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Protests continue in Tibet; popular singer arrested PDF Print E-mail
[26 April 2012] As the Chinese government continues its crackdown in Tibet, reports of major demonstrations in Tibet continue to filter out. Thousands of Tibetans in eastern Tibet have protested against security raids on a local monastery and against arbitrary arrests. Also, a well known Tibetan singer has been arrested by Chinese authorities following the release of an album featuring freedom songs.
Zogchen protest | Da-yul protest | Singer arrested

Thousands protest against crackdown on monastery
On 25 April, over 3,000 Tibetans gathered in Kardze Prefecture in eastern Tibet to condemn the crackdown on a local monastery.

The protests (pictured right), in Zogchen township, Dege county, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, followed a series of raids conducted by security forces on Zogchen monastery during which monks were severely beaten, interrogated, and arrested. One monk was seriously injured during one of the raids and is understood to be in critical condition in a local hospital. At least six monks were arrested as well as three lay-people.

Monks from Zogchen monastery led the protest, which involved between 3,000 and 4,000 Tibetans. The crowd peacefully demonstrated outside a local police station and a government building in Zogthen township, demanding the release of those arrested, for security forces to withdraw from the monastery and for an end to the government's crackdown in the region.

No further information is available on the status of the nine detained Tibetans.

Further reading: RFA

2,000 protest against detentions in Kardze
On 15 April, another major protest took place in eastern Tibet, when over 2,000 Tibetans gathered in Kardze county, to protest the detention of Tibetans involved in an organisation set up to help resolve local disputes. Though some of the detained were released, 33 Tibetans remain in custody.

Chinese police arrived in the nomadic village of Da-yul, Kardze county, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, on 14 April and ordered the closure of an organisation called Da-yul Thundin Tsogpa  (Da-yuls Unity Association). The organisation had been set up in 2008 to help resolve disputes between local Tibetans and build unity amongst local villages.

A crowd gathered to protest against the closure, at which time the police began beating the Tibetans. According to reports, at least 10 Tibetans were injured and hospitalised. Approximately 250 Tibetans were detained, including the head of Da-yul Thundin Tsogpa, a Tibetan called Dhontoh.

The arbitrary arrests prompted a major demonstration on 15 April, following which all communication lines to Kardze were cut, so the current situation is not known.

In 2011 the Chinese government instigated a major security crackdown in Tibetan regions following an escalation of self-immolations and protests. The crackdown resulted in an influx of military troops, increased surveillance by security personnel, communication blackouts and a ban on foreign journalists. However, the self-immolations and protests have continued.

Further reading: TCHRD

Tibetan singer arrested over independence songs

A well known Tibetan singer has been arrested by Chinese authorities in Qinghai province after releasing an album featuring independence songs. Lo Lo was detained on 19 April, however his current whereabouts and well-being are not known.

Lo Lo (pictured right), 29, is from Dhomda town in Trindu county, Jyekundo (Chinese: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province. Several months ago he released an album entitled Raise the Flag of Tibet, Sons of the Snow, which is believed to be the reason for his arrest. Songs from the album include lyrics calling for independence for Tibet, the unity of the Tibetan people, and the return of Tibets exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

In February another singer from Jyekundo was arrested after releasing an album with political lyrics. The album, An Unending Flow of My Hearts Blood by 25 year-old Ugyen Tenzin, contained a song dedicated to Tibets exiled Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay. Ugyen Tenzin was later sentenced to two years in prison.

Since the uprising protests of 2008, the Chinese authorties have cracked down on prominent Tibetans asserting their national identity. At least 60 Tibetan writers, singers and artists are known to have been detained for expressing their Tibetan identity, promoting Tibetan culture or criticising the Chinese regime.

Further reading:

Tibet Society, the worlds first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership 24; Overseas 36; Life 500).

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