controversial mining operations in Tibet.
Members of SFT Vancouver also took part in the day of action and delivered signed petitions and a letter from SFT Canada to the head office of China Gold in Vancouver yesterday calling for the immediate withdrawal of operations in Tibet.
In 2009, Tibetans in Gyama protested water contamination and the resettlement of nomads that had resulted from the mining operations. Students for a Free Tibet is calling on Canadian mining companies and their investors to stay out of occupied Tibet or face escalated public pressure.
The Gyama protests are not isolated. In recent years, Tibetans across the plateau have, at great risk, protested Chinese and other foreign mine operations on their land. The Chinese government often uses fatal force to stop peaceful opposition to their policies in Tibet. Just this past summer, Chinese police opened fire on a group of unarmed Tibetans in Palyul County, Kardze Prefecture in eastern Tibet (Chinese: Baiyu Country, Ganzi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province), killing up to four Tibetans after they petitioned the local government to stop a polluting mine in the region.
These protests are a clear indication of the Tibetan people’s opposition to the exploitation of their natural resources without their free, prior, and informed consent – an international right that Tibetans have been denied under China’s brutal military occupation. In 2000, a World Bank Inspection Panel concluded that a pervasive “climate of fear” existed in Tibet, making it impossibleto openly consult with Tibetans and therefore ensure their participation in the decision-making process for development issues.
Thanks to all those who took action against China Gold yesterday! They definitely heard our call across the country. Together, we can send a message that until Tibetans are in a position to freely make decisions about the use of their own land, no Chinese or other foreign-owned companies should be profiting off of Tibet’s natural resources.
If you would like to support the Stop Mining Tibet campaign in Canada, please consider making a donation to help support Tibetans in their efforts to stop disastrous mining projects on their land. Even the smallest contribution makes a difference: http://www.sftcanada.org/index.php/make-a-donation