Saturday, June 28, 2008
MONK-KILLERS RESTRICT RELIGIOUS PRACTICE; PROTEST CONTINUES
ere are a couple of updates to two incidents reported here last Tuesday. The young man who protested in Kardze County market on Miss Torchy in Lhasa day (June 21), who tied an "Independence for Tibet" scarf around his head and painted his face with the banned Tibetan national flag before distributing freedom pamphlets, was tied up by security forces conducting the arrest procedures.
The three monks of Bheri Monastery in Kardze (including two very senior clergy) who peacefully protested at the Kardze County government office prior to their arrests, are identified as Lobsang Gelek (chant master), Thang-nye (former chant master) and Lobsang Palden. Their monastery was punished with another unsuccessful political re-education.
The next day on 19 June, the Chinese authorities sent their "work teams" to provide "patriotic re-education" to the monks of Beri monastery. However, the so-called patriotic re-education couldn't be conducted due to opposition from the monks.Work teams conducted their political re-education campaigns in villages around the Bheri Monastery beginning around June 23, threatening local people with their lives if they dared to protest.
Also in Kardze, layman Palden Nyima, 27, was arrested and badly beaten after peacefully protesting on June 18. Jampa Choephel, 25, protested on June 21 with a photo of Dalai Lama fixed to a scarf around his head, an independence banner in one hand and the Tibetan national flag in the other. He shouted freedom slogans, was badly beaten and arrested. Karma Wangchuk, 29, and a 17 year old girl, Pelmo, were beaten and arrested with an unknown number of others on June 22.
Two people were arrested in Kardze County (date unknown) for trying to help peaceful protestors avoid arrest. A girl, Yanchen Kando was arrested in Kardze on June 9 for "sharing information" about the protests.
Four monks from Khangmar Monastery in Kardze were severely beaten and arrested after a peaceful protest on June 9, during which they raised the Tibetan flag and distributed pamphlets (four other Khangmar monks were arrested June 22). Khando, a 25 year-old woman shouted freedom slogans in Kardze on June 18; she was beaten up and arrested. Two monks from Kardze Monastery were severely beaten and arrested by PAP around June 19.
On June 18 a young woman named Passang Dolma left her home and set out for Degonpo Cathedral, in Kardze. She passed a message through a friend to her brother, in case she may die in her protest:
Our parents died hoping and dreaming for many years to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama back in Tibet and Tibet's independence, and I also personally follow their path with full enthusiasm and firm commitment. Even if I die, I have no regrets", she had told with unwavering courage and determination to carry on with the protest.Passang made a peaceful protest at the cathedral, calling out for Tibet's independence. Chinese security officers sprayed her with something, and carried her away unconscious. The TSC "reliable source" says it was chloroform, but I doubt anyone really knows what it is. It smells like a test of new, experimental tactics. "No one's looking, let's try out a couple of these cool ideas..."
I don't know of prior cases like this in China, but anything is possible. Use some kind of knock-out gas to stop a protest instantaneously. Switch off the vocal freedom slogans, and avoid having people continue to shout them as you drag them off in trucks. Tibetans are doing that, and the authorities hate it. It gives courage to those left behind.
Knocking people unconscious with chemicals in such a civil situation must be a new low, even for the People's Republic.
"They detained 14 people yesterday," a Kardze monk said. "There weren’t many monks among them. Most of them were ordinary Tibetans. They were giving out leaflets calling for the return of the Dalai Lama, and for freedom for the Tibetan people."Three hours after the four Khangmar monks were arrested on June 22, more Tibetans mounted a peaceful protest which was quelled with tear gas. All were arrested.
"The armed police descended on them as they were handing out these leaflets, grabbed them, and beat them. There were six separate attempts to hand out these leaflets during the course of a single day. All the shops in Kardze town were closed," the monk said.
Back in Kardze, security forces were deployed in Yaten and Buruna nunneries and in other monasteries in the area. Nuns leaving the buildings to visit the toilets were being followed, sources in Kardze said.A 22 year-old monk, Jigme Phuntsok, from Luchu in Rebkong County, Amdo has died from torture in custody at Golmud Prison on June 22. Authorities refused to give his body back to his family unless they signed a document declaring the cause of death to be some disease or other (i.e. "lie for us"). His family refused, and Jigme Phuntsok's body was cremated by the authorities. He had been a monk at Lhasa's Drepung Monastery; many other Amdo monks who were arrested in Lhasa are known to be held in Golmud Prison. The known death toll under the Chinese crackdown now stands at 210.
The Kardze monk said a disabled Tibetan man was also detained for handing out leaflets in Kardze county town on Monday, and that people were afraid to speak for fear of detention by the authorities.
"It is very dangerous there now," the monk said. "All the telephone lines are being tapped. Apparently a few people got arrested in Seda county after they transmitted certain information by telephone. Nobody dares to say anything at all now."
Judicial authorities in Chone County, Kanlho Prefecture (Ch: Gansu) sentenced two monks from Tashi Choekhorling Monastery to lengthy prison terms. Tenzin, 44, was sentenced to 15 years for protesting in March, and Tenzin Gyatso, 24, was sentenced to 13 years for replacing the red flag of terror with the Tibetan national flag at a school in Dokhor township. They did not receive a transparent or fair trial, and were not permitted independent lawyers. More monks and laypeople are due to be sentenced soon in Chone County.
