(TibetanReview.net, Aug25’20) – Chinese police have arrested a Tibetan man and his nephew in Yushu Prefecture of Qinghai province over the weekend after they had tried to dissuade local Tibetans from signing away their rights to their grazing land, angering the local Chinese authorities, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Aug 24.
Bu Dokyab, a 63-year-old community leader, and his nephew Gyaltsen, 43, were held on Aug 21 while they eating in a restaurant in the prefecture’s Tridu (Chinese: Chengduo) County and taken to the county’s Detention Center No. 683, the report cited a local source as saying.
The authorities have not given any reason for arresting the two men who are residents of Chakchok Village in Chigdril Township of neighbouring Chumarleb (Qumalai) County.
The report quoted an unnamed local source as saying, “Recently, Chinese authorities held a meeting in Chumarleb to talk about confiscating the land, and Bu Dokyab during the meeting advised the people there not to give up their ownership of the land, saying that this would destroy their livelihood,” and leave them with nothing to pass on to their future generations.
He was also stated to have “spoken strongly” against nomads giving up their rights to their land, reminding them that it would mean an end to their means of livelihood.
Dokyab, a unit leader in his village, was stated to have previously petitioned the government when sanctioned local government assistance and subsidies to the poor local residents did not reach them in time. It was reported to have earned him two spells of detention by the local police.
While having previously promised that the land belonged to the local people and could not be interfered with for 50 years, several counties in Qinghai Province were reported to have called public meetings this year, at which officials issued advisories and distributed documents, cancelling people’s ownership of their land.
The report did not mention any reason the government may have given to the local residents for the move to take over their land.
The report only said development projects in Tibetan areas had led to frequent standoffs with local residents who accuse Chinese firms and local officials of pilfering money, improperly seizing land, and disrupting their lives.
The report also did not say whether the local people were being offered any sort of compensation for their land and if “yes” whether there was any grievance about it.