(TibetanReview.net, Jan18, 2011) Under a “new countryside" programme launched in 2006, the local Chinese government of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) had moved a total of about 300,000 families involving 1.43 million Tibetan nomads and farmers into new or fixed settlement homes, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 17, citing Padma Choling, Chairman of the regional government. The figures were cited in his report to the ongoing regional people’s congress being held at Lhasa, reviewing developments over the past five years.
Another 185,500 families are expected to move into new homes by 2013, he was cited as saying.
It may be noted that following a Dec 15-23 trip to China, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, had said putting nomadic people in a situation “where they have no other options than to sell their herd and resettle,” as being done in Chinese ruled Tibet and Inner Mongolia, was a violation of their right to food.
Tibetan nomads, especially in Qinghai Province, have complained that after an initial “yearly” payment and an empty brick house during their force settlement, most of them have remained without any means, or government aid, to sustain themselves.
The new housing scheme for the farmers also remain deeply controversial because of its being compulsory, for its indebtedness of the farmers who have been force to take loans for the purpose, for the outwardly good looking but inwardly substandard quality of the new homes, and the control and propaganda purposes underlying the programme.