Tibetan farmers and nomads have had their land ownership documents seized by the Chinese government in the name of grasslands preservation, according to Free Tibet’s research partner, Tibet Watch.
The confiscations have been taking place in Tsongon in eastern Tibet.
On 21 August, two Tibetan nomads were arrested for their resistance to these land ownership confiscations. Dokyab, aged 63, and his relative Gyaltsen, aged 43, are both nomads from Chikdril Village in Chumar County in eastern Tibet.
They have been detained since and their condition remains unknown.
The local authorities in various counties under the control of Qinghai Province reportedly summoned the public for a meeting regarding grasslands. The meeting was held in a strict manner whereby mobile phones and cameras were banned inside the venue. In addition, the attendants were frisked and registered one by one after the meeting. The attendants were further ordered to sign the agreement upon the land confiscation. A 17-page document stating the guidelines for grasslands ownership was distributed.
Many of the Tibetan nomads are reportedly struggling to come to terms with having to forcibly surrender their ancestral lands to the Chinese authorities. Dokyab and Gyaltsen were among these Tibetan nomads and were arrested for having voiced their unwillingness to surrender their proprietorship.
Confiscation of land and mass relocations of Tibetans by the Chinese government are long-term trends under the occupation. These actions affect Tibetan nomads even more directly as they often own, live and work in their lands for generations, and lead a traditional lifestyle.
Whilst the local authorities claim to have carried out various projects to alleviate impoverished nomads since 2011, the nomads have disputed the benefits of such poverty alleviation projects. Often, Tibetan nomads are never given the promised financial assistance from the government.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch