Agam's Gecko
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Freedom Marchers
Tibetan Freedom marchers Chime Youngdung and Konchok Yangphel were arrested this morning as they attempted to cross the Indian border into Tibet.
Photo: Phayul.com


mnesty International (and hopefully other international bodies and governments) are concerned about the large number of Tibetan detainees who have seemingly vanished in recent months (see immediately previous article). Among those Tibetans who have disappeared are Pema Tsering, Samten and Pema, three monks from Toelung Dechen County who were studying at Lhasa's Drepung Monastery until a few months ago. They were arrested at Drepung on March 10 (four days before the violent protest in Lhasa centre, don't forget), and haven't been heard of since. Their families have searched for them at nearly all the prisons and detention centres in the Lhasa region, but to no avail. Other detainees named in the update, who were arrested at Drepung in April, have also mysteriously vanished from inside the Chinese security system.

Back in March, Chinese security forces weren't just abducting people from monasteries -- they were seizing the wounded straight from the hospital. More copying of Burmese junta tactics.
During an indiscriminate gunfire on the protesters on March 14 a lady named Sonam was hit by a Chinese bullet at her neck near Ramoche Temple. She was later admitted for three days in Lhasa Tibetan Medical Institute hospital and received treatment for her injuries. However along with her daughter Choe Lak (full name not known) who had reportedly studied in Mainland China, and other injured Tibetans Sonam was picked up by the Chinese security forces from the hospital and subjected to immense torture while conducting interrogation. Both the mother and daughter were released sometimes in the end of May but have been reported in serious condition with both of them rendered physically disabled.
A slightly more detailed account of the shooting death of a Tibetan girl at the Jokhang (Tsuklakhang) Temple last month (reported here last Saturday) is given by the Central Tibetan Administration.
An unidentified Tibetan girl, who came from a village, was shot dead using a silencer gun by the People's Armed Police (PAP) outside the southern gate of the Tsuklakhang temple, in Lhasa, at about 12:00 noon somewhere around May 20.

She was visiting her brother who is a monk of Tsuklakhang temple. However, the PAP, who are guarding outside the temple, denied her permission to visit the temple. She then had an argument with the PAP. While she was having argument, another PAP shot her silently from behind. She died on the spot. A witness reported that she bled from her chest after she fell.

People were dispersed from the scene at gun-point. Her body was later taken away by the PAP. Some of our sources reported that she was from Lhokha. No further details are available.
A peaceful protest was reported again at the Kardze County seat on June 15, with at least one demonstrator arrested. The previous day a monk named Yeshi Palden, of Khangmar Genden Samdupling Monastery in the same county, had protested at the Public Security Bureau office chanting freedom slogans. He was reportedly severely beaten with iron rods by PSB officers and arrested.

Tensions are reported between Chinese and Tibetan government officials, with deadly consequences in at least one case. The Tibetan head of Horshul township in Serthar County, Kardze Prefecture was reportedly shot dead by his senior Chinese counterpart last month. There is no information about any action taken against the Chinese official in the murder of the Tibetan official, named Loya.

In the same county, a Tibetan named Rangdol was arrested on suspicion of having raised three Tibetan flags around May 16 at a place called Nyichu. Rangdol lives in the nomadic village of Tseshul, and is reportedly undergoing harsh interrogation for protesting at a time when citizens were expected to be mourning the Sichuan earthquake victims.

A peaceful demonstration was reported again in Kardze County on June 18, with demonstrators seriously beaten and an unknown number arrested. On June 17, three nuns of the Yatsek Nunnery school in Kardze held a peaceful demonstration calling for release of political prisoners and swift return of Dalai Lama to Tibet. These nuns were also beaten badly with iron rods and arrested.

In some parts of Kardze Prefecture, the authorities have disconnected telephone lines in a transparent attempt to ensure that accounts of these events do not reach the outside world. The people have been strictly ordered not to disclose any information outside the country.

The government of the TAR issued orders on June 17 that no state cadres may take leave from their workplaces, beginning June 20. I think we can now guess the reason for that -- Saturday the 21st is the big day, the celebration of Her Flaming Harmoniousness (for which organisers are on record stating that Tibetans are not welcome).

