Sunday, March 15, 2009
PROTESTS REPORTED DESPITE HEAVY CLAMPDOWN
few more scattered protests have been reported in Tibetan areas around the anniversaries of last year's general uprising. Three youths in Kardze chanted freedom slogans on March 14 according to reports received by Voice of Tibet radio service, expressing the wishes for "Long Live the Dalai Lama", "Release all political prisoners of Tibet", "Dalai Lama must be allowed to return to Tibet" and "Independence for Tibet." They also put up prayer flags for these aspirations. Dawa Tsering, 25, Dhondhup, 24, and Lobsang Nyandak, 25, were severely beaten up and taken to a new prison in front of the People's Hospital in Kardze.
On March 11, three women protested in Kardze before their inevitable beatings and arrest. Choetso, 17, Tsetan Lhamo, 17, and Tsering Lhamo, 17, were taken to the same prison mentioned above. A lone Tibetan also made a street protest on March 12 and was immediately arrested.
A few more details of the protest in Lithang County, Kardze on March 10 (briefly mentioned in the last post) have trickled out. An unidentified monk shouted slogans at around 11 am, but when armed security forces attempted to seize him, a group of local people confronted the bullies to rescue him. The outcome of this incident is not clear.
Later in the afternoon, as earlier reported, a monk from Bathang named Lobsang Wangchuk, 29, raised freedom slogans and was beaten and arrested. Both these monks were from the Lithang Monastery. Kardze authorities are said to have ordered all shops and restaurants to remain closed.
At Rebkong, Amdo, authorities have reportedly put a ban on selling mobile SIM cards, in furtherance of their efforts to prevent the flow of information to the outside world. Massive troop deployment is evident, with witness stating that the military build-up is much greater than it was in 1958.
Two young monks shouted slogans and distributed leaflets in Kyekundo, Amdo on March 6. They evaded arrest, but two days later four other men were arrested for collecting the protest leaflets which were distributed by the monks. A search operation is underway to apprehend the agile pamphleteers.
The Telegraph passes on a report from the South China Morning Post, which says it has a reporter currently in Lhasa, claiming that police sweeps in the city have not spared "a single hotel, guesthouse or local home." The major monasteries remain sealed, roadblocks are set up throughout the city, and armed troops patrol day and night. A protest at Sera Monastery involving dozens of monks was reported to have taken place on March 9.
Locals also told the SCMP that a protest involving dozens of monks broke out on March 9 around the Sera Monastery, a day before the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising that led to the Dalai Lama's flight into exile. At least half the temple is now cordoned off and two military vehicles with up to 100 armed police were deployed outside.As part of China's new charm offensive ("the door is always open for talks"), Party mouth-organ People's Daily accused the Dalai Lama of diabolical activities involving the use of human blood, skins and skulls. They are so charming, those darn CCP propaganda cadres.
Your humble correspondent will be leaving the Big Mango tonight for Jakarta, where I'll be most of this week. Fortunately, this enables me to visit the Heaven in Exile exhibition before it ends next weekend. The opening night on March 6 looks like it was well-attended, as this short video posted by my good friend Enrico Soekarno (the driving force behind this event) attests.
I post it here in hopes that any CCP propagandists who watch this site will see that the Tibetans have many good friends in this part of the world. And of course, so that friends of Tibet will know this too.