|April 16, 2007
According to a recent report of the Inner Mongolia TV (NMTV)
Mongolian Service, Mongolian villagers of eastern Southern
(Inner) Mongolia's Horchin Left-wing Rare Banner have clashed
with the Chinese farmers who have illegally occupied and
cultivated their land. A Mongolian villager was beaten to death,
and several others were arrested and sent to jail for reclaiming
their land from the Chinese occupiers. The following is an English
transcription of the
Mistreated People of Harantavan-ger
English Translation and
Transcription by SMHRIC
evening to viewers of our “Live 12” program! In our last
program, we introduced how the leaders of Harantavan-ger Gachaa
(equivalent to township), Haliut Town, Horchin Left-wing Rear
Banner, sold out large pieces of land of the Gachaa’s Third
Dogoilang (equivalent to village) to outsiders for the cause of
“tree-planting” and “paying debt of the village”. So, will the
Mongolian villagers of the Third Duguilang of Harantavan-ger
Gachaa be able to reclaim their land? What difficulties did they
encounter? Please stay tuned!
visited the village in mid-August, three of the five village
representatives who were elected by the villagers of the Third
Duguilang of Harantavan-ger Gachaa were arrested and detained by
the Horchin Left-wing Rear Banner Public Security Bureau.
resident of Harantavan-ger Gachaa, Sainzayaa told us in an
interview that “Three of them [village representatives] are
detained for pursing lawsuit to protect the land. All of them
are elected by our fellow villagers.”
the alleged crime that caused them to be arrested? We tried to
visit the Horchin Left-wing Rear Banner Public Security Bureau
to investigate the details.
with a hidden camera]
turned down quickly, as the Director of Public Security Brigade
of Horchin Left-wing Rear Banner Public Security Bureau informed
us, “I can’t answer your interview, because our leaders do not
allow us to do so.”
investigation led us to visit Bao Heping, Party Secretary of
with a hidden camera]
Party Secretary of Haliut Town and Horchin Left-wing Rear Banner
told us, “They might have committed crime because the Public
Security Bureau intervened in the case. Otherwise, they would
have not been arrested. They must not be decent people.
Otherwise, who will arrest them?”
interviews with individuals concerned, we found out that the
villagers of Harantavan-ger Gachaa appealed and have continually
complained of the issue since 2003 to the Town and Banner
authorities about their grievances, asking for help in taking
back their lands that have been rented or sold to outsiders.
Receiving no satisfactory response from the authorities, the
villagers had no choice but to organize themselves to work
together on bringing back their land with their own hands.
resident, Suhbaatar, commented with us on this issue.
“Villagers’ appeals have continually been denied by the
government leaders. No government and party officials visited
our village for addressing the issue. Our plight is completely
ignored, and we are not treated as human beings.”
At the end
of November 2004, representatives from 73 households of
Harantavan-ger Gachaa came to their 1300 mu land occupied by Liu
Hai, a Chinese from Bao Tun Town, and allocated 1.5 mu from it
by lot to each household of the village.
Liu Hai (a
Chinese from Bao Tun Town, speaking in Chinese) had this to say
of the incident: “All of sudden, a lot of people came here to
claim to distribute the land. I tried to ask them what is going
on. The villagers say this is their land, and they want to
redistribute it to the villagers. I asked them who allowed them
to do this. Some say the village representatives let them do,
and some say they themselves want the land back to their own
hands. I don’t know exactly who let them do this. On November 9,
they finished distributing the land, and on the morning of
November 13, they came to demolish my house here.”
he stated, the villagers came to Liu Hai to demolish the roof of
his seven-room house that was built amid the crop field, and
urged him to leave the land immediately with his belongings only
a few days later.
Heebooching (village representative) told us the following:
“Before we cultivated the hillock, we had already talked to the
Gachaa leaders. We had also informed him [Liu Hai] that we
wanted our land back to us, and his house will be demolished if
he chooses to stay. We worked with the village electrician to
cut off the electricity to his house. According to the
electrician, all electric wires except for interior ones were
purchased and installed by the Gachaa. When we demolished his
house, we informed the local police station of our plan as well.
They said private properties should not be touched, but they
said neither yes nor no about our demolishing plan. The local
police was at the scene when the demolishing took place. We did
everything in front of them.”
of the Third Duguilang then came to distribute the 1000 mu land
rented to Chen Weihua, 1000 mu land occupied by a Chinese
company named Yu Lin for tree planting, and another 360 mu
rented land, and uprooted the 200 mu trees planted on the land.
Heebooching: “Trees were planted in our 1000 mu land. Meter-deep
holes were dug for the tree planting. Uprooted were the trees
planted in our land. We didn’t touch anything beyond our
farmland. You can see that the uprooted trees are still there.
