10 May 2012, Dharamsala (India)

Farming Boycott Continues in Ngaba Village Against Detention of Fellow Villagers

Tibetan residents of Adhue Thawa village in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) County have refused to farm their fields in protest against the continued detention of fellow villagers, who had, on 14 April 2012, protested against official moves to publicly honour two corrupt officials.

On 1 May 2012, about 200 Tibetan women, from different villages of Ngaba County including Adhue village and Gyade Tsosum village, marched to the Ngaba County government office to appeal for the release of Tibetans arrested on 14 April 2012 at Adhue village in Ngaba Tibetan and Qing Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. But security officers from the County People’s Armed Police (PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB) stopped the women marchers at Tsamring village, by which time the marchers had walked 7 kms, and were not allowed to proceed further, sources told TCHRD. The standoff almost led to a big clash between the security officers and the Tibetans as security officers called in additional reinforcements from the County PAP.

It was only after the intervention by the heads and respected lamas of Adhue Monastery that the tense standoff was resolved. The Tibetan lamas, owing to their mediation skills and influence among local Tibetans, peacefully effected the resolution. The group of Tibetan marchers dispersed after the lamas requested them to leave.

Following the march, the local Tibetans belonging to various villages in Ngaba County decided not to farm their fields or to collect the expensive medicinal herbs, Yartsa Gunbu (cordyceps sinensis) this cultivating season as a sign of solidarity with the Tibetans who self-immolated, to express their pain and disapproval of the crackdown on Tibetan protesters in Adhue village, and their continued detention in official custody. On 14 April 2012, many Tibetans were beaten and arrested for protesting official corruption by security officers. A large number of Tibetans had to be hospitalized although most of them have now been released from the hospital.
On 5 May 2012, seven Tibetans were released but they were made to attend ‘patriotic re-education’ sessions for three days in the township before returning home, according to sources. The authorities have said that the remaining Tibetans will also be released soon. This official assurance has persuaded some Tibetans to resume farming and collect Yartsa Gunbu.

But Tibetan farmers of Adhue village continue to boycott farming.

Most of the residents in Adhue village are farmers, making farming the main source of income for many Tibetan households in the village.

TCHRD had earlier reported on the arrests and beatings of Tibetans in Adhue village for protesting official corruption. For full report, please visit site of  TibetanCentre For Human Rights and Democracy.