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Tibet Activists Target British Mining Company


London, 22 March: Tibetans and their supporters demonstrated at the London Headquaters of Central China Goldfields, a British conducting exploratory mining in Tibet, demanding they withdraw from Tibet until the Chinese occupation ended.

By operating in an occupied territory, mining companies like Central China Goldfields are contributing to the destruction of a country and people, said Alice Speller, National Coordinator of Students for a Free Tibet UK. She continued: “Tibetans continue to be marginalized both economically and socially and mining has become another tool of this destruction within Tibet”.

In the past year, there has been a dramatic increase in British mining firms active inside Tibet, prompting Tibet rights groups to raise concerns about the impact large-scale resource extraction will have on the Tibetan people, their culture and the environment. In February, 2007, the Chinese government released details of a $44 million dollar survey of the Qinghai Tibet plateau; documenting the discovery of 16 major mineral deposits. Tibetans and their supporters fear that increased mining in Tibet will likely flood local communities with ethnically Chinese workers, while Tibetans stand to reap few if any benefits from the exploitation of their own natural wealth. “Central China Goldfields claims to be ethical but yet they violate Tibetans not only enviromentally but also politically, they are mining in an occupied nation without Tibetan consent or thought and using and destroying my homeland. As a British born Tibetan, i am deeply disappointed at this British company for its unethical manner in destruction of a peaceful land”, said Tibetan Youth UK activist Pema Yoko. continuing: “Until Tibetans are able to freely determine the use of their own natural resources, British companies must not operate in Tibet”.

From across the country, Tibetans and their supporters telephoned, faxed and emailed the company with their concerns. The message was getting through-although most of the senior managers were in China, the office staff had soon started forwarding the campaigners objections. As a Street demonstration took place outside, a small group entered the offices and was able to meet one of the company directors to challenge Central China Goldfields on their projects in Tibet. He acknowledged that there were ethical issues with working in Tibet and in dealing with the Chinese regime, but refused to commit to a withdrawal.
The Campaign continues. -----------------------------------------------------------------------

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