In fact, there were no live trees there before the uprooting.”
captured at the scene]
scenes were captured right after the incident by a professional
photographer who was paid by the villagers of the Third
a 60 year old Mongolian villager. He was attacked by a group of
Chinese from Yu Lin Company with sticks and bars in their hands
in front of his door.
recounts the incident: “Gardii was feeding his horse by the door
of his front yard. A dozen of people with wooden sticks came to
him and asked if he were among those Mongols who demolished Liu
Hai’s house. When he replied yes, they hit him immediately with
the stick down to the ground.”
cracked doors and broke windows of the villagers’ homes before
realizing that Gardii was seriously injured. Shortly after,
Gardii was brought to a nearby hospital for emergency medical
his wife, described in vivid detail:
running all over his body, and nobody was able to stop it. In
the hospital, the doctor just sewed up his wound with couple of
needles, and told us that they are unable to treat him because
his head bone was severely broken. They suggested us to take him
to the Banner Hospital as soon as possible.”
seriously broken skull and the severely damaged brain, Gardii
was transferred from the hospital of Sum to Banner’s, then to
League hospital at Tongliao City for a surgery.
“Surgery was done, and the larger pieces of broken bones were
picked up. We are still keeping the bones in a jar here in our
bone pieces picked up from his head through the surgery. After
four moths of treatment at a hospital in Tongliao City, the
wound was somehow cured. But he was completely paralyzed due to
the serious brain damage.
“The doctor said, it was impossible for him to fully recover
even if the best treatment was given. In other words, he was no
longer a normal healthy person.”
realizing that they are facing possible troubles, Yun Lin
Company actively managed to solve the problem by giving a lump
sum payment of 100,000 yuan (12,000 USD) to Gardii’s family.
After five months treatment at home, Gardii passed away.
“We miss him so much. He was beaten to death. He was a very
healthy man who will not die at this age if he was not beaten to
death. He didn’t do anything wrong. He just tried to protect our
land from outsiders.”
event, Haliut Town and Horchin Left Wing Rare Banner authorities
paid some attention to the land dispute, and agreed to
re-distribute the land back to the villagers according to
Party Secretary Cui Chuluu on the distribution of the land:
“Totally 76 people responded. Only 8 of them wanted not to
re-distribute the farm land, and 68 wanted to re-distribute.”
representatives were elected by the villagers for carrying out
the land re-distribution. After a careful study, they worked
with the Gachaa Committee to start the re-distributing.
described the long process: “There were some households who had
possessed relatively larger lands. For example, Suhbaatars owned
200 mu, and Gao Jianjun owned 60 mu. These lands should be
re-distributed as well, because otherwise it is unfair to other
households. Then these lands were re-distributed.”
of the village representatives and the Gachaa Committee agreed
mostly on the redistribution of excessively owned lands, and the
re-distribution was carried out smoothly. However, their
opinions had largely differed on the issues of reclaiming the
land that was rented to outsiders.
“The villagers told us that they don’t follow the instruction of
the Gachaa leaders, and they don’t listen to the authorities.
They claimed they may set up their own government if necessary
to administer their own land.”
to better represent the immediate interest of the villagers, the
representatives of the Third Duguilang not only visited the
Township and Banner governments and urged them to help reclaim
the land rented to outsiders as a method of authorities’ debt
payment, but also filed a lawsuit to the Peoples’ Court, of
which has been accepted.
One of the
villagers, Suhbaatar, informed us that “The problem is that our
own land is rented and sold to outsiders, and we have ended up
with no land. It is so unfair that outsiders can occupy
thousands of mu on our land, we have nothing to live on. Even
our small initiative to recover the vegetation of a sand dune
can be grounds for a large fine.”
tension between the villagers and the authorities escalated, the
Public Security Bureau of Horchin Left Rare Banner has formally
arrested Hadchuluu and Baljai, two of the five representatives
elected by the villagers, after a month-long detention for the
crime of “sabotaging private property.”
justified what has been happening: “We just cleaned up our land.
Land has land ownership certificate, and property has property
ownership certificate. As the legitimate owners, we have all
these documents issued right after 1949 and during the Land
Reform Movement in the 50’s. What we have demolished is not a
property that has none of these legal documents. So, how can you
call a house illegally built on our land a private property?”
same time, there was another round of dispute taken place on the
land taken back from Jilt. Starting from May, people started to
grow their crops on the land distributed by drawing lots.
Village representative Tumur, along with his nephew, went to the
land taken back from Jilt to manage to start the spring plowing,
just like most of the villagers.
nephew Amin: “When we were plowing, four people from Jilts’ came
over and started yelling at us. I was driving the tractor, and
not able to turn back to see what was going on. Suddenly, Jilt’s
wife attacked my uncle, and hit him down to the ground.”
own blood running, the enraged Tumur fight back with a sickle,
and punched the chest of Jilt’s son with his fist.
told us why he was arrested: “If he had paid for the medical
treatment, there should not have had any problem. But Tumur
refused to pay for the medical fee. That is reason of his
three of the five village representatives of Haran-tavan-ger
Village’s Third Duguilang have been arrested, and the remaining
two are also busy with the law suit, without having enough time
to continue the land re-distribution.
villagers of the Third Duguilang are raising some money and
electing more representatives to file law suits against the
Gachaa Committee, Liu Hai, Chen Wei Hua, and Jilt to the Banner
People’s Court, and have urged the government to address this
issue immediately. Although the cases are accepted by the
People’s Court, the final decision is still has not been made
yet. Therefore, before any official court decision is made, the
detention and arrest of village representatives by the Banner
Public Security Bureau with an allegation of “sabotaging public
and private property” are somewhat arbitrary in nature. Thank
you, and see you next time.