News and Views on Tibet

China’s forceful relocation over dam construction in Kham Derge sparks protest

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Screen grab of local Tibetans protesting against Chinese authorities in Kham Derge

By Tenzin Nyidon

DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 15: Hundred of Tibetans in Derge County, in Kham region in Tibet on Wednesday protested against the Chinese government’s plan to relocate thousands of local Tibetans from their traditional lands to facilitate the construction of a major hydroelectric dam around the Yangtze River. 

The Chinese authorities recently issued orders to local Tibetans residing along the Yangtze River in China’s demarcated Derge County within Kardze prefecture, as well as in Jomda within the eastern Chamdo prefecture of the so-called Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), to make way for the construction of a hydroelectric dam project.

Hundreds of people from six local villages and monasteries immediately mobilised into a major protest, shouting slogans against the government’s eviction plan. The local Tibetans implored the authorities to halt the project immediately.

According to sources within the region, the forced relocation would impact thousands of households and dozens of monasteries in the area. Videos capturing the protest are circulating widely on various social media platforms, capturing the plight of the Tibetan people there.

Amidst the backdrop of banners, words like “freedom” and “equality” were shouted against local officials, by the Tibetans in Derge voicing their discontent, and highlighting the stark contradictions between the rhetoric of the Chinese government of Tibet being a socialist paradise and the harsh reality on the ground.

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