(TibetanReview.net, Dec01’23) – China said Dec 1 that it had completed this week the relocation of Tibetans from one of the highest villages in Tibet to a lower altitude settlement. Independent sources have in the past condemned such relocations of villagers and nomads as coercive and impoverishing of Tibetans well-adapted to their centuries-old habitat and way of life.
In a culmination of years of planning, a total of 143 villagers from 37 households from Jigkyob village, located at 4,900 meters above sea level, in Lhaze county in the Xizang autonomous region were relocated to a lower altitude settlement this week, reported China’ official chinadaily.com.cn Dec 1.
The report said this project was begun in 2016, with the first of the resettlements begun with the relocation of the village’s 65 most impoverished households. The new settlement was stated to be located 4,012 metres above sea level
Residents of Jigkyob, the highest village in Lhaze county, live off animal husbandry and migrant work, the report said. The report did not cite the total number of villagers relocated, or the name of their new settlement.
Kelsang Gyatso, Party secretary of Jigkyob village, has cited challenges such as a fragile environment, inadequate infrastructure and extreme weather as reasons for the relocation project.
The project was stated to have been supported and funded by Aid-Tibet cadres from Shanghai, enabling China to not only carry out its forced relocation project but also to provide employment to mainland Chinese while claiming to aid poverty alleviation and development in Tibet.
Chinese projects in Tibet, like those in other countries, typically employ mainland Chinese workers to the detriment of the interest of the local residents.
The report cited Gong Airu, head of the Shanghai’s working group on the pairing campaign in Lhaze, and deputy executive secretary of the county, as saying that after over a year of hard work, the initial stage of the residential project had been concluded.