Update on Tibet Demonstrations, 23 April 2008

Drakgo (Ch: Luhuo) County, Karze, “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,” Sichuan province- China attempting various tactics to obtain Tibetan signatures.

At Chokri Town, Drakgo County, concerned Chinese officials have started to collect signatures on blank pieces of paper. They have not provided an explanation for their dubious act.

A few years back, people of Drakgo County were ordered by the Chinese government to grow various plants and trees on most of their agricultural lands. The people were given monetary compensation for their participation. Currently, the people have been told that if they still want such monetary compensation, then they would have to provide their signatures on blank pieces of paper.

It has also been announced that the poorer families in the region would be provided with assistance in meeting the fees of their school-going children from the Chinese Government if they provided their signatures.

Very few people provided their signatures while others emphasized that even though they were poor, they have no desire to take [their] money.

19 April 2008

Dzoge (Ch: Ruo?ergai) County, Ngaba “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,” Sichuan province -190 young monks flee due to tight restrictions

On 19 April, around 190 young monks from Tak-tsang Lhamo Kirti monastery had to flee the monastery compounds due to the extremely tight restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities on the monastery.

On 15 March, the monks of Tak-tsang Lhamo Kirti monastery held a protest at the market. Around 21 monks in total were arrested during different times for their alleged participation in the protest. “Patriotic re-education” classes continue at the monastery and monks are constantly harassed. It seems very likely that more monks will be arrested in the future. Such factors have led to the 190 monks fleeing from the monastery compounds.

Tak-tsang Lhamo Kirti monastery remains under a tense situation.

4 and 5 April

Lithang (Ch: Litang) County, Karze, “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,” Sichuan province- China?s forced tactics proving a big failure

On 4 and 5 April, concerned Chinese officials arrived at Lithang monastery. Without any explanation, they demanded that the monks provide their signatures on blank pieces of paper.

The monks made it clear to the Chinese officials they would not provide their signatures on blank pieces of paper. Chinese officials tried to pressure the heads of the monastery so they in turn could convince the other monks. However, the heads of the monastery did not give into the Chinese pressure.

Again, on 20 April, concerned Chinese officials arrived at Lithang monastery. At Tse-nyi monastery (part of Lithang Monastery) it was announced that each monk would have to hold a Chinese flag in one hand and at the same time provide their signature with their other hand. A picture would be taken simultaneously. All the monks of Tse-nyi monastery did not accept the demands.

April beginning

Drakgo (Ch: Luhuo) County, Karze “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,” Sichuan province-Tibetan man arrested days after fleeing

Yeshe, who had fled after a scuffle with a Township head, has been arrested by Chinese police sometime in the beginning of April.

On 26 March, the officials of Chokri Getse Township, Drakgo County, gave a public talk to vilify His Holiness the Dalai Lama. A 60-year-old woman stood up during that session and strongly opposed the vilification campaign.

When the woman was beaten by the Township head, her son Yeshe tried to intervene resulting in a fight between him and the Township head. Yeshe was then compelled to escape from the area.

Two released prisoners give testimony over conditions in Chinese prison

Two men from Jomda (Ch: Jiangda) have been released from prison. They were arrested for their alleged involvement in the protest on 14 March in Lhasa. They wish for their names to remain anonymous. The following information is based on their testimony.

After being arrested on 14 March, they were taken to Gutsa prison, Lhasa. From there they were transferred to another prison, in a very cold location. Various torture methods were being used on the Tibetans who were arrested during the protests.

Tibetan prisoners were also being deprived of regular food and few Tibetans had to resort to drinking their own urine. Tibetans are being literally starved to death. Tibetan prisoners requested the two to report the conditions of the prisoners to Tibetans outside Tibet and the Central Tibetan Administration.

Both the two Tibetans that were released are in bad physical condition from the torture and beatings they suffered during their imprisonment.