Chinese soldiers, officials start farming in Karze as Tibetans boycott it in protest


(, Apr 13, 2009) — As Tibetans in Karze (Chinese: Ganzi) Prefecture of Sichuan Province remain defiant in their refusal to farm their land as a show of passive resistance, China has sent in the People’s Liberation Army to work with farmers – or in their place if need be – to carry out spring planting in mountainous regions able to support only one crop a year, reported Times Online (UK) Apr 11. The Tibetan defiance continues despite official threats to cancel the Tibetans’ land lease.

The report said state-run TV broadcast shows footage, shot by army cameramen, of soldiers accompanying Tibetan farmers into the fields to plough and hoe. It said the Government had even ordered officials and party members into the fields themselves to get on with the spring planting.

Karze still remains cut off to foreigners, especially the media, so no foreign media has been able to do any firsthand report on the situation there. However, the head of the exile Tibetan government, Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, recently asked the Tibetans to resume their farm work.

Rather than addressing the Tibetan people’s concerns by righting its wrong policies, including by releasing political prisoners and easing religious repression, China is intensifying the repression. The Times Online report said that on Apr 5, the paramilitary People’s Armed Police paraded detainees in seven trucks around the streets of Garze. “Each suspect was held by two police, who forced them to bow their heads. A notice was hung around the neck of each one, although a Tibetan source said that he could not read them because he was unfamiliar with Chinese characters.”


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