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TAKE ACTION - Help Stop Mining in Tibet

This past week there have been reports from Tibet of protests over natural resource projects in TAR and Kham (Sichuan); one protest resulted in the shooting of six Tibetans by Chinese security forces. (See links below for news reports.)

ITSN is preparing materials which it plans to distribute early next week, that will encompass these protests and the Chinese think tank report.

In the meantime, ITSN has prepared a sample letter for groups to send to Continental Minerals Corporation, a Canadian company with mining operations in Tibet. This is a simple and quick action that all groups can take, which is a highly practical way to support those Tibetans currently protesting in Tibet. PLEASE TAKE THIS ACTION NOW. The sample letter is copied below along with an address, fax number and email address. Please also send similar letters to Continental's parent company, Hunter Dickinson (details after draft letter). Also please encourage your supporters to send letters, faxes and emails as well.

This letter-writing campaign highlights actions by Tibetans in Tibet (a key part of ITSN's Strategic Plan), in this case who are protesting against mining and hydroelectric projects which are being set up without their consent.

Canada Tibet Committee and Students for a Free Tibet have been campaigning for several years on Continental's mining operations in Tibet. (Note: Continental are still in the exploratory and assessment stage, however they are expected to begin mining soon.) As Continental has, so far, been unreceptive to CTC's and SFT's efforts, both groups are planning to intensify the campaign. A deluge of letters from Tibet groups around the world would be of great benefit to this campaign, especially as Continental Minerals' Annual General Meeting takes place on 24 June 2009.


1. Sample letter to Continental Minerals
2. Contact details for Continental Minerals and Hunter Dickinson
3. Links to news reports and more information


1. SAMPLE LETTER
To send to Continental and can be adapted to send to parent company Hunter Dickinson.

[Your name, organisation & address]


Mr David Copeland
President and CEO
Continental Minerals Corporation
1020 - 800 West Pender Street
Vancouver
BC V6C 2V6
Canada

[Date]

Dear Mr Copeland

I join tens of thousands of people who are deeply concerned over Continental Minerals’ continued mining operations at Shetongmon [Ch: Xietongmen] in central Tibet while the Chinese authorities are intensifying their crackdown on Tibetans in Tibet. I call on you to immediately cease all operations in Tibet or face increased global opposition.

Just one week after Continental Minerals published its latest report on the mineral deposits at the Shetongmon mine site, news reached the outside world of Chinese troops quelling Tibetans’ peaceful protests against natural resource projects:


On 24 May 2009, residents of Tawu and Nyagchu County (Karze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province) gathered at the local county headquarters to protest the planned forced-relocation of tens of thousands of Tibetans to make room for the construction of a hydroelectric dam. Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy reported that Chinese troops fired indiscriminately into the crowd of protestors, and six Tibetan women were seriously wounded. Their current condition is unknown.


In Markham County (Chamdo Prefecture, Tibetan Autonomous Region) hundreds of Tibetans have been protesting against a planned gold mine by peacefully occupying the area for the past several months. AsiaNews reported that on 16 May 2009, the Chinese authorities responded by sending in security forces. However, up to 500 Tibetans blocked the road leading to the planned mine, which led to a stand-off lasting for several days. Subsequent news indicates that several hundred Tibetans have traveled to Lhasa to complain to the provincial authorities of the ongoing harassment of Tibetan protesters by local officials.

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 has been denied to them under China’s violent military occupation.

Tibetans who dare to protest mining projects do so knowing that they risk arrest, imprisonment, and even death. Following the Chinese government's crackdown on last year's overwhelmingly peaceful protests in Tibet, thousands of Tibetans have been imprisoned or disappeared. Tibet remains a conflict zone, with Chinese armed forces patrolling towns and monasteries, and foreign journalists continue to be denied access to Tibetan areas.

On 19 May, you stated "the Xietongmen project can bring long-term benefits to the region." However, the Tibetan people have no say in the use of their land, and mining in this context poses a serious threat to the survival of the people, their culture, and the environment.

In March 2007, a report commissioned by the Government of Canada to look at corporate social responsibility in the extractive sector included the suggestion that “international ‘no-go’ zones for Canadian extractive companies be established, including countries with serious and widespread human rights abuses, such as Burma and Tibet.”

I am disappointed to learn that you have not heeded this recommendation nor responded to previous letters from Canada Tibet Committee and Students for a Free Tibet calling for your immediate withdrawal from Tibet.

By working in Tibet, your company is complicit in the Chinese government’s violent suppression of the Tibetan people's desire for human rights and freedom. I add my voice to the global opposition to your Shetongmon mine project and will continue to work to end your operations in Tibet.

Yours sincerely

[Your name, position & organisation]


2. CONTACT DETAILS

a. Continental Minerals Corporation

President and CEO: Mr David Copeland
Address: Continental Minerals Corporation
1020 - 800 West Pender Street
Vancouver
BC V6C 2V6
Canada
Fax: +1 604 684 8092
Email: info@hdgold.com


b. Hunter Dickinson
(Note: same address, fax and email as Continental)

President and CEO: Mr Ronald Thiessen
Address: Hunter Dickinson
1020 - 800 West Pender Street
Vancouver
BC V6C 2V6
Canada
Fax: +1 604 684 8092
Email: info@hdgold.com


3. LINKS

Mining protest in Markham County, Chamdo, TAR
RFA - 24 May
http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/mine-05242009130753.html
AsiaNews report - 26 May
http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=15353&size=A
RFA - 27 May
http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/standoffresolved-05272009175822.html

Dam protest in Tawu County, Kardze TAP, Sichuan
TCHRD - 25 May
http://tchrd.org/press/2009/pr20090525.html
Tibet.net report - 26 May
http://tibet.net/en/index.php?id=938&articletype=flash&rmenuid=morenews

Continental's news release 19 May (with quote from David Copeland)
http://www.hdgold.com/kmk/NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=348001

Students for a Free Tibet - Stop Mining Tibet website
http://www.stopminingtibet.com/index.html

 

 

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