Friday, October 26, 2007
THE CHINESE CRACKDOWN IN TIBET
he Chinese crackdown against displays of loyalty to Dalai Lama, or any form of celebration thought to be related to his award by the US government and Congress, is continuing in Tibet.
The International Campaign for Tibet has received photos of spontaneous celebrations in the sacred Barkor area of Lhasa on October 17 as well as fireworks displays at Labrang monastery, in the eastern Tibetan province of Amdo (now Chinese Gansu province). Despite severe Chinese restrictions in anticipation of such activities, Tibetans still managed to show where their hearts are.
Drepung monastery remains sealed off and surrounded by armed troops after police clashed with monks last week. Locals in Lhasa describe the situation as like martial law, with many road checkpoints to restrict travel, vehicle searches, and a massive buildup of armed police. Conditions are similar to that of March 1989, when martial law was officially imposed following several days of pro-independence demonstrations.
A Tibetan source, writing in Chinese on a website located outside of China, wrote:
"In and around the Barkhor on October 17 there were activities celebrating the Dalai Lama receiving the award from four o’clock in the morning until the afternoon. One by one, people in traditional Tibet dress made their around the Barkhor. Even though peasants selling ‘sang’ [incense] had been driven out of Lhasa beforehand by the authorities, people in the city still produced sang [incense] from their travel bags and burnt it at several altars along the route of the Barkhor."According to eyewitness reports, police at Labrang monastery also clashed with monks and laypeople after halting a fireworks display. There were also reports of satellite receivers being confiscated in an attempt to prevent people from viewing the ceremony for Dalai Lama, which was broadcast into Tibet by Voice of America.