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Mandarin fails to attract students in Tibetan monasteries and nunneries across India, Nepal and Bhutan

Mandarin fails to attract students in Tibetan monasteries and nunneries across India, Nepal and Bhutan | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Tibetan Leaders may be trying hard to woo Chinese counterparts to engage in talks to resolve the half a century old Tibetan issues, but the other side of the story reveals that Tibetan community in exile is least interested in the Mandarin (Chinese language) that was introduced in monasteries by the Tibetan government in Exile. Even after continuous encouragement of the Tibetan government in exile, there are few takers of the language. Acting on the suggestion of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, Department of Religion and Culture, Central Tibetan Administration had introduced Mandarin in Tibetan monasteries and nunneries scattered across India, Nepal and Bhutan in the year 2007. 

 

Citing the reason behind the lukewarm response, Pema Chinjor, Kalon (Minister) of the Department of Religion and Culture, CTA said most of the students in monasteries prefer Hindi and English instead of opting for Chinese. Tibetan officials said that another reason why the initiative has failed was the shortage of trained Chinese teachers.

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NEWS AND INFORMATION ABOUT TIBET AND THE TIBETAN PEOPLE
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The world’s third-largest area of ice is about to undergo a systematic investigation

The world’s third-largest area of ice is about to undergo a systematic investigation | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Though the amount of ice on the plateau of Tibet and its surrounding mountains, such as the Himalayas, Karakoram and Pamirs, is a lot smaller than that at the poles, it is still huge. The area’s 46,000 glaciers cover 100,000 square kilometres (40,000 square miles)—about 6% of the area of the Greenland ice cap. Another 1.7m square kilometres is permafrost, which can be up to 130 metres deep. That is equivalent to 7% of the Arctic’s permafrost. Unlike the ice at the poles, the fate of this ice affects a lot of people directly. The area is known by some as Asia’s water tower, because it is the source of ten of the continent’s biggest rivers. About 1.5 billion people, in 12 countries, live in the basins of those rivers. Welcome, then, to the Earth’s “Third Pole”.


Researchers will now monitor a set of bellwether glaciers every six months. They will set up observatories to measure solar radiation, snowfall, meltwater and changes in the soil, as well as air temperature, pressure, humidity and wind. And they plan to take cores from the ice on the Tibetan plateau. These will let them reconstruct the area’s climate over the past few hundred thousand years. Together, these data will give them a better grip on how much—and why—the Third Pole is changing.

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Dalai Lama's familiar message still delights

Dalai Lama's familiar message still delights | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

The Dalai Lama urges peace, compassion and dialogue — all of which seem in short supply in Tibet, the land he fled in 1959 and now is roiled by tensions between its Chinese rulers and nationalists yearning for their spiritual leader's return.

 

He never mentioned Tibet's troubles Tuesday in a lecture at the University of Maryland. But he decried violence to solve political problems. "The worst thing about it, it is always unpredictable," he said. "It may create unexpected consequences."

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Tibetan activist freed in critical condition after 25 years in China prison

Tibetan activist freed in critical condition after 25 years in China prison | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Chinese authorities in Tibet have released one of the region’s longest-serving political prisoners and sent him home in critical condition following a quarter century of torture and abuse in prison, according to Tibetan sources.

Lobsang Tenzin, who was serving a 25-year term, was released in June 2012, former prison cellmate Penpa Tsemonling told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Thursday, speaking from New York and citing several sources in the region.

Tenzin had been jailed for his role in anti-China protests in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in 1988. He was one of five Tibetans charged in the death of a Chinese police officer who was beaten and thrown from a window after being detected photographing protest participants. Tenzin’s role in the killing was never clearly established, with one long-time Tibet expert describing the trial in a September 2011 interview as “completely unfair.”

In 1991, Tenzin and another prisoner attempted to pass a list containing the names of Tibetan political prisoners to then-U.S. Ambassador to China James Lilley, who was visiting Tibet. The attempt led to further beatings and a term in solitary confinement.

Two other long-serving Tibetan prisoners were freed in March. Activist Jigme Gyatso, 52, was freed after serving 17 years in prison with hard labor for seeking independence for Tibet and calling for the long life of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Another activist, Dawa Gyaltsen, a former bank accountant and believed to be about 47, was released after 17 years with a limp in one of his legs having worsened due to ill-treatment and torture in prison.

