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China urged to stop 'uprooting Tibetans'

Rights group says lives have been thrown into disarray after Beijing relocated two million Tibetans in past seven years.

Last Modified: 27 Jun 2013 10:48
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Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule [AFP]

A human rights group has called on China to end what it has called the forced "mass rehousing and relocation" of ethnic Tibetans.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a new report said that lives had been thrown into disarray after more than two million Tibetans were uprooted in the past seven years.

Insufficient compensation, sub-par housing and a lack of help in finding jobs were listed among the policies of the Chinese government in the report.

The aim of the programme, was designed to "strengthen political control over the Tibetan rural population", the report added.

"Tibetans have no say in the design of policies that are radically altering their way of life" HRW China Director Sophie Richardson, said.

Phone calls to the Tibet autonomous regional government office seeking comment were not answered.

Tibet has been in turmoil since 1950 when China invaded it to "peacefully liberate" the region.

Many Tibetans say Chinese rule has eroded their culture and religion and agitate for the return of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

Since 2009, at least 117 Tibetans have committed acts of self-immolation in China in protest against Beijing's policies. 

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