Join our Mailing List

"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Britain must condemn brutal crackdown of Tibetan protests

March 14, 2008

Free Tibet Campaign, UK
13 March 2008

Hundreds of monks in Lhasa began staging widespread protests on
Monday, March 10th, the 49th anniversary of the failed Tibetan
uprising. Dozens of people have been detained in the largest protest
in Tibet since 1989.

The protests began with monks from Drepung and Sera monasteries. At
Sera, a group of monks shouted slogans for freedom in Lhasa's holy
Jokhang Temple with lay people forming a protective circle around
them. The Daily Telegraph quotes two foreigners who witnessed the
police breaking up the protest and detaining the monks.

"Soon they called for backup. Undercover agents, not so difficult to
recognise, film the whole happening. Especially the faces. This is one
method to create fear. Suddenly there is panic. Six or seven monks are
arrested and driven away. Tibetans are very scared because of the
stories about the prisons and tortures. In the meanwhile big numbers
of policemen arrive. They drive everybody apart."

Also on Monday, about 500 monks from Drepung set off to the Jokhang
Temple. Between 50 and 60 Drepung monks were immediately detained at
heavily guarded checkpoints.

On Tuesday, the second day of protests, about 600 monks from Sera
monastery set off for the police station near the monastery demanding
the release of the monks detained the day before. They were shouting
slogans such as "Free our people" and "We want freedom".

Thousands of Public Security Bureau (PSB) personnel with firearms and
electric batons dispersed the crowd and arrested dozens of monks.

Free Tibet Campaign has received reports of further protests in the
eastern part of Tibet in Malho Prefecture, Quinghai Province (Tibetan
region of Amdo), although no arrests have yet been reported.

The situation in and around Lhasa is very tense. There were
unconfirmed accounts of gunshots coming from Drepung Monastery.
According to Radio Free Asia private homes are being searched for
hidden unregistered monks or nuns. Drepung and other monasteries have
been surrounded by police and vehicles are blocking access to them.

Chinese authorities confirmed the protest with Foreign Ministry
spokesman Qin Gang referring to the protests as "an illegal activity
that threatened social stability."

Those detained for political reasons routinely face torture in custody
in Tibet. Free Tibet Campaign fears that in order to send a strong
signal ahead of the games the Chinese authorities will curb down on
the detainees ever more harshly.

In October 2007, Gordon Brown said of the violent crackdown of
peaceful protest in Burma: "We will continue to ensure that the gaze
of the whole world is on this repressive regime."

The British Government cannot remain silent on Tibet.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank