Arrest of Tibetan sparks stand-off in Driru region

DHARAMSHALA: An arrest of a Tibetan man by Chinese police has sparked stand-off between local Tibetans and the police in Driru county in Tibet Autonomous Region.

Tenzin Rangdol, 34, was arrested from Shakchu village in Driru. Following his arrest, around 40 Tibetans from Gochu village gathered in front of the local  administrative office in Shakchu on 19 October, demanding his release. They were later joined by hundreds of Tibetans from nearby villages.

The Tibetan demonstrators appealed to the authorities not to suppress the basic rights of the Tibetan people.  “We will never participate in separatist activities, we just want the authorities to respect the rule of law,” said a source quoting the demands of the Tibetan demonstrators.

“The only thing creating a barrier between the Tibetan public and the administration is the misuse of law by authorities to suppress the Tibetan people’s rights. We appeal to the authorities to treat Tibetans fairly under the rule of law,” the demonstrators said.

The next day, some officials from the local administrative office came to the village and threatened the Tibetans of dire consequences. They warned them that the Tibetans would face more repression.

The authorities also arrested 10 people, some of whom were later released after taking their finger prints.