Protests after ‘land grab’ in Ngaba

24th July 2015

Armed police threaten protesters

‘Bullying’ officials have left twenty families without winter grazing land after selling it, without notice, for a government-sponsored power plant. The nomadic groups of Makor Village, Ngaba, eastern Tibet, were notified of the land grab last month when they received 600 Yuan compensation from the head of their community, who was involved with the deal. On hearing the news of the 1,000,000 Yuan sale, villagers visited the grazing sites to find Chinese workers excavating the land and members of the affected families began protesting. A member of the local community said: “with the fear of getting into trouble in the past, no one stood up against the leaders for any injustices committed against us to date. But this time, it's too much. They have over-bullied us. We are unable to tolerate this. Therefore, we are protesting for justice to protect our grassland. We are risking ourselves to raise awareness of the issue to make people understand what's happening over here.”

2015 07 Land Grab 3.jpgTibetan protester arrested and led away

Tibetans arrested

Despite being told by officials the land now belonged to the government, protestors set up tents. Around 15 armed police later arrived and threatened to arrest villagers if they did not desist. On 18 July, three Tibetans at the demonstration were taken away and others were threatened with arrest if they disturbed the digging activities. The three detainees were later released and Tibetans are continuing their protests to protect the grassland.

Tibetan land taken by China

Local officials have made assurances they will resolve the issue but land grabbing is a frequent source of protest in Tibet and disputes are rarely resolved in Tibetans’ favour.

Woman arrested after 80th birthday celebrations

Tashi Kyi.jpgTashi Kyi

Another Ngaba resident has also been detained by Chinese authorities recently. Tashi Kyi, a 20-year-old Tibetan, was arrested on July 2 and taken to Ngaba County Town, where the local authority is based. It is thought the authorities made the arrest in connection with a celebration of the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday on June 21 however it is not clear if Tashi Kyi took part. There is no further information on her current condition or whereabouts.

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