The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has fired leaders of three Tibetan villages in the mountainous Qinghai Province for participating in protests, a Tibetan living in exile told Radio Free Asia (RFA).
With plans to force villagers to fly the Chinese flag from their homes, the CCP has removed the potentially troublesome village leaders who joined demonstrators in Dzatoe county’s anti-mining protests last August. The leaders had been chosen jointly by the Chinese officials and the villagers.
The Chinese authorities called a meeting in Dzatoe on Oct. 16, where they announced that they had relieved the village heads of their responsibilities, Konchog Dondrub, a Tibetan living in exile in India, told RFA.
He said that the dismissed leaders had “complained against the government” after the regime’s security crackdown in August injured dozens of Tibetans and detained others, Dondrub said.
Now the Tibetan government employees in Dzatoe are upset, protesting the firing of the village leaders, Dondrub said.
“They say they are unable to work with the Chinese officials who have tortured Tibetans,” he told RFA, saying that they demand the leaders be reinstated and have sent a written appeal to the Dzatoe county authorities.
The regime is planning to require that Tibetans in the area fly the Chinese flag from the rooftops of homes and monasteries, forcing people to display loyalty to China, Dondrub said. A similar order in Tibet earlier in September precipitated protests in which the Tibetans threw the flags in the river. The Chinese officials sent in security forces and in the conflict, around 40 Tibetans were arrested and many were severely beaten and injured when the security forces fired into unarmed crowds.
“Chinese security officials are interrogating area residents and subjecting them to all kinds of pain and harassment,” Dondrub said, describing the harsher restrictions on local Tibetans, both in the villages and the monasteries. He said the Chinese regime was closely monitoring communications between the Tibetans.
This summer Tibetan residents protested at mining sites in Dzatoe, upset because the mountainous areas being mined by private mining concerns are considered to be the homes of protective deities. In the past, forged documents were used by the mining concerns to fake central government approval for the work.
“So this year, the Tibetans were determined to resist the mines,” he said.