Update on Tibet Demonstrations, 19 April 2008

Gepa Sumdo (Ch: Tongde), Tsolho (Ch: Hainan) “TAP”, Qinghai Province – Many monks of Tsang monastery arrested

On 13 April 2008, local Chinese government officials, Chinese police as well as Chinese armed forces poured down over Tsang Monastery, Gepa Sumdo county, in order to look for people involved in the protest on 17 March 2008. During this search, a monk called Khedup Gyatso was arrested. Later on the evening of 14 April 2008, the Chinese police also confiscated photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the search in the monastery, following which about 36 monks were arrested on 15 April, and were moved to Tsolho “TAP”. About 20 more monks were arrested later on 17 April and were taken to the county prison. Chinese government has planned to re-conduct “Patriotic re-education campaign” from 19 April.

Jomda (Ch: Jianga) County, Chamdo (Ch: Changdu) Prefecture – Tense situation in Wara monastery

Several monks from Wara Monastery, Jomda County, refused to participate in the “Patriotic re-education campaign” conducted by the Chinese government in their monastery. Situation around the Wara Monastic area continue to remain tense after the local people in the village also raised their voice against further harassment to the monks by the Chinese government. Furthermore, over 10 Tibetan government officials from Thang Phug town arrived and discussed the matter with the regional monastic democratic committee, and held a couple of meetings with the monks.

However, monks continued to show their resentment and non-allegiance towards “re-education campaign”, as a result of which several monks left the monastery between 4-5 April. Starting from 8 April, there has been a tight vigilance within the monastery, and the Chinese police have been keeping careful watch on the monks. Currently, there are only 50 monks left within this monastery, and all of them are being forcefully ordered to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama. However, the head and other monks of the monastery responded that they would not follow any anti-Dalai Lama campaign even at the cost of their lives.

Lithang (Ch: Litang) County, Karze (Ch: Ganzi) “TAP”, Sichuan Province – Tibetan monasteries enforced to fly Chinese flag

Orders are being given by the concerned department of the Chinese government to fly Chinese flags on the rooftop of all monasteries. However, Tibetans did not obey such orders. Orders were given by the concerned officials from the Lithang County on 16 April to fly Chinese flag from 17 April. Some heads of the Lithang monastery said if they did this, then they should not be held responsible for any trouble that might follow. They also asked for a written letter from the County officials for such kind of orders. As a result, the Chinese flag could not be raised on that day. Such orders have been enforced on several other monasteries in Sichuan, Gansu, and Qinghai Provinces as well. Since 12 April, all monasteries within the “TAR” are also being forced to do the same.

Nyagchu (Ch: Yajiang) County, Karze “TAP”, Sichuan Province – Forced Signature campaigns continues

Around 4-15 April, people of the various villages, including Gulog Shipa, in Nyagchu County, were called for a meeting in their respective villages by the concerned County officials in order to conduct signature campaign that states “The Dalai Lama is responsible for instigating the recent unrest in Tibet.” During the meeting, a man named Gyaltsen walked out of the meeting showing his rejection of such kind of allegations. Many people also followed suit and hence the meeting failed to succeed as planned.

Concerned local officials immediately summoned Gyaltsen to seek explanations for his act.

Nyagchu (Ch: Yajiang) County, Karze “TAP”, Sichuan Province – Protest held by around 200 people

Over 200 people from Kyichu-Kha town, Nyagchu County, held a protest rally against the Chinese repression in Tibet. No further details are available.

Chentsa (Ch: Jianza) County, Malho (Ch: Huangnan) “TAP”, Qinghai Province – One arrested. A man named Ngak-chang Zipa (aged 35) from Chentsa County, was arrested on the morning of 19 April, on account of his involvement in the protest held in March 2008 in Chentsa County.

Machu (Ch: Maqu) County, Kanlho “TAP”, Gansu Province – Around 150 monks of Nyulra Nyenthog Monastery arrested

During a raid by the Chinese police in Nyulra Nyenthog Monastery, Machu County, on 14 April, many booklets containing speeches of His Holiness the Dalai Lama were destroyed. Moreover, about 150 monks have been arrested from the monastery.

Rebgong (Ch: Tongren) County, Malho “TAP”, Qinghai Province – 200 arrestees continue to be detained in the County

Alag Khatso Tsang who was injured and arrested on 17 April from the Rebgong Monastery is reported to have been admitted to a hospital in Siling Municipality (Ch: Xining). No further details are available.

The Monastery continues to remain under tight vigilance. About 200 people, consisting of both monks and laypeople, who were arrested on 17 April continue to remain detained in the county.

Large number of monks from the Sera Monastery, Lhasa, were arrested

At 3 P.M. local time, on 17 April, many monks from the Sera Monastery in Lhasa were arrested and are currently detained in a brick factory in the Toelung area, west of Lhasa. Although no specific details of the site is available, but it is assumed that the place is quite close to Chushul prison located near Toelung.