Chinese workers building a solar panel installation in Qinghai province last week attacked a group of Tibetans protesting their intrusion into nearby grazing areas, dragging one a short distance by truck before leaving him injured on the ground, Tibetan sources say.
The assault occurred on Oct. 11 when work crews arrived in Choeje village in the Tsolho (in Chinese, Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’s Chabcha (Gonghe) county, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“The Chinese contractors had to take heavy machinery and other vehicles through Tibetan grassland to reach the site, called Choeten Thang, and the local Tibetans demanded that they pay compensation or sign agreements with them,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“When the Chinese refused, there was a clash,” the source said.
In a video of the incident sent to RFA, a Tibetan protester attempting to stop work on the project is struck by a Chinese worker’s pickup truck, and the vehicle then speeds away with the Tibetan still clinging to the front.
Later, a Chinese worker approaches the man, now lying unconscious on the ground, and kicks him in the head while other workers shove and beat Tibetans coming to the help of the injured man.
“When more Tibetans arrived to fight back against the workers, Chinese police arrived on the scene,” RFA’s source said, adding, “For now, the solar panel installation project has temporarily been put on hold.”
Also speaking to RFA, a second local source said that two Tibetans had been injured in the assault, and that police had taken several Chinese workers into custody.
“Details of their current status remain unknown,” he added.
Chinese development projects in Tibetan areas have led to frequent standoffs with Tibetans who accuse Chinese firms and local officials of improperly seizing land and disrupting the lives of local people.
Many result in violent suppression, the detention of protest organizers, and intense pressure on the local population to comply with the government’s wishes.
Reported by Lhuboom for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.