Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fresh protests in Amdo Labrang

According to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a fresh demonstration erupted this morning at around 10 AM (Beijing Time) in Labrang, Sangchu County, Kanlho "TAP" Gansu Province in the eastern part of the Tibetan area as a follow-up to yesterday's demonstration staged by monks of Tashikyil Monastery which was later joined by thousands of Tibetans in the area.

Thousands of people including monks from Labrang Tashikyil Monastery staged a peaceful demonstration at the county government's headquarters. The demonstration was started by monks of Labrang Tashikyil Monastery and was later joined by common citizens at a place known as Choeten Karpo (White Stupa) where people offered Sangsol Prayer (incense burning ritual). After the prayer session, people raised "pro-independence" and "Long live the Dalai Lama'" slogans while heading towards the Sangchu County Government headquarters. The People Armed Police (PAP) fired tear gas and live ammunition into the air to disperse the demonstrators. The latest report indicates that there are cases of demonstrators being arrested and beaten by PAP forces and PSB officials from the area, although the number could not be ascertained at the moment.

Communication lines in the area are known to have been cut off since this morning with little information coming out from the area. Yesterday, the police started to fire live ammunition in the air and started beating demonstrators when they neared the Sangchu County Public Security Bureau headquarters. So far there is no information on people having been arrested or detained at the moment. This is for the first time that such large scale demonstration took place in the area.

TCHRD expresses it deepest concern about the safety of the peaceful demonstrators and at the same time expresses its deepest fear and anxiety that hundreds of Tibetans who will suffer for airing their grievance and peaceful exercise of the freedom of expression, opinion and assembly. TCHRD condemns in strongest terms the Chinese security agencies use of brute force on the peaceful Tibetan demonstrators. TCHRD while welcoming the timely statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the current situation in Tibet, it appeals the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to urgently send a UN fact finding mission to Tibet for first hand assessment of the situation.

(Sourced from Students for a Free Tibet,

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