Sunday, 16 March 2008

Trouble in Tibet

I have a student that I supervise as part of a European Masters Degree. She is currently working in Tibet for a charity, looking at therapy services for children with severe disabilities. I heard from her the other day as she wanted some information on the next stage of her work. At the end of her email she added the following.

It is quite a special season out here - today and tomorrow unexpectedly there is no running water... and in the area I am working the situation is quite tense. There have been some battles on the street... between different people groups (see note in field diary). And this with other problems going on, see below... So I hope everything goes well... Greetings and looking forward hearing from you
XI'NING, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Severe snow disasters have left 1.65 million people snow-blind and frostbitten, 500,000 livestock and wildlife dead and 3.1 million others on verge of starvation inTibetan prefectures of north-western Qinghai Province.

Since October last year, consecutive low temperature had gripped the province. The temperature plunged to minus 36.3 degrees centigrade, the record lowest in January in the province, said the provincial meteorological bureau. In Yushu, Guoluo and Huangnan Tibet Autonomous Prefectures, most of the grassland was covered by snow, usually 16 to 32 cm thick, which had brought great losses to local animal husbandry. In the disaster-stricken prefectures, 130,000 people had run out of fuels, 350,000 people in need of food and 110,000 others short of warm clothes or quilts, said the provincial government. Currently, the province's task was to evacuate 11,000 people of 2,000 herdsmen households for the local conditions were not fit to live any longer.

I emailed her back and so far we have not heard back from her. There are reports now of serious trouble in Tibet and foreigners are being kept out so I really hope she is okay.


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Michael House said...

we hear just the tiniest bit of what is happpening in Tibet, it sounds pretty horrendous, amazing experience for your student.