Chinese authorities order Tibetans to demolish their homes

A Tibetan building is torn down near Qinghai Lake in an undated photo.
A Tibetan building is torn down near Qinghai Lake in an undated photo.
A Tibetan building is torn down near Qinghai Lake in an undated photo. RFA.
4th March 2019

Tibetans ordered to demolish homes.

Chinese authorities have ordered Tibetans living in the main city of Tawu County in eastern Tibet, to demolish any ‘big houses’ they own in the area, and have barred them from building any new “big and grand” homes, Tibet Watch has learnt.

Tibetan residents who are forced to demolish their homes are given little compensation and are being ordered to relocate to a different area that the local government has assigned to them.

Some residents have demolished their own houses before the arrival of the government to save their building materials and furniture which government workers have destroyed in previous demolitions.

In cases where large homes in the region belonging to Tibetans are not forcefully destroyed, the local government reportedly collects large sums of money from the owners, Tibet Watch said.

“Since we Tibetans are humble and helpless people, we are demolishing the houses because Communist China says so… We are building houses out of wood logged on our own soil and we are not allowed to do that,” a Tibetan resident of Tawu county said in a video posted to social media.

There are strong restrictions on Tibetans in Tawu county, an anonymous Tibetan source said. Another source added that in the last one to two months there has been stricter control over social media in the area.

This is not the first time Tibetans have been forced from their homes. In 2017 Free Tibet reported that an eviction notice was handed to locals living in Rongbo, central Tibet, because authorities wanted to urbanise, modify and “beautify” the area.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch.