Update on Tibet Demonstrations, 4 April 2008

4 April, 2008: Tight restrictions for foreign students at Tibet University (Lhasa)

Following the aftermath of the March 14 demonstration in Lhasa till the end of March, foreign students of Tibet University studying Tibetan language were restricted from leaving their university campus.

For over a week their mobile phones, internet and other devices have been disconnected.

Since a few days ago, a new rule has been imposed where if the foreign students of the University need to leave the campus for purchasing personal items, then special permission needs to be obtained. A maximum of 1-2 hour permission is given for them to leave the campus.

2 and 3 April

In Tongkor Township, Karze County, Karze (Ch: Ganzi) “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,” Sichuan Province – “Patriotic re-education” campaign continues; those not complying being arrested

2 April 2008: Chinese “work-teams” arrived at various monasteries including Tongor monastery, Tongkor Township, in their attempt to give “patriotic re-education” classes.

Chinese “work-teams” also attempted a signature campaign to get people to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama and refer to him as a “splittist.” The monk in charge of the monastery, Lobsang Jamyang, openly rejected the campaign.

Yeshi Nyima, also a monk from Tongor monastery, stood up during a “patriotic re-education” session and shouted that the he would not provide his signature, even at the cost of his life. The other monks of the monastery also made the same statements.

3 April 2008: People’s Armed Police (PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB) arrived at Tongkor monastery in response to yesterday’s incident at the monastery.

The PAP and PSB conducted thorough searches of all the monk quarters and confiscated portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the spiritual head of the monastery. They also took away mobile hand-sets and money belonging to the monks.

Geshe Tsultrim Gyatso, a 70-year old monk who demanded that His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait not be taken down, was arrested and taken into custody.

Laypeople (living nearby Tongor monastery) held a protest in support of the monks at Tongor monastery. Tsultrim Phuntsok, a 26 year old man, was arrested during the protest.

Around 8 – 9 PM, loud gun shots were heard in the Tongor village area. Later it was confirmed that Nyima and Kabook (both monks from Tongor monastery) were severely injured from gunshots. Currently, we have no additional details on number of people injured or killed.

There are around 300 monks at Tongor monastery. However, since the incident at Tongor monastery only a few senior monks remain at the monastery. Currently, we have no information on the whereabouts of the other monks.

2 April 2008

Bathang (Ch: Batang) County, Karze (Ch: Ganzi) “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,” Sichuan province – China pressuring monks to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Chinese “work-teams” arrived at Ba-Chodae monastery, Bathang County. There, they attempted to collect signatures from the monks which would support Chinese allegations that His Holiness the Dalai Lama was responsible for inciting the recent demonstrations in Tibet.

Each of the 200 monks at the monastery refused to give into Chinese pressure by not providing their signatures. There were heated arguments between the monks and the “work-teams” leading to the arrest of five monks including the abbot of the monastery, Jigme Dorjee, and the Disciplinary in charge, Yeshi.

Tawu (Ch: Daofu) County, Karze (Ch: Ganzi) “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,” Sichuan province – Nuns hold prayer-march

Around 10 AM, nuns from the nunnery (located on Ratroe hilltop) walked towards the crematorium (near the Tawu County headquarters) holding a prayer-march for those killed during the recent demonstrations in Tibet.

On their way, the nuns were stopped by the police resulting in a heated argument. However, the police were not able to stop the determined nuns.

Near the Tawu County headquarters’ middle school, the nuns were stopped again when County officials backed by three trucks full of policemen arrived to stop the nuns from continuing their peaceful march. Students of the middle school and local people shouted slogans to support the nuns.

The nuns successfully completed their prayer march.

Nya-tso monastery monks who had initially planned to go on the prayer-march with the nuns, were pressured by Chinese police to not take part and instead were in restricted to stay in their monastery.