Tibetans protest land seizure linked to gold mining

Hundreds of Tibetans last week protested land seizures for the construction of highways linked to the Sangchu gold mining industry in the Kanlho (Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

The  protests centre on the confiscation of farm land and pollution brought on by increased Chinese state-backed mining and industrial activity, particularly a new cement factory.

Radio Free Asia reports Tibetans opposed to gold mining activities in the Dzo Zekhong area in Sangchu's Tsayue township attacked the authorities for "disregarding Tibetan concerns over the destruction of the environment by the mining and other activities" according to one community activist:

There are about 15 Chinese groups extracting gold in Tsayue township and the mining activities have fueled other industrial projects, the Tibetan said.

"Multi-story buildings are being erected in the area and the Chinese expansion of activity is in full swing,” he said.

"They have been digging for gold for years knowing fully well of the Tibetan concerns over its effects on the environment. The Tibetans have appealed to the authorities several times but there has been no positive response," the Tibetan said

"Now, more construction is coming up, and new factories are also being built in the area and adversely affecting the local environment, the Tibetan said.

A Tibetan man burned himself to death at the entrance to a Chinese mining site in 2012 in the Sangchu county to protest against Beijing’s rule, according to RFA.