Update on Tibet Demonstrations, 29 March 2008

Lhasa – Massive protests erupt again after many days of suppression.

Around 2 PM (local time) in the afternoon, Tibetans gathered for a protest in front of Ramoche Monastery, Lhasa. Also, nearby, in front of Tsuglag-khang (Jokhang) temple and Beijing East road, protests were started, and thousands joined into the protests within no time.

These protests are happening after many days of intense suppression, where we witnessed Chinese armoured vehicles and tanks being brought in to forcefully stop the protests.

Massive “Patriotic-re-education” campaign started

Chinese authorities have stepped up the “Patriotic re-education” classes in regions beyond the “Tibetan Autonomous Region” (“TAR”).

Particularly in monasteries all over Tibet, “Patriotic re-education,” has been strictly implemented.

Over 100 senior officials have been sent to various prefectures and counties to lead the “patriotic re-education” campaign.

Due to lack of officials needed for the massive “patriotic re-education” campaign, retired members of Public Security Bureau (PSB), People?s Liberation Army (PLA), and People?s Armed Police (PAP) have been called upon to assist.

The former PSB, PLA and PAP members were told to dress in monk-robes and assist the “work teams” for “patriotic re-education” classes in monasteries. They were told that their pension and other benefits would be increased for the services rendered.

However, the former PSB, PLA and PAP members declined the offer, and were especially reluctant to deceitfully dress up as monks, as confirmed by a reliable source.

28 March, 2008

Nyarong (Ch: Xinlong) County, Karze “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,” Sichuan Province- More arrests

After two County governmental buildings were set on fire on March 27, a group of Tibetans (living close to where the incident occurred) were taken into custody and beaten while being interrogated.

27th March, 2008

China calls on ex-Communist Party Members to help portray a calm and stable image of Lhasa.

An order has been issued on March 26 by the concerned departments asking retired communist party members and officials to visit the Potala palace and Tsuglag-khang (Jokhang) temple and other holy sites in the Lhasa area.

It is obvious that such a move was made by Chinese authorities in order to portray a peaceful and stable image of Lhasa, especially given the mounting international pressure and condemnation of their handling of the recent demonstrations.

Nagchu Prefecture (Ch: Naqu Chen), “Tibet Autonomous Region” – 30 arrested during peaceful demonstration

In Zhejiang market (one of the busiest markets in Nagchu Prefecture), over 30 people held a protest in which they demanded for more freedom in Tibet.

Public Security Bureau (PSB) arrived soon after the start of the protest, and each of the 30 protestors was arrested.

Even after the protest was completely suppressed, the People?s Armed Police (PAP) arrived at the scene and wrongfully arrested a group of students from the same market area. The students were released the next day.

Nagchu Prefecture remains under strict restrictions.

Currently, we cannot confirm the names of the 30 arrestees.

Even before March 10, a sizable military deployment was made in Nagchu Prefecture.

No Specific Date

Driru (Ch: Biru) County, Nagchu Prefecture (Ch: Naqu Chen), “Tibet Autonomous Region” – “Patriotic re-education” classes being forced on Tibetans

Chinese governmental “Work Teams” arrived in Tarma monastery, Driru (Ch: Biru) County to give “patriotic re-education” classes.

During the class, the head of the monastery, Ngawang Gyaltan, called on the Tibetans to unite and called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He also rejected the “patriotic re-education” classes being forced by the Chinese authorities.

Ngawang Gyaltan, received much support from the other monks of the monastery (and other laypeople too).

The “patriotic re-education” classes proved to be a failure and Tarma monastery remains under tight restrictions.

Bhekar monastery, Driru (Ch: Biru) County, Nagchu Prefecture (Ch: Naqu Chen), “Tibet Autonomous Region”

In Bhekar monastery, Driru (Ch: Biru) County, the monks demanded that unless the five monks who were arrested in December 2007 were released, they would not accept the “patriotic re-education” classes. So far, the “patriotic re-education” attempt has proved a failure.

There are around 300 monks at Bhekar monastery.

Shapten monastery, Driru (Ch: Biru) County, Nagchu Prefecture (Ch: Naqu Chen), “Tibet Autonomous Region”

In Shapten monastery, Nagchu County, Nagchu Prefecture, Chinese governmental “Work Teams” arrived to conduct “patriotic re-education” classes. Soon after, a huge number of military arrived. The classes lasted until 2AM on March 28.

In Nagchu Prefecture, non-residents are being forced to leave.