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Some Tibetans arrested in mining conflict in Namling dzong, Tibet, China

On May 21, 2010, Chinese authorities detained some 30 Tibetans in Wu Yug Sochen, subdistrict of Namling in Shigates (TAR), after they attacked security vehicles brought in to quell protests over a mine


In the Wu Yug Sochen subdistrict of Namling [in Chinese, Nanmulin Xian] in Shigatse [Rikaze] prefecture, around May 21, 2010, a standoff occurred [1]. In fact the local Tibetan community especially shepherds of cattle, began a protest over a mine. One source said: “The local Tibetans became desperate and appealed to the local leaders to stop the mining activities. They explained how the mining activities in the area affect the local environment, the supply of drinking water, and the grazing ground for their cattle”; “The Tibetans protested and appealed repeatedly for an end to the mining, but the authorities didn’t listen and brought in armed security forces to silence them”;“The Tibetans were so desperate that they attacked the vehicles carrying security forces with stones” [1]. The armed Chinese police retaliated by firing in the air and detained some 30 Tibetans; many of them were severely beaten.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Some Tibetans arrested in mining conflict in Namling dzong, Tibet, China
State or province:Shigatse (Rikazé), TAR
Location of conflict:Wu Yug Sochen, Namling dzong
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Details about mining operations in the region are scarce[1], but probably there are gold and copper mines [4]
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Details about mining operations in the region are scarce, but several residents of Namling county said most mining firms operating locally are from Weifang city, Shandong province. [1]

Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:21/05/2010
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Groundwater pollution or depletion, Food insecurity (crop damage), Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Other Environmental impactsThe mining activities in the area affect the supply of drinking water, and the grazing ground for their cattle [1]
[3]Green Tibet
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The protest was repressed by Chinese armed security forces and some 30 Tibetans were arrested by Chinese authorities.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

“Environmental Protest on the Tibetan plateau” released by Britain based Tibet Watch, January 2015
[click to view]

[3]Green Tibet, Annual Newsletter 2011, Environment and Development Desk
[click to view]

[4]Copper and gold mining in Tibet, Copper and gold mining in Tibet, October 11 2011 by rukor-admin
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1]Radio Free Asia,Tibetans Held After Protest, June 21 2010
[click to view]

[2], Protests Against China’s Rampant Mining in Shigatse Continue, 11 February 2011
[click to view]

Other documents

NamlingMap.jpg Radio Free Asia,Tibetans Held After Protest, June 21 2010
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Myriam Bartolucci, EjAtlas internship researcher, [email protected]
Last update27/02/2018
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