High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by well-known Tibetan writer Jamyang Kyi that was written and published on her blog on September 15, 2012.
Jamyang Kyi writes compassionately about a Tibetan businessman she knows and respects called Tashi who is from Nangchen County in Kham, the same area that was hit by a massive earthquake in April 2010. Nangchen Tashi’s disappearance was reported by Radio Free Asia on September 19, 2012.
The disappearance of Nangchen Tashi and the arrest of his family calls to mind similar cases of Tibetan businessmen who have fallen foul of the authorities, see also the cases of Karma Samdrup and his brothers and successful entrepreneur Dorje Tashi.
“Misfortune Falls On Businessman Tashi from Nangchen”
By Jamyang Kyi
1) Nangchen Tashi is about 47 years old, he is a good businessman from Yushul Nangchen County. He sincerely loves Tibetan culture, religion and language. For more than 10 years, in Kyegundo he worked hard to start a discussion group without differentiating between the religious and lay community. Moreover, he helped many students from poor families.
2) He was also a skillful businessman. Six or seven years ago, at the crossroads in the town of Yushul, on a road named Red Guard Road he bought five mu of land. He invested over RMB 300,000 and built a hotel, shops and his residence. The hotel called “World Peace”, instead of managing by himself, he rented out to Chinese and Tibetan businessman. Shortly after starting this business, he accumulated over RMB 100,000 in debt.
3) At the time of the earthquake, none of his properties were damaged. However, during the planning of the town, the government confisticated 0.7 mu of land near the main road. 4.3 mu of land was unchanged; Tashi agreed this arrangement. The government compensated Tashi with some RMB 10,000 for 0.7 mu of land.
4) Nevertheless, on September 12, 2012 at midnight, taking the opportunity when Tashi wasn’t in the house, a group of people entered the house and announced the house would be forcibly demolished and the family protested. Tashi’s wife Bode, son Sherab Dorje (a Business Studies student in Beijing), Sonam Topgyal (monk at Ganzi Dzongshar monastery) and daughter Yangzom (studying in Xining), the four members of the family were arrested. After the arrest of Tashi’s family, they drove bulldozers and destroyed the hotel, shop and Tashi’s house without leaving a trace. In the morning, the area was fenced off.
5) It is not known where Nangchen Tashi is today.
6) This capable man suddenly disappeared for three months after the earthquake. His relatives found him after a month. After arrest he was taken to Chamdo with a black hood covered over his head. When he reached there, he was forced to wear shoes filled with small stones and tortured by forcefully standing up all night and day. He was accused of instigating the people.
7) I respect someone who shares his or her wealth to help others sincerely, so I am willing to speak out for them when they are treated unfairly. Since hearing news of his misfortune, my heart turned cold. Who can bear the sorrow of losing all the wealth saved over a lifetime in a day, of imprisoning beloved family members and throwing all the children as newly born small birds in the bare barren land.
8) Although, I came to know him during this year’s discussion meeting, he left an unforgettable impression. The reason is because he loved his culture. His wife and daughter also participated in the meeting by bringing khata and food to support the meeting and being informed. He looked at all the means to help to solve the difficulties and problems in the society. It is also my honour to meet the man who left the sadness of himself and his family behind to share the collective sorrow across the region with many of his folks.
9) Yesterday, when I heard the news of black misfortune of the family, it made me restless. This morning I woke up at 6 am and didn’t feel like sleeping and got up at 7am and tried to write these comments. The reason I wrote these points is that I realised that he was repeatedly put under such difficult situations and it was not merely because his personal interests were being damaged. If he and his family join together to meet the challenges, I am sure there are many people who, like the members of his family, have compassionate hearts and I hope that people around the world will stand by the family.