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Dying for Tibet, but will cause expire with Dalai Lama?

Dying for Tibet, but will cause expire with Dalai Lama? | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Nathan W. Hill, a lecturer in Tibetan studies at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, says there are concerns about the Dalai Lama's demise and what might transpire.

 

"The Free Tibet movement might deflate; it might loose celebrity interest; it might go violent. Many Tibetan exiles and members of the government in exile are worried that the death of the Dalai Lama could lead to a radicalisation of the movement that would loose it the hard-won sense of sobriety and dignity that has made it a cause célèbre in the West," he told me.

 

"What they don't understand is that all of that is worth a hill of beans. How has it helped a single Tibetan in Tibet to have Richard Gere and Steven Segal on side? Tibet will continue to be a problem for China so long as the Chinese blame their problems on causes other than their own failed policies."

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Two more Buddhist monks self-immolate to protest Beijing's policies in Tibet

Two more Buddhist monks self-immolate to protest Beijing's policies in Tibet | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Two Buddhist monks are reported dead in southwestern China, after setting themselves on fire at a monastery to protest Beijing's policies in Tibet.

Sources with contacts in the region tell VOA the 20-year-old and 23-year-old protesters were monks at the flashpoint Kirti monastery who had spent most of their lives at the facility -- home to more than 700 Buddhists.

More than 100 monks, nuns and their supporters have self-immolated in Tibet and Tibetan regions since February 2009, when Chinese authorities renewed their crackdown on protests against Chinese rule.

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Concerns arise over China's dam building drive in Tibet

Concerns arise over China's dam building drive in Tibet | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

 China’s construction of a series of dams on the Tibetan Plateau has raised concerns both among neighboring countries downstream and among experts, who fear adverse environmental impacts including the interruption of water flows on shared rivers and the possibility of earthquakes.


To feed its growing demand for energy, China is building a hydropower dam called the Zangmu on Tibet’s Yarlung Tsangpo River, which flows into India and Pakistan as the Brahmaputra, and plans to build three others. Meanwhile, in Eastern Tibet, China is building a series of dams on rivers that flow into Southeast Asia.

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US Senators urge Secretary of State John Kerry to make Tibet integral issue

US Senators urge Secretary of State John Kerry to make Tibet integral issue | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Twenty-one U.S. senators have urged Secretary of State John Kerry to make Tibet an "integral issue" during his visit to China on Saturday.

In a bipartisan letter, the senators called on Kerry to take specific steps during his visit, including urging China's government to resume dialogue with Tibetan leaders.  They also recommended that Kerry appoint a new U.S. special coordinator for Tibetan issues and establish a U.S. consulate in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

The letter was authored by Republicans Mark Udall and Marco Rubio, and Democrat Dianne Feinstein

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Organic pollutants now cccumulating in Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau: Scientific American

Organic pollutants now cccumulating in Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau: Scientific American | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Toxic chemicals are accumulating in the ecosystems of the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau, researchers warn in the first comprehensive study to assess levels of certain organic pollutants in that part of the world.

“The rigor and quality of the work are impressive,” says Surendra Singh, an ecologist at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun. “It’s the first study to quantify the accumulation of [persistent organic pollutants] in ecosystems in the region.”

 

To trace the sources of those pollutants, Xu and his colleagues correlated meteorological measurements with chemical compositions of air parcels sampled at 16 locations across the region. They found that POPs in the western Tibetan plateau were transported by the westerly winds from Europe and Africa, whereas those in the southern and southeastern regions were brought by the Indian monsoon from South Asia.

 

The results “are another warning of the way we use chemicals”, says David Molden, director of the Integrated Center for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu.

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Dalai Lama lends support to author’s book highlighting Tibetan refugee plight

Dalai Lama lends support to author’s book highlighting Tibetan refugee plight | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Lesley Freeman who has spent time working and volunteering in Tibet and has written a book based on her experiences. "Running from Tenda Gyamar". There will be a launch event held at Tibet House in London on April 26, where there will be music from Tibetan musicans and Lesley will give a talk about her book.

