Protests continue in Tibet: Thousands march in Zogchen
By Tendar Tsering, DHARAMSHALA: In continuing mass protests in Tibet, around 3000 Tibetans carried out a peaceful march in front of Chinese government buildings in Zogchen, Dege region of eastern Tibet on Wednesday.
The Tibetans were protesting a renewed wave of security clampdowns and raids in the region, including at the Zogchen monastery and private homes of local Tibetans. Although the exact reason for the raids were not clear, exile sources have said that several Tibetans were severely beaten and many were arrested during the raids that were conducted earlier this week.
According to reports, an unknown number of Tibetans were injured in the raids and have been hospitalised.
“Following the unwarranted raids and severe beatings, around 3000 Tibetans, including students from the Zogchen Shri-Seng Ngarig Buddhist Learning Institute, monks from the Zogchen monastery and lay people from the surrounding villages carried out a protest march in front of the Chinese government offices in Zogchen,” an exile source told Phayul.
“The protesters demanded an immediate end to the brutal raids and urged the release of those arrested,” the same source said.
No further details are available on the whereabouts and well being of those arrested and injured.
The protests in Zogchen coincided with the 23rd birthday of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the XIth Panchen Lama recognised by the Dalai Lama, who has been missing since he was abducted 17 years ago by Chinese officials.
Eastern Tibetan has been at the eye of the self-immolation storm that has been raging since 2009. 35 Tibetans in Tibet have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.
Since January, thousands of Tibetans have taken part in several peaceful demonstrations against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
Last week, over 2000 Tibetans had carried out a mass protest in the nearby region of Kardze, demanding the release of around 250 Tibetans who were arrested a day earlier.
The Tibetans were arrested after Chinese authorities ordered the closure of a locally founded Tibetan organisation called the ‘Dayul Unity Association.’