30 Tibetans arrested by Chinese authorities in Namling dzong, Tibet

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. The source continued: “Several fled to the hills or hid in other areas … The authorities detained 30 Tibetans in Shigatse detention center, but two of them have been moved and we don’t know where they are and haven’t heard from them since” [1]. Another source said that authorities went house to house on May 22, 2010, and insisted that the mining should go ahead-which prompted protests [1]. On the February 2011, the whereabouts of the detainees, remained unknown [2].
Basic Data
Name30 Tibetans arrested by Chinese authorities in Namling dzong, Tibet
SiteWu 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 CommoditiesDetails about mining operations in the region are scarce[1], but probably there are gold and copper mines [4]
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsDetails 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 Date21/05/2010
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationStreet protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Groundwater pollution or depletion, Food insecurity (crop damage), Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
OtherThe 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-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence
Project StatusUnknown
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The protest was repressed by Chinese armed security forces and some 30 Tibetans were arrested by Chinese authorities.
Sources and Materials

“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]


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

[2] Tibet.net, 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
ContributorMyriam Bartolucci, EjAtlas internship researcher, [email protected]
Last update04/06/2016