To protest Chinese rule Tibetan farmers refuse to sow spring crops

April 11th, 2009 - 2:12 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr 11 (ANI): Tibetan farmers discontented with the Chinese rule have refused to sow their fields in a show of passive resistance against Beijing.

Chinese officials are so anxious at the latest action of farmers that they have sent in troops from the People’s Liberation Army to work with them or in their place if need be to carry out spring planting in mountainous regions.

The Times quoted sources as saying that many farmers in areas of Sichuan province with large ethnic Tibetan populations have decided to down tools and leave their barley fields fallow this year.

“The farmers know that they will be the ones to suffer if they do this. But this is a way for them to show their unhappiness,” one source said.

State-run TV broadcast footage show soldiers accompanying Tibetan farmers into the fields to plough and hoe. The Government has even ordered officials and party members into the fields themselves to get on with the spring planting.

The extent of the protest was impossible to gauge since foreign reporters are barred from Tibet and have been prevented from entering Tibetan-populated regions.

However, it appears to be serious enough to have prompted a statement this week from the Dalai Lama’s capital, saying: “The Tibetan Government in exile of the Dalai Lama appeals to Tibetans not to make this sacrifice and to stop their ‘refusal to till the fields’.”

A huge police and army presence across Tibet has failed to still simmering unrest, local residents said. (ANI)

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