On the evening of June 9, three huge Tibetan national flags were hoisted at the main road near Sey Monastery in Ngaba County. Chinese security forces surrounded the monastery with troops and made raids into the monks' quarters, reportedly stealing or confiscating many of their belongings.

Monks at the Kirti Monastery in Gyalrong Tsodun township, Barkham County, Ngaba Prefecture (this seems to be a different institution from the one usually referred to as "Ngaba Kirti Monastery" in Ngaba County) were forced to hoist Chinese flags above the monastery on June 2. The monks removed the flags the following day, resulting in more soldiers and police, and stiffer restrictions on the monks.

Two Tibetan exile Satyagraha marchers for truth were arrested by Indian border patrol forces at around 10:30 am this morning as they attempted to cross the border into their homeland. On June 4, 265 of the marchers were arrested at Berinag (about 150 km. from the border) and another 50 were arrested on June 17 at Dharchula, the last Indian township before the border. Earlier this morning 31 were arrested in two different locations and seven others were detained yesterday.

The crossing attempt was made near Shipkila Pass and with Tibet now in their view, two freedom marchers raised a large Tibetan flag and a "Free Tibet Now" banner, and vocally protested the occupation of their homeland and China's arrogant torch relay there on Saturday (video available at the link).

Chime Youngdung, 33, President of the National Democratic Party of Tibet, and Konchok Yangphel, 29, Public Relations Officer of Tibetan Youth Congress, were arrested as they began walking the final 10 km. to the border. Videographer Legdup Tsering, 20, was arrested a few hours later. Their video was apparently streamed out via satellite before the arrests.
"We came to demonstrate to China, and to the world, that Tibet belongs to Tibetans and we will never give up in our fight for freedom," said Chime Youngdung. "We have taken this action today to show our solidarity with our six million Tibetan brothers and sisters who are living under siege and being brutally oppressed by the Chinese authorities."


"The Chinese government is using the Olympic torch as a political tool in an attempt to legitimize its rule in Tibet and the International Olympic Committee has now endorsed this cynical propaganda scheme," said Konchok Yangphel, who was born in Tibet but fled to India to escape China's oppression. "Tibetans will keep up our struggle long after the Beijing Olympics have ended, and we will never give up until we stand as free people on Tibetan soil."
Tibetan Women's Association leaders
Regional Tibetan Women's Association Kathmandu President Ngawang Sangmo (R) and Vice President Tashi Dolma (L) were arrested from their homes this morning in Kathmandu.
Photo: Phayul.com
Meanwhile, over in Kathmandu, three local Tibetan leaders were arrested from their homes at around 8 am this morning. Kelsang Chung, Director of the Tibetan Reception Center, Ngawang Sangmo and Tashi Dolma, President and Vice President of the Regional Tibetan Women's Association were taken to the Boudha police station.

Police also came to the homes of Drakpa Tenzin, President of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, and Trinley Gyatso, Representative of the Dalai Lama in Nepal, but neither of the men were at home. Drakpa Tenzin confirmed this to Phayul News.
"I was not at home, my family informed me that around 8 am plain clothes police officers came to my house to arrest me. I also heard they visited the house of Representative of the Dalai Lama in Nepal Trinley Gyatso but he too was not home so we have not been arrested yet".
Sources confirm that the three arrested have been moved to the Dilli Bazar Karaghar Prison, and that their arrest warrants stated that protests in Nepal had "seriously undermined the bilateral relationship" between Nepal and China. In other words, there is an "instigator" in this, not to mention "interference in another state's internal affairs."

The Chinese government is constantly demanding that the Dalai Lama should begin to create a "suitable atmosphere" for the talks between the two sides, even while itself issuing the ugliest possible denunciations of him. They insist that they will "resolutely brook no interference in our internal affairs" while doing exactly that to other countries.

It's really quite surprising that this undeniable hypocrisy of theirs on the world stage doesn't appear to shame them in the least. They're worried about others making them lose face?

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