The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) received reliable information that the Tibetans in Tawu County protested against a construction of a major hydroelectric dam that resulted in a displacement of tens and thousands of local Tibetans.
Currently the Chinese government is undertaking a construction of a major hydroelectric dam between Nyag-chu and Tawu County, which is resulting in a large-scale displacement of local Tibetans in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (“TAP”), Sichuan Province, much against their wishes.
The local Chinese authorities on 24 May 2009 issued orders to local Tibetans to assemble at Tawu County headquarter for a public announcement. During the meeting, the local Tibetans were told about Chinese government’s plan to re-settle them to some other place so as to clear the way for the construction of hydroelectric dam.
Just moments after the announcement of dam construction, local Tibetans in the gathering immediately broke up into major protest against the government plans. They were reportedly shouting slogans to the local authorities that, “ this place has been our ancestral dwelling place for countless generations and therefore we don’t want to leave our homes. We are not going to move away to any other places come what may.”
Within moments, Chinese security personnel consisting of both Public Security Bureau (PSB) and People’s Armed Police (PAP) lobbed tear gas and carried out violent means to disperse the agitating crowd. During the crackdown, six Tibetans including a 70-year-old woman, Guru Dolma, Rigzin Dolma and others sustained serious injuries at the hands of Chinese security personnel. The seriously injured Tibetans were taken away in a van to a nearby hospital but there was no information about their well-being and health condition.
Since the commencement of the dam construction in last year in Tawu County, the Chinese authorities had been forcing local Tibetans to re-locate and abandon their ancestral homes and those who defy official decree were beaten and tortured. Of late, 5 May 2009, the Chinese security forces as well as construction workers have been stationing in Wara town to push ahead the construction of the dam.
The TCHRD expresses serious concern at the plight of Tibetans in Tawu County and urges the international community to pressurize the Chinese government.