And in a confirmation of the earlier report, political re-education "work teams" in Kardze are issuing mortal threats in the following manner:
According to sources, the work team members threatened the local Tibetans with outright massacre if they rise against the govt., saying, "we will kill one if one rises, and two if two rises".At Ngaba County's Sey Monastery, Chinese forces raided monks' quarters after Tibetan flags were raised in the vicinity, reportedly stealing many of their belongings (reported earlier). On June 10, security forces smashed and destroyed portraits of Dalai Lama during a raid. On June 11 and 12 further raids were conducted in which monks in retreat were harrassed and younger monks forced to quit the institution. Sey Monastery is being emptied.
Protests are also reported in Jyekundo Prefecture (Ch: Qinghai), with an unidentified man posting and distributing leaflets being arrested (no date), and two monks doing the same thing the following day also being arrested.
On the fifteenth and primary day of the sacred Saga Dawa month (full moon, June 18), residents of Nangchen County, Jyekundo Prefecture conducted a religious incense-burning ritual. Chinese security forces immediately and forcefully dispersed the faithful, so awesome was the sight of their devotional incense-burning.
That night, the Chinese flag on the roof of Nangchen County government office was replaced with the Tibetan flag, and many independence leaflets were posted everywhere in the county. The next day, June 19, the "incessant Tibetan war cry" was heard ringing in the streets of Nangchen town. The authorities have closed down private schools in the area, including those run by monks or nuns, but no arrests are reported yet.
On the day of Her Torchiness' tour of Lhasa, June 21, about six Tibetans protested peacefully in Serthar County, Kardze. They were beaten without mercy and taken to prison. No identities are yet known.
In Bayan County, Tsoshar Prefecture, Amdo (Ch: Qinghai), religious festivals are also off limits. The annual Cham Dance on the 19th day of Saga Dawa (June 22) at Gyalgyud Monastery was ordered cancelled by security forces, and other annual religious events in Taksang Shangtak Monastery have also been halted by the Chinese.
The head of the monks' assembly of Rong Gonchen (Rongwo) Monastery in Rebkong County, Malho Prefecture, Amdo (Ch: Qinghai), Jigme Dawa, was taken from his quarters and arrested on June 20. Even the monastery's "Democratic Management Committee" (the Party's watchdogs inside these institutions under the "Strike Hard" campaign) issued repeated requests for his release, to no avail. Jigme Dawa had been targeted before; he was imprisoned in 1999 for about a year, and was accused of political activity during Monlam (Great Prayer Festival) early this year.
Back in mid-April, security forces mounted a number of raids at Rong Gonchen Monastery. Many of the monks were arrested on April 17. Choyang Gyatso was one of them. After he was released on April 19 and returned to his quarters, he found that a sum of money (donations for the monastery) had been stolen. He charges the police with theft of the money, and has petitioned prosecutors to investigate.
The letter, dated May 13, informs the Rebgong (in Chinese, Tongren) People’s Procuratorate that on the afternoon of Choyang Gyatso’s detention, police "searched my room in the monastery, and took 23,000 yuan."
"The money includes donations by the devotees and the families of my fellow monks including Tenzin Lekshek, Yonten Yarphel, and Lodro Tenpa from Gendun Tengyal monastery. Yeshe from Jiantsa and Khedrup from Dro Rongwo can testify that I had the money in my room," he said.
"Those who searched my room included 15 special policemen and five armed policemen… The cash was wrapped in a yellow ceremonial scarf and placed in a red cloth bag," he wrote.
"After I was released on the morning of April 19, I found the cloth bag was on my bed in my room, but the ceremonial scarf and the money had vanished," Choyang Gyatso wrote.
"I think this is directly related to those people who searched my room, and they should be held directly responsible for the incident."
"Therefore, hereby I would like to request that the People’s Procuratorate quickly investigate the incident, and demand that those who stole my money from my room return it immediately. If your esteemed working unit does not investigate the incident, I will sue and find out all the illegal actions of those involved in this incident, at any cost."
This is not the only such case of theft during police raids. The senselessly destructive tendencies of "security" officers is well-documented during their "beating and smashing" incidents at various monasteries. A military invasion descended on Tsendrok Monastery in Machu County, Kanlho (Ch: Gansu) on April 18. Soldiers broke things, cooked food for themselves from the monastery's supplies, and stole a number of valuable religious items, including a large golden Buddha image, on their way out.
"The gross value of all the sacred religious objects taken from the monastery is estimated at more than 105 million yuan," one Tibetan source said. Monks complained and officials said they were investigating, she said.Ask the fox to investigate the other fox who robbed the hen-house, a splendid idea. Of course the Tibetans have no choice -- only the fox is allowed to investigate anything.
How are those journalists' visas coming along out there, foreign journalists?
[In local news today, all blogspot addresses are unavailable from here today except with anonymous proxy. Yet apparently I can post without using it. Strange. I'll hold off on accusing the Samak government of gestapo tactics, until maybe tomorrow.
And tomorrow your humble correspondent is going abroad for about a week. Samak and communist totalitarian oppressors are off this hook until next weekend. Don't get too comfortable, boys, I'll still be watching.]