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Tibet News Digest
14. Jan 2012 - 27. Jan 2012

ISSN: 1864-1393

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14. Jan 2012
Reports about two shot in Ngaba
(RFA) Radio Free Asia reports that an elderly Tibetan woman and at least one other person were killed during a confrontation between Tibetan protesters and Chinese security forces in Sichuan province. Several others were reportedly injured in the clash which happened outside Kirti monastery in Ngaba (Chin: Aba) prefecture after a Tibetan man, subsequently named as Lobsang Jamyang, set himself on fire and died. He is not believed to be a monk. When police refused to release his body, a large crowd surrounded a local police station. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamsala said: "A confrontation ensued and an elderly Tibetan woman was reportedly shot dead by the police". However, according to the Tibetan Centre of Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD): "A Tibetan woman in her 40s died after she was hit in the eye with iron chains after the scuffle between the police and the crowd". Police were believed to have used tear gas to disperse the protesting crowd, RFA reported, and there were a number of arrests.

14. Jan 2012
Tibetan sentenced
(RFA) A Tibetan protester, Kalsang, also called Gonkar, was sentenced to a three-year prison term following his detention in March 2011 after the self-immolation of Phuntsog, a monk from Kirti monastery. Kalsang, a member of the Thangwa Mai Tragyal family, is currently in Miyang prison, near Chengdu. "He was detained at the Ngaba county detention centre and was severely beaten and tortured", an RFA source said. In the first week of January, his family learned that he had been "secretly sentenced to three years in jail", the source added.

16. Jan 2012
India-China resume border talks
(The Hindu; Phayul) India and China have resumed border talks in New Delhi after they broke down late in 2011. The 15th round of special border talks scheduled in November had to be cancelled after China demanded India prevent the Dalai Lama from making a speech at an international religious gathering. There were further problems in January 2012 when Beijing denied a visa to an Indian Air Force (IAF) officer on a military delegation to China, on the grounds that he was from Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian state claimed by China. New Delhi reacted by scaling down its delegation. Arriving for the two-day talks, China's State Councillor and special representative Dai Bingguo tried to set out a conciliatory tone. "While working hard to develop itself, China is fully committed to developing long-term friendship and cooperation with India", Dai wrote in the Hindu newspaper. "There does not exist such a thing as China's attempt to 'attack India' or 'suppress India's development'", he added.

17. Jan 2012
Sopa Tulku's funeral
(Phayul; VOA) According to the Beijing-based Tibetan writer, Woeser, thousands of Tibetans from the area around Golog (Chin: Guoluo) TAP, Qinghai province, participated in the funeral ceremony of Sonam Wangyal, als known as Sopa Tulku, in Darlag (Chin: Dari) county. Sopa Tulku, died after setting himself alight on 08 January. An exile Tibetan, Khenpo Ogyen Rigzin told US-based Voice of America (VOA) Tibetan radio service that over a hundred Tibetans carrying photos of the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa held protests throughout the day in other parts of Golog. Chinese security personnel did not stop the demonstration, but took pictures and videos of the participants.

18. Jan 2012
Tibetans protest in Serthar
(AP; Phayul; VoT) Large numbers of Tibetans, including monks, held up portraits of the Dalai Lama in Serthar (Chin: Seda) Kardze (Chin: Ganzi) TAP in Sichuan province. The Voice of Tibet (VoT) radio service said the protests by "over 200 Tibetans" were sparked when two monks from a nearby monastery started a demonstration raising slogans for Tibet's independence and throwing leaflets in the air. Writing on her blog, Woeser also confirmed the protests in Serthar. "Hundreds of monks from Kardze protested with Tibetan flags and portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama", she wrote. Chinese police said that officers dealt with the gathering, but declined to say whether any of the Tibetans were arrested in the incident.

18. Jan 2012
Two abbots from Karma monastery arrested
(TCHRD) Two abbots, along with seven monks from Karma monastery (Chin: Gama) in Chamdo (Chin: Qamdo) county, Chamdo prefecture, were arrested on or around 29 October 2011, according to TCHRD. Security officials arrested the abbots, Lodoe Rabsel and Namsey Sonam, after they refused to cooperate with officials conducting patriotic re-education campaigns at their monastery. The monks refused to denounce the Dalai Lama and accept Tibet as part of China, as required in the classes, a TCHRD source claims. Karma monastery has been under constant surveillance since the 2008 protests, and the bombing of an empty municipal office building in Karma town on 26 October 2011 further intensified official restrictions on the monastery. The Buddhist dialectics school of Karma monastery, which used to have over 120 students, was closed after all the students fled to escape the repeated visits by security officials.

20. Jan 2012
Taped message from dead lama
(RFA) Radio Free Asia published a 9-minute taped message recorded by Sopa Tulku before setting himself alight on 08 January. In the tape, Sopa first offered respect and thanks to the other Tibetans who, he said, had self-immolated for the cause of Tibet before him. Sopa then said he offered his own life and body for the "well-being of Tibet's six million people and especially of all high lamas, headed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama". "The younger generations should learn their culture", he added, "and the older generations should try their best to preserve our language and customs". He also said Tibetan people should "unite as one" to protect their nation and culture from destruction.

