Tibet: China Must Stop Forced Evictions
Human Rights Watch has called for a halt to the forced eviction of ethnic Tibetan herders, the resettlement of which often entails violence and the destruction of the Tibetan way of life.
Below is an article written by Ben Blanchard published by Reuters:
But the resettlement often involved the slaughter of animals belonging to the mostly nomadic herders, relocation to poorly built accommodation and inability to find work due to lack of skills or even knowledge of Chinese, Human Rights Watch said.
Others were evicted to make room for public works projects, like dams and roads, it said in a report entitled "No one has the liberty to refuse".
"Tibetans have suffered and continue to suffer civil, cultural, economic and political repression under the rule of the People's Republic of
"Land confiscation and resettlement therefore occur under the implicit threat of force derived from earlier decades when repression was explicit," it added. "In addition, there is effectively no legal recourse available to those affected."
Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Communist rule, and China has ruled with an iron fist ever since.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said another motive for the relocations could be to further undermine Tibetans' unique cultural identity and bring them into the Chinese mainstream, as it has also done in Muslim Xinjiang and
The group said it interviewed about 150 Tibetans affected by relocation between July 2004 and December 2006, but did not reveal their names to prevent the authorities going after them.
"Conditions are poor because the land is so small and we have no livestock," it quoted one relocated Tibetan as saying. "My household has become poor compared to the past."
Another complained that a mine had ruined his land and that compensation paid by the company had not found its way to the herders.
"The miners told them: 'We are paying thousands of yuan to the provincial and prefecture government to mine here, so why should we pay you as well? If you want money, go ask those governments', and there was nothing they could do."
The group said the government should stop all forced resettlements and put in place an independent mechanism for complaints, ensure proper compensation is paid direct to the herders and provide adequate legal help when needed.
Overseas donors should also make sure their funds are not involved in evictions and relocations, it said.
"Chinese officials claim to be promoting economic development and protecting the environment, but it is hard to see those goals actually being achieved or benefiting Tibetan herders," said Brad Adams,
"If the Chinese government won't review this policy, its justifications have to be called into question," he said in a statement.