 

For more information, visit www.volunteerfortibet.com or email volunteerfortibet@ymail.com


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Tibetan self-immolation toll rises to 113

Tibetan self-immolation toll rises to 113 | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

The Tibetan self-immolation toll has risen to 113 after it was confirmed that a monk and his niece had burned themselves in protest against Chinese rule and not due to a home accident as reported earlier, according to the Tibetan government-in-exile.


Tulku Athup and niece Atse self-immolated at his Dzogchen monastery in Sichuan Province on April 6 last year. But fearing closure of the monastery, officials at the institution told Chinese police that they had died due to an "accidental fire," the Central Tibetan Administration, the official name of the India-based exile government, said on its website on Wednesday.

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Norbu Tsering (1927-2013): greatest opera master in the history of Tibet opera

Norbu Tsering (1927-2013): greatest opera master in the history of Tibet opera | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Norbu Tsering la was the greatest opera master in the history of Ache Lhamo (Tibetan opera — literal meaning “sister goddess”) He was born in 1927 in Lhasa, Tibet, and had dedicated his entire life for Ache Lhamo. His father was an opera performer, and believed to be the most famous female character performer. His five brothers were all opera performers. They were all in the famous opera company Kyomolung. In old Tibet, only four of the twelve opera centers could perform at Norbulingka Palace, and Kyomolung troupe was one of them.

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Lhasa-based "Explore Tibet" announces 2013 Tibet travel permit guidelines

Lhasa-based "Explore Tibet" announces 2013 Tibet travel permit guidelines | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Explore Tibet - a Lhasa-based travel agency committed to responsible tourism, Tibetan travel permit and sustainable practice - has announced that Tibet travel permits will re-open to foreign tourists starting from April 1st, with no group size limitation, and no mixed nationality limitation—groups of different nationalities can travel together. On Mar, 25th, Tibet Tourism Bureau gave an official notice that Tibet will be open on April 1st. This means restrictions on foreigners traveling to Tibet have been lifted by the Chinese government. http://www.exploretibet.com


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30 year old mother-of-four dies of self-immolation in Tibet: toll rises to 110

30 year old mother-of-four dies of self-immolation in Tibet: toll rises to 110 | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

A Tibetan woman has died Sunday after setting herself ablaze in eastern Tibet - the latest in a series of self-immolation protests gainst China's hardline and repressive policies on Tibet. This incidents has pushed the total number of self-immolations in Tibet to 110, at-least 92 of them reportedly passed-away due to burn injuries.

 

Kalkyi, a 30-year old Tibetan mother-of-four, set herself ablaze on March 24, around 3.30pm (Local Tibetan Time) near Dzamthang Jonang Monastery in Dzamthang township in Golok Pema, Ngaba in Amdho region, eastern Tibet." Tseyang Gyatso, a Tibetan currently living in Dharamshala told The Tibet Post International.

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China is transforming Tibet's holiest area into a tourist district

China is transforming Tibet's holiest area into a tourist district | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

China is transforming the ancient part of Tibet's capital into a tourist district according to a visiting native of the area, Amy Li of the South China Morning Post reports.The construction project near the Jokhang temple — the most sacred and important temple in Tibet — reportedly involves building a 150,000 square meter shopping center and an underground parking lot in the heart of the ancient city.

 

Li reports that the government plans to evict vendors and residents in the area so that their houses and shops could be used to attract new businesses including restaurants, bars, and art galleries. “Lhasa is being destroyed by excessive commercial development,” Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser, who lives in Beijing but grew up in the capital, wrote in a letter after visiting the area. “Please save Lhasa.”

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The silence around Tibet's ecological crisis

The silence around Tibet's ecological crisis | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

"Tibet is still a very sensitive topic, even if your story is about the environment and not politics," said an editor, who prefers to remain unnamed, of the environmental section ofSouthern Weekly, a paper the New York Times has called the most influential liberal newspaper in China.

 

In early April, several satellite images were sent to Southern Weekly; the pictures suggested that the fatal landslide in a Tibetan mining site on March 29 -- labeled a "natural disaster" -- might be related to inappropriate and illegal operations.

 

China faces serious environmental challenges nationwide, and Tibet is no exception. As announced in the country's 12th five year plan, Tibet was slated to become a mining center and ahydropower engine. While the environmental impacts of mining are well-known, those of hydropower are less so.


While foreign media and NGOs are virtually banned from entering Tibet, domestic media and NGOs are also aware that they should stay out, or at least keep quiet even on environmental challenges in Tibet.


