Nomads left without compensation after land grab

17th May 2018

Nomadic families in Nyimo County, Central Tibet, appeal for justice one year after local authorities seized their land without compensation

Tibet Watch has confirmed that 60 nomadic families are still waiting for compensation after land was taken from them in mid-2017. The land was confiscated purportedly under the pretext that it was being turned into a farming zone or a pasture. However, over the past year the land has been neglected and left in a condition unsuitable for grazing.   

While the exact motive for confiscation remains unknown, there were fears amongst locals that the area could be used for mining. 

Since the confiscation local nomads livelihoods have been endangered as several thousand sheep and goats as well as over a hundred domestic animals have starved. 

Villagers were threatened by town officials against appealing to higher officials when they visited the local area. Locals were either told to remain silent or leave, otherwise they would face arrest or jail.

When the villagers asked for compensation for the land they were told no compensation would be given as the land belonged to the Chinese Communist Party.

A video clip, smuggled out of Tibet, shows a local man wailing and appealing to the authorities to inspect the land. He can be heard saying:

Look at the land left by the local authorities in this condition. They told us that the land will be turned into lawn or a field. Look at this land! Will any vegetation grow here? When the authorities visited, the town officials warned us to remain silent or face arrest.

We are uneducated. We don't know how to use advanced farming technologies. When we asked for compensation they told us that the land belongs to the Communist Party and there will be no compensation.

Land grabs are not uncommon across Tibet and are often undertaken for development and tourism purposes. The victims of these confiscations often suffer afterwards as a result of receiving little or no compensation.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch.

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