UNPO, July 27 2017
On 25 July 2017, Liverpool Football Club announced Tibet Water Resources Limited (TWRL) as their new Official Regional Water Partner in China. TWRL is commercially exploiting Tibet’s water resources, thereby further undermining Tibet’s right to self-determination. While the Chinese company profits from Tibet’s resources, water bottling in Tibet threatens the region’s fragile ecosystem, which is already threatened by the effects of pollution, climate change and controversial development projects.
Below is a press release by Free Tibet:
It is regrettable that Liverpool Football Club has announced Tibet Water Resources Limited (TWRL) as their Official Regional Water Partner in China.
Chinese companies such as TWRL are only able to commercially exploit Tibet’s water resources because China has brutally enforced a military occupation on Tibet since invading it in 1950. The absolute denial of political freedoms and the widespread use of torture and other forms of severe repression are commonplace in Tibet and have turned the country into a human rights black spot.
The Chinese government’s human rights abuses in Tibet continue to draw condemnation from across the world. Signing a deal with a company that exploits Tibet’s resources lends legitimacy to China’s military occupation and the abuses that help prop it up. So long as the occupation and abuses continue, any such partnership is an affront to Tibet’s beleaguered people.
There is also an environmental risk to bottling from Tibet’s glaciers. Tibet’s environment and water resources are already under severe threat from pollution, climate change and the effects of massive damming and diversion projects undertaken by the Chinese government. Water bottling in Tibet risks exacerbating this environmental destruction and continues to deny Tibetans the right to manage their own resources.
We have already received messages by Liverpool fans who are concerned that their football club is entering into such an unethical and unwise partnership. We urge Liverpool’s commercial department to see the damage that this deal could cause to Tibetans, and the risks it poses to the club’s reputation, and terminate this agreement.