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Published: November 3rd 2005
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:
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