Tibet: Losing ”Lost Horizon"
Tibet’s desire for autonomy is at the heart of the demonstrations and violence in Lhasa last week. Wired has a post up drawing attention to Tibetan grievances over years of environmental destruction in the Himalayas resulting from China’s long rule. For Tibetans, environmental degradation means the devastation of sacred territory. Not just temples have been destroyed.
Grist points to two controversial actions putting economic development at odds with the cherished Tibetan landscape:
A Beijing-to-Lhasa railway opened by the Chinese in 2006 has provided easy access for Chinese miners to the pristine Tibetan highlands, where they’ve begun digging up copper, iron, lead, and other minerals. Tibetans are also none too happy about a Chinese plan to divert water from melting Tibetan glaciers and funnel it through canals to feed China’s Yellow River. Whether China will be able to quell unrest and put on a happy face in time for the already controversy-riddled Summer Olympics remains to be seen.