China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Planned Global Protests against China's railway launch

[Tuesday, June 20, 2006 16:50]

China's grand inauguration plan for the controversial Qinghai-Tibet railway on July 1 will be met by major global protests outside its embassies and consulates by exile Tibetans and their supporters. Protests are planned in major cities around the world including Ottawa, New York, London and Dharamsala. Black Armbands will be sported by those participating in the campaign to mark the railway launch as "the Black Day" for Tibetans all over and to express their solidarity with those inside Tibet. Shops and restaurants in Dharamsala, home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile, will temporarily close on July 1 in solidarity with the "Reject the Railway" campaign.

The campaign is jointly organised by Students for a Free Tibet (SFT),Gu Chu Sum (an association of former Tibetan political prisoners) and Friends of Tibet India.

The campaign that formally kicked off in Dharamsala on June 18 will publicise the negative effects of the railway on Tibetan people, their culture and the environment. The railway that links Tibet to China is seen by Tibetans as the final phase in China's strategy to wipe out Tibetan identity and culture. A joint press release issued today said the railway will "increase environmental pressure on Tibet's high-altitude ecosystem, bolster China's military strength in the region, and facilitate the entry of large numbers of Chinese settlers into Tibet, further marginalizing Tibetans socially and economically." The release rejected the oft-repeated Chinese claims that the railway will bring economic benefits and properity to the Tibetans in Tibet. It reiterated Jiang Zemin's brazen announcement in the past of the railway being a "political project" intended to consolidate Chinese control in Tibet.

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