Update on Tibet Demonstrations, 9 May 2008

16 April 2008: Chushul (Ch: Chushui) County, Lhasa municipality – Fifty monks arrested after PAP conducts raid at 4 am in the morning

Around 4 am on 16 April, huge numbers of People’s Armed Police (PAP) surrounded Ratoe monastery, in Nyethang Townhip, Chushul County. Monks were summoned to the monastery courtyard and told to give up their arms (if they had any). A raid was then conducted at the monastery.

Portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, political books and materials and mobile phones belonging to 70 monks’ were confiscated. In addition, the telephone of the monastery was confiscated too.

Following the raid, 50 monks from Ratoe monastery were arrested and taken to Chushul County prison. 32 of the monks still remain arrested while the others have been released. Thupchok (head of the monastery) and Namkar (a former political prisoner who spent over three years in Drapchi prison) are among those still being arrested.

Those arrested were severely beaten at the prison. Among the 32 still being arrested, the birthplace for the majority of them is Chushul County, while some others were born in Drakyab (Kham), Lhoka and Toelung County etc…

The remaining monks of Ratoe monastery are being forced to attend the so-called patriotic re-education classes.

As reported earlier, on 14 March, 30 monks of Ratoe monastery held a peaceful protest-march from the monastery till Nyethang Township. During the protest they demanded freedom for the Tibetan people and shouted slogans such as “long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama.” Before arriving at the Township, the PAP blocked the protestors and attempted to arrest them. The local people came to support the monks and as a result, none of them were arrested by the PAP. Following this event, tight restrictions were imposed on the monks of Ratoe monastery. Chinese governmental “work teams” were sent to conduct their so-called patriotic re-education during which monks were ordered to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The monks adamantly refused the orders following which the PAP arrived on 16 April to conduct the raid at Ratoe monastery.