Arrests of Buddhist monks in Tibet continue

Asia News, April 13, 2010

Chinese repression of young monks in Tibetan areas of Sichuan and Tibet shows no sign of stopping

Lhasa, Tibet -- The campaign of arrests of Buddhist monks in Tibet, launched in recent months by Beijing to "reassure" the province and prevent further mass protests, is intensifying.

After numerous arrests in early April, police from the Office of Public Safety in Nyagrong County the Tibetan Prefecture of Kardze in the northern province of Sichuan - arrested yet another monk on April 8.

The arrest is reported by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (Tchrd), which has been monitoring the situation in the area.

Abo Tashi, a Buddhist religious aged 22, is accused of publicly protesting against the Chinese presence in the area along with three other compatriots. Abo was arrested along with Tsering Gyatso, 19; Wangchuk Tsering, 22 and Rinzin Dorjee, 24. The first two are from the monastery of Guru, as does Abo, while the fourth is from the Lamasery of Jamchon.

The four presented themselves in the village square of Serwoe, County Nyagrong, wearing national flags of Tibet: the symbol is banned by the Chinese since the region brought about by the People's Liberation Army led by Mao Zedong in 1949. Moreover, the young monks exhibited handwritten signs seeking the return of the Dalai Lama in Tibet, the independence of the region and the end of mining in the area.

500 residents joined the protest, expressing their support for the monks. According to local sources, the police fired to disperse the demonstration: it is not clear whether the shots were fired into the air or against the crowd. Abo was arrested, and there is no news of him since. The Tchrd in its newsletter, describes itself as "concerned" about the fate of Monk and asks the Chinese government for his immediate release.