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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Nangpala Revisited- Shooting left nine Tibetans missing and three arrests

October 27, 2007

TibetNet
26 October 2007

According to a confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a group of 46 Tibetans while attempting to flee
Tibet via Nangpala Pass in October were shot by Chinese border People's Armed Police (PAP) resulting in the arrest of three Tibetans and missing of nine.

According to a TCHRD source in Katmandu, on 18 October 2007, a group of 46 Tibetans while escaping to Nepal via Nangpala Pass through Solukhumbu were
shot by the Chinese Border PAP. The group while taking rest on the Nangpala Pass, after days of grueling walk over the high pass covered with freezing snow were
shot several times by the Chinese Border PAP. Although nobody was shot dead at this time, but the firing live ammunitions on the group led the escaping people run
for the cover leaving all their belongings behind in the snow. However, they were chased by the Chinese Border PAP, which resulted in arrest of three Tibetans and
nine missing. The whereabouts and condition of nine people from the original group of 46 Tibetans still remain unknown. The details of three people arrested are: a)
Ngawang Tsultrim, 21-year-old from Amdo Labrang, Sangchu (Ch: Xiahe) County, Kanlho " Autonomous Prefecture" ('TAP') b) Lobsang Thaye,  33-year-old
monk from Amdo Rebkong Monastery, Rebkong (Ch: Tongren) County, Malho (Ch: Huangnan) "TAP" c) Tenzin Dorjee, 21-year-old from Kham Bawa, Lithang
County, Kardze "TAP"

Yesterday, the remaining fleeing Tibetans safely managed to reach Tibetan Reception Centre based in Katmandu, Nepal. As the winter approaches, the flow of
Tibetans across the Himalayas into Nepal from Tibet is generally on the high (when there are less Chinese patrols in the area). There is a general consensus between
the Nepalese government and the UNHCR that the Tibetans fleeing Tibet be handed over to the latter who in turn take Tibetan refugees under their protection.
Amid high risk of being arrested Tibetans make the arduous journey into Nepal which acts as a transit for the hundreds of Tibetans entering India on a mission to get
education in exile or be blessed with an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

After the Nangpala incident in September last year, the Chinese authorities beefed up security measures and restrictions on the Nepalese frontier to check the
Tibetan escapees. The "TAR" Public Security Bureau (PSB) convened a special meeting in December 2006 calling for a strict monitor and vigilance on the 'fleeing
individual' (Ch: toudu) and called for the launch of 'Strike Hard' Campaign beginning January 2007 for six months. According to the official Chinese mouthpiece,
Xinhua, dated 4 June 2007, it was reported that a video conference was convened by the "TAR" Head PSB department among various Prefecture PSB
departments on 5 May 2007 in Lhasa City to review the overall result of the "Strike Hard" campaign, which was launched on the border areas through which most
of the Tibetan refugees escape. The individual officers and concerned departments successful in cracking down were rewarded with accolades, it was reported.

Last year on a bright sunny morning of 30 September, the world has yet seen another bloody killing of an innocent Tibetan crossing the border to seek freedom in
exile. As 75 refugees were preparing to cross the glaciated Nangpala, an 18,753 ft. pass close to Everest base camp, the Chinese Border PAP fired live
ammunitions on a group of Tibetan refugees killing Kelsang Namtso, a 17 years old from Driru County, Nagchu Prefecture "Tibet Autonomous Region" ('TAR') and
Kunsang Namgyal, a 20 year old from Kardze was hit by bullets on his leg. He could not escape and along with him 32 other Tibetans including 14 minor boys were
arrested by soldiers and taken to Shigatse Public Security Bureau (PSB) Detention Centre. The youngest was eight years old. Out of 75 people, 41 (27 minors
below eighteen years) managed to reach Kathmandu, Nepal, where they were kept under the protection of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Under immense international pressure and extensive coverage on the shooting unarmed Tibetans by the Chinese border PAP, the Chinese Foreign Ministry
paradoxically referred the shooting as a defensive measures carried on by the border forces. The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that several Tibetans had been
injured in a border incident, but denied anyone was killed as a result of gunfire. The authorities claim one of the injured succumbed to 'oxygen shortage' in hospital.
The official news agency, Xinhua, stated that when asked to turn back, Tibetan refugees 'refused and attacked the soldiers' so '[t]he frontier soldiers were forced to
defend themselves and injured two [refugees].' The Foreign Ministry agreed with the claim that any violence on the part of the PAP was in self-defense. This was
one of the incidents happened and rarely witnessed by the foreign mountaineers.

However, in light of testimonies by the refugees, the foreign eyewitnesses and confirmed by video there is hardly anything left for Chinese to duck the responsibility
for killing innocent Tibetan. Jamyang Samten, a teenage youth who made successful second attempt upon reaching Dharamsala told TCHRD that, "the older
teenagers and adults were severely beaten, and some children who were not immediately collected by their parents were detained for more than three months".

TCHRD is gravely concerned about the fate of three arrested Tibetans and other nine who are still missing in midst of tension following gunshot by the Chinese
Border PAP. The government of the PRC should ensure that they are not subjected to ill treatment and torture which are common features in Chinese administered
detention centres and prisons in Tibet. The actions of the PAP violate a number of international and national laws. Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights provides 'everyone the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution'. The 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees also accords
legitimate refugees with the same human rights as those enjoyed by nationals.

TCHRD calls upon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Loiuse Arbour, and the Human Rights Council to seek intervention in the securing their early
release from Chinese custody without harm. TCHRD also calls upon the authorities of the People's Republic of China(PRC) to ensure that Tibetans are able to
peacefully exercise their fundamental human rights without fear of harassment, intimidation or arbitrary detention, in line with international human rights standards. The
Centre will continue to monitor the situation and will update on any development as and when we receive.

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