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River diverted from Tibetan villages in Amdo, villagers intimidated/ENG

2018. július 21./Phayul.com/TibetPress

eredeti cikk

By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, July 21: Chinese security forces were deployed in strength in the Chumar Township in Tsoshar Prefecture, Qinghai Province, since July 10 when Tibetan villagers in the area gathered to protest against a water diversion project of the Chakchu (also known as ‘Drampa’) river.

Dharamshala based rights group Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in a report published on July 20 said that farming communities in Traseng, Dro, Gonpo Gyu, Achok and Adhey villages that are dependent on the river are concerned that the water diversion project will cause water scarcity for irrigation and that their livestock will no longer have adequate supply of water and grass.

The project began earlier in the month with earthmoving equipments such as bulldozers carving canals in the area to divert the river away from the Tibetan villages. Sources cited by TCHRD said that the Chinese authorities did not consult or obtain “informed consent” from the villagers, and no compensation has been paid for the same to the local Tibetans.

“Official opacity has given rise to speculations among local Tibetans that water is being diverted to benefit the farmlands of the dominant Hui (Chinese Muslim) community that have long held key government and Party positions in the area or to other development projects such as mines or dams,” TCHRD said.

In a video clip of the site of the project, bulldozers are seen operating near huge red banner emblazoned with a slogan in Chinese: ‘Manage water resources in accordance with law, assist the administration in accordance with law’.

The slogan however is a “veiled warning to farmers that any opposition to the project will be punished ‘in accordance with law”, TCHRD said.

Reckless projects such as these and many others on the Tibetan plateau continues to be operated by China while posing to abide by, in their white papers, an environmentally conscious norm in the International community. Researcher at Tibet Policy Institute Zamlha Tempa Gyaltsen while responding to China’s latest white paper ‘Ecological Progress on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau’ wrote that the paper is a “brazen lie” filled with “too many lies and factual errors and “contradictions between policies and implementations”.

“Ever since Xi Jinping became the president, there have been positive efforts on environmental protection across China and in Tibet. But the lack of environmental knowledge, respect for the environment and sincere desire for environmental protection among Chinese officials have led to various contradictions and confrontations. As a result, environmental conservation projects by various local Chinese governments in Tibet often end up further damaging the local environment and destroying people’s livelihood,” Gyaltsen wrote.

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