A farmer from Eastern Tibet (name withheld) arrived in India this month and described the difficulties faced by Tibetan farmers under the discriminatory Chinese occupation.
“A good harvest brings a farmer about 10,000 gyamas [1 gyama is approximately equal to 2 kgs]. The farmers are required to pay a tax of about 500 gyamas to the Chinese authorities. The farmers must also sell 300 gyamas of wheat grains to the authorities at a very low prize.
This taxation is fixed whether the harvest is good or bad. Even if the crops are destroyed by snow storms as in 1995, the farmers are still bound to pay their tax even if they have to sell every thing they own.”
The farmer had also witnessed the massive deforestation taking place in his homeland; “The Chinese are cutting down numerous trees in eastern Tibet. Every day, a minimum of 1,000 large truck loads containing timber are carted off to Chengdu. A larger number of woods are transported through the rivers. Sometimes the woods rot after being exposed to water for a long period of time.”