China to mine revered Tibetan site for uranium

Dragzong Hill in Dringwa Township, Ngaba
Dragzong Hill in Dringwa Township, Ngaba
25th August 2015

Tibetan protesters threatened with military deployment

On 10 August 2015, a government sponsored mining company set up a mining operation at the sacred hill of Dragzong in Dringwa Township, Dzoege County, Ngaba. Protests by local Tibetans to stop the mining company resulted in threats to deploy the army. The name of the mining company or which government sector it belongs to is unknown. The hill being reportedly targeted for uranium mining is a sacred site for locals, who believe it to be the home of the deity of Dringwa Township.

Uranium from Tibet

Authorities distributed leaflets about the uses of the uranium and intended to reassure locals that the mining would not cause environmental damage. Tibet's rich reserves of natural resources are being extensively exploited by China with little regard for the consequences for loal Tibetan communities. In addition to uranium, copper, gold, silver, lithium (used in batteries) and other resources worth billions of pounds are being extracted by Chinese government agencies and corporations throughout Tibet.

Protesters arrested

Earlier, in February two Tibetans also from Dzoege County were forcibly arrested after they took part in a protest in Chengdu, the provincial capital on 28 January 2015. The protesters, from Thangkor Village, Dzoege County were forced to take their protest to the city after the lands of 20 families were confiscated for a government rural development programme.

Images from Chengdu protest