Join our Mailing List

"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?"

Tibetans protest to mark two struggle anniversaries

March 21, 2010
March 19, 2010

Despite tight security controls and restrictions, especially in the period
around the 51st anniversary Mar 10 of the Tibetan National Uprising Day,
protests were staged in several parts of Tibet on Mar 10 as well as Mar 14,
the second anniversary of Lhasa protests which spread across much of the
Tibetan Plateau, according to Radio Free Asia online (RFA, Washington, DC)
Mar 17. They included a protest by school children, joined by hundreds of
local people, on Mar 14 in Machu County of Gansu Province; a protest by
hundreds of Tibetans in Markham County in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and
a silent collective protest in the form of closing down of shops in Lhasa.

Independence slogan raised in Machu The report said at least 40 Tibetans
were arrested on Mar 14 when a group of some 30 students of Tibetan Middle
School in Machu staged a protest close to the county seat. The protest
continued for 30-40 minutes during which the students were joined by 500-600
other Tibetans when the protesters were surrounded by armed police.

The arrests led to more protest with 400 to 500 local Tibetans staging a
protest in front of the government offices, demanding the release of the
detained protesters.

The report said some of the protesters shouted slogans calling for Tibet's
independence and praying for long life for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The student protest was said to have been sparked, in part, by an official
rebuff of a planned forum on the topic "Tibetan experiences of joy and
sorrow," as well as a ban on any commemoration of the Mar 10 uprising of

The school had about 1,500 students and about 50 percent of the county's
population was Tibetan.

Silent protest in Lhasa Protests of different kinds were reported from at
least two parts of TAR. In capital Lhasa, Tibetans defied an order to keep
all shops and restaurants open on Mar 14, the second anniversary of large
scale protests across the Tibetan Plateau which the Chinese put down with
use of brutal armed force. "They were ordered to open their businesses as
usual and were told that if they did not open their shops, their display
carts would be taken away," the report quoted a Lhasa resident as saying.
"All the hotels and restaurants owned by Tibetans were closed."

"The Tibetans didn't open their shops and marked the Mar 14 anniversary in
silence," the man was quoted as saying.

There were no open protests in Lhasa because the security was extremely
tight. A huge security presence was built up in the city and surrounding
countryside while several hundred plainclothes police officers had been
assigned to keep watch on Tibetans in teashops, restaurants, and nightclubs,
the report cited residents as saying. Besides, "Thousands of security forces
including those dressed in black uniform were deployed in Lhasa."

Mining protest in Markham The report also said that hundreds of Tibetans
protested on Mar 10 in Markham county of Chamdo Prefecture, TAR. "They
demanded compensation for damage to the local environment, animals, and
human beings due to mining activities," the report quoted a resident as

The report said the protest threatened to turn violent. "The Chinese
authorities attempted to detain some leaders, but at that time some Tibetan
youths injured themselves with swords and threatened to kill themselves if
any of the Tibetans were detained," the resident was quoted as saying.

It took pleas from local religious leaders to avert an escalation of the
situation. "The local authorities sought the help of local Rinpoches and
Lamas to convince the Tibetans to return home," the resident was further
quoted as saying.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank