(TibetanReview.net, Jun28’22) – The local government of Chinese ruled Tibet Autonomous Region is to relocate more than 130,000 Tibetans in nearly 100 townships in eight years, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency Jun 27. And the official chinadaily.com.cn said Jun 27 that more than 26,300 will be relocated by Aug 11 this year.
“The relocation scheme reflects a people-centered development thought, taking consideration of both the ecological protection and people’s demand for a better life,” the Xinhua report quoted Wu Wei, director of the regional forestry and grassland administration, as saying.
But such a relocation programme of Tibetan farmers and herders in the past, including in parts of Qinghai Province, have been criticized by outside observers for its coercive nature and for pauperizing once proud, economically subsistent Tibetan nomads and farmers. The programme was seen to reduce such Tibetans to a life of abject dependence on state largesse and socio-economic disorientation.
The chinadaily.com.cn report said that under the region’s relocation policy, which started in 2016, many rural residents living at altitudes above 4,800 meters had been moved to lower valleys more suitable for human habitation.
Citing Tibet Daily, the regional party mouthpiece, the report said more than 26,300 rural residents of 6,306 households will be relocated to the Sinpori site in the prefectural city of Lhokha (Chinese: Shannan) before Aug 11.
The report said the latest relocation plan that was already underway will help residents from 58 villages in 12 townships in the counties of Tsonyi, Amdo and Nyima in Nagchu City.
The first group of families is expected to arrive in their new community by Jul 15, the report added.
The Lhokha city government was stated to have accelerated infrastructure construction, including housing, water and electricity supplies, traffic, schools and clinics.