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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Mudslide Disaster in Drugchu [Chinese: Zhouqu]: A Man-Made Disaster.

August 21, 2010

Tsewang Gyalpo Arya,
Tibet House -- Japan
August 18, 2010

Tokyo -- The recent mudslide tragedy in Tibetan area of Drugchu
[Chinese: Zhouqu] in Eastern Tibet has claimed lives of more than
1200 people with around 600 are still missing. Damage to the public
and private properties and livestock is huge, and many people are
rendered homeless. People in the region, both Tibetan and Chinese
people are undergoing great mental and physical pain because of this
tragedy. Chinese government has declared Aug 14 as a national mourning day.

But who is to blame for this disaster? Is it a natural disaster or a
man-made disaster?

Since the Chinese occupation of Tibet, China has always looked upon
Tibet as a conquered colony to be exploited to the best of China's
benefit. Although China keep asserting that Tibet is a part of China,
in the heart of heart, Chinese leaders have never looked on Tibet as
a part of the motherland. China engaged in rampant skinning of the
Tibetan mountains, felling the trees and diverting the course of
rivers, this is the root cause of the disaster.

Recent floods and mudslides in Tibet, China, India and Pakistan is a
clear warning from the Mother Nature that she could no longer bear
the greedy hyenas' assault on her body. The guardian spirits of the
rivers of Tibet, which sustained the lives and soil of major South
East Asian countries for the past many years, are also not happy.

Brahmaputra, Sutlej and Indus rivers of India and Pakistan emanates
from Tibet. Nu, Thalween and Salween of China, Burma and Thailand are
one river whose origin is Gyalmo Nyulchu of Tibet. Zachu river of
Tibet is the famous Mekong River nourishing the people in China,
Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Drichu and Machu rivers
of Tibet are the source of Yangtse and Hwang Ho River, the origin of
Chinese civilization. From this we can deduce the importance of
Tibetan ecology.

China is currently trying to divert the course of some of these
rivers to its arid provinces. They are trying to contain the flow of
river like Brahmaputra by building dams. This will greatly affect the
lives of farmers in Bangladesh and India whose fields depends on this
river for irrigation.

The recent mudslide tragedy, which claimed the lives of so many
people and left so many displaced in Drugchu area of Eastern Tibet is
not a natural disaster. It is a disaster brought about by the decree
of a greedy regime bent on recklessly exploiting the natural
resources of its conquered territory.

Ecology of Tibet is not a Tibetan problem alone; it affects all the
South East Asian countries that live by the waters from the rivers
originating from High Plateau of Tibet.

Much before the modern world was talking of environment, Tibetans
lived in close harmony with the nature. Serene and unexploited
Tibetan mountains, forest and rivers were the abode of gods and
deities of Tibet. But the abode of Chenrezig Avaloketsvara, the
Buddha of compassion is now melting faster than expected by the experts.

Chinese communist leadership should not avoid the scene by merely
observing a national mourning day; it should thoroughly look into the
cause of this disaster and refrain from further damaging the fragile
ecology of Tibet. The best is to leave the Tibetan environment in the
hand of Tibetans with their ancient Rigya rLung-gya concept of
environmental protection and harmony, so that disasters like these
are not repeated.
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