China punishes, detains Tibetans for reoccupying their grabbed unused land

Tibetans petition in southwest China's Chengdu for the return of land seized by local government, Jan. 28, 2015. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
Tibetans petition in southwest China’s Chengdu for the return of land seized by local government, Jan. 28, 2015. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(, Sep26, 2015) – China has withdrawn welfare subsidies to Tibetan families in Thangkor Town in Dzoege (Chinese: Ruo’ergai) County of Ngaba (Aba) Prefecture, Sichuan Province, after they appealed for the return of land taken from them by the government for claimed development projects after they remained unused for five years, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Sep 24. And when the Tibetans protested, they detained at least a dozen of them on Sep 22, the report added.

The Tibetans had made their appeal on May 15 after the local authorities began leasing the land supposedly taken over for government development projects to private individuals. And when the Tibetans appealed for the return of their land as it was not being used for the claimed public purposes, the local government promised to settle the issue by Sep 20.

However, when nothing happened after that deadline passed, the local Tibetans reoccupied their land. The Chinese government responded by sending police forces from Dzoege as well as other counties of Ngaba Prefecture on Sep 22, severely beating the Tibetans and taking away at least 12 of them. The detained Tibetans included those named as Dobe, Shetruk, Tsering Kyab, Patra, Tsering Tashi and Tsokyi who had helped to write the Sep 15 appeal.

The whereabouts of Jigje (also known as Jigme) Kyab, 39, who organized the appeal remains unknown while his sister Tsokyi was severely beaten before being released. The others were said to be held in neighbouring Marthang (Hongyuan) County.

Kyab, custodian of documents supporting the Tibetan claim to the grabbed property, was said to be also among the organizers of a Jan 28 protest by 20 Thangkor-area Tibetans in Chengdu where the Provincial People’s Congress was in session. At that time 11 Tibetans were held. All but two were released later on. Kyab fled and therefore managed to escape detention at that time.


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