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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Chinese authorities detain eight Tibetans over links to grassroots literacy campaign

January 13, 2014

January 8, 2014 -  China has detained eight Tibetans in Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu) prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region on Dec 29 and Jan 3 for alleged links with a grassroots movement aimed at forging harmony and enhancing literacy among Tibetans, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Jan 6. They were held in two groups in Karma Township, accused of belonging to an “illegal” literacy drive among Tibetans.

 Five of them – named as Barlo Yudrung, Denma Tratop, Ngora Tashi Namgyal, Draktsa Dorje Rigzin, and Yibnub Sonam – were held on Dec 29. Their detention followed a search of Tibetan homes to find out those involved in a movement started last year to end Tibetan infighting and forge greater harmony among Tibetans. More police and government workers arrived to search the homes of the five before they were taken away, the report added, citing a local source.

 The remaining three – named as Phuntsok Namgyal, Pema Tsultrim and Dorjee Lodoe – were held on Jan 3.

The detainees were said to wear a unity band around their necks, which the police removed.

 

It was not clear yet whether the detention of the eight was related to the arrest on Dec 6 of senior religious figure Khenpo Kartse (Karma Tsewang), 38. He was held by the Chamdo police while visiting Sichuan’s capital Chengdu to buy a religious statue for his monastery located in his home county of Nangchen (Nanjian) in Yulshul (Yushu) Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

He was accused of carrying out anti-state activities in Karma Town. His detention provoked a large-scale protest by people in Nangchen County and the Khenpo, well known for his social, environmental and cultural promotion works, wrote to them to maintain calm.

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