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Tibetans beaten as Tibet Autonomous Region's deputy party secretary visits Nagchu

September 2, 2013

August 31, 2013 – Several Tibetans have been injured and some hospitalized as Chinese authorities in Tibet’s Nagchu County beat up at least 50 Tibetans for alleged involvement in a "brawl" with security personnel deployed at a monastery that was shut down last month.

A Tibetan living here with contacts in the region said the situation is “tense” in Nagchu as authorities have arrested several Tibetans and deployed more security forces in the area bringing the total number of soldiers beyond 2000 at five different military camps including Nagchu township, Shora, Dathang township, Rongpo monastery, Ghesoi Do and Wumkyang Sumdo.

On August 24, Deputy Party Secretary of TAR Wu Ying Jie and several other CCP leaders visited the Shag Rongpo Ganden Dhargyeling monastery that has been reeling under tension since July 30 when the authorities banned all religious activities and expelled all the monks.

The source said that the authorities are strictly monitoring all movements in and out of the area and began interception of all communication lines. “It is therefore difficult to verify the actual number and details of the people injured,” he added.

The source said despite appeals from the Tibetans to spare those involved in the brawl the authorities have come down heavily on those accused.

Local Tibetan leaders from various townships and villages and monks from the monastery’s administrative body were summoned to the local Chinese administrative premises for a twenty day “thought education” but were harassed regularly. Armed military patrols are constantly swarming in vicinity of the monastery intimidating the local Tibetans.

Around 400 officials including senior officers of PSB and other law enforcement authorities of the Communist Party of China are present in the area. The contingent of senior party officals include TAR vice party secretary, Nagchu County party secretary Dothog, Nagchu County deputy party secretary Kalsang Tsering, Dubkhang Thupten Khedrub, Sonam Rinzin from the local United Work Front Department.

The source further added that the County officials were told that the TAR administration shall issue new directives to administer the monastery which the County administration must follow.

Before the visit of the senior party officials, monks were brought from Sera and Drepung monastery in Lhasa to escort them during the tour of the monastery, the source said, adding that the authorities asked some monks of Rongpo monastery to arrange Tibetan scarves to offer during the tour. “When the monks showed reluctance to arrange for the scarves they took them to be beaten up.” He said the monks were forced to offer wellwishing scarves to the visiting Chinese leaders and pose for television crew to show that everything is normal in Nagchu.

Local party secretary Gyaltsen Wangdak warned the Tibetans that it was a serious offence to beat an officer of the Communist Party of China. The locals were told to smile and clap for the TV crew as not doing it, he said, was against the law, according to the source.

Meanwhile, the security has also been beefed up and strict monitoring is in place in the neighbouring Driru County and Sog County.
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