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China rolls out tanks to suppress Tibet Protests

March 15, 2008

TibetNet
March 15, 2008

Dharamshala: Chinese armed police have killed around 100 Tibetans and
injured many others for taking part in peaceful demonstrations,
according to unconfirmed sources. These protests have spread from
Lhasa to all over Tibet both in intensity and scale.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama has issued the following statement today.
"I am deeply concerned over the situation that has been developing in
Tibet following peaceful protests in many parts of Tibet, including
Lhasa, in recent days. These protests are a manifestation of the
deep-rooted resentment of the Tibetan people under the present
governance.

As I have always said, unity and stability under brute force is at
best a temporary solution. It is unrealistic to expect unity and
stability under such a rule and would therefore not be conducive to
finding a peaceful and lasting solution.

I therefore appeal to the Chinese leadership to stop using force and
address the long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people through
dialogue with the Tibetan people. I also urge my fellow Tibetans not
to resort to violence."

A Statement of the Kashag (Tibetan council of ministers) read,
"Starting from 10th March this year, Tibetans from all over Tibet
started a series of peaceful demonstrations to express their
dissatisfaction with the Chinese policies. The Kashag had earlier
hoped that these demonstrations will stop.

However, partly due to heavy-handed response of the authorities to
these peaceful expressions that the demonstrations continued to spread
all over Tibet and the situation is getting worse.

Therefore, we are deeply concerned and have also urged the People's
Republic of China for due consideration to take these incidents with
all seriousness and not to take further repressive actions. The
situation urgently demands the attention of the governments,
parliaments and the international community to persuade the leadership
of People's Republic of China to refrain from further repressive
measures and to restore normalcy through peaceful means."

Kalon Tripa also made an urgent appeal to the Chinese authorities
stating, "From 10th March this year Tibetans from various parts of
Tibet (in and outside TAR) staged series of peaceful demonstrations to
express their dissatisfaction with the present situation. Such
demonstrations are clear symptoms of discontentment among the Tibetan
people with the current policy towards them.

We are observing this with a great sense of concern and would like to
earnestly urge to the central and local authorities of the People's
Republic China to take these incidents with all seriousness and not to
take any repressive actions. We further urge them to restore the
normalcy through dialogue and understanding of the Tibetan people's
aspirations."

The situation in the Tibetan capital has intensified because Chinese
authorities have rolled out a large number of armoured vehicles
including tanks in the Bharkor square and have started shooting into
the protesting crowds.

As protests continue to have a ripple effect across Tibet, the Chinese
police are reported to have sealed off all monasteries and nunneries
in and around Lhasa.

In order to provoke the protesting crowds, Chinese policemen dressed
in monks, attire are reported to have lashed out at the peaceful
demonstrators, which incited the crowd into burning police vehicles.
According to other reports, from 10,000-20,000 Tibetans have joined
the demonstration in the Tibetan capital.

Also in Northeastern Tibet, thousands of Tibetans led by monks from
Labrang Tashikyil monastery staged a peaceful demonstration. The
demonstration, the biggest ever in this part of Tibet, was held in
Sangchu county, Kanlho, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu province.
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