Surveillance ramped up after anti-dam protests

Residents in Jomda County face patrols and house to house searches as CCP tries to “strengthen social control”

Our research partner Tibet Watch, has learned that two villages in Jomda County listed for relocation to make way for the Kamtok hydropower dam were subjected to house-to-house checks in March. The measures followed protests against the dam by residents of the neighbouring county of Dege in February.

According to a news report published on the official WeChat platform of Wonpotoe Township, Dege County, between 13 and 14 March 2024, Huang Jun, Secretary of the Leading Party Group and Chamdo Municipal Bureau of Statistics, who also serves as the Deputy Director of Chamdo City, went to the villages of Chage and Zhouge of Wonpotoe Township to oversee ”the entry of thousands of cadres into thousands of villages, scrutinising the conflicts and potential security risks”.

In February, a Tibet Watch source named both Chage and Zhouge among 12 villages that are set to be relocated to make way for Kamtok dam.

Information about all Tibetan farmers and nomads in Wonpotoe Tonwship – including the two villages Huang Jun visited- is expected to have been collected through door-to-door visits under the campaign of One household and One file (yī hù yī dàng) – a household information management system that came into force in the Tibet Autonomous Region since last year.

The village-based party cadres conducted door-to-door ”investigation, watching and interrogation” visits. which are also known to be used to extract opinion and political sentiments about the Chinese Communist Party and its policies from residents, and to coerce residents into complying with government orders. 

The same news report added that in the name of “strengthening social control”, the village-based cardres have been patrolling the villages, monasteries and other sensitive sites. This task has been carried out alongside members of the village-level party committees and the heads of the double-linked households in Wonpotoe Township. The latter is a system of social control in which households are divided into groups of 10 to monitor each other’s activities for the dual purpose of maintaining public security and ensuring poverty alleviation.

Informed supplied by Tibet Watch

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