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Exiled Tibetan Government Urges Foreign Oil Firms To Leave Tibet

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 00/09/26; September 26, 2000.]

NEW DELHI, Sept 25 (AFP) - The Tibetan government-in-exile called Monday on foreign oil giants British Petroleum, Agip and Enron to withdraw from a pipeline project in Tibet, saying it was environmentally and politically unsound.

In a written statement, the exiled government based in the northern hill station of Dharmsala, said the Sebei-Lanzhou oil and gas pipeline project, run by Petro China would "cause harm" to the Tibetan people.

"This project represents a significant escalation of China's exploitation of oil and gas on the Tibetan plateau and will accelerate China's policy of transferring settlers into Tibetan areas," the statement said.

It also warned that the project would deplete natural resources with no benefit to the Tibetan people, facilitate the erosion of Tibetan culture and traditions and consolidate "Chinese control and occupation" of Tibet.

The exiled government said it had published a set of guidelines for foreign companies wanting to invest in or operate projects in Tibet, laying out criteria for "good" projects that employed Tibetans and protected the natural environment.

"Given the harmful effects of the gas and oil extraction projects on the Tibetan plateau, BP, Agip and Enron are hereby requested to immediately halt

the construction of the Sebei-Lanzhou pipeline, the statement said, adding that they should also withdraw all investments in similar projects in Tibet.

"These investments are clearly harmful to Tibetans and will be actively opposed," it said.

India is home to some 100,000 Tibetans, who followed the Dalai Lama after his 1959 escape from Tibet following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.


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