Wednesday, 27 June 2012

One railroad serves all (Purposes): Geopolitical analysis of the Qinghai-Tibet Railroad

by Ms. S. Swathi Meenakshi*

He who holds Tibet dominates the Himalayan piedmont; he who dominates the Himalayan piedmont threatens the Indian subcontinent and he who threatens the Indian subcontinent may well have all of South Asia within his reach, and with it all of Asia.
~ George Ginsburgs and Michael Mathos[i]

Relations between India and China have traditionally been tenuous. Earlier, the mountainous terrain of the Himalayan ranges, Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal acted as buffer areas to ease tension between the two Asian giants. But, recent infrastructure developments along the border raise questions of concern. China’s build up holds important security implications for India and adds heat to age old territorial claims. Given this background, of particular significance is the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway line. This railroad symbolizes China’s sovereignty over Tibet while establishing its technological prowess in building the highest railroad in the world[ii]. The railroad will gain ever more strategic significance as it connects hitherto inaccessible parts of the Tibetan plateau with the ‘Chinese motherland’. This paper tries to examine the geopolitical[iii] implications of such developments.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Tibet’s Environmental Issues Raised at Rio+20 (UNCSD) Summit by EDD Staff

EDD staff continues to raise pressing issues concerning Tibet’s environment during the events and activities of UNCSD Rio+20 conference being held in Brazil.

Mr. Tempa Gyaltsen Zamlha, a researcher at the Environment and Development Desk (DIIR) of Central Tibetan Administration has been taking active participation in several events and activities of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) commonly called Rio+20 being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Conference focuses on two main themes:  a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Transforming Yamdrok Yumtso: Development for Whom and At What Cost?

According to reports, the authorities of Shannan Prefecture in southern Tibet have ordered to stop plans to run lake cruises on sacred Yamdrok Lake.

Recently, as part of the tourism development program of the Nagarze county, a tour company had already bought and launched a tour boat on the Yamdrok Yumtso (Tibetan: ཡར་འབྲོག་གཡུ་མཚོ་, Wylie: yar-'brog g.yu-mtsho) and was planning to offer rides around the lake beginning next month. Besides, the program also included setting up over 200 beach umbrellas on the shore of the lake. On May 24, the tour company and the Langkazi county government launched a tour boat named Qomolangma, which was bought from inland districts in China and also began trial runs reports Global Times.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

World Environment Day: EDD in Action

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 marks the 40th observance of World Environment Day, a global day for environmental awareness organized by the United Nation since 1972.

In Dharamshala (a north Indian city in Himachal Pradesh), several events and activities were organized to raise awareness about environment protection and discuss ways to restore it. Tibetan Women's organization observed the day by organizing various green events such as marathon race, cycle rally, mass clean up & tree plantation. The Local Indian NGOs led by Prof. Kalia also organized events which included poster and speech competition among children of three local Indian schools.