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Tibetan High Schoolers Protest in Monastery Town

April 27, 2009

Reuters
April 25, 2009

BEIJING, April 25 (Reuters) -- Hundreds of
Tibetan high schoolers staged an early morning
protest in the monastery town of Xiahe, in Gansu
province in northwestern China, local residents said on Saturday.

The protest by students at the Xiahe Middle
School, near the important Labrang monastery, was
settled by police without injury or arrest, receptionists at local hotels said.

The students were protesting that university
spots reserved for ethnic Tibetans had been given
to Han Chinese students, overseas Tibetan activist groups said.

Residents did not confirm the reason for the
protest. Phone calls to police were not answered.

Xiahe was the site of large demonstrations
against Chinese rule in March last year, shortly
after violent riots by Tibetans in Lhasa on March
14, 2008 left 18 civilians dead.

Three Tibetan women were sentenced this week for
setting fire to a Lhasa shop in which five
shopgirls were burned to death. One received a
death sentence with two years reprieve, while the
others were sentenced for life and to ten years'
imprisonment, the Xinhua news agency said this week.

Monks at the Labrang monastery staged an
emotional protest when foreign journalists
visited last year in a government-organized trip.
They said they were seeking greater rights and
the return of exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

One of those monks, Kelsang Gyatso, was detained
this month, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights
and Democracy said on Saturday. Two others have
been detained since last year, it added.
(Reporting by Lucy Hornby; Editing by Alex Richardson)
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