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19october20093Dharamshala: An anonymous source reports that eight Tibetans have been arrested by the Chinese armed police in Jodha County, Degay area, Eastern Tibet. The arrests were made in response to farmers from the county refusing to sow crops, in protest against the Chinese government.

The source said that, a few days ago, police and soldiers interrogated farmers from Longmar village, in Khagang township, demanding to know the reasons behind their actions and instructing them to resume work. The farmers quarrelled with the police and soldiers and subsequently eight separate arrests were made on currently unknown charges. Farmers from other villages in Jodha County were also interrogated.

The ploughing and sowing season in Jodha County has now passed and, because the soil has lain idle this year, agricultural land may prove unusable next spring. Farmers and nomads in the county are also major livestock owners, but this year they have stopped selling their produce in the area - forcing Chinese government officials to visit Chamdho County to buy meat.

The source reports that local Tibetan people have seen Chinese residents of Jodha County leading horses away, possibly to slaughter. This would run counter to Tibetan tradition and cutural acceptability.

Report provided by Geshe Monlam Tharchin, member of Tibetan Parliament in-exile.

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