Wednesday, April 15, 2009
TIBETANS DOWN TOOLS SOME AREAS, PICK UP STONES IN OTHERS
ibetans living in the parts of their country which have been annexed into China's Sichuan province are continuing to refuse to carry out the spring planting. While the world's media seems mostly uninterested (as well as barred from entry by the Chinese government), the London Times offers a report from inside China.
"The farmers know that they will be the ones to suffer if they do this," one source told The Times. "But this is a way for them to show their unhappiness."PLA troops have been sent into the region to persuade the Tibetan farmers to work (beatings have frequently followed refusal), to contribute their own labour, and even to do the farming themselves if necessary. The government has also ordered local officials and Communist Party members to get out in those fields and plant some crops.
The Tibetan Prime Minister in exile, Samdhong Rinpoche, has appealed to the Tibetans in Kardze "not to make this sacrifice and to stop their 'refusal to till the fields'."
A Buddhist monk, Phuntsok Rabten, was beaten to death on March 25 in connection with the farmers' strike in Drango County, and in several incidents in the same county around twenty other Tibetans have been badly beaten, with many requiring hospitalization.
A fuller account of the public parading of those arrested is also offered in this report. On March 27, after the beatings and arrests of 11 supporters of the farm boycott in Da-do village, these detainees were reportedly paraded around the village on trucks the same day. They were later seen in a hospital surrounded by the People's Armed Police.
This Times report from April 11 describes a similar incident on April 5*, in which seven trucks paraded farm boycott supporters through the streets of Kardze.
Each suspect was held by two police, who forced them to bow their heads. A notice was hung around the neck of each one, although a Tibetan source said that he could not read them because he was unfamiliar with Chinese characters.*Update: The same incident has been reported to Phayul News with a few more details. The prisoners had their heads shaved (yet more shades of an earlier Cultural Revolution) with their arms and legs shackled. Authorities announced through loudspeakers that whoever protested the Chinese government would face similar treatment.
Tibetans in Machu County (Kanlho T-"A"-P, Ch: Gansu province) had been preparing for a popular annual monastic ritual dance last week, which normally attracts large numbers of devotees from villages and monasteries in the region. The event takes place every year on the fifteenth day of the third Tibetan month, this year on April 9.
Local authorities recommended pouring more Chinese troops into the region for the day, even though Tibetan community leaders and senior monks assured them that the religious event would not cause any trouble, and they therefore objected to the military reinforcements according to sources for the Voice of Tibet radio service.
The Chinese security forces apparently lacked anything to do, or were perhaps looking for some entertainment that day, as they harassed local people in the market and then ransacked a billiard hall after finding a fox skin. [Wait a minute, it's usually the authorities who pressure Tibetans to wear their "picturesque skin and fur costumes", even if they don't want to.] "The security forces then beat up the owner of the skin and his two companions who argued with them," according to the source.
The news of this violent incident spread quickly in the area, and angry Tibetan townspeople gathered and then clashed with around 100 Chinese soldiers.
"The Chinese soldiers hit batons at the Tibetans who retaliated by hurling stones," he said, adding that several people on both sides were injured in the brawl. No arrest, however, has been reported.The remaining six monks of Amdo's Lutsang Monastery (Mangra County, Tsolho T-"A"-P, Ch: Qinghai province) who had been detained since their arrest for a candlelight procession and vigil on February 25, have been released. Over a hundred of the monks had been released on March 20 after nearly a month of severe patriotism re-education. The last six, Jamyang Sherab, Jamyang Ngodup, Jamyang Khenrab, Lungtok, Thabkhey Gyatso and Kunsang were finally released sometime around the end of last week.
Also reportedly released are Tashi Dhondup and his younger brother Jinpa Gyatso. The younger man had disappeared from Xining City, where he was studying at a college, right around the uprising anniversary on March 10. Tashi Dhondup was a civil servant for the Chinese government. Public Security Bureau forces barged into his home in Sum-dho township, Mangra County, on March 12 without warrant or reason, seizing him as well as his mobile phone and computer.