The communications gap exists not only between Tibetans and government officials, but between Tibetans and most normal Han Chinese. For Han Chinese, the absence of knowledge about modern Tibetan history and lack of tolerance towards different belief systems make it harder for them to understand the Tibetans.

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Tibet's man on fire: National Geographic in-depth report on 27-year-old Tibetan

Tibet's man on fire: National Geographic in-depth report on 27-year-old Tibetan | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Tibetans continue to burn. This week, two monks from Taktsang Lhamo Kirti monastery, Lobsang Dawa and Konchok Woeser, set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule. A week earlier, a young mother by the single name Chugtso self-immolated, leaving behind her husband and a three-year-old child. Well over a hundred Tibetans have sacrificed themselves in this way since 2009. Yet it's very difficult for journalists to cover the burnings, because Chinese authorities block access to the areas where they occur, and impose punishments on those who provide information to the outside world. The self-immolation a year ago of Jamphel Yeshi, however, took place in India, beyond the Chinese news blockade. National Geographic covered his story in detail: 27-year-old Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan who burned himself in protest against Chinese policies in March 2012.

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2 Tibetan monks, 1 woman, self-immolate in protest against Chinese rule

2 Tibetan monks, 1 woman, self-immolate in protest against Chinese rule | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Three Tibetans have died after setting themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule in a western region where authorities have imposed a heavy security presence, exiled Buddhist monks and reports said Thursday.

 

Two of the three latest protesters were monks at a monastery in Ruo’ergai county of Aba prefecture, according to exiled monks and the Free Tibet group. The two monks, aged 20 and 23, set themselves on fire in a corner of an assembly hall of the Taktsang Lhamo Kirti monastery. U.S. broadcaster Radio Free Asia reported that a 23 years old Tibetan woman in Rangtang county in the same prefecture also died after self-immolating Wednesday.

 

More than 100 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2011 to protest Chinese policies in the region and call for the return of their beloved spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, from exile.

 
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Eight Tibetan students jailed for defending language rights

Eight Tibetan students jailed for defending language rights | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

A court in northwest China’s Qinghai province has sentenced eight Tibetan students to prison terms of up to four years for their role in protests defending their right to use the Tibetan language, according to sources in the region and in exile.

The students were sentenced on April 10 by the Chabcha (in Chinese, Gonghe) County People’s Court in the Tsolho (Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)  said on Wednesday.

More than a thousand Tibetan students from various schools had protested on Nov. 26, 2012 over the release of an official Chinese booklet that ridiculed the Tibetan language as “irrelevant,” local sources had told RFA’s Tibetan Service. Students burned copies of the book during the protest and called for “equality among nationalities and freedom to study the Tibetan language,” one source said, citing local contacts.

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Thousands gather after young Tibetan mother self-immolates - toll now 116

Thousands gather after young Tibetan mother self-immolates - toll now 116 | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

A young Tibetan mother burned herself to death on Tuesday in Sichuan province to protest Chinese rule in Tibetan areas, drawing thousands of villagers and monks to her home and a monastery near which she self-immolated, according to sources in the region and in exile.

Chugtso, 20, self-immolated at about 3:00 p.m. local time near Dzamthang (in Chinese, Rangtang) county’s Jonang monastery, a Tibetan living in India and with contacts in the county told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“Her self-immolation was in protest against China’s repressive policies in Tibet,” Tsangyang Gyatso said, citing sources in the region.

Chugtso’s burning brings to 116 the number of Tibetans who have burned themselves to protest Chinese rule and policies, with many also calling for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

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Tibetan protester returns home after five years in jail

Tibetan protester returns home after five years in jail | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Authorities in northwest China’s Qinghai province have released a Tibetan activist after he served five years of a six-year jail term for protesting against Beijing’s rule in Tibetan areas, sources said. 

The release follows the freeing in March of two other Tibetan activists, both of whom served 17-year terms and were let go in poor health after suffering ill-treatment and torture in prison.

Lhatsog, a resident of Lungkar village in Chigdril (in Chinese, Jiuzhi) county in the Golog (Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, was released on Thursday after serving five years in jail, a Swiss-based Tibetan told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Friday.

