China permanently resettles Tibetan nomads in controversial program
- The government argues the resettlement program is an attempt to bring the benefits of development–education, healthcare, and economic opportunity–to Tibetans, who have had a historically pastoralist culture.
- While some young Tibetans expressed hope at the move to new regions like Ngaba, activists argue that Tibetans were given little choice in the move and that the government is using the resettlements to control the Tibetan population more closely.
- Despite claiming it has no interest in suppressing Tibetan religious beliefs, China continues to outlaw expressed allegiance to the Dalai Lama, considered a terrorist.
“It’s much easier to enforce administrative control over settled communities than over nomads in the grasslands, and also the Chinese authorities have aligned the policy with specific political objectives of eliminating separatism and eliminating expressions of Tibetan nationalism.”
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(Image Credit: Natalie Thomas/Reuters)