June 15, 2011

Tibet: Increased Tension as Monks and Nuns Take to the Streets

Several monks and nuns protesting against the Chinese rule have been severely beaten and detained by security forces and the situation is growing all the more tense, but local authorities refuse to give any comments on the events. 

Below is an article published by Radio Free Asia:

The security situation in Kardze, a Tibetan-majority region of China, was tense Monday [13 June 2011] after more Tibetan monks and nuns took to the streets to protest Chinese rule, drawing beatings and detention by police, Tibetan sources in the region and in exile said.

The protests grew at the weekend, following actions on June 9 and 10 by three nuns and a monk who demonstrated in front of Kardze town’s police station, throwing leaflets in the air and calling for freedom
for Tibet and for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Earlier, on June 6 and 7, three other monks had also protested and were also beaten and detained.

Within the last week alone, a total of 17 Tibetans have protested in Kardze’s downtown center, a Tibetan resident of Kardze told RFA, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“They were all monks and nuns from different monasteries and nunneries in the Kardze area,” the man said. “The situation in Kardze is very tense, with increased restrictions and presence of security forces.”

Four nuns from the Lamdrak nunnery—identified as Bomo Shoga, Tsewang Dolma, Dega, and Rinchen Choetso—were among those detained, he said.

“Three monks of Beri monastery also protested, and were detained after being severely beaten. Those monks are Pema Tsering, Oser Phuntsog, and another whose name is not known.”

Other protesters now being held by authorities include six monks from Kardze monastery, three nuns from Getse nunnery, and a monk from Khangmar monastery, he added.

Speaking separately, a former Khangmar monk now living in Australia identified the monk protester from Khangmar as Pachen, 21.

“His father has passed away, and his mother, who is still living, is named Chiga,” the former monk said, citing contacts in the region.

“On Friday afternoon [10 June 2011], two nuns staged a protest. One was Rinchen Choetso, but I don’t know the other nun’s name.”

“And then on Sunday [12 June 2011], three nuns from the Getse nunnery protested in the morning, and three monks from Beri monastery protested in the afternoon,” he said, adding, “I could not get any information about their names or other details.”

Attempts to reach Kardze area authorities for comment on Monday [13 June 2011] were unsuccessful.

The Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, is an area known for frequent protests against Chinese rule.

The Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959 when he fled his homeland after a failed uprising against rule by Beijing, has accused Chinese authorities of imposing a “rule of terror” inside Tibet, citing stepped-up security measures and a clampdown on Tibetan culture and religion.