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Tibet mine disaster shows failure of resources policy to benefit minorities

Tibet mine disaster shows failure of resources policy to benefit minorities | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

A landslide that crashed down a Tibetan mountain, entombing scores of mine workers, serves as a parable for the nation's resources boom and its failure to benefit ethnic minorities, analysts say.

 

The 83 workers killed in the disaster were almost all members of the Han ethnic majority and from across the country, illustrating how minorities rarely see the fruits of underground wealth - not even dangerous jobs.

 

China has enjoyed decades of stunning economic growth but critics say much mineral development, often in poor minority regions, has been reckless and inefficient, coming with a high environmental and cultural cost.

 

About 91 per cent of the population of 1.35 billion is classified as ethnic Han, with the rest scattered among 55 other ethnic groups, including Uygurs, Manchus, Mongols, Koreans and Kazakhs as well as Tibetans.

 

Areas with significant minority populations such as Xinjiang, Tibet, and Inner Mongolia hold resources including oil, gas, copper, iron ore, coal and so-called rare earths - key components in hi-tech products such as smartphones.

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Tibetan political prisoner released after 17 years in Chinese jail

Tibetan political prisoner released after 17 years in Chinese jail | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

The Tibetan political prisoner Jigme Gyatso has been released after 17 years in a Chinese prison and is reported to be in poor health as a result of his treatment, an overseas Tibetan spokesman and US-backed broadcaster have said. He was arrested during a crackdown on dissent in 1996, and was sentenced to 15 years on charges of "inciting splittism" and the now-abolished crime of "counter-revolution".

 

The 52-year-old former monk has returned to his home town in an ethnic Tibetan area in the north-west province of Gansu, according to Tashi Phuntsok, spokesman for the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile in India. He said Jigme Gyatso had been released about one year early, probably because of poor health due to harsh treatment in prison.

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One more Tibetan self-immolates to protest Chinese rule - toll climbs to 111

One more Tibetan self-immolates to protest Chinese rule - toll climbs to 111 | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Reports coming out of Tibet say a Tibetan man has set himself on fire to protest the Chinese rule in Tibet, taking the total self-immolations to 111.

 

Lhamo Kyab, 43, set himself on fire in Sangchu county (Ch:Xiahe) in Kanlho in north-eastern Tibet (incorporated into China’s Gansu Province) Monday (25 March). Local Tibetans later found his last remains at the protest site. After the news of his immolation spread, Chinese police and security officials arrived at the site. Movements of local Tibetans have been restricted after the incident.

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Tibet suffers as China seeks its "modernization"

Tibet suffers as China seeks its "modernization" | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Tibetans protest the subjugation of their culture and repression of their religion. They protest the government’s choice of Chinese as the official language — if that possibility was even open at all — which is a choice further preventing Tibetans from participating in their governance. They object to the fact that no Tibetan serves a leadership role in the faction of the military that presides over Tibet. They protest the patronizing resettlement and “modernization” of thousands of Tibetan nomads — a (formerly) common occupation in large swaths of Tibet — which many people see, along with the recently built Qinghai-Tibet railway, as a guise to permit easier extraction access to the vast mineral deposits in Tibet’s interior.

 

Thus, it’s easy to see why even the most ardent advocates for Tibet, such as Norbu and the Dalai Lama, are pessimistic about the prospects of change there. For many Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama, pleas are no longer for independence but merely some degree of self-determination and autonomy or, at the least, good-faith talks with the Chinese.

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Tibet glaciers melting due to South Asian pollution: China

Tibet glaciers melting due to South Asian pollution: China | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

About 90 per cent of glaciers in Tibet called the Third Pole region, are shrinking because of black carbon pollution "transferred from South Asia" to the Tibetan Plateau, a Chinese scientist has warned. 

The Third Pole region, which is centred on the Tibetan Plateau and concerns the interests of the surrounding countries and regions, covers more than five million square kilometres and has an average altitude of more than 4,000 metres. 

Like Antarctica and the Arctic, the Third Pole is drawing increased attention from the international academic community, but the results of former international studies in this area are inconsistent, Yao Tandong, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research said. 

The area has the largest number of glaciers outside the polar region and exerts a direct influence on the social and economic development of some of the most densely populated regions on earth, including China and India. The glaciers are at the headwaters of many prominent Asian rivers.

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