22. Jan 2012
Monk succumbs to torture
(RFA) According to Beijing-based blogger Woeser, Geshe Tsultrim Gyatso, succumbed to injuries sustained in prison after his arrest in Trika (Chin: Guide), Tsolho (Chin: Hainan) TAP in 2011. He had been arrested in in July 2011 while he lectured at a school. Quoting local sources, Woeser told RFA that, At the end of December, 51 years old Gyatso "was taken to a local hospital, owing to severe torture sustained in prison". "Just a few days ago, the local hospital returned him to his family. He was physically incapacitated and frail due to maltreatment in prison. He passed away at home on 22 January", Woeser said.

23. Jan 2012
Tibetans believed killed in protests, speculation about figures
(CTA; RFA; TCHRD) Tibetans are believed to have been killed and injured by security forces in Draggo (Chin: Luhuo) county centre, in the Kardze (Chin: Ganzi) TAP, Sichuan province. An RFA source claimed that at least two Tibetans were shot dead, and over ten were injured, after Chinese police "violently suppressed the protest". One participant in the protest told RFA "hundreds" of Tibetans had been detained following the shooting. One of the protesters also attempted to set himself ablaze, the source added. The CTA quoted sources saying six had been killed in what it described as "indiscriminate firing" by police. TCHRD reported one casualty as certain and another one as unconfirmed. It put the number of arrestees at 36.

24. Jan 2012
Nepal might resume registration of Tibetans
(HNS) The Nepali government is planning to settle the "Tibetan refugee problem" permanently, according the Himalayan News Service (HNS). The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is considering collecting details of all Tibetans in Nepal and issuing them with new identity cards, HNS sources said. Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha said: "We must settle the Tibetan refuge issue. I am discussing the matter with concerned stakeholders". The move is said to be a result of Nepali government fears that the Tibetan refugee issue might jeopardise Nepal-China relations, however, it has stopped registration for exactly the same reason and the UNHCR and human rights organisations have been lobbying for registration to resume for a long time.

24. Jan 2012
Amnesty condemns Chinese actions in Tibetan areas
(AI) China must avoid using excessive force in response to protests and allow independent monitors into areas of protest, Amnesty International (AI) said after Chinese security forces in Sichuan province reportedly fired on Tibetan protestors for a second successive day. "The Chinese authorities are responding only with repression and a security crackdown to an already volatile situation, instead of addressing long-standing human rights grievances on the part of Tibetans", said Sam Zarifi, AI's Asia-Pacific director. "The situation has not improved in Tibetan areas since 2008 when tensions exploded into violence. Grievances regarding restrictions on religious and cultural freedoms have gotten worse, not better".

24. Jan 2012
China Arrests 8 protesters
(VOA) Chinese security forces have detained seven laymen and a monk in a protest in Pema (Chin: Banma) county, Golog TAP. VOA reports that Tibetan protesters were calling on the authorities for greater religious freedom. They also demanded the withdrawal of security and military forces deployed around two monasteries in the area, and an end to the detention and interrogation of many senior monks. All shops remained closed as a convoy of 25 troop-carrying trucks moved into the town.

25. Jan 2012
China criticises reports of Tibetan clashes
(VOA) China has accused overseas human rights organisations of exaggerating recent clashes between Tibetan demonstrators and police in Tibetan regions of the PRC. Tibetan advocacy groups and witnesses claim that police in Sichuan province opened fire on several thousand unarmed Tibetan demonstrators in Draggo county (Chin: Luhuo). Foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei called the reports "hyped", saying the clash involved only "dozens of protesters". He said the unrest started when protesters began destroying stores and attacking police with rocks and knives. China's official Xinhua news agency quoted local officials as saying one person was killed and five police officers wounded when a clash broke out over the presumed self-immolation of a monk.

25. Jan 2012
US condemns violence in Tibetan areas
(VOA) The US has expressed concern about reports of Chinese security forces shooting at Tibetan protesters, killing some and injuring others. In a statement, Under Secretary of State for Human Rights, Maria Otero, said reports of violence follow the immolation of four Tibetans during January 2012. Ms Otero called on Beijing to exercise restraint and renewed US calls for China to open dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives to address the grievances of Tibetan people.

27. Jan 2012
Tibetan arrested; one shot Dead, several wounded
(dossiertibet) A Tibetan was arrested in Dzamtang (Chin: Rangtang) county, Ngaba TAP for pasting a leaflet which states that the motive for the self-immolation protests was for freedom in Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama. It further said that until these demands are met, there is no chance that the campaign will stop. The youth is identified as Tharpa, from Barma township in Dzamtang county. Tharpa had also written his name and pasted his photo on the leaflet, claiming himself responsible for the leaflet. When police went to arrest him, a crowd gathered and the police opened fire, reportedly killing one person and wounding several more.

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