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Chinese Police Clamp Down Tibetan Mining Protesters


A line of Chinese riot police on Wednesday marched through a Tibetan sit-in protesting mining operations in Lha-gang Township, Ganze, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

Cell phone video circulated online captures the sound of people wailing at the site of a mass fish kill, purportedly caused by the mining operation that Chinese police swooped in to guard.

“This is how things are, the nation’s military is sent [on us] to crackdown on us,” says one man whose face isn't visible.

“This is how things are, brothers and sisters of Tibetans," says another. "This is what Chinese do!"

Locals gathered May 4 after a massive number of fish were found dead in the Lichu River, a tributary of Yangze River. Exiled Tibetans tell VOA their local contacts say the die-off occurred after a Chinese company restarted Lithium-mining operations in the area. Mining at the location had been postponed since 2013, after an official investigation linked pollution from the operation with a mass die-off of aquatic life.

Pollution at the site also triggered a die-off of fish and some domestic animals in 2011, prompting protests.

In 2014, three civilians petitioned Beijing to issue a ruling on the incidents, asking officials to ban the mining in the area.

The same mining company involved in all three incidents reportedly returned to the area April 11.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Tibetan Service. (http://www.voatibetanenglish.com/)

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