Updates: Tibet Demonstrations

Update for Wednesday, 26 March 2008, last updated 2pm (IST) Re: Tibet demonstrations

Tight restrictions continue in Lhasa

Tsuglagkhang temple and Barkhor (area surrounding the Tsuglagkhang) continue to remain sealed by the military.

Shops (except a few Chinese owned) remain closed in the Lhasa area.

Parents escorting their children to school are being forced to return to their homes.

Drakgo (Ch: Luhuo) County, Karze “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,” Sichuan province – Chinese military and police forcefully takes away dead body of Chokri Monastery Monk and has it cremated nearby. More arrests after peaceful demonstration.

Monks from Chokri monastery (Drakgo County) are being forced by Chinese authorities to leave the monastery. Nuns from Nang-gong nunnery continue to be arrested. However, many of the nuns have managed to escape from being arrested.

Houses and Monasteries in Drago County are being searched belligerently by the Chinese military.

The whereabouts of many monks and laypeople?s are unknown.

On 24 March, monks, nuns and laypeople from Tehor Township (Drakgo County) and surrounding areas held a massive protest during which Kunga (monk from Chokri monastery, aged 21) was shot and killed by the Chinese military. The military tried to take his body away; however, the protestors collectively were able to hold onto his body and hid it in a safe spot. On March 25, the Chinese military and police forcefully took the body of Kunga from the monastery and has it cremated nearby.

When the monks from Chokri monastery held prayers for the deceased monk, they also took the opportunity to hold a protest since a sizable group had already gathered at the scene. The protest grew in size and intensity, especially after they were joined by many laypeople. The protestors on their way to the County government headquarters were stopped by a huge number of Chinese military.

In their attempt to end the protest, the military fired shots into the air. However, the protestors held their resolve and continued to protest. When the situation grew tensed with guns being pointed at the protestors, then, the monks and laypeople formed a human-barricade with each of the protestors lying flat on the road. The protest ended that afternoon after monks and laypeople decided to leave the scene on their own terms. Details for number of arrests, killed or injuries sustained during the protest are currently not available.

From 25 March evening, Chokri monastery has been surrounded by Chinese military and few people have been arrested. They are:

    1) Khetsun Chok (the former abbot of Chokri monastery)
    2) Sherab (monk from Jangchup ling village)
    3) Tashi (monk from Gorong village)
    4) Few nuns from Nangong nunnery.

25 March 2008

Body of Ramoche Monk returned to family; Chinese authorities provide no explanation on cause of death

As reported earlier, due to the tight restrictions, getting regular food and water supplies has been a huge problem at Ramoche monastery (among many others) and on 24 March, Lobsang Thokmey (a monk from Ramoche) died as a result.

Chinese authorities returned the body of Lobsang Thokmey to his family on 25 March. However, they have not provided an explanation for the cause of death.

Tsegor (Ch: Xinghai) Thang County, Tsolho “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” Qinghai province – Hundreds hold protest in front of County government headquarters.

Starting around 10AM, Tibetans from Holkha Township (Tsegor County) held a massive protest in front of the County government headquarters. The protest lasted till around 1PM in the afternoon.

During the protest, a banner (in Tibetan) read “Peace, Democracy, Freedom and solidarity with martyrs.” Another banner (in Chinese) read, “Stop repression in Tibet.”