Agam's Gecko
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Before the storm: Young monks leave a ceremony at Labrang monastery in early March.
Photo: AFP / Mark Ralston

ll county officials and monastery heads within Kardze "TAP" (Ch: Sichuan province) have been called for a meeting at the region's administrative centre at Dartsedo, for guidance on the re-eduation program. The sessions have so far proven a failure, with many monks resisting them by calling for dialogue between China and Dalai Lama.
At the meeting in Dartsedo, Chinese authorities demanded the heads of monasteries to acknowledge that such demands were a big mistake...

The implementation of the announcements made during the meeting was a failure since it was met with much resentment from the Tibetan people.
Due to the failure of this meeting, another meeting has been scheduled by authorities.

It had been previously reported by several Tibetan organisations, and carried on this page, that a monk was beaten to death by People's Armed Police in Ngaba, Kham (Ch: Sichuan) on April 3. CTA now provides confirmation of his identity. The monk was Gesang from Tse-soe family of Mehu-ru-ma Thoe-shey village, and he was around 32 years old.

Eye witnesses have reported Tibetan prisoners in over-crowded facilities in Lhasa and Ngaba are being starved. They are expected to survive on a piece of bread and a little tea every four days.

Information received by the Washington Post from someone who is in Lhasa at the moment, portrays a city with the jitters, and under firm military control.
According to three Chinese sources, some of the security forces in People's Armed Police uniforms are in fact soldiers from the People's Liberation Army who have been ordered to disguise the extent of their deployment in Lhasa -- most likely because of concerns over international reaction. Soldiers have taped newspapers over the plates and other insignia on their vehicles and have been discreet in conversations with local residents, Chinese as well as Tibetan, these sources said.

A tourist visiting from the southern city of Shenzhen said she had been told by a friend in the army that his unit had assigned 2,000 men to patrols in Lhasa and expected the mission to last until after the Beijing Olympics in August.
A local source tells ICT that people in Lhasa are sleeping in their clothes "in case of a knock on the door in the middle of the night," and another simply described the situation as "a second Cultural Revolution." Many Lhasans have just disappeared without a trace.
Some Tibetans rounded up in raids are being removed from Lhasa to detention facilities elsewhere. A source reported seeing a large group of Tibetans being herded onto a train by armed police at Lhasa station bound for Qinghai. According to the eyewitness, there were several hundred Tibetans in the group, including many monks, and many of them were not wearing shoes. In an apparent further incidence of detained Tibetans being removed from Lhasa, around 300 prisoners arrived at the train station in Xining, Qinghai, last week, according to Tibetan sources, who told ICT: "Every prisoner seemed to be hurt badly and some had blood on their faces. There was an old lady in the group with heavy shackles on her feet, and no shoes. She was being beaten by the police."
State-run media has acknowledged the detention of nearly 4,000 in Lhasa and Kanlho county (Ch: Gansu). A local Tibetan writer reported that at one point, over 800 people were held in a large warehouse near Lhasa railway station; many were beaten severely and deprived of food.

One young monk, detained in Lhasa for having no ID card, was badly beaten by four men at a time over several days, and the torture methods are described in the report. He was later transfered to a prison in Sichuan, but later released on officials' fears that he would die without medical attention. He can now hardly walk or talk.

On Monday night (April 14) more than 200 monks of Labrang Monastery were arrested by security forces. Readers will recall the several dozens of Labrang monks who displayed their true aspirations to a group of journalists, visiting on a government-managed media tour on April 9. These journalists, like the ones at Jokhang temple during a similar unapproved monastic press briefing on March 27, were later told the monks would not be punished for their "incorrect views."

The following morning (April 15) a huge group of unarrested monks from Labrang -- in Sangchu county, Amdo, Kanlho "TAP" (Ch: Gansu prov.) -- demanded the 200+ group be released or the authorities would face another protest. All but three were released; the others are continuing to be held for their actions in front of the journalists on April 9. So much for official assurances of non-retaliation.

Another monastery in the area was also raided in a search for monks who protested in mid-March. Some monks there mocked the authorities, shouting at them, "I'm the one!" Nine were taken away. At some monasteries the monks have simply left to avoid the "work teams" and their "patriotic" re-education.

ICT has had the public appeals of those Labrang monks on April 9, which were captured by the news crews and broadcast around the world, analyzed and translated (Chinese officials also took video of the incident). They had first tried communicating in Tibetan, then switched to Chinese. One said they were not against the Beijing Olympics. He added later that they were angry that 'they' (the Chinese authorities) had reported that the monks had knives and guns, saying: "We don't have anything like that."

The Tibetans have previously said that the "caches of weapons" trumpeted by the authorities, were those weapons handed in over the years by nomads who had been persuaded to stop hunting animals. For them, the monastery is the only trusted place to turn over these weapons (including bows and arrows) as they know they'll never be resold, or used again. Some antique weapons had been given as offering to the deities, and housed in display cases. A source told ICT of one weapons seizure at a monastery in Kham.
According to the same source, who is in touch with Tibetans in the area, police praised monks for their initiative, took the weapons away, and then reported that "weapons had been seized from monks".
I'm shocked. Not.

Another of the Labrang monks said on April 9, "We want human rights," and then to his fellow monks, "Do we want human rights?" The response was a rousing affirmative, in Tibetan. "We want human rights. We want freedom. Now, we can't stay under Chinese control. They put pressure on Tibet from everywhere. [Under the Chinese], we can't [develop on our Buddhist path]," said another.

A monk spoke of the situation at their monastery, saying, "A lot of people have been arrested, and a lot of army are in the streets. No human rights. No freedom. We have to denounce the Dalai Lama. We want the Dalai Lama to come back soon. A few days before we protested and then they put the poison [tear gas] on us. A lot of people arrested. A lot of soldiers here. No human rights. No freedom."

A leading Tibetan writer, television producer and performer has been arrested and taken from her office at Qinghai TV in Siling (Ch: Xining, Qinghai province) on April 1.
Another authoritative source in Beijing said she had been formally arrested by the Xining Public Security Bureau, although the charges against her were unknown. In China, a formal arrest almost always precedes a conviction. "Security people went to Jamyang Kyi's house to search her computer, her mailing list, and contact numbers and took all these away," another source in Xining said.
Jamyang Kyi who has never been detained in the past, has worked for Qinghai TV for twenty years.

"Patriotic" re-education is clearly not having the effects desired by the CCP government. In fact, the policy is clearly having the opposite effect, which should not be surprising to the authorities if they could realise that this attempt at brainwashing people into denouncing that which they hold most dear (as in the old Cultural Revolution thamzing sessions, where one was forced to denounce himself), is precisely one of the most offensive tactics which caused the protests in the first place.
Tibet Scholar Dr. John Powers from Australian National University said China’s "patriotic re-education" campaign; mainly targeting Tibetan monks and nuns, to weaken the Dalai Lama’s influence, among other purposes, has "produced spectacular effect of building a unified Tibetan nationalism"...

According to him, Tibetans usually associate themselves to one of the three traditional provinces (U-Tsang, Amdo or Kham) where they belong to, rather than calling themselves as being Tibetans.

However, the recent protest that broke out across Tibet, according to Dr John’s observation, showed for the first time a unified and a parallel Tibetan campaign against China’s rule.
Dr. John Powers is the author of HISTORY AS PROPAGANDA: Tibetan Exiles Versus the People's Republic of China, and several other books.

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