Cultural sites under threat

The above informer expressed great concern over the possible destruction of two revered spiritual sites in Tibet.

The first relates to the notion propagated by the Chinese that a large diamond lies at the bottom of Lake Lhamo Lhatso, in Gyatsa district 332 Km S.E of Lhasa, one of the most sacred lakes in Tibet. This legend is being used to justify plans for the immediate excavation of the lake.

The second threat relates to the possible sale of Nagla Hill in Nagchu district. The transaction, presently at a halt, is to be carried out by Tenzin, an official leader of the Nagchu district. Such an act is repugnant to the Tibetans as the hill is not only embedded with rich mineral resources but the Tibetan deity of Chakdor (Sanskrit: Vajrapani) is also believed to rest there.

The UN Declaration of the Principles of International Cultural Co-operation specifies that “Each culture has a dignity and value which must be respected and preserved” and that “every people has the right and the duty to develop its own culture”.

The destruction or disposal of sacred sites would amount to a clear violation of the Tibetan people’s right to “freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” and to “freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources” as protected by Article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

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