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China detains 170 Tibetan herders for opposing confiscation of their grassland

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(TibetanReview.net, May14’22) – Chinese authorities in Golok (Chinese: Guoluo) Prefecture of Qinghai Province have rounded up for questioning on May 10 some 170 Tibetan herders for opposing a government move to confiscate their ancestral grassland, said London-based Free Tibet campaign group on its freetibet.org website May 13, citing its research partner Tibet Watch.

While these detentions have taken place in Cheudru Village of Gade (Gande) County, the same move was stated to be underway in the prefecture’s other counties as well, namely Machen (Maqin), Matoe (Maduo), Darlag (Dari), Pema (Banma), and Chigdrul (Jiuzhi).

A permit issued decades ago is said to allow the Tibetan herders to use their ancestrally inherited grassland for 50 years. That period is now coming to an end and the authorities want to subsume their grassland under Chinese state ownership.

The Tibetan herders were stated to have been taken into custody after they opposed an order from the local Chinese authorities, demanding to check their grassland use permits and to confiscate their grassland if the period of 50 years had expired. They were made to stand in line outside the local police station to be questioned individually.

In neighbouring Yulshul (Yushu) Prefecture, the authorities were stated to have carried out a similar move last year. As a result, all grasslands in this prefecture are now said to be owned by the Chinese government.

The report did not say whether the Tibetan herders were receiving any compensation for their lost livelihood or otherwise any alternative source of earning a living.

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