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Development

Tibetans Displaced by New Chinese Dams: Exile Officials

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 03/05/13; May 13, 2003.]

DHARAMSALA, India, May 12 (AFP) - Thousands of Tibetans are being displaced as Chinese authorities build seven new reservoirs in the territory, officials of the Tibetan government-in-exile said Monday.

The construction reportedly began this year on one of the planned reservoirs at Dakbar where a large number of Han Chinese have arrived, one official said on condition of anonymity.

"About 8,000 local Tibetans have been ordered to evacuate to other areas," he said, adding the work was slated to be completed in 2006.

The reservoirs are being built to make up for the scarcity of electricity and water supply in the neighbouring ethnic Han Chinese-inhabited areas, he said.

"We are not against any development, but it should involve the locals and should benefit the locals," added a research officer at the environment desk of the government-in-exile, Tsering Yangkyi.

"In the case of the seven new reservoirs, it is directly planned to benefit the Chinese and that the largescale Han workers brought in will affect the demographic chart," Yangkyi said.

She added that the destruction could destroy "historical relics," a matter of "grave concern."

"In it lies the soul of the local people and will hurt the sentiments of the people," she said.

China has ruled Tibet with an iron first since 1951 and is accused of trying to destroy the Himalayan territory's Buddhist culture with a flood of ethnic Han immigration.

Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama fled China after a failed uprising in 1959 for Dharamsala, a hill station in northern India.


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