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Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Mcleod Ganj
November 3rd 2005
Published: November 3rd 2005
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As I walked with the demonstrators, an American man on the road paused to tell us we were wasting our time and angering people. The only way to make your voice heard, according to him, is by appointment in court. Feasible, perhaps, for someone from a country where it is permissible and possible to voice your difference of opinion in a court of law.

The mass of protesters, however, represented Tibetans inside of Tibet, those who have been and are still affected by Chinese rule in their country.

November 3rd marked an International Day of Protest against Bombardier's involvement in the Gormo-Lhasa railway.

Bombardier, a Canadian company, earlier this year signed a contract to provide China Railways with highly specialised railway coaches for the invasive railway. While the railway line is touted to bring further development and benefits to the so-called Tibetan Autonomous Region, it is higly questionable what benefits the Tibetans will receive, if any, and who really desires this development.

The railway, once running, is expected to rapidly further the influx of Chinese settlers, thereby rapidly tilting the population ratio in favour of the Chinese population. The major problems associated with this, aside from the undeniable likelihood of Tibetans becoming a small minority in their own, down-sized homeland, are further cultural dilution and degredation, higher unemployment rates--particularly among the Tibetans, who are inevitably the last to secure work in the highly competitive area--, an expected rise in criminal activity, an expected rise in diseases such as HIV AIDS.

Not only will the Tibetan population most certainly become more marginalised socially and economically, but the railway line will also enable the deployment of military and military weapons, further strengthening China's hold in the Tibetan plateau and, in turn, creating an atmosphere of military tension between that border with India.

places to visit TODAY for action ideas:

http://studentsforafreetibet.org/article.php?id=725

http://studentsforafreetibet.org/article.php?id=740


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Express Train

The protest was to highlight Bombardier's involvement in a highly controversal and political issue. Bombardier has formally stated it is not involved in the politics of the railway. However, its supplying of the railcars is involvement enough.
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speaker

Tenzin Tsundue is one of the well-known activists in the Indian Tibet groups. Aside from clear and poignant poetry, he has used his physical presence in a number of places, including the outside of buildings, to bring attention to Tibet-related issues.
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Bombardier balloons

In another attention-grabbing display, a banner reading "Bombardier Out of Tibet" was strung from balloons, hovering well over the main area in McLeod Ganj, highly visible.


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