Lhundup Ganden, a Sera monk who recently escaped to India, visited the township of Nyagra under Lhasa City Municipal Bureau in June 1996. Except for one semi-nomadic unit, the rest of the units are inhabited by peasants. The following is a report of the sterilization policy he witnessed there.
Lhundup explained that birth control policy is carried out in the whole of Tibet through propaganda, coercion and strict regulatory measures. It is being officially enforced with the main objective of eradicating the very identity of the Tibetans. Population transfer is also being carried out on a massive scale.
Lhundup reports that the birth control policy is carried out in a very systematic and organized manner.
The 2nd Unit of Nyagra township is comprised of 60 families (totaling about 600 people). This unit was informed in advance about the birth control policy and the actual program began in 1994.
Of the total population of the 2nd Unit, the percentage of child birth control allowed by the authorities in one year was fixed at 4.5%. It was mandatory for couples who wished to have a child to test their luck in a lottery system. If the couple is unlucky and their names are not drawn, then the mother, even if she is five or six months pregnant, must undergo an abortion.
If a couple produces a child without undergoing the lottery system, they are fined up to 500 Yuan and the baby will be deprived of a registration card and other welfare facilities. When this ‘unofficial’ child grows up, he or she is denied any educational opportunities.
Nyagra’s 3rd Unit has 400 people and the child birth percentage was fixed at 3.5%. The same system of lotteries and forced abortions is followed here.
In 1995, of the 4.5% child birth allowed in the 2nd unit, the .5% was “loaned” to the 3rd unit which was therefore allowed 4% of child birth in that year.
In 1996, only 3% child birth was allowed in the 3rd unit and the remaining .5% was added to the 2nd unit’s 4.5% raising it to 5%. However, as the 2nd unit in fact recorded a 9% birth rate in 1996, that 4% over the official endorsement was fined.
If a couple is successful in one lottery, they are barred from the lot system for the three subsequent years. If a couple is successful in two lottery draws, they are forbidden from participating in the lottery system for the rest of their lives.
On the other side, if a couple does not produce a child for a long period of time, then that couple is highly commended by the Chinese authorities and even awarded prizes.