Authorities in northwestern China’s Qinghai province on Wednesday detained at least ten Tibetan protesters calling for an equal distribution of benefits provided by the government to local families, sources said.
About 100 families living in Yulshul (in Chinese, Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’s Nangchen (Nangqian) county had been ruled ineligible for support because family members had moved from the area to find work or schooling for their children, a Tibetan living in India told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“On Aug. 26, about 100 Tibetans from families not listed as beneficiaries gathered at the county center to appeal the decision, and later staged a protest,” Choenyi Woeser said, citing contacts in Nangchen.
“However, county officials refused to listen to their grievances, and about ten protesters were detained,” Woeser said.
During their protest, marchers carried banners bearing the slogans “Prosperity, Democracy, Development, Harmony, and Truth” written clearly in Chinese, he said.
Recently, the Nangchen County Economic Development Council had announced a project to build new houses and provide scholarships for students in Chumey village in Nangchen’s Nyakla township, Woeser said.
“However, Tibetans from that town who had traveled out of the area for work, and also family members who had moved elsewhere to find better schools for their children, were not included in the list of beneficiaries of the project,” he said.
Separately, the India-based Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)—the Tibetan government in exile—confirmed the protest and detentions, saying that “over a hundred Tibetan families with a family member outside the locality were declared not eligible to receive the aid.”
“As a result, these Tibetans held a protest march to request the authorities to reconsider the decision and allow equal treatment of all irrespective of their current location,” CTA said in a statement on Wednesday.
No word was immediately available regarding the names of those taken into custody, or on their present condition or whereabouts.
Reported by Lhuboom for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.