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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?"

'Get Back to Work' Campaign Takes More Casualties

April 6, 2009

Agam's Gecko Blog
April 4, 2009

Civil disobedience spreads in Tibet as farmers in
the Kardze Tibetan "Autonomous" Prefecture adhere
to their farming boycott, despite physical and
psychological abuse, bribery and threats of land confiscation.

Another region of Kardze Prefecture is now
reporting protests against the Chinese
administration, according to a source in contact
with the area. In the township of Rinpatsa
(phonetic spelling, county unknown) eight
juveniles were arrested on March 25 for holding a
public demonstration at Gyaldoghowa village
(phonetic spelling). Among those arrested was the
son of the village head, who warned the
authorities that the village's 80 families would
revolt if their children were not released. All eight were later released.

On April 1 four nuns belonging to the Hardo
Rinpoche Nunnery (in the same township) along
with two local youths were arrested after raising
Tibetan freedom slogans and demanding the release
of Tibetan political prisoners. Chinese
authorities have tried to bribe residents of
Norzin village (phonetic spelling) to comply with
their orders to get back to work in the fields.
The residents refused, reminding the authorities
that they will never tolerate their denunciations
of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Following the security forces' beating to death
of Phuntsok Rabten on March 25, this colonial
army seems to be on a beating and arresting kick
in Drango County over the issue of the farming
boycott. On March 27 a group of farmers refused
to comply with Chinese orders to work, and were
severely beaten up (some into unconsciousness)
and arrested. Fourteen Tibetans were injured in
the incident, some of them seriously. Relatives
are not permitted to visit them in hospital.

One of these, a woman named Khethar, is now in an
"unable mental state" due to the violent
beatings, according to sources. Others were
forced to sign documents they didn't understand.
The other identified victims of this incident are
Pema Lhamo, Yali, Palchen and Choekyi, all from
different villages in Drango County. Security
forces continue to search for Tibetans in Drango
who evaded arrest, but farmers continue refusing to farm their land.

On March 22 Pema Yangtso, a 26 year old nun at
Nyima Gesey Nunnery in Kardze County, shouted
slogans for Tibet's independence. She was
arrested and her whereabouts are still unknown.
On March 16 Lobsang Gyurmey, 29, called for
independence and prayed for long life for the
Dalai Lama. He was arrested and his place of
detention is unknown. Lobsang supports his wife,
three children and an elderly mother.

This heavy-handed back-to-work campaign has even
affected education in Drango County. Children
studying at a school in Dzakhog township last
month were required to stop their work and vacate
their school, which was needed by the colonial
army for temporary shelter. Massive troop
reinforcements have also been sent to the Dzagon Sargon Monastery.

Two nuns of the Drakkar Nunnery in Kardze County
mounted a peaceful protest at the town's main
market at around 3 pm on March 24. Yangkyi Dolma
and Sonam Yanchen shouted freedom slogans calling
for the swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet,
human rights for Tibetans and religious freedom
in Tibet. (This protest was previously reported
here via RFA, and I thought it might be a
duplicate of another protest on the same day,
reported by Voice of Tibet. It was not.)

During the short protest Yangkyi Dolma
distributed some handwritten pamphlets. Officers
of the Chinese People's Armed Police (PAP) beat
the two nuns viciously with rods and electric
shock batons before being thrown into a vehicle
and taken away. The earlier RFA report had quoted
local eyewitnesses saying that around 50 security
forces were involved, and that the nuns continued
to call for long life for the Dalai Lama even after their beatings.

At around 7 pm that same evening, security forces
stormed and ransacked the family home of Yangkyi
Dolma and harassed her family for "supporting
separatist forces." Early the next morning more
security officers returned to the home and
ordered Yangkyi's brother to report to the county
government headquarters. His fate is not known.

There have been around 28 known incidents of
peaceful protest in Kardze T-"A"-P since March
10, with about 60 people known to have been
arrested. It is likely that more incidents have
gone unreported due to the severe restrictions on
communication. Authorities in Drango County
(neighbouring to Kardze County), now faced with
the popularly supported farming boycott, have
reportedly issued an ultimatum for Tibetans to
get back to work in the fields. They must resume
farming by April 11 or their land will be confiscated by the government.

Around six Buddhist monks staged a peaceful
sit-in protest in front of the Xining City High
People's Court, in the Qinghai provincial capital
on April 2. The protest began around 8 am, with a
large banner which read, "Appealing to the court
to conduct fair judicial proceedings in
accordance with the law." The monks were taken
away by Public Security Bureau officers, and
their place of detention remains unknown.

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