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Tibetans Arrested After Mining Protest in Kham Gonjo


A Tibetan woman walks across the tracks at the Lhasa railway station in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region March 4, 2006. The Qinghai-Tibet railway, which runs from Xining in Qinghai province to Lhasa, will be opened to cargo trai

China has arrested ten Tibetans in Kham Gonjo of Chamdo Prefecture, Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) last month following a protest against the government's mining project and road construction leading towards a sacred mountain of the locals.

Tashi Lamsang, a resident of Dharamsala tells VOA's Tibetan Service that he had received the news from a reliable source in Tibet, and that the ten Tibetan local leaders had previously approached the local authorities pleading them to discontinue the road construction which they believed would lead the mining in Mini, the sacred hill where a mining project was forced to stop last year after protest from Local Tibetans.

"Days following the arrest of the ten leaders,Tibetans from the area joined the the protest, which was followed by severe clampdown by the local police force that injured many of the protestors, who were denied admission and treatment at the government hospitals. They were later treated by the local doctors who lacked specific medical equipments or facilities," he added.

The news reached the Gonjo businessmen in Lhasa, who approached the concerned Chinese authorities in Lhasa in charge of Chamdo. They were able to stop the road construction in Gonjo, but the businessmen are facing arrest themselves. Three or four of the businessmen in Lhasa were reportedly arrested last week, which alerted the remaining to go into hiding. However, the road construction leading to the sacred hill is on halt at this moment, added Lamsang.

Further information on the arrested individuals and their current whereabouts remain unknown.

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