Monday, June 22, 2009

URGENT: Vancouver-based Canadian mining company Continental Minerals is on the verge of starting mining production in Tibet.

E-mail from Students for a Free Tibet that was forwarded to me:
Join Tibetans and supporters in Vancouver, BC June 24th and say NO! to Canadian mining in Tibet.

In the past few months, Continental Minerals has received over 1,200 faxes from Canadians and faced protests in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and New York City <> calling on them to pull out of Tibet. Now as they hold their Annual General Meeting with shareholders and executives in Vancouver BC, join Tibetans and supporters in saying NO! to Canadian mining in Tibet.

After five years of exploratory drilling, if Continental Minerals is successful in starting production, this would mean:

1) Potentially irreversible environmental damage to Tibet's fragile ecosystem.

2) Human rights violations and forced displacement, as Tibetans have no say whether mining occurs or not.

3) A dangerous precedent for foreign mining exploitation of stolen Tibetan land. Continental would be the first producing foreign mine in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Action: Continental Minerals' Annual General Meeting: Protest Continental Minerals‚ operations in Tibet
Time: 1pm to 4pm, Wednesday June 24
Location: Outside the AGM of Continental Minerals
Metropolitan Hotel, 645 Howe Street, Vancouver

Students for a Free Tibet (<> ) Contact: Tsering Lama 647-637-1810
Canada Tibet Committee ( <> ) Contact: Mati Bernabei 778-999-4578


Under Chinese government occupation, Tibetan people have no opportunity for free, prior, and informed consent, and receive little if any benefit from these operations. All mining operations in Tibet take place in collusion with the Chinese government, and corporate taxes and fees are paid to the Chinese government. Environmental concerns are extreme. In the race to exploit Tibetan mineral resources, Tibetan people and the environment have been disregarded.

Canadian corporations are part of the problem. Corporations expect to benefit financially from these operations, as does the Chinese government, but the local Tibetan people will reap a substantial net loss to their way of life. Tibetans who dare to protest mining projects do so knowing that they risk arrest, imprisonment, torture, and death. Since March 2008, as a result of the severe and ongoing Chinese government crackdowns against protests, thousands of Tibetans have been imprisoned or disappeared. Tibet remains a conflict zone, with armed forces patrolling towns and monasteries. Foreign journalists continue to be denied access to Tibetan areas.

Despite the fact that a climate of fear and oppression persists in Tibet, seven Canadian companies are actively mining in Tibetan regions, or are poised to begin digging soon. Five of those companies have head offices in Vancouver (Continental Minerals/Hunter Dickinson, Eldorado Gold Corp, Maxy Gold Corp, Silvercorp Metals Inc. and Sterling Group Ventures Inc.).

Under Chinese government law, Canadian mining companies are under no legal obligation to take Tibetan views, rights, traditions, or long-term welfare into account. Canada Tibet Committee and Students for a Free Tibet are deeply disappointed that, rather than adhering to Canadian legal and ethical standards, and serving as a positive example of Corporate Social Responsibility, the Canadian mining companies operating in Tibet are effectively cashing in on the fact that Tibetan people are severely oppressed.

For more information on the issues, refer to: <>

Tsering Lama
National Director
Students for a Free Tibet Canada
109 -358 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON M6K 1Z8

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