Dozens of Tibetans living in China’s Gansu province are protesting in front of government offices in Chone county to demand compensation promised for livestock culled three years ago under government order, Tibetan sources say.
The protest in Chone’s Nyipa township was launched on Oct. 13, and calls on authorities to provide government subsidies and other benefits for about 100 families who reduced their herds to required numbers.
Speaking in a video obtained by RFA’s Tibetan Service, a local villager says that promises made by officials in 2015 have not yet been honored.
“The government has failed to deliver on their promises to provide assistance to the farmers,” the villager says in the video, which has circulated widely on Tibetan social media.
“So because we have not received the government assistance we expected, the Tibetans living in Nyipa township are lodging a complaint.”
Government efforts to limit the numbers of herd animals kept by Tibetan families have been driven by concerns about the overgrazing of vulnerable grasslands, but the curb on livestock numbers has had an adverse impact on local livelihoods, the villager says.
“The villagers feel they have been fooled by the government,” he said.
Tibetans taking part in the protest include elderly villagers who have now slept on the pavement for several nights, with officials paying no heed to their complaints, he said.
Speaking to RFA’s Tibetan Service on Oct. 17, Golog Jigme—a Tibetan former political prisoner now living in Switzerland—said that only about 60 to 70 out of 100 Nyipa township families now have any livestock left at all.
“The remaining 30 families have now sold all their animals, including cows, yaks, and sheep,” Jigme said, citing contacts in the region.
Repeated calls seeking comment from Chone county officials rang unanswered this week.
Reported by Dorjee Tso and Sonam Lhamo for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.