DHARAMSHALA, August 23: In another report of forced displacement of Tibetans by the Chinese government, around 400 families in Gonjo area of Kham, eastern Tibet have been forced to sign up for resettlement.
Local Chinese authorities have been forcing Tibetan residents of the Medho village in Gonjo to register for resettlement without notifying where and when they will be relocated. According to sources, so far, more than 400 families have registered for resettlement against their will.
Although threats of displacement have been looming over the residents for some time now, the immediate cause of the strict official orders issued this month are not clearly known.
While some locals believe that a speculated project to dam the Drichu river could be behind the government orders, others think that a major mining project in the region could have prompted the decision.
Exile sources with contacts in the region say that the Tibetan families do not know when and where the authorities will start relocating them.
Local Tibetans have demanded that the Chinese authorities re-construct their village’s existing monasteries, the Re Khe Monastery, Drag Ma Monastery, and Gon Sar Monastery, at the area of their relocation.
In May this year, Chinese authorities grabbed land from the nomadic villages of Setong, Dragmar and Seru in eastern Tibet to accommodate thousands of new Chinese migrants. The Tibetan nomads were given strict orders that their herds will not be allowed to remain on the lands taken by the government and were advised to sell their animals to the slaughterhouse to reduce numbers.
In March 1998, the Chinese government announced its new policy to end the nomadic way of life in Tibet, as conceded by the then Tibet Party Secretary Zhang Qingli, to not only promote economic development, but to “counteract the Dalai Lama’s influence.”
According to a Xinhua article published in January 2011, since the policy’s implementation, 1.43 million Tibetan nomads and farmers have been moved into new or fixed settlement homes while another 185,500 families are expected to be moved by 2013.