Chinese security forces in Gansu province forced a group of Tibetans last week off of land they said they had bought, beating some and detaining 15 as local authorities asserted government control of the property, Tibetan sources said.
The police action in Gansu’s Luchu (in Chinese, Luqu) came on May 12, as around 200 police officers “both armed and unarmed” arrived suddenly at the site located just outside the county’s main town, an area resident told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Security officials threatened the Tibetan [property] owners, saying that the land belonged to the government, and that no one had the right to purchase, own, or use the land,” RFA’s source said.
Police put up a sign saying the land had been sold illegally and that the county government had authorized its confiscation.
The Tibetans replied that they had spent large sums to purchase the land, sat down in protest, and refused to leave, and police then attacked the group and removed some from the site by force, the source said.
“Barbed wire was then put up,” she said.Sit-in protests continued, and 15 Tibetan protesters were finally detained, including a man named Gonpo Kyab and a man named Dargyal.
“One was seriously injured and was taken to a hospital for treatment,” RFA’s source said.
Calls seeking comment from area officials rang unanswered, and details on when the Tibetan claimants to the land had bought their parcels, and from whom, were not immediately available.
Luchu county was the scene in March of a self-immolation protest by a Tibetan monk who burned himself to death near his monastery to challenge Chinese rule.
Konchog Tenzin, 28, set himself ablaze on March 26 at a major intersection near Mori monastery, Tibetan exile sources said, citing contacts in the region.
Meanwhile, Tibetan monks Lobsang Dawa and Konchog Woeser burned themselves to death on April 24 in Sichuan province’s Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, bringing to 118 the number of Tibetan self-immolations since the wave of fiery protests began in February 2009.
Chinese authorities have tightened controls in Tibetan-populated areas to check the self-immolation protests, arresting and jailing more than a dozen Tibetans deemed by security officials to have been linked to the burnings.
Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.